OKLAHOMA CITY — Before Justin Wu ever stepped to the platform at the Mid-State conference swimming meet, the Norman North sophomore knew exactly what he wanted to accomplish.
After an impressive freshman year, Wu has improved in his sophomore season and is part of a talented North squad that is looked at as a state title contender. The T-Wolves’ ability to win the conference meet was never in question, so Wu set a personal goal for himself.
“I had two tries to get the conference record, and that’s something I wanted to do this weekend,” he said.
Turns out he only needed one try.
Wu easily eclipsed the conference record time of 1:42.04 in the 200 freestyle by swimming a 1:41.5 in the preliminaries of Friday’s meet.
“It felt great to get it on my first try,” he said. “It lets me relax before the finals.”
What was especially impressive about Wu’s achievement was that it came when the team isn’t typically in top form. With state coming up in two weeks, coaches are still pushing the athletes hard in practice to build their strength and endurance before slowing down the workouts before the state meet in Jenks.
“To do that well today, it was a bit surprising since we’re not tapered yet,” Wu said. “To break a record while still sore feels good.”
Wu isn’t the only swimmer positioned well heading into the final heats where team scoring is calculated, which begin at 1 p.m. today at Oklahoma City Community College. All four Norman teams have a number of swimmers positioned well, with either NHS or North swimmers the top seed in 10 of the 16 events scheduled for today. It’s the final chance for both schools to get a taste of high-level competition before heading to state in two weeks.
“That’s what we’re really using this to get ready for,” coach Kent Nicholson said. “We’re just trying to get some faster times.”
As for Wu, his ultimate goal remains winning a state title. But he also has other plans for today’s meet.
“I want to go out and lower that record even more,” he said.
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