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Tiger Swimming and Diving Leads the Way After Prelims

Tiger Swimming Nike Graphic

The Tiger Swimming and Diving team is well on their way to a 29th consecutive title after racing this morning. The swimmers competed this morning and for every single event, there was at least one swimmer in the TOp4. Swimmers that placed in the Top 16 will race tomorrow in the Finals (17th and 18th place are alternates). Here are the results by event:

  • 200 Medley Relay – Martin Nitzken, Keefer Barnum, Connor Kang, and Michael Eastman (1st)
  • 200 Yard Freestyle – Aldan Johnston (1st), Cole Brown (6th), Will Cole (7th), and Andrew Streater (9th)
  • 200 Yard IM – Keefer Barnum (2nd), Martin Nitzken (3rd), Grant Largen (6th), and Peter Hurst (14th)
  • 50 Yard Freestyle – Michael Eastman (2nd), Jack Harty (10th), Conner Lynn (16th), and Ethan Highley (T-18th)
  • 100 Yard Butterfly – Cole Brown (3rd), Connor Kang (5th), Brandt Wilhelmi (17th), and Dane Rueff (18th)
  • 100 Yard Freestyle – Michael Eastman (4th), Will Cole (5th), Andrew Streater (7th), and Dominic Tomchek (8th)
  • 500 Yard Freestyle – Aldan Johnston (1st), Peter Hurst (5th), Grant Largen (6th), and Tom Irvine (18th)
  • 200 Yard Freestyle Relay – Aldan Johnston, Will Cole, Jack Harty, and Dominic Tomchek (1st)
  • 100 Yard Backstroke – Martin Nitzken (3rd), Dominic Tomchek (5th), Brandt Wilhelmi (9th), and Kenton Whiteley (14th)
  • 100 Yard Breaststroke – Keefer Barnum (1st)
  • 400 Yard Freestyle Relay – Aldan Johnston, Will Cole, Cole Brown, and Michael Eastman (1st)

Along with the swimming events, Blake Ansert has been holding steady in the diving competition and will compete in finals tomorrow. He currently is in 7th place after Prelims and Semi-Finals.

Currently, if the Tigers were to finish in the same order they are seeded for Finals, they would be leading the meet with a score of 451. To round out the Top 3, Covington Catholic would be in second with 206 points and Lexington Catholic would be 3rd with 153 points (that’s a lead of 245 and 298 points, respectively).

So obviously, the Tigers hold a sizable lead over the competition, but expect that gap to grow, because the Tigers are going to be amped up to make history tomorrow. The first swimming events will take place at 11:00 AM and the diving portion will take place immediately after the 50 Yard Freestyle.

Good luck Tigers!

The Tiger Swimming and Diving Team is Chasing History

Tiger Swimming Nike Graphic

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!

Swim Team Edges out Cincy St. X in Tough Meet

Matt Steiden and the Tigers found a way to get it done against the country's top team. | Photo by Jacob Hayslip

Matt Steiden and the Tigers found a way to get it done against the country’s top team. | Photo by Jacob Hayslip

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.

Junior Michael Miller was victorious in the diving portion of the meet. | Photo by Jacob Hayslip

Junior Michael Miller was victorious in the diving portion of the meet. | Photo by Jacob Hayslip

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.

When Clay Corley and the Tigers looked at the scoreboard after the meet concluded, they saw the result they had hoped for. | Photo by Jacob Hayslip

When Clay Corley and the Tigers looked at the scoreboard after the meet concluded, they saw the result they had hoped for. | Photo by Jacob Hayslip

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.

Tiger Sharks Start Season with Intrasquad Scrimmage

Swimming Cheering

Tiger Swimming and Diving reached the mountain top for the 26th straight year last season, and will be looking to make it 27 years this season. | Photo by Tim Webb

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.