Short-pool dominance and back-to-back relay winners meant Edmond North took the team title at the 6A girls swimming regional held at the Edmond Aquatic Center across Friday and Saturday this weekend.
The North girls posted a final team total of 398 points, edging second place Norman North by 75 points and preventing a Timberwolf sweep after the Norman North boys took the 6A boys regional trophy.
Edmond Memorial finished third overall with 295 team points, and Deer Creek was fourth with 265. Edmond Santa Fe finished eighth with 92 points.
Edmond North’s Danielle Horst was the first Husky to find a win Saturday evening. She took first place in the girls 50-yard freestyle event, pacing ahead of Deer Creek’s Kenadie DeYoung by just two tenths of a second. Edmond swept the top five spots in that short-tracked freestyle event, with Santa Fe’s DeShayla Thompson finishing third in 25.91. North’s Erin Sylvester and Edmond Memorial freshman Ingrid Olstad finished fourth and fifth.
Horst’s teammate and Edmond North freshman Liberty Long followed her right up the podium in the next girls event. Swimming in the 100-yard butterfly, Long finished in 1:01.66 to take the top spot. Long beat Mustang’s Hannah Hamilton in the finals, flipping the results from Friday’s preliminaries that Hamilton took on a four-tenths edge. Long was more than a full second faster on Saturday, though, taking first place from the senior from Mustang.
Edmond North site coach Lauren Reddout knew that the freshman Long was capable of turning it up when there was hardware on the line.
“She uses her pre-swim jitters to swim fast,” Reddout explained. “When the time comes, she’s able to get what she needs to get done in the water. It’s always impressive to us coaches and her teammates. Hamilton has dominated that event for a while, so I was amazed by her 100-fly.”
Edmond Memorial’s Krista Parker and North’s Emma Reynolds were third and fourth in that same, 100-yard butterfly regional race.
The COAC girls co-swimmer of the year Lily Rector kept the streak of consecutive girls winners alive Saturday. She’d win event 11 — after Horst and Long took the odd-numbered, girls events seven and nine — by a second-and-a-half. Rector finished atop the 100-yard freestyle podium in 54.43, with her teammate Allison Lewis in the runner-up slot in 55.86. Deer Creek’s DeYoung was third in the regional run.
More Husky dominance came after the short-track winners. The North team of Erin Sylvester, Reese Lugafet, Horst and Lewis led another Edmond top-3 sweep in the girls 200-yard freestyle relay. They’d swim the course in 1:43-flat, with Memorial’s team of Krista Parker, Beth McAnally, Ingrid Olstad, and Emma Smith second in 1:45.92.
None of the above 200-yard relay competitors are classified as seniors.
Deer Creek’s roster of Grace Anthony, Halle McFarlane, Jillian Hull, and Eastyn DeYoung were third in 1:50.26.
North’s Sylvester and Lewis earned another regional win after they swam the middle of the 400-yard freestyle relay, too. With Liberty Long and Lily Rector flanking them, the team finished first in 3:46.76. Deer Creek saw another third-place relay finish here, with Kenadie DeYoung, McFarlane, Hull and Olivia Lounsbery taking bronze in 3:57.55.
The girls will now focus on replicating this weekend’s results against the talented east-side swimmers in the Jenks Aquatic Center across Feb. 21 and 22. For Reddout and her Huskies, that means they’re going to focus on improving the little things.
“We’ll go back to the basics,” Reddout said. “We’ll focus on our starts, on good turns, good underwaters, and good wall-stroke technique. For relays I really want to focus on that team-bonding experience so everyone is comfortable with each other on the relays.”