I am SOOO glad we were able to swim yesterday! The Northern Virginia Catholic High School Swim and Dive Invitational Championship (aka “NoVa Catholics”) is my favorite meet each year not called “States”, so I was not about to let a threat of snow stop us.
Seton Swimming created this annual championship meet to bring together 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. I love the spirit of this one, and it was on full display on Saturday, January 12th
After a five (5) straight years of victories by the Bishop Ireton girl’s team, the Bishop O’Connell Girls took home the traveling trophy – the Holy Grail – for their 2nd straight year. And after two (2) consecutive years for the Paul VI Boys, the Bishop O’Connell Boys claimed the other Holy Grail for the 2nd time in a row as well. Congratulations to Bishop O’Connell, and especially to their Coach, Joe Smolinske, who does a really fine job with those kids.
Five years ago, we added Meet Records and a Swimmer of the Meet award for the first time. In business, we often say that you get what you measure. Well we started measuring Meet Records and not surprisingly, we broke a bunch – how about another four (4) out of 24!
Congratulations to our Swimmers of the Meet: Paige Hall of Bishop O’Connell and Paul Kinsella of Bishop O’Connell. Paige, a sophomore, took the gold medal three (3) times with top finishes in the 400 Free Relay, 50 Free, and 100 Back and a new meet record in 100 Backstroke (58.50). Paige also earned a silver medal in the 200 Medley Relay. And Paul won three (3) gold medals and a silver medal including wins in the 50 Free, 100 Free, and 200 Medley Relay and a new meet record in 100 Free (47.73). Paul also earned silver in the 400 Free Relay. This was Paul’s third year in a row winning the award.
Our parent volunteers really stepped up to make this a great meet. Isn’t it cool that a school our size can pull off an event like this one? It would be impossible to mention everyone who made a difference, but I will highlight one new addition to the team this year. Mrs. Melissa Alsup has taken over responsibility for the timers this year, and she did an outstanding job herding the cats from the other schools – and dealing with the fact that Bishop Ireton chose not to come so replacements were needed for their volunteers. Thank you so much Mrs. Alsup!
I was very pleased that the Seton Girls took 3rd place and the Seton Boys were able to take 4th place. That means that our girls were able to beat one of the large Diocesan schools – Saint John Paul the Great. We were sorry that Bishop Ireton and Benedictine were unable to participate, and St. Gertrude’s was only able to bring two girls. We were also sorry that diving had to be postponed in order to get the timeline short enough to beat the snow.
Here is the way the final scores looked, with diving still to happen:
Bishop O’Connell 433
Paul VI 406
Saint John Paul the Great 225
Seton Swimming 175
Bishop O’Connell 469.5
Paul VI 373.5
Seton Swimming 185
Saint John Paul the Great 107
St. Gertrude’s 32
Top 12 Individual Finishers
We have a hard-working team without a core group of long-time USA Swimmers like the big Diocesan schools, but that didn’t stop us from getting a number of top 12 finishes that scored at this very fast meet. It’s very cool to see the number of young swimmers who were significant scorers. The future looks to be in pretty good hands:
- Mairead Geiran (SO) was Seton’s top scorer, boy or girl, with 24 individual points. Mairead took the Bronze medal in both 200 Free and 100 Breaststroke. She was also instrumental in our Bronze medal 200 Medley Relay which finished behind only two relays from O’Connell.
- Caroline Griffin (JR) also had a strong scoring performance with 4th and 6th place finishes that resulted in 20 individual points. Her 4th place finish came in a very fast 100 Backstroke event and her 6th place finish came in 200 IM.
- Anne Konstanty (JR) continues to impress me with her strong swimming. On Saturday, Anne had two really outstanding swims. In the 500 Free, Anne cut another 3.71 seconds to take 6th place with a 6:13.49. She is now within 4 seconds of the State cut in that event. Previously, in the 200 Free, Anne cut 1.72 seconds to also place 6th. She’s within range of hitting the State cut there also.
- Mary Heim (SR) scored well with a 6th place in 50 Free and an 8th place in 100 Breaststroke. It was so great to see her Dad, Hank Heim, up in the stands after his lengthy deployment in Afghanistan. Welcome home Hank! And thank you.
- Katharine Rowzie (JR) scored a strong 8 individual points with two 9th place finishes in 200 and 500 Free.
- Emily Flynn (FR) is getting back close to her times when she was swimming USA, and the result was 5 individual points for Seton. Emily placed 10th in 100 Fly and 11th in 100 Back.
