Now that was a great meet!  Seton Swimming created this annual championship meet to bring together all of the Catholic schools in the northern half of Virginia each year for a celebration of our common values, and the meet gets more fun each year.

This year’s meet came down to the last relay for the girls where Bishop Ireton held off a very powerful defending champion O’Connell squad to take home the traveling trophy – the Holy Grail.  On the boy’s side, the outcome was not in doubt after the Bishop O’Connell boys medley relay went 1:37 and won by a length of the pool.  I think the O’Connell boys have a great shot at the State Championship this year assuming they can get by a very strong Woodberry Forest.  In the three years of this meet, Bishop O’Connell has won two girls titles and they’ve never lost the boys title.

I particularly enjoyed the pre-meet festivities.  Seton’s own seminarian, former captain and All-State swimmer Sean Koehr did a great job with the opening prayer; even quoting St. Paul famous admonition, “Run so as to win”.  After the prayer, Mary Remington, Sarah Heim and Josefa Gonzalez sang a stunning beautiful 3-part harmony version of the national anthem.  I’m looking forward to getting the three of them back in the water next season 😉

This year was also the first year we had the Richmond area Catholic schools – Benedictine College Prep and St. Gertrude’s.  We look forward to having them with us from now on.

And now, here is the way the final results shook out for the rest of the meet.  Given that Alex Sinner, Patrick Koehr and Stephen Shaw were all out with injuries, I was very pleased with how we did:


Bishop Ireton                         265

Bishop O’Connell                  259

Paul VI                                  221

St. Gertrude’s                         218

Seton Swimming                     163

Oakcrest                                  96

Pope John Paul the Great          92

St. Michael the Archangel          55


Bishop O’Connell                   372

Bishop Ireton                          265

Seton Swimming                      191

Pope John Paul the Great         169

Paul VI                                  126

St. Michael the Archangel        109

Benedictine College Prep        102

Top 8 Finishers

We have a young team, but that didn’t stop us from getting a number of top 8 finishes and one NoVa Catholic High School champion:

  • Congratulations to Claire Kenna for bringing home the NoVa Catholic HS Championship in girls 50 Free. With a pair of great underwaters, she was able to gradually pull ahead of her competition, ultimately winning by nearly one half of a body length.   Claire also broke 1:00 in 100 Free for the first time with a 1.41 second PR to take the bronze medal in girls 100 Free.  Claire was to high point performer on Saturday – and she’s only a freshman!
  • Brian Koehr had another outstanding meet, continuing his streak of a PR for every swim this season. In 100 Breast, after some coaching from brothers Sean and Daniel, he cut .42 seconds, broke 1:13 for the first time, and took the bronze medal!  Brian also had amazing swims in 100 Free, cutting a stunning 2.20 seconds to go 57.60, and in 50 Back leading off the medley, cutting 2.66 seconds.  With that incredible 50 Back swim, Brian just earned his way onto our “A” medley relay.
  • Joe Kosten took a crack at some different events and showed his outstanding versatility. Placing 5th twice, Joe swam a 24.92 second PR in 500 Free and a .69 second PR in 200 IM.  With the championship season coming up, we’ll have ample opportunity to see Joe shine in his favorite event, 100 Breast.
  • Luke Marrazzo continues to learn how to push himself to higher levels of discomfort, and the results are showing. Luke took 4th place in 200 Free with a 1.01 second personal record.
  • Kimberly Rector finally did it! She broke that 6:00 barrier for the 500 with a 3.16 second PR to go 5:57.34.  That is a very fast time for a freshman girl, and it was good enough for 5th place overall.  In the 200 Free, Kimberly took 5th place again meaning that she scored a total of 20 individual points for our team.  In the relays, she was also outstanding stepping into our “A” medley for Alex Sinner and swimming a .87 second PR in 50 Backstroke.
  • Emily Heim continues to move toward her season ending times from last year with more hard work in practice with Coach Lowell. In 100 Breast, Emily took 5th place overall and in 200 IM, she took 7th place overall.
  • Tommy Flook finished in the top 8 twice with a 7th place finish after a 1.52 second PR in 100 Fly and a second 7th place finish in the 200 IM. As evidenced by these high finishes at such a competitive meet, Tommy is starting to get very fast these days.  I was happy to see him working so hard in practice this morning also.
  • Peter Quinan had another nice swim in the 500 finishing 7th place overall with a near PR time. And his butterfly is looking very strong these days also.
  • Mark O’Donohue did not finish in the top 8, but he swam so well, I’d like to single him out anyway. His 100 Breast swim was outstanding.  Not only did he drop 4.41 seconds, he gained on and then passed a few of his competitors on the last length to win his heat.  Mark also lowered his 100 Free PR by .67 seconds leading off the 400 Free relay – which is immediately after 100 Breast!  A more organized coach would never do that to a kid, but Mark overcame the challenge anyway.

