February 28th, 2015

Tigers dominate state meet again

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Conor Revell

Managing Editor

Tigers dominate state meet again
St. X’s swimmers say cheese after winning the school’s 27th state championship in a row / photo by Conor Revell

Last year, St. Xavier’s swim team barely held off Covington Catholic to win the state title, but this year it was business as usual.

The Tigers were back to their dominating selves. They won four events and had a top-three finisher in every event but three while capturing their 27th straight state championship Saturday at the University of Louisville’s natatorium.

“We take it one day at a time,” St. X head coach Todd Larkin said. “We have a very good group. It was about getting back to the basics and we wanted to swim hard. If you were going to beat us, we were going to make you earn it. That’s the way we went out every meet and every meet seems to have a game-seven atmosphere because everybody is coming after you and giving it their best.”

Brophy College Prep in Phoenix won its 27th straight state title this past November and is the only other high school swim program in the country that can claim such a feat.  

The Tigers collected 449.5 points, leaving second-place Covington Catholic (335) in their wake.

“It’s great to win,” senior Matthew McDermott said. “We haven’t lost a meet in five years and I don’t think I’m ever going to experience anything like this again. This is a special team. We compete against the best and we have one of the best coaching staffs in the nation.”

St. X has now won 51 state titles overall.

Senior Heyward Harrison had a huge day — placing in the top two in four events.  That included victories in the 200-yard individual medley and the 200 medley relay.

“We all bounce off each other,” Harrison said. “We get each other really excited. We really cheer during relays because they are so big in swimming, especially in a meet like this when it can get pretty tight at the end of a meet.”

J.D. Mundt, Keefer Barnum, Harrison and McDermott started the meet off with a bang by winning the 200 medley relay in 1:32.93, breaking the old record (1:33.26) set by a St. X foursome two years ago.

“J.D. is a baseball player,” Larkin said. “Those guys are role players and give us everything we want. It’s a great pack and I’m really proud of them.”

Clayton Forde added to the momentum when he placed second in the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:41.26, way behind Beechwood’s Austin Haney (1:38.97).

Harrison took the 200 IM in 1:49.18 and finished more than one second ahead of the runner-up, Covington Catholic’s Mike Summe.  

“I swam in a lot of IM’s at Lakeside,” Harrison said. “My head coach, Mike DeBoor, really prepared us in the IM’s. I try to not focus on my time but on my swimming. I take it one step at a time and all I want is a good time.”

Mundt clocked a 21.60 in the 50 free, which was good for second place behind Ballard’s Branson Smith (21.18). McDermott came in third.

“We’ve never lost in all four years,” Mundt said. “That’s a really big accomplishment. It’s something that we’re very proud of. It’s really fun and I enjoy it every time. I’m swimming with my best friends.”

Harrison earned another medal when he came in second in the 100 butterfly in 49.44. Christian Academy’s Nicolas Albiero won in 48.43.  

“He’s (Harrison) a great kid and he works very hard,” Larkin said. “The way he approaches what he does and the detail he puts into his work is incredible. He did a great job.”

Covington Catholic’s Brendan Meyer won the 500 freestyle in 4:28.19, but St. X’s Trey Hubbuch (4:32.33) finished second and Forde (4:33.87) was third.

Trent Schulten, Mundt, McDermott and Forde clocked a 1:25.53 to win the 200 free relay over second-place Collegiate (1:27.23).

“It’s team pride,” Larkin said. “We preach about pride and relays are about pride. It’s very competitive to be on one of our relays and it’s fantastic that they did that.”  

Barnum added another state title when he clocked a 55.88 in the 100 breaststroke to edge Summe.

“I knew it was going to be close,” Barnum said. “I got a good warmup in and I did what I always do and took it one step at a time.”

St. X’s Harrison, Shulten, Hubbuch and Forde swam the 400 free relay in 3:05.80 to place second behind Covington Catholic (3:05.72). Both teams bettered the old record of 3:06.59 set by Covington Catholic in 2013.

“That was a lot of fun; it was one of the best experiences in my life,” McDermott said. “It was so close and competitive. It was insane even though we didn’t win it.”

And the meet came to a close as the legacy continues.


Forcht Bank All-Around Excellence Award

Ben Butero, Madisonville-North Hopkins

National Guard Best & Brightest Award

Matt Bode, Collegiate

Dr. Mark Lynn and Associates Academic Scholarship

Mark Scherer, North Oldham

Outstanding Meet Competitor

Nicolas Albiero, Christian Academy of Louisville

Tim Cahill Outstanding Coach Award (Boys) 

Richard Dickmann, Covington Catholic

Outstanding Diving Coach

Dustin Schulten, St. Xavier

Boys’ All-State Teams

First Team

Heyward Harrison, St. Xavier (200 IM, 100 fly)

Nicolas Albiero, CAL (100 fly, 100 back)

Brendan Meyer, Covington Catholic (500 free)

Keefer Barnum, St. Xavier (100 breast)

Austin Haney, Beechwood (200 free)

Branson Smith, Ballard (50 free, 100 free)

Louie Hunt, Covington Catholic (diving)

Jake Precious, Ballard (100 back)

Mike Summe, Covington Catholic (100 breast)

Second Team

Clayton Forde, St. Xavier

Robbie Newman, Covington Catholic

Trey Hubbuch, St. Xavier

J.D. Mundt, St. Xavier

Nick Fox, Scott

Evan Brungs, Covington Catholic

Michael Miller, St. Xavier

Dallas Corsmeier, St. Henry

Zane Taylor, Bryan Station

George McCracken, St. Xavier

Lee Bradley, Collegiate

Ethan Kramer, Tates Creek


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