2021-2022 swim season comes to an end


Clearfield Swimmers at states posing at the Bucknell Bison. Top row: Danna Bender, Beth Struble, Emma Quick, Derrick Mikesell, Leif Hoffman, and Tyler Olson. Bottom row: Hunter Cline, Connor Morgan, Nick Vaow, Danielle Cline, Jaylin Wood, and Riley Vaow.

Rylee C. Ogden, Staff Writer

As the 2021-2022 Clearfield swimming season has come to an end let’s take a look at their accomplishments.  Through this season both the boys and the girls teams accomplished great things. This year six male swimmers, one male diver, five girl swimmers, and one female diver qualified to go to States. Those individuals are: Leif Hoffman, Derrick Mikesell, Connor Morgan, Nick Vaow, Tyler Olson, Hunter Cline, Danielle Cline, Emma Quick, Jaylin Wood, Beth Struble, Danna Bender, Keegan MacDonald, and Dehila Elbe.

The team won the districts yet again this year along with taking several places at States. Leif Hoffman placed 4th in the 500 free all-state first team and 12th in the 200 IM honorable mention all-state. Connor Morgan, Nick Vaow, Leif Hoffman, and Derrick placed 10th in the 200 free relays honorable mention all said and Hoffman, Mikesell, Vaow, and Cline placed 12th in the 400 free relays all-state honorable mention.

With these accomplishments, it is not a surprise what their statistics are. The boys swim team’s record is 38 district wins and 9 titles, making this a 10-year streak of consecutively winning since 2012. In its entirety since 1976, they have 479 wins to their name, 83 losses, and 5 ties. The girls swimming team have 32 district wins and 9 titles with a 5-year streak since 2018 under their belt. Overall having 475 wins, 109 losses, and 4 ties.

Three swimmers were asked their thoughts about their experience with States and their overall thoughts about swimming. They responded with inspiring answers.

Beth Struble, a junior, explained, “My experience at states was amazing. It was really great to be able to compete at that level and get to watch all of the swimming. States is really one of the best experiences in swimming. It was such a fun trip.”

She added that her favorite part of swimming is the team aspect of it. She stated, “You become really close with everyone on the team and create such a great bond. You can create so many inside jokes. We also are all struggling the same so we can all suffer together. Also, at the meets, it is really fun to travel and compete. Also when you’re swimming to look up and see everyone cheering for you. The whole team pushes each other in these meets.”

Beth also added her least favorite aspect, “My least favorite part of swimming has to be the practices. They are always very challenging and push you to a new level. Also, the very early mornings to come jump in the cold pool is always a fun time. Coach Mo always pushes us out of our comfort zones, so we always know going down to the pool it is going to be a challenging two and a half hours.”

Danna Bender, a junior, described her state experience as rewarding. She added her favorite and least favorite aspect of swimming, “My favorite aspect of swimming is being on a team and seeing my friends every day. My least favorite aspect of swimming is the amount of hours that you have to commit to the sport in order to get better.”

Derrick Mikesell, a sophomore, explained his experience at States. He noted, “This year’s States were different compared to last year because of COVID. States at Bucknell was an amazing experience with the boys. All of our boys, Leif, Tyler, Hunter, Nick, Conner, and myself all made it to states. We are all close because we’ve all been swimming together for so long. It was an amazing time that I will never forget.”

He noted his favorite and least favorite aspect of the sport. Derrick stated, “My favorite aspect of swimming is getting faster and stronger. Working hard every day at practice makes u sore but at the end of the season comes, the taper will show how hard you worked. The off-season is full of lifting to get stronger because you can’t get faster just swimming. My least favorite aspect of swimming is probably having to wake up to go swim before school. But I get used to it and it just helps me in the end.”

When asked what she is most proud of this season Coach Morrison, most famously known as, “Coach Mo”, replied, “I am very proud of both of my squads. The boy’s team picked up great recruits and along with our experienced swimmers and divers, were able to continue our tradition of excellence. I am equally as proud of the ladies’ team. They fought hard all season long, picked up some crucial wins and a tie, and also continued our tradition of winning seasons.” She described the season as an obstacle that the team overcame and finished strong.

When asked what her favorite aspect of coaching is she stated, “Working with the students and watching them develop and grow into great swimmers and divers, but most importantly, watching them develop into great people.” On the other hand, her least favorite obstacle is recruiting, which she described as her “biggest nemesis.” Stating, “It’s increasingly more difficult to get kids to try a sport that they may never have experienced in elementary or junior high. I’ve never had anyone join who has said that they have regretted his/her decision, so I welcome others to come and give it a try. Anyone can join with any level of experience.”