LOUISVILLE, Kentucly, March 1. THE St. Xavier Tigers earned their 26th straight boys title, and the Sacred Heart Valkyries repeated as girls champions, at the Kentucky State High School Swimming and Diving Championships February 28-March 1 at the University of Louisville.
The girls side of the record book took quite a beating, as eight state marks were lowered. Sacred Heart scored a trifecta of wins in relay events, all in state record-setting times.
The 200 medley relay of sophomores Asia Seidt, Kennedy Lohman and Brooke Bauer–along with junior Victoria Horsman, who swam third–first took down Notre Dame’s 2011 mark of 1:43.00 in prelims with a 1:42.55, then lowered it to 1:41.45 in winning finals. Sophomore Molly O’Hara, senior Ashley LeClair, sophomore Shea Maloney and junior Leah Stevens combined for a 1:35.02, erasing the 1:35.16 posted by duPont Manual in 2010. Seidt, LeClair, Bauer and Stevens finished the meet with a 3:22.79, taking out another 2011 time by Notre Dame (3:26.27).
Sacred Heart swimmers lowered three individual state marks. Seidt lowered individual state standards in the 200 IM (1:58.53) and 100 back (53.40). The prior 200 IM mark was 1:59.51, set by Ellen Williamson in 2011; the 100 back mark was 53.89 by Caitlyn Forman in 2012. Bauer’s 23.37 in the prelims of the 50 free tied the state record set by Krissie Brandenburg in 2009; she came back in finals to lower it further to 23.14. Bauer also came in first in the 100 free (50.75).
Sacred Heart’s Stevens captured the distance free titles with her winning 1:47.95 in the 200 free and 4:45.82 in the 500 free.
North Oldham sophomore Grace Oglesby twice lowered the 100 fly mark of 54.17 by Ellen Williamson in 2011. She first posted a 53.62 in prelims, then cruised to a 53.45 finals time.
Highlands’ Carly Hill, a junior, put together a diving total of 439.35 points for the win in that part of the competition.
Sacred Heart dominated the girls competition with 502 points, with Notre Dame second (225), duPont Manual third (169), Christian Academy (163) and Elizabethtown (158).
Ballard senior Todd Owens set the only state record this year with his 55.24 in the prelims of the 100 breast. That erased Clark Burckle’s 55.83 mark from 2006. Owens finished first in finals with a 55.41. Owens’ teammate, junior Brandon Smith, posted victories in both the 50 and 100 free (21.30 and 46.63), and junior Jake Precious collected 20 more points for Ballard with his 50.62 in the 100 back.
Jacob Smith, a St. Xavier senior who’s staying close to home next year as he competes for Kentucky, captured the 100 fly in 50.17. Classmate Noah Johnston’s 4:30.65 in the 500 free gave him first place in that event, and Heyward Harrison, a junior, topped the field in the 200 IM (1:51.49).
Collegiate’s Tyler Sullivan claimed the 200 free individual event in 1:39.81. The senior also swam on Collegiate’s winning freestyle relays, both of which were gained by just hundrdths of a second.
He anchored the 200 free relay of junior Matt Bode plus sophomores Lee Bradley and George Isaacs that touched out Covington Catholic’s quartet of sophomores Jake Lentsch and Brendan Meyer, plus juniors Todd Sheets and Mike Samme, 1:26.40-1:26.49. Sullivan anchored the 400 free relay of Bode, sophomore Coley Sullivan and Bradley to a 3:07.74, just ahead of St. Xavier’s Harrison, Johnston, sophomore Clayton Forde and Smith’s 3:07.81.
Covington Catholic’s squad of Meyer, senior Chase Vennefron, junior Robbie Newman and Sheets started off the meet with their winning 1:33.89 in the 200 medley relay.
Dixie Heights senior Bailey Harrison won the diving event with 506.55 points.
St. Xavier swimmers put together 361 points to give the Tigers their 27th consecutive team victory. Covington Catholic placed second (328), followed by Collegiate (171), Ballard (161) and Trinity (111).