- Gemma Flook (8) took 11th in 200 IM to score 2 individual points. She also placed 13th in 100 Fly, missing 12th by a mere .23 seconds
- Colette Waldron (SR) scored in 12th place with a strong sub-:30 time in 50 Free
- Teresa Bingham (FR) scored in 12th place twice in the 200 IM and 100 Fly. Her 100 Fly swim was a 1.51 second PR.
- Ceili Koehr (FR) used her beautiful stroke to take 21.60 seconds off of her 500 Free PR and score in 12th
- Mary O’Malley (FR) had an outstanding swim in 200 Free, lowering her PR by 5.56 seconds to place 12th.
- Cat Linton (FR) placed 12th in 100 Free scoring 1 point for Seton. I’m excited to get Cat to more of our practices so we can help her improve her strokes. I think Cat can be a very fine swimmer for Seton one day soon if she does.
- Jerry Dalrymple (SO) tied for the honor of being Seton’s top individual male scorer with 6th and 7th place finishes in 200 IM and 100 Fly, scoring 16 points. Jerry’s 200 IM was a .60 second PR
- Liam Kellogg (SO) was the swimmer with whom Jerry tied for top male scoring honors. Liam also finished 6th and 7th with two PRs in 50 Free and 100 Breaststroke. His PR in 50 Free was by .22 seconds and his PR in 100 Breaststroke was by 1.45 seconds.
- Jack Santschi (SO) had two great swims, scoring in 5th and 10th place for 100 Free and 100 Back, respectively. His 100 Back swim was particularly strong – he cut 1.76 seconds from his PR
- Shane Koehr (JR) had two outstanding individual swims, both big PRs. In 100 Back, Shane cut 1.25 seconds to place 8th. He is now within 2 seconds of the State cut in that event. An even better swim came previously in 100 Free where he cut a huge 1.90 seconds to 57.12. With that swim, not only did he score in 7th place, but he jumped up to the 3rd fastest 100 Freestyler on the boys team.
- Christian Ceol (JR) scored 10 individual points with two 8th place finishes in 200 Free and 500 Free. With his improved stroke technique, Christian hit PRs in both events, by 4.03 seconds and 11.07 seconds, respectively.
- Evan Wilson (SO) is back, and he swam very well. His 100 Breaststroke was particularly good. He swam a 1.21 second PR to jump up to 8th
- Justin Fioramonti (JR) finished 10th in 200 Free and 11th in 100 Fly, scoring 5 individual points for Seton.
- Timmy Kelly (SO) asserted himself on Saturday with two very strong PR scoring swims. His best swim was his 12.10 second PR in 200 IM where he scored in 11th He also had an outstanding 1.79 second PR in 100 Fly to score 1 point in 12th place. It has been fun watching Timmy improve so much this season.
- Nate Remington (JR) was amazing on Saturday! In his 500 Free, he used his length to great effect to drop 17.0 seconds from his PR and score in 10th But the really amazing swim came in the 200 Free where he cut 49.09 seconds from his swim at Time Trials. Nate’s improvement this season has been simply fantastic!
First Time Swims
I always enjoy watching a swimmer try an event for the first time. The following swimmers tried an event for the first time this past weekend:
- Bernadette Caron (7) (Holy Family Academy) – 200 IM and 100 Fly
- Jack Champney – 100 Back
- Theresa Dwane – 100 Fly
- Mick Fioramonti – 100 Fly
- Emma Catabui – 100 Back
Congratulations to all of these swimmers for testing the boundaries of what they believe they can do.
Lots of Personal Record Swims that Caught My Attention
As the meet was progressing, the other coaches and I were tracking PR after PR on the Meet Mobile application that Mr. Dealey got set up for us. I just love watching kids look up at the scoreboard and get a big smile on their face.
We had 64 PRs on Saturday – that’s about one PR per swimmer. As you read through these highlights from PRs not yet mentioned, I hope you notice how much our younger swimmers are improving:
- Joey Allen (7) had a breakthrough performance on Saturday with two amazing Personal Records. In 100 Free, Joey dropped 19.00 seconds and in 50 Free he dropped 18.21 seconds. I know that Coach Jerry Zadnik was very proud of Joey’s performance.
- Aaron Bishop (7) continues to improve, and on Saturday, that improvement occurred in a big leap forward. How about a 10.43 second PR in 100 Free and a 2.30 second PR in 50 Free!?
- Lily Byers (FR) was awesome on Saturday also. I was so pleased with her 4.99 second PR in 100 Free and her .33 second PR in 50 Free.
