Author Archives: Tommy Sullivan
Good morning, WSTX Sports readers and Tiger Swimming fans and welcome to the Swimming State Championship Live Diary on WSTXSports.com. This will be a running diary of today’s KHSAA Swimming and Diving State Championship events at the Ralph Wright Natatorium on the campus of the University of Louisville. We will take you through the day with commentary from the scene with updates coming as often as possible. Refresh the page throughout the day to follow along.
(9:25) Racing doesn’t start for over 30mins, but the Rage Cage is ready to go! Section 101 is a sea of gold.
(10:07) The 200 Medley Relay of Mundt, Barnum, Harrison, McDermott wins! That’s a state record at 1:32.93.
(10:24) Clayton Forde takes 2nd in the 200 Freestyle. Trey Hubbuch was 4th.
(10:32) Heyward Harrison with the win! He was just shy of the 200IM state record.
(10:36) St. X places 2, 3, 4 in the 50 Freestyle. Mundt, McDermott, Schulten.
(11:38) Heyward Harrison is 2nd place in the 100 Butterfly.
(12:03) Trey Hubbuch snags 2nd in the 500 Freestyle. Clayton Forde was 3rd.
(12:34) Mundt, Schulten, McDermott, Forde win the 200 Freestyle Relay. The Tigers are rolling!
(12:47) Dominic Tomchek is 7th in the 100 Backstroke.
(12:53) Keefer. Barnum. That’s a 55.88. He’s your 100 Breaststroke state champ.
(1:16) Harrison, Hubbuch, Schulten, Forde swim a close race and can’t pull it out. They finish 2nd.
With all the (well-deserved) #BLACKOUT hype, Tiger Hockey may fly under your radar, but the team still deserves some love today. They play their rival the Eastern Eagles.
The Eagles always give the Tigers a close game on the rink. Their first meeting this season, which resulted in a 6-6 tie, was Jan 9. The hockey team is still on the hunt for their first win of the season, so expectations are high for this game.
If you won’t make it to Iceland tonight, wish a team member luck, then get to the St. X-Eastern match-up on Feb 20.
Last night’s match was a thriller. The Tigers originally trailed 18-0 to start the dual. With just two matches remaining, they were down 11 points. Nathan Haddad and Dominic Lampe both earned pins to win a combined 12 points–the maximum amount possible for two matches.
Haddad’s match was especially thrilling, as it was expected to be much closer than Lampe’s. He was dominating his opponent but unable pin him. With under 30 seconds to go, he finally got the pin and sent the Rage Cage wild.
Over fifty students attended the game. They were very loud and brought a lot of energy to the close meet.
The Tigers knew coming into the dual that they would need to make a comeback to win: the Shamrocks have a strong heavyweight squad this year. (Heavyweights are the first to wrestle.) Cobe Calhoun, Chris Beets and Joe Green struggled against Trinity’s first three wrestlers.
St. X’s strength lies in some of their lighter wrestlers, so they were able to chip away at the lead.
Daniel Sheridan was the first Tiger to put points on the board. His win earned him three points. Konner Kraeszig (spelled “Connor” in an earlier tweet–I’m sorry) added four points to the Tigers’ tally.
Austin Cook was St. X’s first pin. The following match, Michael Beets recorded the team’s second pin. Their pins brought the Tigers within two.
After Kaden Darbro and Chase Patton took losses, Dallas Miles contributed five points with a tech fall. At that point, the Tigers had dropped to seven behind Trinity.
Calieb Ray battled his man fiercely, leading for part of the match, yet he couldn’t finish the job.
The rest is history. Haddad and Lampe finished strong, and the Tigers won by just a point.
Tiger Wrestling takes on the Shamrocks tomorrow at 7:00 PM. This is just the second dual of the season for St. X. They won their first on Jan. 3 versus Floyd Central.
As for meets, they have won 5 of 13.
