It was a great meet at Central Park on Saturday for our annual homecoming meet.  Not only were several alumni home from college, but we had some great swimming.

One highlight of the day for me was Anna Kenna’s (SR) 100 yard Butterfly.  We don’t often see team records broken any more, mostly because over the years we’ve had so many great swimmers come through Seton that our records are now very, very fast.  The exception in the last two years has been Anna who has been breaking her own backstroke records.

On Saturday, Anna broke a record in 100 Fly set by Bridget Wunderly at the State Championship meet at the Christiansburg Aquatic center in February of 2011.  Bridget’s record was 59.82, the first time we had a female swimmer break 1:00 in the event.   Anna not only beat the record, she smashed it with a blazing 58.51!  That time was also 4.38 seconds faster than she’s ever swum in a high school meet!

I knew that Anna had a chance to break this record, even though it is an event that I would not normally have Anna swim in the post-season championship meets.  So before the meet, I told her to give it her to give it her best shot – “this may be your last chance”.   I knew from the start that she was doing just that.

Competing against two top USA swimmers from FCS and Saint John Paul the Great, she was off the blocks very fast.  Head first and arms back off the blocks, she entered the water with a perfect streamline and surfaced half way down the pool with a half body length lead.  Off her first turn, her underwater was very slippery and fast, and when she again surfaced half way down the pool, the only competition she had left was Bridget Wunderly’s record.

Her beautiful and strong stroke was an absolute delight for me and the other coaches to watch – light hands, pressing her chest and getting her hips high with every stroke.  We may need to rethink Anna’s post season event line-up.  A 58.51 (or faster) has the potential to finish in the top 3 at States.

Another highlight of the day for me was simple kindness showed by Joey Dealey (7) to Addie-Quinn Kammerdeiner (7).  During Addie-Quinn’s 100 Breaststroke, she was in lane 8 and I was standing by the backstroke flags.  While most of the team was sitting on the benches and bleachers (and while some of the team was sitting with their little cliques in the weight room not even watching the meet – argh!), I saw Joey Dealey out of the corner of my eye.  He was at the end of Addie-Quinn’s lane cheering for her with a passion.  Addie-Quinn was giving it her all in her first-ever attempt at a competitive 100 yard Breaststroke, and Joey was showing his appreciation.  We should all learn a lot from the example of this young 7th grader.

It was Great to See Our Alumni

Since this was our Homecoming Invitational, it was so wonderful to see so many alumni come back.  No one got in the water this year, but it was great to see so many past swimmers including Emily Heim, Patrick Dealey, Patrick Hall, Connor and John Paul Kleb, Jude Van de Voorde, Leo Santschi and Martin Quinan.

We were also honored with some other alumni who never made it into a basketball blog, so I told Jane Pennefather and Jodi Vallimont that they earned a shout-out for coming to cheer for the swim team 😉

It is always so much fun for me to see alumni swimmers.  I would especially love to get some of our former swimmers who are now real live adults back in the water next year.  I’ve been coaching so long, that there are actually alumni from teams that I’ve coached who are over 30 years old!

Final Scores

On the competitive side, there were nine (9) other teams which means that we were effectively in 18 dual meets between the boys and the girls – and we won 17 of them, including all of the meets versus DAC opponents.  On the boys from Division I school Saint John Paul the Great bested Seton in the final scoring:

Here’s the way the meet scores turned out for us at Seton:

Boys

John Paul the Great  145        Seton                                                             128

Seton                      156        Fredericksburg Christian                               121

Seton                       151        Wakefield School                                             107

Seton                       185        Chelsea Academy                    59

Seton                       188        Fresta Valley School                85

Seton                       198        Highland School                       38

Seton                       200        Randolph-Macon                     71

Seton                       209        HEARTS                                17

Seton                       210        Blessed Sacrament                    25

Girls

Seton                      154        John Paul the Great                                      117

Seton                       184        Highland School                                                92

Seton                       210        Fredericksburg Christian                                     59

Seton                       215        Wakefield School                      49

Seton                       217        Fresta Valley School                59

Seton                       218        Blessed Sacrament                    21

Seton                       219        HEARTS                                23

Seton                       225        Chelsea Academy                    27

Seton                       229        Randolph-Macon                     14

Top Scorers for Seton and Renaissance Montessori School

Besides Anna Kenna (SR), who also dominated the 200 Free with a PR at 1:59.75, there were a number of other swimmers who scored big for Seton on Saturday:

  • Alex Ceol (SR) was in a bit of pain, but that didn’t stop him from winning 100 Fly against top swimmers from John Paul the Great, Wakefield and FCS. He looked very strong – and he had to be to get that win by only .38 seconds.  His time of 1:01.70 was just .06 seconds off of the State cut
  • Jacob Alsup (SO) has been one of the most pleasant surprises of the season. This is his first year on the team, and he is improving incredibly rapidly.  I’m trying him in as many different events as I can, and so far he seems to excel at all of them.  The excellence on Saturday came with a 17.38 second PR in 200 Free that was good enough for 2nd place overall.   Jacob also had a 4.23 second PR in 100 Breaststroke that was good enough for 5th place overall, and a .70 second PR in 100 Free leading off our “A” 400 Free Relay.  55 for 100 Free from a first year swimmer is quite a good time.
  • Caroline Griffin (SO) seems so much stronger than last season that I gave her the opportunity to swim the 500 Free. I suspected that she would do quite well, so I was not surprised to see her drop 25.79 seconds to take 3rd place overall and come within range of the State cut in the event.  I also gave Caroline a rare opportunity to sprint, and she rewarded me with a .20 second PR in 50 Free to take 4th place overall.
  • Ben Ceol (SR) has caught the swimming bug this season so I thought I’d give him a shot at something completely different, the 200 Free. He had a very strong 4.98 second PR swim take 4th
  • Liam Kellogg (FR) was only .01 seconds behind Ben, but he got that close with an amazing 17.92 second PR to take 5th place overall. Liam’s breakout season continued later in the meet in 100 Backstroke where he dropped another 3.44 seconds.  It was another great weekend for Liam.
  • Isabelle Luevano (8) is only 5 feet tall, but she swims like she is much taller. She had a strong 1:04.67 swim in 100 Free and took 4th place overall.  Then, in 100 Breaststroke, she cut 1.59 seconds from her PR to take 6th place overall.  Isabelle is already swimming on our “A” Relays too.
  • Emily Flynn (8) is another young swimmer who is scoring big for Seton. In a competitive 500 Free, Emily swam right on her PR to take 4th place, and in the 200 IM, she scored in 6th  Then, leading off our “A” 400 Free Relay, Emily cut 1.16 seconds from her 100 Free PR to go 1:03.15.  That’s a very good time for an 8th grader.
  • Kalli Dalrymple (SR) was just super on Saturday. After our work on Fly in practice, I thought I’d give her a shot at 100 Fly on Saturday.  She cut 5.79 seconds from her PR in the event and jumped up to 5th overall!  Kalli also cut 3.71 seconds from her 100 Back PR to beat two other scoring Seton swimmers.  It’s great to see Captain Kalli see such great results from her hard work.
  • Elizabeth Caron (FR) may have found nice niche in distance freestyle for us because her 500 Free was fabulous. She beat her PR by a whopping 42.97 seconds! And took 6th  She also cut 8.69 seconds in 200 IM to take 8th and .12 seconds in 50 Back leading off a medley relay.
  • Lucy Garvey (8) is only in 8th grade at RMS, but she sure doesn’t swim like she’s that young. In 100 Back, she cut 2.52 seconds from her PR to go 1:11.15 and take 2nd place overall.  Lucy also cut .43 seconds from her 100 Fly PR to take 4th place overall.  Lucy is a great example of what we should all be working toward – Lucy can compete in all eight (8) individual events.

We had Quite a Haul of Personal Records!

We had another 59 Personal Records on Saturday, and it probably explains why we had such a good result for our boys against teams like Fredericksburg Christian whose fastest swimmers are faster than ours.  We score an awful lot of points with swimmers beating their seeds with Personal Records.

Here are the PRs we swam on Saturday night that I have not already mentioned:

