Covington Catholic swimmer Brendan Meyer wanted to thank his coaches, his teammates, every single person that made him better, and he wanted to give a shout-out to his favorite restaurant.
During a wild, record-smashing Saturday evening at Silverlake Recreation Center, Meyer earned the right to be called superstar of the night, eclipsing remarkable performances turned in by Notre Dame Academy freshman swimmer Sophie Skinner and Highlands senior diver Carly Hill.
Meyer broke the longest standing Region 4 record on the books, shattering Scott Ryan’s 28-year-old standard in the 500-yard freestyle with a winning time of 4 minutes, 30.18 seconds.
Eight meet records were set, five for girls’ team champion Notre Dame
“It’s crazy. My mom grew up with Scott Ryan. She saw him break the record,” said Meyer, who also won the 100 backstroke Saturday and helped set a relay record. “Scott Ryan was in my mom and dad’s wedding. It’s just unbelievable.”
That’s what official timers thought. Meyer’s finish caused some of them to do a double-take. He beat Ryan’s record by 2.65 seconds. Ryan swam the 500 freestyle in 4.32.83 in 1987 for Covington Catholic. “It’s awesome,” Colonels coach Richard Dickmann said. “To do it at the regional when you’re not rested is something else.”
Now that Meyer has erased Ryan’s record, the oldest boys’ regional standards belong to two-time Olympic medalist Nate Dusing, who swam for CovCath. Dusing still holds two regional marks, the 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke, both set in 1997.
Dickmann was named regional boys’ coach of the year after guiding CovCath to the late-night team victory. The Colonels won all but one swimming event and scored 654 points, 19 short of last year’s record total. They won their 17 consecutive regional title with a wide margin over runner-up Dixie Heights (245 points).
CovCath swept the relays, setting meet records in the 200 freestyle (1:28.63) and 400 freestyle (3:09.33), and just missing the 200 medley mark of 1:36.39 with a time of 1:36.47. The Colonels received two individual wins each from Mike Summe, who won the 200 medley and 100 breaststroke, and Todd Sheets, who took the 50 and 100 freestyle races. Robbie Newman won the 100 butterfly.
Meyer, Summe, Sheets and Newman swam legs on the record-breaking 400 free relay. Sheets, Newman, Bryce Day and Evan McMillen swam legs on the 200 free relay.
Beechwood’s Austin Haney was the lone non-Covcath swimming champion. He won the 200 freestyle. Scott diver Nick Fox pulled the upset of the night, beating favored Louie Hunt of CovCath.
Notre Dame won its 17th straight girls’ regional crown, scoring 564 points while far outdistancing runner-up Highlands (322). NDA’s Skinner broke the 21-year-old 200 freestyle record with a time of 1:49.96. She also swam on two record-breaking relay winners and was named the meet’s outstanding female competitor.
Teammate Madeleine Vonderhaar broke her own year-old record in the 100 breaststroke (1:03.65). The Pandas set records in all three relays. Vonderhaar and Amanda Smith were double individual winners with two relay records each. Vonderhaar also was in on three meet records.
Highlands repeated as combined team champion with 535 points, outpacing runner-up Dixie Heights (467). Highlands diver Carly Hill set a meet record with 508.65 points while winning her fifth regional title in a row.