The Tiger Swimming and Diving Team is Chasing History
The Tiger Swimming and Diving program is known as one of the top programs into the country, but will look to bolster that status this coming Saturday. They are looking to make a splash (wink) into the record books this Friday and Saturday at UofL when they vie for their 29th consecutive title. If they manage to win it all, they will tie the national record for most consecutive titles for high school boys.
The record is currently held by Honolulu’s Punahou High School (which is also the alma mater of Barack Obama), who won 29 straight titles from 1958 to 1986. With so much on the line, there is a definitely a different mindset. “It’s almost like a new motivation for the team,” senior Martin Nitzken said.
“Don’t get me wrong, it is great to win another title and we always strive to. But now, having something that can go down in history, the team is pumped like never before. We just have to do what we have been doing for the past 28 consecutive years… swim to win!”
Here’s a breakdown of those competing for the Tigers this weekend, as well as their seeding for prelims which take place on Friday:
- 1 Meter Diving – Blake Ansert (19th) and Kellen Murphy (42nd)
- 200 Yard Medley Relay (4th)
- 200 Yard Freestyle – Aldan Johnston (3rd), Will Cole (8th), Andrew Streater (10th), and Cole Brown (14th)
- 200 Yard IM – Martin Nitzken (5th), Keefer Barnum (11th), Grant Largen (13th), and Peter Hurst (21st)
- 50 Yard Freestyle – Michael Eastman (4th), Jack Harty (8th), Ethan Highley (20th)
- 100 Yard Butterfly – Conner Kang (5th), Cole Brown (12th), Dane Rueff (13th)
- 100 Yard Freestyle – Michael Eastman (5th), Will Cole (7th), Andrew Streater (9th), and Dominic Tomchek (11th)
- 500 Yard Freestyle – Aldan Johnston (7th), Grant Largen (8th), Tom Irvine (14th), and Peter Hurst (18th)
- 200 Yard Freestyle Relay (2nd)
- 100 Yard Backstroke – Martin Nitzken (4th), Dominic Tomchek (6th), Brandt Wilhelmi (12th), and Kenton Whitely (13th)
- 100 Yard Breastsroke – Keefer Barnum (4th), Kenton Whitely (19th), and Brevik Heitmann (31st)
- 400 Yard Freestyle Relay (12th)
Out of the many who are competing, there are three guys that stand out and have a great chance at taking individual titles. Junior Aldan Johnston is one of those guys. Last year, he placed 2nd in the 200 and 500 yard freestyle races, as well as 2nd in the 200 Yard Freestyle Relay. Each time, he was beat out by a senior from Covington Catholic, but now, the path is paved for him to win out in all three of these events.
Aside from Johnston, Martin Nitzken has a chance to win in the 200 Yard Medley Relay, 200 Yard IM, and in his specialty event, the 100 Yard Backstroke. Last year, Nitzken placed sixth in the event, but now his top competition remaining will be Nicolas Albiero of CAL, a signee for the University of Louisville.
Lastly, but certainly not least, will be the star of the Tiger Swimming team, Keefer Barnum. Barnum is one of the top swimmers in the state, let alone in the country. This past fall, he committed to swim for the University of Virginia. He will have a chance to win out in all of his events and become the 3x State Champion in the 100 Yard Breaststroke. Last year in the event, he broke the state record in prelims with a time of 54.69 seconds.
Definitely try to make it out to UofL on Saturday morning and cheer on your Tiger Swimmers and Divers or keep up on Twitter. The Tigers will be heavy favorites to win it all, but most importantly, they are chasing history.
Go Tigers, Take State!