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Bay Yukich

CHISHOLM — For just over two decades, Kevin Perkovich had reigned supreme as the fastest Chisholm High School boys swimmer.

Perkovich had times of 27.94 in the 60 freestyle and 49.90 in the 100 freestyle, which he set in 1995.

All it took was 25 years and one meet to knock Perkovich off of his crowns.

There’s a new king of speed on the Bluestreaks by the name of Bay Yukich.

Last Friday in a dual meet against Princeton, Yukich broke both of Perkovich’s records, swimming a 27.85 in the 60 freestyle and 49.74 in the 100 freestyle.

It only took 2 ½ decades to break those records, but there’s nobody more deserving of those accolades than the Chisholm junior.

“I thought I had the 60 in me, but I didn’t think I would get the 100,” Yukich said.

“I dropped a second last Tuesday, so I thought I maybe had it in me in the 100. I was still two seconds off, so there was a lot to drop.

“Patrick (Assistant coach Patrick Hake) has been coaching us well. To have both of them is cool.”

Chisholm coach Don Quirk said he had a feeling those records might fall this year. He thought Alex Koivisto might break them last year, but he came within an eyelash of doing it.

“It was exciting,” Quirk said. “My wife said, ‘I don’t think anyone expected that.’ I said, ‘I kind of did.’ We knew Bay had a chance. He was a little more than a second away earlier this year.

“It was our last home meet, so we decided to go for it. He’s been working hard all year, so we thought there was a chance. It happened, and everybody was thrilled.”

That hard work has been instilled by Hake, who is in his first season as assistant coach. The Bluestreaks’ training regimen has changed significantly.

“Patrick has been working the boys hard,” Quirk said. “He has no forgiveness. That has been a change. Our practice repertoire is different than it has been in the past.”

Yukich had no problem dealing with the new practices.

“Last year, we kept it low yards and more sprints,” Yukich said. “This year, we’ve done more distance and higher yards. It has helped a lot. It’s made me stronger in the pool. I have more endurance, even in the sprints, so that’s good.”

In the 60 freestyle, Yukich said he was feeling good before the race, but he was on edge.

“We took practice hard the day before, so I was a little nervous, but I felt ready for it,” Yukich said. “I thought I could do it. Off the start, I was ahead. I thought if all of my turns were good, I could get it. It was cool.

“Everyone was clapping hard. My teammates were proud. We all thought it was cool.

“Those records have been up there for so long.”

Before the 100 freestyle, Yukich isolated himself from the rest of his teammates, so he could concentrate on the race.

“I kind of kept to myself the whole meet because I really wanted to break them,” Yukich said. “I stayed quiet, and kept my parka on to stay warm.”

Once the gun went off, Yukich was on his way to record-setting history.

“On my third length, I was breathing, but I could see everyone and hear everyone cheering, telling me to go,” Yukich said. “Right then and there, I thought, ‘This might be it.’ I jumped up and threw my arm around.

“It’s cool because that record has been there for 25 years. To be the first one to do that is cool.”

It was quite an accomplishment.

“It’s a big compliment to him,” Quirk said. “When you think about the historical side of it, nobody that has been in this swimming program since its inception, which is 100 years, has ever gone faster in those two events in this pool.

“I know Kevin and some of the boys from that group. They’re good athletes. They put some times up there that were hard to get to.”

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