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Area Notes: Duncan's Stewart claims gold

Since 2009, the Class 5A boys 50-meter freestyle state title had always been won by an Altus swimmer.

Duncan senior A.J. Stewart changed all that.

Saturday in Jenks, he became the Demons' first 50-meter champion, with his 22.41 time edging out Piedmont's Tyler St. John by two-hundredths of a second.

"It was exciting," Duncan swim coach Andrew Bowers said. "We knew it'd be a photo finish. It turned out to be extremely close."

St. John, a two-time state individual state champion in other events, and Stewart developed a friendly rivalry this year. Stewart wound up winning in five of their six races against each other.

It was the third year in a row Duncan brought home a gold medal, but Stewart is just the school's second individual champion. Charles Espinola won back-to-back titles before graduating last year and earning Oklahoma Coaches Association All-State honors.

"It's huge," said Bowers, who just completed his fifth year as Duncan's coach. "We had Charles in the past, but Charles kind of came in with high expectations. We kinda expected him to win.

The Lawton Constitution

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