This will be students’ one big chance to catch the wrestlers in action this year, so be sure to support the squad tomorrow.
The swim team will be starting its Wednesday morning a little bit earlier than the usual 6:00 AM. WDRB, one of Louisville’s local TV stations, will be featuring the team throughout the morning broadcast. Tune in at 5:20 AM, 6:20 AM, 7:20 AM and 8:20 AM to catch the Tigers on air.
After school, at 6:15, they take on the Trinity Shamrocks at home. St. X will be a heavy favorite for the meet.
If you want to be directly behind the hoop–in the Rage Cage–at the game this Friday, January 9, there are 450 spots. They will go quickly. Seniors have priority, but that will expire after school Tuesday.
The end-zone seating is only $8 (see the red oval), but other seats will cost $10 (see the blue trapezoid). NOTE: You will not be able to enter the endzone seating without the end-zone ticket.
This means if you show up at the game and buy a ticket, you will not be in best spot to watch the game and cheer on your Tigers.
Keep this in mind when you’re thinking about your plans for the game. The earlier you get your ticket, the better.
The battle between the St. Xavier Tigers and the St. Xavier Bombers at U of L’s Ralph Wright Natatorium on Saturday was intense. The Tigers prevailed over a very deep Bombers squad, 162-153.
Although Louisville St. X struggled to match up with Cincinnati toward the bottom of the depth chart, it still managed to win all three relays. This was crucial for the Tigers, as relays are worth twice the amount of points as individual events.
In the final relay, the 400 Free, junior Clayton Forde came up huge for the Tigers. He extended a .5 second lead to two full seconds with his 46.33 as the relay’s anchor. That was not his only big swim of the afternoon, though.
Forde was leading Bomber star Matt Slabe, who beat him in the 200 Free, throughout most of the 500 Free. At the 450 mark, Slabe had pushed ahead of him by .4 seconds, but Forde ultimately passed him to capture victory.
The 500 was an overall improvement for the distance swimmers from Louisville. They placed second (senior Trey Hubbuch) and fourth (Forde) in the 200 Free, then first (Forde) and third (Hubbuch) in the 500 Free. Freshman Aldan Johnston, who finished sixth in the 500, aggressively leaped out to a big lead to begin the race, only to fall off on the back half.
The Bombers dominated the 100 Free. All four of their swimmers finished in less than 49 seconds. Grant House, one of Cincinnati St. X’s top swimmers, easily took first with a 46.33. Senior and one of five team captains JD Mundt was the only Tiger to break 49 with a 48.69. He was fourth.
The sensational House took the 50 Free by more than half a second; however, the Tigers made a statement by stealing second through fifth. JD Mundt and junior Matt Steiden actually tied for third at 22.17. Louisville St. X is a solid 50 team, and it shows. The B relay was only .15 seconds away from grabbing second in the 200 Free Relay, leading Cincinnati’s A relay until House took over the final leg.
It is hard to overstate how important the divers are for the Tigers. Without them, the team would have lost the meet. Michael Miller won with 218.40 points, and George McCracken came in second with 182.62. Bryce Goldsborough and Joseph Allen were fourth and fifth, respectively.
Senior Tiger phenom Heyward Harrison, who is signed to swim for the University of North Carolina next season, won the 200 IM. Johnston and sophomore Keefer Barnum were able to finish fourth and fifth, respectively.
The specialty strokes held mixed results for the Tigers. Backstroke was particularly rough. Harrison took second, but the remaining Tiger swimmers went sixth, seventh and eighth.
Steiden won the 100 Fly by a full second at 52.28, and freshman Cole Brown had a solid showing with a third-place finish.
In the 100 Breast, Barnum was dominant, blowing the field out of the water with a 58.25. Senior captain Zach Carrico came up clutch when the Tigers’ lead was narrowing. He out-touched Bomber Luke Van Gorp by .01 seconds for second place. The Bombers have an impressive group of breaststrokers. Their top four breaststrokers all finished between 1:00.07 and 1:01.17, garnering third through sixth place.
