January 7th, 2012

Louisville Swimmers Prevail In St. X Duel

Sarah Newell

CSN Staff Writer

Louisville Swimmers Prevail In St. X Duel
photo by Chris Jung

Dramatic matchup comes down to final event at UofL

The 23rd all-time meeting between Louisville St. Xavier and Cincinnati St. Xavier came down to the dual swim and dive meet's final event on Saturday afternoon and it was the host Tigers that ultimately prevailed 161.5 to 153.5 over the Bombers at UofL's Ralph Wright Natatorium.

But it wasn’t easy.

And it wasn't until the final heat of the last race of the day, the 400 Freestyle Relay, when Louisville St. X was able to truly celebrate the victory. The team needed at least a third place finish in the event to win the meet.

“We knew it would be a fight (after last year’s meet),” said Louisville St. X head coach Todd Larkin. “The motto was ‘You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.’ Throughout the day, we didn’t focus on the score, but the guys on the last relay knew it was close.

Louisville St. X won this dual meet for the first time in 2011. With both of the schools known on a national scale, the rivalry is a one-of-a-kind event.

“We focus on this meet as much as we focus on state,” said Louisville St. X junior Robert Leasure, who took home victories today in the 200 Individual Medley and 500 Freestyle.

He added this victory marks a new win overall for their program.

“This proves last year’s win wasn’t a fluke,” said Leasure. “We lost a lot of good seniors last year, but today’s win proves we can compete on a yearly basis. It’s a huge boost for our program moving into the end of the year.”

And Larkin added that this win shows the growth, maturity and improvement of his team as well.

“Not all groups are teams, but we proved we are a cohesive team,” said Larkin.

With the Bombers owning wins in the the 200 Medley Relay and the 400 Freestyle Relay, among other events, the Tigers were able to use their numbers to find a way to first place.

But even without a “W," Cincinnati St. X head coach Jim Brower says he is proud of the overall effort of his team’s performance.

“We got up and raced every single race,” said Brower. “I’m proud of that. We knew from last year Louisville would swim fast. This meet is a tune up for the end of the year, and our guys know you don’t have to feel good to swim fast. We had guys throwing down season best times, and we never gave up.”

With the meet in close competition from start to finish, junior Mitchell Forde from Louisville St. Xavier was able to close up shop as anchor for the 400 Freestyle Relay. And when he touched the wall, the green and gold decorated swimmers and fans went into hug one another to honor another gold in their books.

Said Forde: “I thought we had to get second in that relay to win, so I just raced the guy next to me. Looking back, I didn’t understand this rivalry my freshman year. Now I understand it. I saw a lot of our alumni here that wanted to be a part of the meet. And to be the last one in the pool for our team, it’s hard to describe. It’s really awesome.”

For complete meet results: http://swim-meets.home.insightbb.com/2012/CincyStXvLouStX/


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