July 7th, 2017

Year in review: Boys swimming

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Conor Revell

Managing Editor

Year in review: Boys swimming
St. Xavier continues the streak and wins their 29th straight state title with ease / photo by Paul Najjar

The Louisville Catholic Sports Network chronicles the 2016-17 sports year in review. We will bring you every sport, every season, and every team’s season ending results in a capsule until we're finished. Today, we look back at the boys’ swimming season.

St. Xavier

The legacy continued on Poplar Level Road with the Tigers winning their 29th straight state title this past winter.

St. X earned 453.5 points in their title-winning effort and more than doubled runners-up Covington Catholic’s 204.5 points in the process. Lexington Catholic (161) finished third.

“We talk to our boys about taking ownership and accountability and they do,” St. X head coach Todd Larkin said. “It’s a collective responsibility towards one another to finish the mission (of winning a state title) and having each other’s backs. It allows us to embrace that target knowing that we have that many students invest in what we do. It’s very, very gratifying to experience as a coach.”

Only Brophy College Prep (Ariz.) who has also claimed 29 straight state swim title can say they have accomplished the same feat.

Martin Nitzken, Keefer Barnum, Conner Kang, Michael Eastman turned in a 1:32.31 time to win the 200 medley relay and broke the record by just .03 that was set by last year’s St. X relay team.

Keefer Barnum, a Virginia commit, broke his own state record in the 100 Breaststroke in 54.36. He also finished second in the 200 Individual Medley.

“It’s great to accomplish this and I’m just so happy we’ve done so well,” Barnum said. “A big thank you to our coaches and all of my teammates because I wouldn’t be here without them. I’m amazed at what this program and the student-athletes involved are able to achieve every year. You can’t train by yourself and the younger guys will continue to do a great job because they’re such great racers. It’s so important to have older swimmers to look up to, train with and learn from. They inspire you to set goals that you never imagined you could achieve.”

Johnston, Will Cole, Cole Brown and Eastman won the 400 free relay and shaved 2.04 seconds off the state record clocking a 3.03.68.


The Shamrocks finished fourth overall at the state meet with 136.5 points as superstar Hunter Tapp won a pair of individual state titles.

“It was a monster performance by Hunter to set that record in the 100 Free and then set the school record in the 50 Free,” Trinity head coach Kelly Horrell said. We finished 11th last year and now fourth overall this year and all of these guys are sophomores. We’re well-placed to compete for the next couple of years. It’s been a blast to work with these young men. We’ve had some great swimmers through the years and Hunter’s just the latest. He had such a great finish to win the 50.”

Tapp, a sophomore sprint freestyle star, surpassed alum Thomas Cooper’s 100 Free record set in 2012 by .06 seconds recording a 44.65 to win that championship heat. Tapp also won the 50 Free in 20.60 setting a new Trinity record in that event.


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