  • Justin Fioramonti (SO) got my wife’s attention with his swimming on Saturday. Colleen was a college swimmer so she’s not unfamiliar with the sport – but she was unfamiliar with Justin.  She was watching the 200 IM where Justin showed a tremendous effort in the last 25 yards to pass several swimmers and lower his PR by 16.79 seconds.  When I got home, she asked me who the kid was in the 200 IM, “it looked like a Fioramonti”.  When I told her it was, she said that she had that thought because “that is how all of the Fioramonti boys compete”.   That was quite a compliment Justin, trust me – and she didn’t even see your 2.46 second PR in 50 Back leading off the Medley and your 2.70 second PR in 100 Free!
  • Ellie Flook (FR) is finding a lot of success in her first year on the Seton Swim Team, so I decided to let her try the more challenging 200 Free. It was no problem for Ellie – she lowered her PR by 12.73 seconds.
  • Anne Konstanty (SO) continues to shine in multiple events. This week it was the 200 Free where she cut 21.71 seconds from her PR.
  • Kevin Geiran (SR) looked great swimming 100 Breaststroke, and it showed in his time. He lowered his PR by 7.23 seconds – that’s hard to do for most seniors.
  • Therese Pechie (JR) has been a very pleasant surprise this year with huge drops in multiple events, particularly in Butterfly. This week, she extended that to Freestyle where she dropped a huge 5.41 seconds in 100 Free to become one of the faster girls on the team in that event.  She scored in 6th place overall.
  • Mary Heim (JR) had a huge 19.39 second drop in 100 Fly, an event where I think she has a lot of potential score in the future. Mary also cut another .01 seconds from her 50 Free PR.
  • Julia Rowzie (SR) had a three (3) PR day on Saturday. In 100 Back she cut 3.41 seconds, in 200 IM she cut .59 seconds, and in 50 Free leading off a relay she cut .28 seconds.  She was only .01 seconds off of the National Catholic cut for 50 Free at 28.51.
  • Ashley Cackett (SR) had a great swim in 100 Back where she cut 1.18 seconds
  • Katharine Rowzie (SO) was back in the water and performed very well in the 500 Free, lowering her PR by .32 seconds and taking 5th
  • Dominic Hartung (SO) had a huge drop in 100 Breast, lowering his previous best by 9.85 seconds. He told me in advance that he expected to drop a lot of time, so I was quite pleased to give him the chance.
  • Connor Given (SR) was great on Saturday with two big PRs. In 50 Free, he dropped an unbelievable 5.05 seconds and in 100 Free, he dropped 1.06 seconds
  • Caroline Pechie (8) showed off her greatly improved Breaststroke with a 4.49 second PR.
  • Mary Pechie (7) continues to improve rapidly, particularly in 50 Free where she cut another 1.34 seconds off her previous best time.
  • Christian Ceol (SO) took a great shot at the 200 IM and lowered his best time by 4.47 seconds.
  • Virginia Hartung (FR) looked better than I’ve ever see her look on Saturday, and that was reflected in her times. In 100 Breast, she cut 9.67 seconds, and in 50 Free she cut 1.13 seconds.
  • Colette Waldron (JR) tried the 500 Free again and swam it 13.60 second faster than ever before.
  • Mack Myers (8) had a very big drop in 100 Breast with a 2.07 second PR
  • Catherine Griffin (7) has really improved in practice in Breaststroke, so I was very happy to see it reflected in her time on Saturday. She dropped 8.60 seconds!
  • Moira Haggerty (7) also continues to make great strides in practice and it showed with her 10.83 second PR in 100 Breaststroke.
  • Amelie Halisky (7) had two big PRs on Saturday. In 100 Breast she cut 3.84 seconds and in 50 Free she cut another .95 seconds.
  • Addie-Quinn Kammerdeiner (7) cut another 1.94 seconds from her 50 Free PR.
  • Shane Koehr (SO) dropped a big .92 seconds from his 50 Free PR leading off a relay. She also cut .01 seconds from his 50 Back PR leading off our “A” medley relay.
  • Jerry Dalrymple (FR) lowered his 50 Free PR once again, this time by .60 seconds to a fast 26.45.
  • Kevin Rodriquez (8) lowered his 50 Back PR by .62 seconds while leading off a medley relay.
  • Joey Dealey (7) was more than a great cheerleader, he was a also a great swimmer. That was especially true in 100 Breaststroke where he dropped 9.19 seconds.
  • Maggie Kleb (8) had a pair of really big PRs including a 7.79 second PR in 50 Free and a 2.41 second PR in 100 Free.
  • Theresa Dwane (SO) lowered her 50 Free PR once again, this time by .68 seconds.
  • Teresa Bingham (8) is really doing well this season, so I was very happy to see her get another PR, this time by .16 seconds in 100 Back.
  • Ethiana Hasch (8) from Renaissance Montessori had a tremendous swim in 100 Fly where she dropped 8.63 seconds.
  • Samantha Wong (JR), also from Renaissance Montessori School, has shown dramatic improvement this season, particularly in Freestyle. Her stroke has gotten quite strong, and as a result, she was able to lower her PR by another 3.33 seconds.

Finding a Way to Contribute to the Team

There are eight (8) individual events in a high school swim meet, and only one of them is 50 yards long.  Not surprisingly, that is also the most competitive event in the meet and the most competitive event on our team.  If you want to make the maximum contribution to the Seton team, you should be looking for an event where you can score points where other people cannot.

