Ohio’s Southwest District is arguably the best in the country. Saturday, February 16th at Miami’s Corwin Nixon Natatorium, the swimming world got an eyeful of some of the best performances this season. When the meet was over the AquaBombers had notched their 56th District title (51st consecutive). The Long Blue Lane racked up 489.5 points, followed by Sycamore (344), Mason (218), Beavercreek (183) and Centerville (153). A total of 25 teams put points on the board in a field representing over 40 schools.
St. X outscored all other squads in all eight individual events. Eight meet records were set as multiple All-American performances were posted in every event for a total of 37. The Blue and White contributed twelve. Sycamore led the way in meet records with six.
Quality depth was the “name of the game” as the AquaBombers scored in 32 of 35 swims with 24 in the top eight. Leading the way was two-time winner Jean-Pierre Khouzam (JR) who set a meet record in the 100 Fly (47.93) and led off the victorious 400 Free Relay with the fastest 100 free of the day (44.78). The Fly record stood for 40 years and was held by Olympic medalist Dave Wilson. Khouzam was joined on the relay by Grady Wheeler (SR), Scott Sobolewski (JR) and John Bernard (SR). The swims were lifetime bests by the quartet.
The squad also recorded 5 runners-up and 4 third place finishes. The distance crew was particularly impressive placing all four swims in the top eight. Wheeler was second followed by Kellen Roddy (JR) 3rd, Kyle Seilkop (JR) 7th and Jay Weil (JR) 8th. Speaking of impressive, Sobolewski’s time in the 100 Breast established a new school record (55.15).
The “District Champs” punched 26 swimming and one diving ticket for the State Meet in Canton. St. X will be represented with multiple swims in every individual event, as well as the three relays. Heading to Canton are:
Jon Bernard (SR) Kyle Seilkop (JR)
Nate Buse (JR) Scott Sobolewski (JR)
Ben Cutforth (JR) Owen Taylor (SO)
Andrew Devine (SR) Ian Van Gorp (JR)
Nicholas Gockerman (FR) Nathan Wall (SO)
Jean-Pierre Khouzam (JR) Jay Weil (JR)
John Paul Khouzam (SR) Grady Wheeler (SR)
Kellen Roddy (JR) Will Wowk (JR)
Diving starts on Thursday, followed by swimming action Friday and Saturday.
- INSIDE THE NUMBERS-
· Twelve All-American swims (7 Automatic – 5 Consideration)
· 90% Season Best Swims
· 62% Lifetime Best Swims
· 30 Top 50 Swims (10 top 10 swims)
· Six of eight event qualifying times faster than a year ago for State
· 10 of 19 swimmers made their first District appearance
· Class Assignments – Seniors (7), Juniors (11), Sophomores (3), Freshmen (1)
- COACHES COMMENTS –
“Our guys have worked extremely hard and the District performance is significant in many ways. We not only rejoice in the success, but also learn as we move forward to Canton. Our journey continues”, reflected head coach Tim Beerman.
“It is amazing how year after year this event gets faster. And this year it got a lot faster. We are certainly pleased to have swum well and earned the right to represent St. Xavier next week. Heading to Canton is very special,” commented assistance head coach Jim Brower who is a native of Canton, where he swam to a State Championship himself and was later inducted into the Hall of Fame.
“The guys have come so far as athletes. But as importantly, they have embraced the team concept with a palpable intensity. We are blessed to be a part of something larger than ourselves,” added assistant head coach Tom Keefe.