Tiger Nation, if this close meet has you worried, R-E-L-A-X. Cincinnati St. X is the premier swim program in Ohio, a nationally recognized state for high-school swimming. These guys are some of the country’s best. No team in Kentucky that the Tigers will face this year has a talent level anywhere close to on par with the Bombers. The swim team should be confident going through the remainder of their season into the regional and state tournaments after such an outstanding, signature win.
Yesterday’s meet was a defining moment in the season. At St. X, we are used to high-quality swimming, but this team is special, even considering the rigorous standards set by our school. Congratulate any swimmer you know and get ready to hear about future success from the pool.
The swim team spent its day in Nashville very well, placing in the top two in every event. They defeated Ravenwood High School 251-45, Ensworth High School 246-49, St. George’s Independent School 251-37, and University School of Nashville 251-40. While all five teams swam together in one meet, it was scored as a separate dual meet between each individual school.
The team celebrated at Dave and Busters after the meet with a huge buffet and the final quarter of University of Louisville versus Notre Dame.
Ensworth has beautiful facilities, and the natatorium is no exception. It rivals many college pools.
The ten-lane pool is 50 meters long with a bulkhead to allow for 25-yard competition. The depth, lane lines, drainage and bulkhead minimizes resistance, making it a fast competition pool.
The area surrounding the pool is equally great. The huge area has a high ceiling, lots of natural light and great ventilation. A walkway surrounds the upper level of the natatorium with seating looking down on the pool.
There are two large digital scoreboards and top-tier one-meter diving boards and starting blocks.
The Tigers are used to being a powerhouse, but this group of swimmers is special. The young talent has allowed the team to “reload,” according to Head Coach Todd Larkin. One of the freshmen, Aldan Johnston, finished second in the 200 Free and third in the 500 Free.
The sophomore class had a strong collective performance. Sophomore Keefer Barnum won the 100 Breast by about two seconds, and sophomore Martin Nitzen won the 100 Back by about a second.
Familiar names were dominant as usual. Senior Heyward Harrison won both of his individual races (200 IM and 100 Fly) by large margins and participated in two winning relays.
Senior Trey Hubbuch won both of his events, too. He even had the fastest split in the 200 Free Relay (22.12) with a mere five minutes of rest after his win in the 500 Free.
Junior Clayton Forde followed suit. After placing second to Hubbuch in the 500 Free, he swam a 22.14 right after him on the 200 Free Relay, almost catching up to senior Zach Carrico and defeating the A team.
The Tigers were without one of their star sprinters junior Matt Steiden, who is out due to illness. However, they are not short on talent. Three St. X swimmers (Trent Schulten, JD Mundt and Matthew McDermott) all swam the 100 Free in less than 51 seconds.
Junior Michael Miller came within half of a point of breaking 200 in diving, and senior George McCracken, coming off his season with the soccer team, was just five points behind him. Diving Coach Dustin Schulten expects both of them to be well over 200 by later this season.