That is why I’ve spent the first three weeks of the season giving so many of you the opportunity to try events like 200 Free, 200 IM, 100 Fly and 500 Free.  Several of you tried these events for the first time, and I saw some exciting prospects for many of you, including:

  • Brian Geiran (7) – 200 IM and 100 Fly
  • Teresa Bingham (8) – 200 IM
  • Katie Dealey (SO) – 200 IM
  • Ben Dealey (SR) – 500 Free
  • Gemma Flook (7) – 100 Fly
  • Ellie Flook (8) – 100 Fly
  • Ceili Koehr (8) – 500 Free
  • Nathan Luevano (7) – 100 Fly
  • Joseph Rowzie (8) – 500 Free
  • Colette Waldron (JR) – 100 Fly

I often intentionally put you young swimmers in uncomfortable situations – you should know that I do that on purpose.  I know that you can do it, even if you don’t – if I didn’t know you could do it, I wouldn’t make you try.  So the next time I put you in the 500 Free, 100 Fly or 200 IM, don’t e-mail me to tell me you can’t do it – just do your best, whatever that is, and I promise you that you will find the great joy in it.

If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves.

– Thomas A. Edison

State and National Catholic Qualifiers

We have two championship meets where, in order to be eligible to participate, you have to meet a qualifying time standard during the current season.

The VISAA State Championship is February 16-17, 2018 at the Jeff Rouse Swim and Sports Center in Stafford, VA.  We’ve even rented a beautiful house for team gatherings and meals between sessions.  It should be a great time for everyone eligible to participate.

Here are the individual State Meet qualifiers after this weekend:

  • Anna Kenna100 Fly, 200 IM, 50, 200 and 500 Free
  • Caroline Griffin – 200 IM and 100 Back

Here are the relays that have hit the cut:

  • Boys “A” 200 Medley Relay
  • Girls “A” 200 Medley Relay
  • Boys “A” 200 Free Relay
  • Girls “A” 200 Free Relay
  • Girls “B” 200 Free Relay
  • Boys “A” 400 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 National Catholic High School Championship is at Loyola University in Baltimore on January 20th-21st with prelims in the morning on January 20th and finals on Sunday, January 21st.  We also have a meet that afternoon, so depending on how many girls qualify, we’ll have to discuss later how we are going to handle that.

Here’s who has qualified for National Catholics so far:

  • Anna Kenna100 Fly, 200 IM, 50, 200 and 500 Free
  • Caroline Griffin 50 Free, 200 IM and 100 Back
  • Mary Pennefather – 50 Free

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.  Note that Anna Kenna was part of all three (3) of these qualifying relays, and she won’t be able to swim three (3) relays at National Catholics – we may have to pick two:

  • Girls “A” 200 Medley Relay
  • Girls “A” 200 Free Relay
  • Girls “A” 400 Free Relay

An eligibility report for both meets is posted under Meet & Team Information.

Final Notes

Here are some final thoughts:

  • I’ve already alluded to how disappointed I was on Saturday with our teammates who were not in the team area cheering for their fellow teammates. I was equally disappointed with the low number of swimmers who stayed in uniform through the end of the meet in order to participate in the end-of-meet handshake.  Can you imagine leaving the bench before the end of a basketball game.  I look forward to less self-centeredness from now on (unless you have advanced permission).
  • On a related topic, when you are swimming in a relay, it is very important that:
    • The last swimmer stay in the water until all lanes are finished
    • All relay team members stay with their relay team until everyone is done. How sad it must be for the anchor leg to finish with their teammates already gone.
  • Our meet on January 6th is at the Fitch WARF in Warrenton, and it will be the one that counts toward the DAC regular season championship. We need to ready for that meet!  Get healthy and clear your calendars.  Trinity Christian on the girl’s side and Fredericksburg Christian on the boys side will come to the meet with an idea that they want to be conference champion too.
  • On the day before New Year’s Eve, December 30th, we’ll have our annual Cystic-Fibrosis swim-a-thon. We may need to move the time to the afternoon because of a conflict with the OCCS winter practice schedule, but I will let you know shortly.  Thanks again to the Given family for running it again.  Time to get to work setting up your fundraising page – see the link at the top of the home page here.
  • All scoring swimmers are expected to be at Christmas practices if you are in town. No one should miss more than one practice if at all possible.  Christmas break practices all go from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on:
    • Thursday, December 21st
    • Thursday, December 28th
    • Tuesday, January 2nd

See you Monday morning,

Coach Jim Koehr

Seton Swimming’s G.E.M.S.

What makes Seton Swimming special?

N

Gratitude

“Who has it better than us? Nobody!”

N

Excellence

We focus on better. Good takes care of itself.

N

Meekness

We help our opponents over the bar that we raised by winning

N

Sacrifice

We offer it up. We love all of our teammates.

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