It’s the beginning of the end for the Altus High School swimmers. After finishing off their regular season in style by completely owning the three Lawton schools last Friday, AHS will host the Area Championships this Friday.
Friday’s Area Championships will be the last time these seniors will compete in the Altus pool.
The girls are 19-4 this year and are swimming faster in every meet they enter. “This group could possibly could have the best finish of any girls’ team,” said coach Linda Wiginton. “They are a young group of girls, too. Next year, I expect them to be the favorite to win it all in 5A.”
The boys enter the area meet with a record of 22-1 and are looking dominant.
The boys and girls teams are expected to win this Area Championships then move on to Regionals next week in Edmond.
The regional meet will determine what swimmers will qualify to compete in the state meet. The Bulldogs will need every possible point this year and that means they will need every swimmer to work and push for the their best efforts.
Sometimes seniors get “senioritis” and begin to coast into graduation. This disease is a part of the swim teams makeup. One look at the times that senior Daniel Brown is clocking, and it’s easy to see just how hungry this team is for another championship. Daniel turned in a 21.69 in the 50 freestyle at Lawton last Friday. That’s the fastest regular season time he’s ever gone. Gabe Barton swam an amazingly fast 50 freestyle for a kid just off of a serious injury with very limited time in the pool this year.
Considering the strength of coach Wiginton’s boys’ teams over the years, to say this group is set to do something no other swim team from Altus has ever done is a bold statement.
These boys are trying to be the first to win back-to-back state championships. This is a rare thing because of the amount of seniors that usually exit following a strong season. AHS will suffer that mass exodus after this season.
This group of senior boys is very special. Make sure you get to see them compete as Bulldogs here on Friday. It’s your last chance to see them locally. They are trying to win it this year. They did win it last year and fell just five points shy of winning it all in 2014.
Never has Altus had such a dominant group of swimmers. In the box is a list of the winners in Lawton. Girls and boys are listed followed by the event they won.
Congratulations, good luck and GO BULLDOGS!!
Reach Brad Gilbert@civitasmedia.com