200 Medley Relay
1) St. X A (Nitzen, Barnum, Harrison, Schulten)
2) St. X B (Tomchek, Carrico, Eastman, McDermott)
4) St. X C (Yates, Kraus, Rueff, Cromer)
1) Trey Hubbuch
2) Aldan Johnson
3) Clayton Forde
4) Gavin O’Brien
7) James Roth
1) Heyward Harrison
2) Keefer Barnum
1) JD Mundt
2) Matthew McDermott
3) Trent Schulten
4) Zach Carrico
7) John Cromer
8) Dominic Tomchek
9) John Young
1) Michael Miller
2) George McCracken
3) Blake Ansert
4) Bryce Goldsborough
1) Heyward Harrison
2) Michael Eastman
3) Nick Yates
4) Michael Rueff
1) Trent Schulten
2) JD Mundt
3) Matthew McDermott
4) John Cromer
6) Gavin O’Brien
7) John Young
8) Greg Willett
9) Michael Eastman
1) Trey Hubbuch
2) Clayton Forde
3) Aldan Johnston
4) Patrick Baty
200 Freestyle Relay
1) St. X A (Mundt, Schulten, McDermott, Carrico)
2) St. X B (Cromer, Johnston, Hubbuch, Forde)
3) St. X C (Corley, Willett, Crecelius, Young)
1) Martin Nitzen
2) Dominic Tomchek
4) Nick Yates
1) Keefer Barnum
2) Zach Carrico
4) Alex Kraus
5) Casey Rierdon
6) Clay Corley
400 Freestyle Relay
1) St. X A (Harrison, Hubbuch, Mundt, Forde)
2) St. X B (Johnston, Barnum, Tomchek, Eastman)
4) St. X C (O’Brien, Nitzen, Yates, Metts)
Edited by Elton Su
The Swim and Dive Team beat Ballard tonight by a score of 121 to 43. The Tigers won all three relays and had plenty of individual winners. This was their first dual meet of the season, and it stretches their win streak into a fifth season.
The individual winners tonight were senior Heyward Harrison (100 Butterfly), freshman Aldan Johnston (200 Freestyle), junior Clayton Forde (200 IM), senior Trey Hubbuch (500 Freestyle) and senior Zach Carrico (100 Breaststroke). The winning relay teams were:
200 Medley: Harrison, Barnum, Mundt, McDermott
200 Freestyle: Harrison, Schulten, McDermott, Carrico
400 Freestyle: Harrison, Schulten, McDermott, Carrico
The Tigers’ toughest competition of the night came from Ballard senior Branson Smith in the 50 and 100 Free. Not only is he one of the Bruin’s fastest but he’s also an early favorite to win those events at the state meet this season.
Smith out-touched Schulten in the 50 by .02 seconds and beat Mundt in the 100 by .4 seconds. Since most swimmers are coming off of no rest and a difficult in-season workout, these Wednesday-night meets won’t predict how a swimmer will look in the postseason. However, the Tigers should have some confidence based on how well they swam against Smith tonight.
The team is back in action on Saturday for their road trip to Nashville. They swim against a couple of teams from Tennessee.
Today, we remember the veterans who have fought to preserve our freedom. For one member of the St. X community, Veterans Day holds a greater significance than for most of us. Both of Matthew Bennett’s grandfathers fought in World War I, his uncle fought in the Vietnam War, and his cousin graduated from West Point five years ago and is currently serving in South Korea.
Due to the influence of those family members, Bennett has wanted to join the military from a very early age. He was even thinking about it when his grade-school track coach told him, “Next year, you need to come out for cross country.”
He was heavier than most of the kids on the team yet not discouraged. “This will get me in shape for the military one day, so I might as well start up,” thought the young Bennett. From then on out, he stuck with cross country.
The past four years of St. X running haven’t been an easy road: Head coach Chuck Medley’s practices are demanding. Freshman year, Bennett told his teammates every day that he was going to quit, but he always came back. “After you go through a year of running with your buddies, you just can’t let them down. I couldn’t quit. I couldn’t stop running with the team. They are my brothers,” said Bennett.
He also couldn’t give up on his fitness. Bennett plans to enter an ROTC program in college. Upon graduation from that program, he would be a first lieutenant in the army. From there, he wants to progress into the Delta Force or Green Berets. “That’s my dream,” says Bennett.
He says that St. X has helped him to become a better leader and that cross country has put him in the best possible shape. Both of those attributes are crucial to success as an officer in the Army.
Major General Edward Tonini, St. X class of 1964, echoed that sentiment in his speech during the Veterans Day ceremony at the new alumni armed forces monument on campus. “Looking back, I can see how Xaverian value of respect, honor and serving parallel my military training,” said Tonini.
