LOUISVILLE — The swimmers may change and the coach may change, but St. Xavier's swimming tradition remains the same.
The Tigers, with new coach Todd Larkin, swam away with their 22nd straight Pannell Swim Shop/KHSAA Swimming and Diving Award on Saturday, topping city rival Trinity by 118 points.
"It's a great streak — it's the longest in the country and it defines our program," said Larkin, a former St. X swimmer himself. "It means a lot to us to continue that trend."
The coach had confidence in his group but he confessed that a couple of months ago he didn't think it likely that the Tigers could amass 341.5 points.
"The guys really came together," he said. "You don't win team titles individually. You win them as a group. Our guys defined what team is."
It took some big individual efforts, too, with the Tigers getting first-place finishes from Michael Schneid, who won the 100-yard backstroke. A team of Tigers rallied to win the 200-yard freestyle relay.
Henry Clay junior Nick Wrightson took home his share of hardware as well, winning the 200-yard freestyle in 1:39.87, his personal best time. It was the second straight year he's won the event.
"It was really exciting; I was really happy to do that," he said.
Wrightson finished second behind Beechwood's Shane Coltharp in the 500-yard freestyle. Coltharp, who was named the Outstanding Meet Competitor, also won the 200-yard individual medley.
Wrightson was part of the 400-yard freestyle relay team, which finished second, a little more than two seconds behind Beechwood.
The Devils, who finished fifth in the boys' team finals, didn't even compete in the event last year. They return everyone (Russ Bryant, Chris Gerhardstein, Chris Rush and Wrightson) from this year's group, which had the junior pondering the future.
"Coming into the season, we didn't think we could do that, so I'm really happy for our guys," Wrightson said. "We have all our guys coming back, so maybe next year we'll be able to do it."
Several other Lexington teams competed as well, with Sayre coming in 17th, followed by Tates Creek (20th), Paul Laurence Dunbar (21st) and Lexington Catholic (22nd).
There were no state records broken in the preliminaries or finals this weekend.
Other than Coltharp, there was only one other individual multiple winner. That was Male's Devan Terry, who won the 100-yard butterfly and the 100-yard breaststroke championships.
In diving, Justin Youtsey of Beechwood came in first, followed by Andrew Galvagni of Trinity.