Clifton anchored the winning relay to clinch title for the Sals at the State Swimming and Diving Championships Saturday.
Gordon says being the closer was an opportunity he cherished.
"That's kind of what I always wanted to do. Be able to have to win at the last leg and be the hero, but at the same time, the thought in my mind was to make sure Sallies won a championship."
Earlier in the meet Gordon broke the state record in the 200-meter individual medley in a race he won by 6 seconds. How did he keep his intensity up with the large lead?
"You just have to get to the point where you're racing yourself. It's sometimes tough. When you're in an atmosphere like the state meet when everyone is watching you and the tensions high and you're ready to go and your nerves are up, but at the same time you're focused."
Clifton started swimming in his backyard pool when he was 2-years old. Sounds like a lifelong love affair with the sport right?
"We started lessons and, I'll be honest, I hated it. I was the biggest baby, I was crying and screaming all the time. I guess I got more into it and got more into it as I made more friends."
Clifton says he's looking at North Carolina, USC, and Florida for his collegiate swimming career, but he has even loftier aquatic goals.
"My goal is to be at Olympic Trials in 2012 and then possibly be on an NCAA championship team. That's what every kid wants to do in college."