The Courier-Journal (Louisville)

St. X swim coach Larkin earns national honor

- SAM UPSHAW JR./COURIER JOURNAL

St. Xavier swimming and diving coach Todd Larkin recently was named the 2023-24 National Coach of the Year by the NHSCA.

Larkin led the Tigers to their 36th consecutiv­e state title this season and 60th overall.

This season, Johnny Crush broke four state records to help St. Xavier win the state championsh­ip. He also led the Tigers’ record-breaking 200 medley relay.

“It’s all coach Larkin,” Crush said in February. “He’s such an amazing coach, amazing person, amazing mentor to us. He gets on us when we do bad, and he makes us go fast. He does it in a loving way, and that’s why we’ve been a perfect team these four years.

“It’s not just letting ourselves down if we lose, it’s letting him down if we lose. Every single person on this team, that’s their greatest fear — letting coach Larkin down.”

Dr. Marty Pollio, Jefferson County Public Schools superinten­dent, was at Shawnee’s campus Thursday to unveil the new turf field and stadium.

The Shawnee upgrades are part of a $75 million constructi­on and renovation project that was announced in 2023. JCPS plans to fund 21 similar turf fields and stadiums throughout the county. Moore, Jeffersont­own and Pleasure Ridge Park are next in line for facility upgrades.

The Shawnee funding also will provide a new track around the field, new stadium seats, press boxes, concession stands and bathrooms.

George Baker, a Paul Laurence Dunbar alum and basketball legend, was hired to lead the school’s basketball program.

Baker, who graduated from Dunbar as a four-year starter, led the Bulldogs to the KHSAA state basketball tournament at Rupp Arena. He was an All-State and 11th Region Player of the Year award winner. He was also runner-up for 1999 Mr. Kentucky Basketball.

Baker went on to become an NAIA All-American at Georgetown College, a three-time Mid-South Conference selection and the league Player of the Year his senior season. He finished his Georgetown College career with 1,252 points, 626 assists and 225 steals.

Fern Creek junior Travis Moten, a two-way lineman, has earned offers from Akron, Saint Francis, Bowling Green, Mercyhurst, Brown, Buffalo and Eastern Michigan. He already had offers from Eastern Kentucky and TennesseeM­artin. Last season, Moten had 83 tackles, including 17.5 for loss, 10.5 sacks (all team-high numbers) and forced one fumble and recovered two.

Racing Louisville FC is scheduled to host NJ/NY Gotham FC at noon Saturday.

Louisville City FC is set to visit the Tampa Bay Rowdies at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

The Louisville Bats are set to host the St. Paul Saints beginning at 6:35 p.m. Tuesday. The series continues with games scheduled at 12:05 p.m. Wednesday, 6:35 p.m. Thursday, 7:15 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 1:05 p.m. June 16.

Reach sports reporter Brooks Warren at bwarren@gannett.com.

 ?? ?? St. X head coach Todd Larkin gives instructio­ns to his swim team during practice in 2019.
St. X head coach Todd Larkin gives instructio­ns to his swim team during practice in 2019.

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