SPRINGFIELD TWP., Ohio — The 2021 St. Xavier High School swimming and diving program earned third place in the National Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association (NISCA) rankings as the final standings were announced this week.
It marked the 19th time in the past 23 years that the AquaBombers finished in the final four of the rankings.
St. X persevered through challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and had to succeed a highly-recognized 2020 graduating class to earn the national distinction.
Louisville St. Xavier and Carmel (Ind.) captured the top two spots nationally this past season. Louisville St. Xavier had 6,328 points, while Carmel had 6,206 points.
Cincinnati St. Xavier, which had 6,150 points, had the sixth highest point total in program history. St. X won the national rankings 12 times overall including six consecutive titles from 2015 to 2020.
Points are awarded based on times achieved in actual competition.
The AquaBombers lost 4,322 points to graduation in 2020. However, St. X won its 13th consecutive Ohio High School Athletic Association Division I state title in February.
The AquaBombers won the school's state-record 42nd boys state swimming championship.
“I’ve been doing this for a while," St. X assistant coach Tom Keefe said.
"The reconstruction job required to win a state championship and finish in elite company on the national level was remarkable. We salute our athletes, their families, as well as the school administration for embracing the concept of journeying together. We came a very long way.”
St. X had 21 athletes factor into the NISCA lineup – 11 of whom were first-time qualifiers. Leading the group were senior four-time All-Americans Owen Taylor and Nathan Wall.
The relays were very deep, earning St. X 2,583 points. The top individual event was the 50 freestyle where state scorers Taylor, senior Will Morstadt and junior Logan Tobery led the AquaBombers.
NISCA presented its All-American honors and eight St. X athletes were recognized for their achievements.
Those individuals include:
- Junior Will Froass (200 freestyle relay)
- Junior Chase Guenther (200 medley relay)
- Senior Adam Lamping (500 freestyle)
- Freshman Thackston McMullan (200 freestyle, 200 freestyle relay, 400 freestyle relay).
- Senior Tristan Menninger (200 medley relay, 100 backstroke)
- Senior Owen Taylor (50 free, 100 free, 200 free relay, 400 free relay)
- Junior Logan Tobery (200 medley relay, 200 free relay, 400 free relay)
- Senior Nathan Wall (200 medley relay, 200 individual medley, 100 breaststroke, 400 free relay).
Five seniors earned Academic All-American status including Lamping, Morstadt, Menninger along with Will Behimer and Sam Beutel.