The Covington Latin swimming and diving teams enter the schedule riding a wave of momentum. The Trojans are competing in the wake of a record-breaking season that generated new highs.
“(We) went to state all four years so far that I have coached,” said Stephanie Tewes, who is confident of a fifth consecutive trip to Louisville.
It’s been a great ride under the guidance of Tewes. She took over a team that, according to official Kentucky High School Athletic Association results, did not score a point at the 2008 regional meet.
Last season, the Trojans placed seventh at the regional in the combined team standings with 184 points, the most in at least 13 years.
Covington Latin was seventh in the girls’ standings with 115 points, just the second time they eclipsed 100 since 2000. The other was also under Tewes’ direction, in 2013, when the girls totaled 107 points and finished sixth. That equaled a sixth-place regional finish in 2004.
The Latin boys were 12th at last year’s regional, narrowly missing the first top-10 boys and girls finishes in four years.
The program fell on lean times in 2007 and ’08. The comeback picked up in earnest in 2011 when the girls finished ninth and the boys 10th at the regional meet.
This season, the Latin girls are making a run at a top-five regional finish, which would send the school scurrying through the record books. They have been in the top 10 five years in a row. Hoping to make a big splash are a pair of senior honor students, captains Krista Borchers and Michelle Bitter.
“(They) will be storming the pool to sew up as many school swimming records as possible,” Tewes said. “Last year, these two helped to set five school relay records.”
Tewes said Borchers also took ownership of seven individual school records, while Bitter set three new standards. Borchers was regional runner-up in the 100 freestyle and third in the 100 backstroke. Bitter was seventh in the regional 50 freestyle and eighth in the 100 backstroke.
“Several more (records) are up for grabs this year, including 200 free and 200 IM and two other relay records,” the coach said. “Both Krista and Michelle qualified for Kentucky state (last season), Krista making finals in the 100 back.”
Borchers plans to continue her swimming career in college. Bitter is a National Merit semifinalist. There is emerging depth behind them.
The Latin boys are led by Jack Johnson, regional runner-up in the 100 backstroke and third in the 500 free.