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Madison Gipson a Leader on Bixby Swim Team

Sports Writer

SENIOR STAR: Madison Gipson is all smiles over her success during this year’s swimming season.

ROSSY GILLE for GTR Newspapers

Aided by a crop of freshmen, the Bixby girls swim team has finished high in meets this season. The Lady Spartans took in high hopes to the Class 6A state swim meet Feb. 17-18 in Jenks.

As the freshmen have carried the team, they have had a core of senior leadership to guide them. One of those seniors is Madison Gipson.

Gipson, who has been at state along with other Bixby swimmers every year since she was a freshman, is in her second season as a captain for the girls’ swim team captain.

“I think you do play an important role when you are a senior, and the younger girls are looking up to you.” Gipson says. “They probably want to be a captain as well one day. The freshmen we got this year and the sophomores, they’re all very good and they’ll make our swim team extremely good.”

At the state meet, which took place in Jenks, Gipson competed individually in the 50-yard freestyle and 100-yard freestyle races and participated with teammates in the 200-yard medley relay and the 400-yard freestyle relay.

Gipson thinks swimming is a sport that really pushes you and is also a good stress reliever and just fun in general.

“I’d say it works every part of your body, and sometimes, you have to hold your breath, so it makes it even more difficult,” she says. “I honestly think it is one of the toughest sports that is out there.”

While she claims to not necessarily be the best swimmer, she expected to make state every year while in high school.

“You have to work extremely hard to make it because the competition is very competitive, especially in 6A,” Gipson says. “I’m just lucky to have made it in all of my events because there are a lot of people who aren’t that lucky, and you have to work extremely, extremely hard and you can’t skip meters or skip anything or else it will show in competition.”

Swimming in an individual race and a relay are both tough in their own ways, Gipson says.

“Individually, you have to be focused the whole time and you have to go all out the entire time, and it’s just more stressful,” she says. “But then with every relay, since you have other people, you have people who are depending on you, so you want to do your best for them, so that you can beat your time and break records, which is really fun because of the girls who swim at my relays. We’ve broken every single relay record so far, we’re hoping to break them again.”

Gipson looks back at her freshman trip to state as her most memorable.

“I swam in the same events that I’m swimming in this year,” she says. “Since we were Class 5A at that time, we all made it the next day and we all got in the top eight of our relays. I thought that was really fun to be able to do and just to be able to swim with all your teammates. It’s just cool making it your freshman year, because not everyone does that.”

College plans for Gipson involve attending Northeastern State in Tahlequah with plans to major in chemistry or biology. That means her swimming days in school will be over, making this year’s trip to state her last.

“It’s really bittersweet,” Gipson says. “I happen to be working hard in practice because I really want to get certain times for my last race that I’ll be able to swim and make it to the second day of state. I just want to make my best times for my last one, because you are only as good as your last race.

“I think I’ll miss competing the most because I’m a competitive person. I don’t like to lose,” she says. “That’s what I’ll miss the most. Obviously, the physical attributes, that’s the main phase that helps me stay in shape, and I think I’ll miss my teammates a lot as well.”

Updated 03-09-2017

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