July 3rd, 2014

Year in Review: Boys' Swimming

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Conor Revell

Managing Editor


Year in Review: Boys' Swimming
St. Xavier won its 26th straight swimming state title / photo by Conor

The Louisville Catholic Sports Network chronicles the 2013-14 sports year in review. We will bring you every sport, every season, every team’s season ending results in a capsule until we're finished.

It was an eventful year for the St. Xavier and Trinity swim teams. Many thought the Tigers weren’t going to win their 26th straight state championship after their 200-yard freestyle relay team was disqualified in the regional meet two weeks prior to the state meet.

Trinity competed without superstar Thomas Cooper for most of the year who had won the 50 free three previous times and the 100 as a sophomore. Cooper will swim for U of L next year.

St. Xavier: Despite swimming without the disqualified 200-yard freestyle relay team, the Tigers survived and won their 26th state championship, giving them the golden 50th title in school history.

Not having a foursome in 200 relay potentially cost St. X 40 points, but they still managed to finish with 361 points to runner-up CovCath’s 328.5. Collegiate helped the Tigers cause when they won the 200-yard relay over CovCath.

“I don’t think we ever panicked — we didn’t ever worry,” St. X head coach Todd Larkin said after the state swim meet. “We’ve got a veteran team with a lot of leadership. You know, sometimes teams need to be pressured. We needed this. It’s not always a bad thing to have your backs against the wall. It brought the best out of our team. The seniors were 54-0 coming in, and you lean on those guys and they put it in their hands.”

Jacob Smith, Heyward Harrison and Noah Johnston brought home individual state titles for the Tigers.

Harrison won the 200 individual medley final in 1:51.49, edging second-place Chase Vennefron of CovCath, who clocked 1:52.68. Harrison also placed third in 100 backstroke.

“The other two were expected,” Harrison said after the meet. “I don’t think we thought much of it because we were expected to do so. This time we really pulled through and brought it home.”

Smith won the 100 butterfly in 50.17, beating second-place Mac Slattery of Bowling Green (50.55).

Johnston, seeded third in the 500 freestyle, surprised the crowd with a stunning victory. The senior touched the wall in 4:30.65, nearly two seconds ahead of second-place Ethan Curl of Tates Creek (4:32.91).

“This state championship feels a lot different,” St. X senior Jacob Smith said. “We had to work a lot harder this year knowing that it wasn’t going to be a blowout. We didn’t want to be known as the senior class that broke the streak. It was a big relief as much as joy when we ended up winning.”

St. X’s 200 medley relay team (Harrison, Richard Carrico, Jacob Smith and Kyle Brutscher) placed second in 1:34.70 behind CovCath’s foursome that finished in 1:33.71.

Harrison, Johnston, Smith and Clayton Forde helped the Tigers place second behind Collegiate in the 400 freestyle relay.

Trinity: Without Cooper, Trinity placed fifth, which left head coach Kelly Horrell feeling satisfied. 

“Our swimmers did great today,” Horrell said after the meet. “We had a lot of best times. I’m really proud of how they did. We came in in fifth place, which is not quite up to our standards, but we will take it and be happy with it.”

No Shamrocks won individual state championships, but Trinity’s 400 freestyle relay team placed fourth and Chandler Lichte was fifth in the 100 breaststroke.

 

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