December 8th, 2010

St. X Swimming Gunning For 23rd Straight

Sarah Newell

CSN Staff Writer

St. X Swimming Gunning For 23rd Straight
photo from St. Xavier High School athletics

Program has won 22 consecutive state titles

The St. Xavier High School swimming program knows success.

Last year’s team captured its 22nd consecutive state title victory under the leadership of first-year Head Coach Todd Larkin. They hold the all-time record for the most state titles in the country with 46 wins. Subsequently, they begin this season ranked No. 14 in the nation.

And if the Tigers come away with their 23rd straight championship this season, they will move into third place all-time in terms of consecutive titles won.

But Larkin says his team still has work to do before they reach the level they hope to see by February.

“I feel that we have the foundation every elite team has: leadership, depth and speed. The question is, ‘can we discipline those areas?’,” said Larkin. “Our guys are working hard and putting in the time. I challenge the guys to get two percent better every day. Each day, we need to improve two percent.”

Larkin also says he emphasizes speed and power for his high school swimmers. He added that these are the key elements that will help St. X reach its goals throughout the season into the state meet. When he looks at his lineup, he says he doesn’t think of an individual swimmer’s level when he puts together events.

“Team is number one priority to defend our title,” said Larkin. “We have guys that are talented in multiple events, so we decide what’s best for the team first, not what’s best for just one person.”

Larkin says that each class makes contributions, but his sophomore class is very strong as eight of them scored in state as freshmen. He added that as his team moves closer to the end of the year, he has one main goal for the team.

“We want to get as many swimmers involved in the state meet,” said Larkin. “Last year we took 22 guys. I want to try to get 25 or 26 guys involved this year.”

So far, St. Xavier is 3-0 against this season’s competition. Their wins against Kentucky Country Day, Eastern High School and Christian Academy of Louisville came with victories from standout swimmers Camden Johnston, Andrew Braun and Rush Cromer.

St. Xavier will take on Ohio’s No. 2 team – Cincinnati St. Xavier – on Jan. 8, and coach Larkin says that is one dual before state that the team is gearing up for already.

“We have never won against Cincinnati St. Xavier, and we’re trying to change that,” said Larkin. “We have so much respect for their program. They have three national championships. They have what we want.”

Larkin, who joined St. Xavier’s staff last year, says he’s excited about his second season with the Tigers.

“I love to work with these student athletes that are motivated to improve everyday. St. X has a great tradition to be a part of, and the boys take so much pride in it. We look to the past for tradition, but as a coach, I stay in the present, said Larkin. “Each new season brings new challenges, and I don’t take anything for granted.”



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