Norman North’s Aiden Hayes – OKC Area Boys Swim Poll Winner – Presented by Eskridge Honda

By Derrick Smith

Aiden Hayes was voted the winner of the OKC Area Boys Swimming Poll. He is a sophomore member of the Timberwolves swim team and says that while he appreciates the award, he also hopes it puts a spotlight on the sport.

“To win this award is a big accolade for me,” he says. “But I hope also that it will bring some light on what the sport is all about.”

Hayes is in his fifth year of competitive swimming and is currently a sprinter for his team.

“This season was a great season, not only for me, but also my team,” Hayes said. “We not only got better in racing and competition, but we upped the intensity of our training a lot too.”

That hard work paid off for him and his team at this year’s Class 6A State Meet in February. Aiden and his team brought home their share of awards, including first place in the Boys 400 yard Freestyle Relay and 200 yard Medley Relay that placed first, and the 200 yard Freestyle Relay which came in sixth. The Timberwolves team finished second in the overall meet rankings. Aiden placed first in the 50 yard Freestyle and the 100 yard Backstroke.

Aiden decided to join the swimming team because of his dad, Ben Hayes. 

“I became interested in competitive swimming when my dad told me that he was on the swim team when he was in high school,” Hayes said. “My aunt and uncle swam also, so that really fueled me to join.”

Throughout his career, Hayes has garnered a lot of support but there are two people that stand out the most. 

“Jonathan Tang has been a teammate of mine for a long time,” he said. “He is definitely someone I look up to everyday in and out of the pool. And my head coach Kent Nicholson has not only taught me how to swim, but to persevere through hard times and always keep a positive attitude.”

While he has enjoyed his time on the swim team, there is one moment that stands out above the rest. 

“The highlight moment of my career would probably be at Junior Nationals last December,” he stated. “I placed third overall for 18 and under and I also had the fastest backstroke in history of the sport for 15 year olds.”

With all the success, Aiden still has his sights set on a bigger prize. 

“My goal this summer is to obtain a qualifying time to compete at the Olympic trials in 2020,” he said. “It would be awesome to have the chance to make the United States Olympic team.”