Dunbar’s Swim Dynasty

Paul Laurence Dunbar Wins 15th Consecutive Swimming and Diving Regional Championships on Feb. 10


“I don’t know how you could define dynasty… without using Dunbar swimming,” Dunbar assistant coach Christian Clark said.

Despite being a little sarcastic, Coach Clark has a point.

On Feb. 10, Paul Laurence Dunbar won the combined Region 8 Swimming and Diving Championships for the 15th year in a row. 

It was the 13th consecutive regional title for the women and the 3rd consecutive regional title for the men.

Heading into the meet, Dunbar was projected to win in combined points based on entry times; however, the men were projected to place second behind Henry Clay, led by standout Louisville commit Jackson Millard.

The women were also projected to place second behind Lexington Catholic.

Three Dunbar swimmers made the 18-person All-Region Team: Alex Ochsenbein, Nathan Zhu, and Seneca Oddo.

Sophomore Seneca Oddo, the only 10th grader making the All-Region Team, is a sprint-freestyler. He missed All-American Consideration in the 50 free by 0.09 seconds with a time of 21.00, but he is heading into the State Championships seeded 1st in the 50 freestyle. This is just 0.21 seconds ahead of Lucas Thomas, an Auburn commit from St. Xavier.

Dunbar women continue to show their dominance in the region as 7 women scored 25+ points: Amelia Jones(33), Claire Ackerman(31), Katie Bridwell(31), Macie McCubbin(31), Sophie Hildebrandt(28), Emma Daman(27), and Nicole Nunez(27).

Expect to see some action as Dunbar heads into State with the largest roster of 21 swimmers and 2 divers – Caroline Devine and Megan Zhu – on Feb. 18-19 to face the top competitors from around the state.

Throughout the state, Lexington and Louisville high schools continued to show their dominance. This doesn’t come as a surprise, as few schools outside of Lexington and Louisville districts have easy access to training pools. KHSAA, in comparison to surrounding states, places a modest emphasis on swimming. 11 high schools in Indiana have Olympic-sized swimming pools.

Read more about Lexington swimming’s unseen financial struggles here – https://www.kentucky.com/opinion/op-ed/article257991493.html.

Just a thought to consider until the next article – what do you think are the largest expenses and sources of revenue for KHSAA? I promise the answer is chilling.

Top Performances.

  • Mark Dattilio (25.44), Alex Ochsenbein (25.72), Nathan Zhu (22.49), and Seneca Oddo (20.21) broke the school record and qualified for All-American Consideration in the 200 Medley Relay with a time of 1:33.86.
  • Eli Merritt (22.27), Nathan Zhu (21.58), Alex Ochsenbein (20.75), and Seneca Oddo (20.42) broke the school record, regional record, and qualified for All-American Consideration in the 200 Free Relay with a time of 1:25.02.
  • In the 100 breastroke, Alex Ochsenbein broke the school record and qualified for All-American Consideration at a time of 56.17. Ochsenbein heads into state seeded 2nd, behind Texas commit Will Scholtz.
  • Nathan Zhu, at a time of 50.10 in the 100 butterfly, missed All-American Consideration by 0.15 seconds. Zhu heads into state seeded 3rd, behind Louisville commit Charlie Crush and Bellarmine commit Blake Whiteley.