WATER WORLD: Jenks’ senior Steven Mikels swims in a meet for the Trojans. He is one of many swimmers that represented the team in the Class 6A state swim meet on Feb.17-18 at the Jenks Aquatic Center.
Courtesy PETRA SCHUURMAN
Jenks has been on top in the Class 6A boys’ swim poll all season, culminating with the Oklahoma State Championship.
The Trojans competed in the state tournament in their home facility, the Jenks High School Aquatic Center. Hopes were high, but they knew it wouldn’t be simple.
A plethora of Trojans competed at the state meet.
“We have a lot of talented swimmers,” Jenks coach John Turner said.
The senior class consists of Rhett Scroggs (100-yard butterfly, 100-yard backstroke), Steven Mikels (100 butterfly, 50-yard freestyle), Hanshen Ni (100-yard breaststroke, 200-yard individual medley), Chris Jin (50 freestyle, 100 butterfly), John Perona (100 backstroke) and Paul Song (50 freestyle, 100-yard backstroke).
Juniors are Christian Burke (100-yard freestyle, 100 backstroke), Jon Jin (50 freestyle, 100 freestyle), Ethan Miller (100 breaststroke), Gatlin Nail (200 individual medley, 100 butterfly), Andrew Truong (200-yard freestyle, 100 freestyle).
Turner said, “Scroggs will play a significant role. Jon Jin will be the smallest 50-100 freestyle (swimmer), hopefully a finalist, in the history of Oklahoma freestyle swimming. He is a very punitive but very strong young man.”
Sophomore Paul Song is expected to pick up some points in the 200 individual medley and 100 breaststroke events. “(Paul Song) is a real talent in the (individual medley) breast-stroke events,” Turner said.
Alex Yanchunas (200 freestyle, 500-yard freestyle), Everette Howard (500 freestyle) and Justin Sung (200 freestyle, 100 freestyle) are the other sophomores who competed.
Andrew Truong (200 freestyle, 100 freestyle), Austin Bick (200 freestyle, 500 freestyle), Johnathon Keith (500 freestyle), Morne Wolmarans (200 individual medley, 100 breaststroke) are the freshmen representing Jenks.
“Those are the standouts we have. We have several boys we hope to put in the top eight,” Turner said.
“All of our boys are very strong academically. They are very self-motivated. The group, as a whole, is very competitive. It’s friendly competition, but they keep each other going.”
Jenks had an obstacle to overcome due to disqualification of the boys 200 free relay at regionals. That will prevent them from swimming at state in that competition.
“Essentially, we start the meet 40 points behind, which makes the task more difficult,” Turner said. “But, our boys are up for the challenge. They’re pretty fired up.”
Jenks has one of the top pool facilities in the region, which gives it an advantage and has helped with being on top.
“I think part of it is we have a year-round program like all the other sports at Jenks and actually all the activities, period,” Turner said. “We have a lot of good parent support. The pool itself has been a boon because it is so much bigger than what we had, and we still have the other one as well. It has increased and doubled the size of our club team, which eventually, that is affecting the quality of swimmers we are getting again. We had a little lull there, but we are climbing our way back to the top.”
On the girls’ side, the Lady Trojans, ranked No. 4, were led by senior Nicole Molina, who competed in the 50-freestyle, 100-freestyle.
Molina returned to Jenks after being out last year due to attending Oklahoma School of Math and Science.
“Nicole is just now rounding back into form,” Turner said. “She came back to Jenks and is having a tremendous year. She is trying to point her way towards the school records in the 50-free (freestyle). We have a long wait to find out if she can do it. She is a very academically-orientated, physically strong young lady.”