St. Xavier Continues DI State Swimming Reign

02/24/2019

Posted on 2/24/2019 at 5:44 p.m.

Team Extends Streak To 11 Straight Titles, Wins No. 40 Overall

St. Xavier High School continued its dominance of boys’ swimming and diving in Ohio, traveling to Canton to emerge victorious at the Ohio High School Athletic Association Boys’ Division I Swimming & Diving State Championships for the 11th consecutive year and, in the process, earn state crown No. 40 overall in the school’s storied history.  But it wasn’t easy against a talented Sycamore team led by brothers Jake and Carson Foster – who combined to win eight events and keep the Aviators’ close to St. Xavier and eventually finish second.

It was the tightest margin of victory for St. Xavier, which got by Sycamore, 310-240, since back in 2014 when the AquaBombers defeated Columbus St. Francis DeSales by 17 points.  Sycamore actually held a one-point advantage ahead of St. Xavier before the AquaBombers came alive in the final seven events.  The state title made St. Xavier coach Tim Beerman a perfect 4-for-4 in state meets, which are held at the C.T. Branin Natatorium on the campus of Canton McKinley High School, since taking over the St. Xavier swimming and diving program from Jim Brower – who won 21 state titles in his 23 years as head coach.  Beerman was an assistant for Brower for eight years before taking over in 2015-16.

Cincinnati swimmers stood atop the podium in all 11 events, with the Foster brothers claiming eight first-place finishes, St. Xavier earning a pair of titles (one individual and one relay), and Lakota East junior and University of Tennessee commit Jacob MacDonald winning the 500 freestyle.  Ultimately, it was the quality depth of the St. Xavier program that earned the AquaBombers another state crown.  The Foster brothers shared the meet’s Outstanding Swimmer Award after crushing multiple state records in both Friday’s preliminaries and Saturday’s finals.  Jake will swim next season at the University of Texas, while younger brother Carson will be back for the Aviators.

The second-place finish was the second for Sycamore, which also was runner-up in 1986.  It seemed only fitting that in their final race together as high school teammates, Jake and Carson Foster swam the final two legs of Sycamore’s 400 freestyle relay team that edged St. Xavier to win the state championship – giving them a combined eight gold medals each.

St. Xavier junior Jean-Pierre Khouzam was a two-time state champion again for St. Xavier.  Khouzam, who was part of two winning relay teams in last year’s state meet, won the 100 butterfly in 47.21 seconds before later swimming the final leg of the AquaBombers’ 200 freestyle relay with senior JP Khouzam, junior Ian Van Gorp and sophomore Owen Taylor.  St. Xavier also posted a pair of runner-up finishes in the 200 medley and 400 freestyle relay events.

Other top finishes for the AquaBombers included senior Grady Wheeler, who was runner-up in the 500 freestyle and came in fourth in the 200 free; junior Scott Sobolewski, second in the 100 breaststroke; junior Nate Buse, who placed in both the 100 backstroke and 100 butterfly; senior Jon Bernard, who came in fifth in the 100 breaststroke and sixth in the 200 individual medley; and junior Kelly Roddy, who was fourth in the 500 free.  Van Gorp was a member of three relay teams, and junior diver Ben Cutforth also worked his way into scoring position, finishing at No. 15 in the competition.