Bennett hopes to join the ranks of former Tigers that served in the armed forces. What drives him to do so? “Someone has to do it; it might as well be me.”
For full video coverage of the Veterans Day ceremony, go to http://www.saintx.com/page.cfm?p=1345&newsid=1452.
The swim team is looking to add a 27th straight state title and 5th straight undefeated season to its list of accomplishments. They began their journey yesterday at the Intrasquad Meet, in which only St. X swimmers compete.
Senior and captain Heyward Harrison won the 50 Butterfly and the 50 Backstroke. Senior Trent Schulten won the 50 Freestyle, and junior Keefer Barnum won the 50 Breaststroke. Junior Michael Miller won the one-meter diving.
The team has been practicing since the first day of school. Now, the season is finally upon them. Practices have been “brutal” according to senior and captain Zach Carrico. He says there is a lot of pressure to continue both streaks. As tough as the coaching staff has been, they are still very supportive.
“The coaches have put an emphasis on pointing out what we are doing right. It’s been really helpful to the attitude of the team,” says Carrico.
In addition to the focus on supporting the swimmers, Coach Larkin and his staff want to put a lot of effort into technique and fundamentals. To do so, they “implemented a new filming program using iPads, where Coach [Manny] Nieto records our stroke, analyzes the footage and plays it back to us,” said senior and captain Nick Yates.
“This new program is invaluable because it gives us a view of our stroke and technique from outside the water and what we can do to get better,” Yates said.
As if video sessions, practices and team-bonding sessions weren’t enough for the swimmers, senior and captain JD Mundt says they also train with Coach Joe Tronzo in the weight room. The swim team is doing most of the same lifts as other teams, with an emphasis on legs.
In between the hard work, the team still has found time to enjoy themselves and to bond as a team. They played ultimate frisbee and water polo a few times, and they also have impromptu breakfasts after Saturday-morning practices.
Not all swimmers work out on campus, though. Many club swimmers train outside of Hubbuch Natatorium. Harrison assures that “St. X swimmers on Lakeside have been working very hard.”
It was a successful beginning to what should be another exciting season.
What? Dad Night?
This theme seems very much out of the ordinary, and it is. We see Patriotic Night, Superhero Night, Beach Night and Grade School Jersey Night at least once a year.
Dad Night is new to the scene.
What even is Dad Night? Well, you show up to the game dressed like your father and cheer for Tiger Soccer. Simple as that.
This theme came out of a Rage Cage committee meeting one Thursday morning. “I don’t know what made me think of the idea,” said Committee Chair Lowell Brown.
No two dads are quite the same, so there will be a huge mix of styles represented at the match. There will be plenty of loose-fitted jeans with tucked-in shirts, white tennis shoes and sweatpants and ball caps. However, many dads out there love to keep it classy with well-tailored suits.
The bottom line is you have a wide array of options.
“I will be wearing khaki pants, a tucked-in t-shirt and New Balance tennis shoes,” said Brown. “Maybe a fanny pack and watch as accessories, too.”
This may be Dad Night’s first and only appearance, or it could become a classic, year-after-year theme. Either way, it should produce some laughs and some energy for the Rage Cage.
Get out to Brother Thomas More Stadium at 7:00 PM to see St. X take on Eastern. The Tigers are coming off of a tough loss to Brebeuf Preparatory High School, and they need your support as they try to get back on track.
Show the visiting Eagles why the Rage Cage is the best student section in the land!
Go Tigers! We Are!
There is not much here that I need to say other than red, white, and blue. Tiger fans should come to the game tomorrow versus Moeller ready to support St. X and the USA.
Since its instatement in 2012, Patriotic Night has brought in some of the biggest crowds in Brother Thomas More Stadium’s history. 2014 will not be an exception.
This is a very versatile theme! There will be students dressed as Uncle Sam, George Washington, the Statue of Liberty, and GIs. Expect plenty of “Reagan Bush 1984” apparel, too.
