December 27th, 2016

LCSN No. 5 story of 2016: SHA and St. X swimming win state titles again

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Conor Revell

Managing Editor

LCSN No. 5 story of 2016: SHA and St. X swimming win state titles again
photo by Conor Revell

 The Louisville Catholic Sports Network has chosen its top 10 stories of 2016 and is posting them in a series that starts Dec. 19 with an honorable mention list. LCSN will have a story each day with the exception of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. We will run our top story of the year Dec. 31.

When you think of high school swimming in the state of Kentucky, Sacred Heart and St. Xavier immediately come to mind.

Sacred Heart won the girls for a fourth straight year while St. X captured its 28th straight state title this past winter in the boys.

Sacred Heart

SHA won seven of the 12 events and finished with 435 points, well ahead of runner-up Notre Dame (268), followed by Christian Academy (218), North Oldham (175) and Paul Dunbar (132).

The Valkyries placed new marks in the record books in five events, including Asia Seidt in the 200 medley relay, 200 individual medley and 100 backstroke. She was named the meet’s Most Outstanding Competitor along with Madison Winstead of Paul Laurence Dunbar.

“It was a different atmosphere in here today,” Sacred Heart coach Jim Luebbe said. “I’m not sure what it is, but when the music is going and the crowd is cheering like crazy strange things happen and the girls go berserk. It’s phenomenal what these young ladies accomplished today.”

Seidt erased the state record in the 200 IM by better than two seconds, winning in 1:56.83.

She stamped her name in the books again by bettering her old state record in the 100 backstroke with a 52.89.

“I didn’t think I’d go as fast as I did, but it all just came together,” Seidt said. “The 200 IM will be the most memorable since I’ve been trying to get under 57 for so long. Also to leave my name as a legacy is something I’ve always wanted to do.”

Forde, a junior All-American, finished with four first-place finishes. She shattered the 200 free record by clocking 1:46.76 and teamed with O’Hara, Kennedy Lohman and Bauer to set a new record of 1:34.09 in the 200 freestyle relay. In the grueling 500 free, she led the whole way and won in 4:48.46.

In the 200 medley relay, the team of DeBeer, Kennedy Lohman, Seidt and Bauer set a new state record of 1:40.61.

Seidt, Forde, Molly O’Hara and Tonner DeBeer won the 400-yard freestyle relay in 3:24.14.

St. Xavier

The Tigers won their 28th state title this past spring, only one other program can claim that feat and that Brophy College Prep (Ariz.). St. X has now won 52 state titles in the past 69 years.

St. X won three events and placed in the top two in every competition but three to finish with 361 points. Covington Catholic had 317 points for second while Collegiate placed third with 173.

“We manage the team well and I have a great coaching staff,” St. X head coach Todd Larkin said. “Our guys step up. In a meet like this, where it’s as close as it was, every point is going to matter. We just kind of chip away at it and chip away at it. It’s a team win and it’s a team title. Everybody here contributes to that.”

Martin Nitzken, Keefer Barnum, Matt Steiden and Clayton Forde won the 200-yard medley relay in record-setting fashion with a time of 1:32.34, three seconds ahead of CovCath.

Aldan Johnston placed second in the 200 freestyle when he clocked a 1:38.66, less than a second behind first-place Brendan Meyer of CovCath.

Forde swam the 200 individual medley in 1:50.80, one second behind Lexington Catholic’s Zach Hill.

Michael Miller gave the Tigers their second win of the day, taking diving competition with 437.05 points.

“I think it’s all about the little things,” senior diver Michael Miller said. “It’s all about the hard work, tradition and the brother hood. It also helps that everybody knows who we are around town. A lot of the freshmen come in knowing what the expectations are.”

The Tigers had a scare when CovCath clocked a 1:24.02 to win the 500 free relay and the Tigers' Steiden, Michael Eastman, Johnston and Forde placed second in 1:24.92.

Relays are worth more than individual events as the winner gets 40 points rather than 20.

Barnum nailed the Colonels coffin when he recorded a 55.31 and beat out Owensboro Catholic’s Michael Hampel by just one second to win the 100 breaststroke. It’s the second straight year Barnum won the event.


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