St. Xavier Dominates Kentucky Boys’ States; Cole Sets 100 BK State Record Twice



  1. St. Xavier- 592
  2. Highlands- 193
  3. Trinity- 153
  4. Bowling Green- 132
  5. Paul Laurence Dunbar- 106

The St. Xavier boys dominated to win the state title at the 2020 Kentucky High School State Championships. They got things started with a new State Record in the 200 medley relay, crushing their 2018 mark by over a second. Will Cole led them off with a 21.77 on the back leg, handing off to Connor Kang with a 24.65 breast split. Holden Smith clocked a 21.59 on the fly. Ethan Highley then anchored them to victory in 20.95 as they touched for a 1:28.95 victory.

St. Xavier swept the relays. The 200 free relay squad won in 1:24.06. Luke Thomas led off in 21.13. Kang (20.71), Jackson Mussler (21.22), and Highley (21.00) followed. They were a tenth shy of the State Record with a 3:00.31 to win the 400 free relay. Smith put up a 45.27 on the leadoff leg. Luke Thomas split a 45.98 and Jack Anderson clocked a 45.92 to take on the middle legs. Cole then blazed to a 43.30 on the anchor leg.

Cole took down the State Record twice in the 100 back. In prelims, he set the mark at a 47.00, knocking 2 tenths off the former record, which he set in 2019. He went on to break it again with a 46.92 in finals. Cole was within half a second of the State Record as he dominated the 100 free in 43.61. That clipped 3 tenths from his best time.

Smith also won a double for St. Xavier. He shaved a few tenths off his best to win the 200 IM in 1:47.68. He has one more year to go after Zach Hils’ State Record of 1:46.83 from 2018. Smith returned to win the 100 fly in 48.01, just 2 tenths shy of his lifetime best from Winter Juniors in December.

Elizabethtown’s John Hayes swept his individual races. Hayes, a sophomore, knocked over half a second off his best in the 200 free, winning in 1:37.24. St. Xavier’s Anderson was 2nd there in 1:39.07, dropping nearly a second. Hayes made another drop in the 500 free, taking nearly a second off his lifetime best to win it in 4:26.37. Anderson was 2nd in 4:28.24. He had never broke 4:35 before this meet.

Highands’ Mac Russell and Jack Banks each contributed a win to their team’s runner-up finish. Russell broke 21 for the first time in the 50 free. He won the final in 20.63. Banks dropped over a second to win the 100 breast in 55.65.

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Green and Gold
4 years ago

John Hayes actually went a 4:27.33 at junior nationals in December so it wasn’t actually a 10 second drop, but a 0.96 second drop. Jack Anderson dropped 7 seconds off his pb to get second.

About Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona (2013-2015) and the University of Florida (2011-2013). While her college swimming career left a bit to be desired, her Snapchat chin selfies and hot takes on Twitter do not disappoint. She's also a high school graduate of The …

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