SAC leaders in the front of the Rage Cage will bring out all of our classic cheers tomorrow night. They will throw in patriotic chants plus “Thor,” an original cheer.
By August 10, the Tiger Swimming and Diving team’s home will look brand new. The locker room will receive a complete overhaul, said Head Coach Todd Larkin. Contractors are currently adding new toilets, sinks and lockers to Hubbuch Natatorium.
The old metal lockers that had become very rusted will be replaced with lockers made of a material conducive to a pool environment. The new lockers will be larger than the old ones, and the locker room overall will be more spacious. This will be the first time that the lockers have been replaced since the facility was opened in 1990.
The work on the pool itself will mainly be maintenance. The pool will be resealed with caulk and repainted. The walls of the building will be painted the same color of gold that is behind the hoops at Brother John Wills gym. The machines, such as filters, will be refurbished, too.
What will stay the same? Coach Larkin’s office will not be touched, neither will the blue boxes for kick boards and pull buoys, the blocks nor the diving board.
“Bottom line is I’m very excited to see the new renovations, and I can’t wait to start training at St. X with my team come August,” said rising senior Nick Yates.
The renovations have a more personal impact on rising senior Trey Hubbuch, the grandson of Cornelius E. Hubbuch. The natatorium is named for the elder Hubbuch, because he helped raise money for it to be built and played a major role in its construction. “It means a lot knowing that we will be able to continue what my family set out to do in the first place,” said Hubbuch.
As for banners and signs along the deck, “I’m not going to rush into anything,” said Larkin. He’s taking his time “to create the environment that we want.” The plan is to slowly decide how to best represent the team’s history of fifty state championships and many records.
The renovations show that the school supports its swimming and diving program, said Larkin. “In order for us to continue our pursuit of a national title, we needed new facilities, and we are lucky enough to have a willing athletic program that understands our goals for our team,” said Hubbuch.
Former Tiger pitcher Ian Tompkins has been drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the 2014 MLB Draft. The lefty was the 423rd overall pick this year, coming off the board in the 14th round.
Tompkins confirmed to the Bowling Green Daily News he plans to forgo his senior season at WKU and turn pro.
“I got a call in the 13th [round] saying I was going to be the next pick.” said Tompkins per the Daily News. “I got a call from the scouting director himself, and I had been kind of promised a deal from them (Friday), so it was just a matter of time that it was going to be. I was just hoping it was sooner rather than later, and it was.”
Tompkins led the Sun Belt Conference and ranked among the nation’s leaders with 14 saves. The southpaw struck out 46 batters in 26 innings for a career high strikeouts per nine innings clip of 15.92. He finished his career with 161 strikeouts in 117 innings, which ranks him third among active NCAA pitchers with a career strikeouts per nine innings mark of 12.38.
Tompkins was selected as the lone relief pitcher on the All-Sun Belt Conference First-Team, was named to the Midseason NCBWA Stopper of the Year watch list and set WKU’s single-season saves record with 14 during his junior campaign. He also excelled in the classroom with a cumulative GPA of 3.78 as an accounting major, which led to him being named to the Capital One Academic All-America® Third-Team on May 30.
He finishes his WKU career as the program’s single-season saves record holder (14) and ranks second all-time with 18 career saves. Tompkins was a spot starter for the Hilltoppers as a freshman in 2012, making nine starts on the mound while striking out 56 batters in 55.2 innings. He moved to the back end of the bullpen as a sophomore and combined to strike out 105 batters in 61.1 innings of work while racking up 18 saves.
Tompkins was a Top 400 player his senior year at St. X according to perfectgame.org. He was 8-2 that year with a 2.50 ERA and 107 strikeouts. His junior year was similarly successful. Tompkins had a 6-2 record and a 1.60 ERA. He earned all-district, all-region and first-team all-state honors.
Update: Ian has signed his contract and is officially a Royal according to his twitter!