55 Personal Records after Christmas break?

Given how little time most of the team spent in the water over break, I was very pleased to see this many PRs.  Here are the personal records that I have not already mentioned:

  • Andrew Bishop just continues to get better for us. In 100 Back, Andrew dropped 2.22 seconds and in 100 Free, he dropped another .04 seconds.
  • Mary Camarca showed that she can do a lot more than just distance freestyle with her 1.14 second PR in 100 Breast.
  • David Catabui clearly was not worn out by his great performance in the CF swim-a-thon because he was able to swim 50 Free .34 seconds faster than he’s ever swum it before.
  • Ben Ceol is going to be a player for us in the future if he keeps improving the way he has this season. How about another .70 second PR in 100 Back?
  • Tim Costello somehow managed to drop a whopping 1.55 seconds in 50 Free – that’s a lot!
  • Kalli Dalrymple also swam well after her great performance in the swim-a-thon. In 100 Back, she dropped 2.83 seconds and in 50 Free, she dropped 1.14 seconds.  Both of those swims show that her trend of tremendous improvement this season is continuing.
  • Patrick Dealey is making a run at that 30 second barrier for the 50 Free. On Saturday, he cut another .05 seconds from his PR to get with .92 seconds of the barrier.  I think he can do it!
  • Joe Fioramonti lowered his 100 Free PR by another 1.25 seconds.
  • Mark Fioramonti is just a spit from breaking the 30 second barrier in 50 Free. Another PR like his 1.76 second PR on Saturday, and he’ll blow right through it.
  • Matt Fioramonti swam two PRs on Saturday: in 50 Free, he cut .66 seconds and in 100 Back, he cut 1.36 seconds.
  • Nina Francis had a very nice 100 Back, lowering her previous best by 1.43 seconds.
  • Cecilia Garvey continues to improve with two new PRs this week. She cut .45 seconds in 50 Free and .01 seconds in 10 Breast.
  • Connor Given made Coach Irving proud when he cut a whopping 13.47 seconds from his 100 Free PR. Connor also cut 3.27 seconds from his 50 Free PR.  Nice drops Connor!
  • Keziah Higginbottom swam a nice PR in 100 Free leading off the 400 Free relay. She cut .93 seconds from her previous best time.
  • Xavier Holl was just super in his events this week. In 100 Breast, he lowered his PR by 5.25 seconds!  Xavier also cut .22 seconds from his 50 Free PR.
  • Michael Kenneally, how did you cut 8.13 seconds in 50 Back leading off the relay? That’s a lot!
  • Connor Kleb, featured on our home page this week, was celebrating his two huge PRs. In 50 Back leading off the medley, he dropped 8.13 seconds, and in 100 Fly, he dropped 2.70 seconds.  Very nice work Connor!
  • James Kosten is now within .08 seconds of breaking the 30 second barrier in 50 Free after a .69 second PR this week. I was very excited to learn this morning that James is only in 8th grade – that means he’s going to be with us for a while!
  • Sally Marrazzo had a nice swim in the 50 Free dropping another .12 seconds.
  • Fiona Miller swam a 2.87 second PR in 100 Back.
  • Catherine Moore lowered her 50 Free PR by another 2.87 seconds.
  • Tommy Moore also swam a PR in 50 Free – his by .40 seconds. We also established this morning in practice that Tommy can officially do a breaststroke kick correctly.
  • Meghan O’Malley had a wonderful swim in the 500, lowering her PR by nearly 14 seconds. What a joyful person young Meghan is – I really like being around her.
  • Paul Pechie had another nice swim in the 100 Free, topping his previous PR by .20 seconds.
  • Andrew Quinan also did a nice job in the 100 Free, lowering his PR by .33 seconds.
  • Rose Remington was great in her 100 Back swim where she dropped 3.62 seconds from her PR.
  • Brendan Santschi set a new personal record in 50 Free by .16 seconds.
  • Jude Van de Voorde also set a new PR in 50 Free by .16 seconds.
  • Meggie Vestermark is bouncing back nicely from her time sick in bed. Not only did she cut 3.05 seconds in 50 Back leading off a medley and 1.13 seconds in 100 Breast, she took her first stab at swimming 100 Fly.
  • Dominic Wittlinger cut 3.12 seconds from his 100 Back PR and .39 seconds from his 50 Free PR
  • Lizzy Zadnik had a great swim in 100 Free, lowering her PR by an amazing 9.34 seconds. It looked really great too!
  • Maria Zambrana managed to drop the exact same amount of time, 2.85 seconds, in both 50 and 100 Free. She has really improved a lot this season.
  • Joe Zapiain had a speedy trip back and forth in the 50 Free, doing it .10 seconds faster than ever before.