- Emma Catabui (FR) has really come a long way this season. With her 50 Free PR by another 1.09 seconds, we decided that it was official – Emma is a good swimmer. It was so wonderful seeing her confidence grow to the point where she was willing to try 100 Back for the first time.
- Jack Champney (7) was great in 50 Free, cutting another 4.20 seconds from his PR.
- Anabel Clune (7) swam quite well in 50 Free, lowering her PR by another .97 seconds.
- Joey Dealey (8) had a great meet on Saturday with two big PRs. In 100 Free he cut 6.58 seconds and in 100 Back he cut 4.93 seconds.
- Katie Dealey (JR) fought through shoulder pain to PR in 100 Back, by 4.52 seconds.
- Elizabeth Dwane (FR) continues to impress me with her level of improvement. I was particularly impressed with her 8.55 second PR in 100 Breaststroke. She also cut another .02 seconds from her 50 Free PR.
- Theresa Dwane (JR) awesome in the 500 Free with a huge 25.20 second PR!
- Delaney Farmer (8) had two strong PRs. In 100 Free she cut 1.07 seconds, and in 50 Free she cut .09 seconds
- Mick Fioramonti (7) lowered his 50 Free PR by another .32 seconds.
- Gemma Flook (8) not only scored with her two individual PRs (above), she also cut a whopping 2.17 seconds from her 50 Back PR leading off a medley relay
- Ella Gaulden (7) was wonderful in 100 Free, lowering her PR by a huge 7.87 seconds!
- Catherine Griffin (8) had two really big PRs in 100 Free and 50 Free, dropping 10.54 seconds and .74 seconds, respectively. Great swimming Catherine!
- Tiffany Gutierrez (FR) continues to make improvements in very large chunks. I really enjoyed watching her 10.01 second PR in 100 Free and her 4.74 second PR in 50 Free. Those are big drops!
- Moira Haggerty (8) cut another .81 seconds from her 100 Free PR.
- Amelie Halisky (8) had two PRs on Saturday. In 100 Back she cut .60 seconds, and in 50 Free she cut 1.20 seconds.
- Patrick Hartung (8) had a massive improvement in 200 Free, lowering his PR by a huge 24.38 seconds. He also lowered his 50 Free PR by .63 seconds.
- Ava Hudson (7) had a big PR in 100 Free, dropping 2.54 seconds. She also dropped .46 seconds in 50 Free.
- David Hudson (7) had a huge drop in 100 Free, cutting 3.93 seconds from his PR. And in 50 Free, he also had a huge drop, cutting 1.40 seconds from his PR.
- Peter Konstanty (7) showed nice improvement in 50 Free, lowering his PR by 1.23 seconds. His dive has really improved!
- Chris Lynch (7) had two big PRs in 50 and 100 Free, lowering his PRs by .66 seconds and 4.68 seconds, respectively.
- Anya Murray (7) was all smiles after her two big PRs. Dropping 3.66 seconds in 50 Free and 2.41 seconds in 100 Back was fun for me too.
- Joseph Rowzie (8) had a great swim in 100 Breaststroke, cutting 2.18 seconds from his PR. He also cut another .16 seconds from his 200 IM PR.
- Clare Waldron (FR) was fun to watch in 100 Breaststroke where she lowered her PR by a whopping 7.98 seconds! She also cut another 1.00 seconds from her 50 Free PR.
- Madelyn Zadnik (7) used her beautiful strokes for huge PRs in 100 Breast, by 4.00 seconds, and 50 Free, by 3.81 seconds.
- Sophia Zadnik (FR) had a massive PR in 100 Breast, cutting 7.62 seconds!
State and National Catholic Qualifiers
We have two championship meets where, in order to be eligible to participate, you must meet a qualifying time standard during the current season.
The VISAA State Championship is February 15-16, 2019 at the Jeff Rouse Swim and Sports Center in Stafford, VA. It should be a great time for everyone eligible to participate.
