By: Lani Hansen, Reporter
OKMULGEE, Oklahoma– Russian American and Muscogee (Creek) citizens Alexandria and Nick Clark both have qualified for state in swimming the last couple of years.
These two siblings are twins from Atlanta, Georgia. Alex and Nick are both juniors and attend Alpharetta High School. Their father Tim Clark who is Muscogee (Creek), is proud of them and said both are honor students at their school. They both swim on the Dynamo Swim Club team.
Alex has qualified for state the last three years and was an all-stater last year as a sophomore. Nick has qualified for the last three years behind his sister. Swimming is a competitive sport but not between the siblings, Nick said he was inspired by his sister when he began swimming.
Alex began competitive swimming as an activity but then she stuck with it.
“I became a competitive swimmer because my sister first started swimming in the family and I looked up to her,” Nick said. “I was doing soccer before, but when I began swimming I started liking it and getting new friends, dropping new times and getting myself a lot of recognition out there.”
Alex competes in two relays, the butterfly and individual medley (IM) event. “The IM event is where all the strokes are performed in one race and the butterfly is a single stroke,” Alex explained.
Nick competes in two relays as well, the 200 IM and the 400 freestyle relay. “The 200 IM relay goes in IM order, there are four other people in your relay and each person swims butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke and freestyle. In the 400 freestyle relay everyone swims free,” Nick said.
Alex swims eight practices a week everyday in the afternoon and two times in the week when there is no practice. Nick practices everyday five times a week for an hour and thirty minutes.
When it comes to swimming competitions these are more of social events for Alex, it is an excitement for her when she sees friends from other teams. Before the races, Nick listens to music to hype him up and when he gets on the board he gets butterflies.
“When I hit the water it is a rush of energy and everything goes blank,” Nick said. When his sister Alex is out there in the water she is a big competitor and winning is on her mind as she swims.
When Nick qualified for state the first time he was so happy. “I could not believe that I could actually reach that goal,” Nick said.
“For me it was very exciting in high school state, the environment is unlike any other swim meets. It is really exciting to go and experience the energy that they have at that meet,” Alex said about qualifying for state.
Last year Alex won personal best in freestyle for her time of 1:55 and in the 100 yard butterfly relay for her time of .58 seconds. Nick made the state cut in the 100 backstroke with a time of 59.62.
After Nick and Alex graduate from high school, both are choosing different paths. Nick is planning to go to school at College of the Muscogee Nation, and Alex is planning to go into the Air Force Academy.