New Qualifiers for States and National Catholics

No new qualifiers this past week.  There is still plenty of time to qualify for States, but the meet this coming weekend at St. Michael is our last chance to get qualification times for National Catholics.

Here are the swimmers who have qualified individually so far.  I will make up relays from the fastest swimmers who participated in a qualifying relay.  The bolded events below is my current thinking our potential entries:

National Catholics

Alex Sinner

  • 200 IM
  • 100 Fly
  • 200 Free
  • 100 Free
  • 100 Back

Kimberly Rector

  • 200 Free
  • 200 IM
  • 100 Breast

Claire Kenna

  • 50 Free
  • 100 Free
  • 100 Breast

Emily Heim

  • 100 Breast

200 Medley “A” (Sinner, Heim, Higginbottom, Kenna)

400 Free Relay “A” (Kenna, Sinner, Rector, Ceol)


Alex Sinner

  • 200 IM
  • 100 Fly
  • 500 Free
  • 200 Free
  • 100 Free
  • 100 Back

Kimberly Rector

  • 200 Free
  • 500 Free
  • 200 IM
  • 100 Breast

Claire Kenna

  • 50 Free
  • 100 Free
  • 100 Breast

Emily Heim

  • 100 Breast

Girls 200 Medley “A”

Girls 200 Free Relay “A”

Girls 400 Free Relay “A”

Girls 400 Free Relay “B”

Joe Kosten

  • 200 IM
  • 100 Breast

Boys 200 Medley Relay

Boys 200 Free Relay

Boys 400 Free Relay

I’ve posted a draft of the National Catholic entries on the site.  After the meet this weekend at St. Michael’s, I’ll finalize them.  They are due January 16th.

St. Michael the Archangel Winter Invitational, Saturday, January 12, 2013

Next weekend’s meet is at St. Michael.   Please plan to be on deck stretching at 12:59 p.m. at St. Michael.  There are a lot of teams scheduled to attend, so I would expect the meet to end after 5:00 at a minimum.

Final Notes

I realize that final exams are fast approaching, and it is a tough balancing act for a lot of kids.  Do your best to attend practices during finals week because this is the time of the season where we are no longer learning how to swim, but when we are preparing our bodies to swim fast.  As always, I will defer to parental discretion on the needs of each individual swimmer.

I hope you are all having a blessed Christmas season.  See you in the morning,

Coach Jim Koehr

Click to access the login or register cheese