Here are the individual State Meet qualifiers after this weekend:
- Mairead Geiran – 200 IM, 100, 200 and 500 Free, 100 Fly and 100 Breaststroke
- Caroline Griffin – 200 IM and 100 Back
- Mary Pennefather –50 Free
Here are the relays that have hit the cut:
- Boys “A” 200 Medley Relay
- Boys “A” 200 Free Relay
- Boys “A” 400 Free Relay
- Girls “A” 200 Medley Relay
- Girls “B” 200 Medley Relay
- Girls “A” 200 Free Relay
- Girls “B” 200 Free Relay
- Girls “A” 400 Free Relay
- Girls “B” 400 Free Relay
I will not list names for these relays because it is impossible to tell who will actually swim. You are eligible for me to enter you on a relay at States if you have swum on that relay during the season when it hit the cut, but that doesn’t mean I will be able to actual enter you to swim. We go to States to try to bring home a State Championship or State Runner-up. If I feel like we have a legitimate shot at one of those titles, it would not be unusual for me to use some of our top swimmers in 3 relays and only one individual event because relays score so many points. Time – and your times – will clarify this situation for all of us.
The competition on the Boys side for Relay spots is starting to heat up, so I’ve started tracking it more closely. Here’s where the times stand so far this season for the 200 Free Relay:
|Name||Fastest Flat Start||Fastest Split|
And here’s where the times stand so far this season for the 400 Free Relay:
|Name||Fastest Flat Start||Fastest Split|
The National Catholic High School Championship is at Loyola University in Baltimore on January 19th-20th with prelims in the morning on January 19th and finals on Sunday, January 20th. We also have a meet that afternoon back at Freedom, so I will be traveling back and forth for that.
Here’s who has qualified for National Catholics. This is the final list:
- Mairead Geiran – 200 IM, 50, 100 and 200 Free, 100 Fly, 100 Breast, 100 Back, Relays
- Caroline Griffin – 200 IM, 100 Back, 100 Fly, 50 and 100 Free, and Relays
- Mary Heim – 50 and 100 Free, 100 Breast, and Relays
- Mary Pennefather –50 Free and Relays
- Isabelle Luevano – 50 Free and Relays
- Anne Konstanty – Relays
And here are the relays that have hit the National Catholic cut. Once again, I will not attempt to project the line-ups for these relays yet:
- Girls “A” 200 Medley Relay
- Girls “A” 400 Free Relay
An eligibility report for both meets is posted under Meet & Team Information.
- Entries are due this week, so I will post them shortly. I’ve also got a beautiful house in the Federal Hill area of Baltimore to house the girls and Moms on the team. It should be a great weekend for these six (6) qualifiers. Congratulations!
Planning for the Rest of the Season
- The end of the season is fast approaching for probably half the team with our JV Invitational on January 26th at the Fitch WARF in Warrenton.
- The JV Invitational has a two-fold purpose:
- To allow all swimmers grades 6 through 9 to shine against kids their own age – regardless of their level of ability. So if you are freshman or below, please plan on coming to compete, even if you are also on the Varsity Team
- To provide a great season-ending experience for members of our team who will not be swimming in the post-season.
- Here’s the process will work:
- For the final three (3) post-season meets, we are not allowed any exhibition swimmers. That means that I am limited to four (4) scoring swimmers per event and two (2) scoring relays.
- So I will publish the meet entries for the VISAA Division II Invitational Championship on sometime after our January 19th meet and the swimmers in that meet will be designated as “Varsity”.
- Only the Varsity team needs to practice past January 24th.
- There’s no other meet on the weekend of January 26th so many of our Varsity swimmers will have the weekend off.
- But parent volunteers, we are the host of this annual state-wide invitational, so I hope you are open to helping out, even if you don’t have a kid in the meet. We really need you.
- Our last regular season meet is next Saturday, January 19th at the Freedom Center
- Please plan to be on deck ready to stretch before 12:39 p.m.
- Our warm-up starts at 1:00 p.m., the officials meeting is at 1:20 p.m., the timers meeting is at 1:40 p.m. and the National Anthem will be at 2:08 p.m.
- The JV Invitational has a two-fold purpose:
I hate to end on a less than positive note, but two final thoughts:
- I’ll admit to being very frustrated by how many of our team members continually decide that getting an early shower is more important than supporting the team.
- I’ve tried to craft a compromise where you can get a shower as long as we have 100% of the team on deck for the 400 Free Relay.
- On Saturday, when the 400 Free Relay started, and I looked around and saw a sparse crowd.
- One of our GEMS is “Sacrifice”.
- We love our teammates.
- We have not been living up to that one so far this season.
- Last Thursday’s practice was sparsely attended.
- I know we are in mid-terms, but I don’t think that is a good excuse to miss practice.
- You know have an extra day to study, so I hope you all take advantage of it.
Because school is closed on Monday, we won’t have practice, but I really hope I see more of you Tuesday morning at practice – we’re almost there,
Coach Jim Koehr