Sacred Heart dominates girls' state swim championships

mmaloney@herald-leader.comMarch 1, 2014 

Winstead

LOUISVILLE — Sacred Heart won the first four finals Saturday, starting a tidal wave of points en route to winning the girls' KHSAA State Swimming and Diving Championships for a 25th time overall and second year in a row.

The Valkyries piled up 502 points in the University of Louisville's Ralph Wright Natatorium. Notre Dame, breaking a string of six third-place finishes, was runner-up with 225 points.

Lexington produced two top 10 schools, with Lafayette edging Dunbar 92-85 for eighth place.

Sacred Heart won 10 of 12 events, placed no worse than fourth in any event, and accounted for seven of eight meet records.

"That was one of our goals this year," Asia Seidt, the meet's Most Outstanding performer, said of the records. "Our coach told us he was going to dye his hair pink if we got six state records, so that was a big goal of ours."

James Luebbe says he'll comply, as his "motivational ploy" worked like a charm.

"We always respect our competition," Luebbe said. "But at the beginning of the year we had four goals: county champions, regional champions, state champions and national champions."

Seidt, a sophomore, set state records in the 200-yard individual medley (1:58.53) and 100 backstroke (53.40).

"I was definitely happy with (my performance). I'm glad that I won it for the team," she said. "We have a great team this year."

Leah Stevens, Outstanding Performer of last year's meet, defended titles in the 200- and 500-yard freestyles.

Sacred Heart's other individual meet records came from Kenney Lohman in the 100 breaststroke (1:01.29) and Brooke Bauer in the 50 freestyle (23.14). The Valkyries swept the three relays with records of 1:41.45 in the 200 medley, 1:35.02 in the 200 free and 3:22.79 in the 400 free.

The only race not won by Sacred Heart was the 100 butterfly, where North Oldham's Grace Oglesby clocked a meet-record 53.45.

The 1-meter diving was won by Highlands' Carly Hill.

Dunbar sophomore Madison Winstead had the top finish by a Lexington performer, second to Lohman in the breaststroke. Lohman and Winstead also went 1-2 last year, but both swam faster this time.

"That's really what's important to me, is focusing on my times and not focusing on what everyone else is doing," said Winstead, who touched in 1:02.83. "So I told myself this morning that I'm going to try and do a best time, and then wherever I place is good with me."

Winstead also placed eighth in the butterfly, and helped Dunbar to a fourth in the medley relay and a sixth in the 400 free relay.

Lafayette's Kyrie Dobson bagged third-place finishes in the 50- and 100-yard freestyles, and helped the Generals to seventh-place finishes in the 200 and 400 free relays.

"I feel good," Dobson said. "It's really an honor to be here in the State. I think I did my best — I've been kind of off my game this whole week, but I'm really happy to be third."

Sydney Sell of Western Hills was runner-up in the backstroke and fourth in the 100 freestyle.

Mark Maloney: (859) 231-3229. Twitter: @markmaloneyhl. Blog: markmaloney.bloginky.com.

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