All summer long the Bison Swim Aquatic Club have been taking chances to qualify for the 2019 AAU Junior Olympics.
On Monday, area swimmers will have one last chance meet for several Stephens County swimmers in their own pool they train at in Duncan as they host the District Championship.
Bison Swim Aquatic Club has three teams that are one group with groups located in Edmond, Lawton and Duncan and are the only Swim Club team in the state of Oklahoma affiliated with AAU.
Andrew Bowers, head coach for Bison Swimming in Duncan, said that some of his athletes have already qualified for the Junior Olympics, but this is a chance for them to show off in front of the home crowd of family and friends.
“It does a huge thing for us. The Simmons Center is one of the nicest facilities in all of the southern half of Oklahoma so they get to have that title, but it does help the swimmers for Lawton, Duncan and Marlow so they don’t have to go all the way to Edmond to compete,” Bowers said. “This is basically a last chance meet for the summer and gives our kids an opportunity, we still have a few that are hoping to go to the Junior Olympics that they maybe qualified in one event, but not necessarily the ones they want to be qualified in. That gives them this opportunity to qualify and make more opportunities to swim at the Junior Olympics.”
Braylen Sullivan, Ethan Smith, Mayson Thiebaud, Karsten Terrell and Gage DaVoult qualified for several events and are hoping to qualify for even more events during the meet Monday evening.
In order to qualify for the Junior Olympics swimmers have to beat the set qualify time for an event or place in the top three during the district championship meet.
Bowers, who has been the coach for the Bison and Duncan High School swimming teams for several years, said hosting the event is a big deal and is excited to invite the public out to the event.
“I think it is a big deal for Duncan as far as Bison Swimming is a hidden gem here in Southwest Oklahoma,” Bowers said. “We have a team here in Duncan and in Lawton. I was talking to a few people a couple of weeks ago and they didn’t know we had that opportunity for the youth of this area.”
The event will start at 5 p.m. Monday, July 8 at The Simmons Center. Bowers said any of the public can attend to watch the meet and he hopes they do come out to support the kids swimming.
“For us to have a meet like this, it kind of gets us out there and I just want people to know they have an opportunity to participate in one of the fasting growing sports in not only Oklahoma, but in the country,” Bowers said. “We are really excited to host it this year and we hope to have a really good crowd there. You don’t have to be a member of the Bison or The Simmons Center to come watch, so we definitely invite everyone out to come and support these kids.”
Junior Olympics will take place July 25-27 in Greensboro, North Carolina with events happening all weekend as they compete for medals.