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St. Xavier swimming and diving program earns another national honor

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Posted at 12:00 PM, Sep 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-22 12:00:27-04

SPRINGFIELD TOWNSHIP, Ohio – Add another significant distinction to the St. Xavier swimming and diving program.

The AquaBombers this week were placed fourth nationally by Swimming World Magazine. This is the highest finish since 2004 by St. X in the publication ranking.

"National rankings are certainly significant – marking past achievements, but the real significance exists in what lies ahead," St. X coach Tim Beerman said. "The swimmers and divers are already at work preparing for the coming season. They are clarifying their goals as a team. There is much anticipation, but it takes a great deal of hard work before we move beyond mere anticipation. Together we build upon the tradition of St. X Swimming and Diving."

The season's first official practice is Nov. 4 with the season starting Nov. 28.

The publication calculates team scoring by using the top 16 performances in each swimming event. Led by a trio of eight relays – the strongest performance by any school – the Long Blue Line finished with 91 points, according to a release from the program.

This accomplishment comes on the heels of a top ranking by the National Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association (NISCA) this summer and a record-setting performance at the Division I state meet last winter.

Among the highlights: 200 medley relay (second) at 1:30.40 – The school and state records were set by sophomore (2018 class) Justin Grender, junior (2017 class) Charles Leibson, junior Luke Sobolewski and sophomore Nick Perera.

400 freestyle relay (sixth) at 3:01.34 – The state and school records was set by senior (2016 class) Matt Slabe, junior Charles Leibson, sophomore Justin Grender and junior Grant House.

In addition to the relays, House, who recently made a verbal commitment to Arizona State, placed 13th in the 200 freestyle (1:36.93) and 14th in the 500 freestyle (4:24.61). Sobolewski also recently committed to North Carolina State, according to Beerman.

La Salle College High School (Glenside, Pa.) finished first with 119.5 points.  Less than 1.75 seconds separated the top five teams when scored in this format.  Brecksville-Broadview Heights, the Ohio state runner-up, placed sixth in this prestigious poll with 73 points.