By Chuck Reherman
Isaiah Auld did something that no other Yukon swimmer has done in the short history of the program…winning a state individual medal.
He’s looking to break that record this weekend.
Auld will be looking to bring home not, one or two but three medals overall when the Class 6A State Swimming Championships get underway Friday in Jenks.
Auld has a strong chance at winning two individual medals and he will swim the anchor leg on the 400-yard freestyle relay. The relay team will need to turn in a solid performance to earn a medal in a tough field of 16 teams.
Auld won YHS’s first ever individual state medal last year and is seeded fourth in the 200 freestyle and fifth in the 100 freestyle.
“I’m pretty happy with getting to compete in three events at state,” Auld said. “It is a big accomplishment and I hope to place in top five in both individual events. In the relay I feel we can get in the top eight, but it will be a hard ride to get there. We could have had two relays in, but we got DQ’d in the 200 in regionals, but that happens some times.
“I felt pretty comfortable in the events during regionals and that’s pretty similar to how it will hopefully be in state,” he said. “We have a lot of good swimmers on this side of the state, but I feel pretty comfortable going into state.”
Auld competed in the 200 freestyle last year at state, but will be the first time in the 100 freestyle. He competed in the 100 backstroke at state last year, but prefers the freestyle.
“I felt I had a better chance in the 100 freestyle this year,” he said. “I feel pretty good about my chances, I know I will have to push to get to where I want to be, but I feel I have a good chance overall.”
Auld feels his best chance to medal will be in the 200, but is confident he can medal in both.
“I feel the 200 is my best event and if I can cut time there, I can cut time in the 100,” he said. “I’s excited about state, but I’m also nervous because it is my senior year and my last chance to make it count.”
Auld’s career has been an impressive one since he has really only been competing since a freshman, where most of his competitors swam on club teams before entering high school and still compete in club.
Auld has also competed in club swimming after being asked to join the Bison Swim Team out of Edmond.
“We were looking at the sign up sheet when I enrolled in high school and mu mother said I ought to try it,” Auld said. “So I went for it and have enjoyed it ever since.
“I really haven’t been competing for four years,” he said. “Hopefully I can continue in college. I’m looking at going to a junior college, but also hoping for a scholarship.”
YHS coach Bruce Clifton feels Isaiah has a great chance to medal and sees state as a great experience for Clayton Berg and Aydan Howard, who will both be back next year.
“I am excited bout Clayton being there because he is a freshman,” Clifton said. “The 200 IM is a difficult race. Wherever they end up I am proud of them to make it state.”
Berg will swim in the 200 IM and Howard in the 500 freestyle and the 100 breaststroke.