Last Saturday, we hosted our 12th annual VISAA Division II Invitational. I was so happy to have a Seton Swimmer, Anna Kenna, get voted by the coaches as our female Swimmer of the Meet!
We created this meet 12 years ago so that all of the Division II schools could have a chance to come together before States for a fun competition where we could all get the chance to know each other better. Then we could all go down to States have a great competition for our kids also, not just the kids at the big schools.
One data point to show how well it has worked is that this year, the meet had 19 schools who brought 339 swimmers – that is nearly 2/3rd the size of the State Championship meet.
We stole page from our NoVa Catholic playbook and, for the first time this year, we created a traveling trophy with a plaque for all of the past winners on it. The idea is that the winner each year will take the trophy back to their school for the year and then return with it the next year to defend their title.
Seton Swimming appears on both the Girls and Boys trophies several times between 2008 and 2013, but since then, the meet has largely been dominated by Hampton Roads Academy, who took home both of trophy’s with yet another HRA plaque.
I’d like to congratulate our Swimmers of the Meet, both of whom were selected by a vote of the coaches:
- Boys – Nicholas Schoenig, Hampton Roads Academy. Nicholas earned four (4) gold medals and was all or part of three (3) new meet records.
- Girls – Anna Kenna, Seton School. Anna earned two (2) individual gold medals and broke two (2) DAC Conference Records
The meet just keeps getting faster. We had six (6) new Meet Records this afternoon:
- Boys 200 Free, Nicholas Schoenig, HRA – 1:46.12
- Boys 50 Free, Austin Smith, Walsingham – :21.81
- Girls 500 Free, Allison Langenburg, Steward – 5:02.80
- Boys 100 Back, Nicholas Schoenig, HRA – 52.01
- Boys 400 Free Relay, HRA, B. Kim, C. Muench, B. Rouzie, N. Schoenig – 3:23.26
- Girls 400 Free Relay, HRA, C. Slate, B. Keating, E. Payne, M. Rouzie – 3:42.57
In the Delaney Athletic Conference, we have also traditionally counted this meet for DAC Championship Meet Records, and we had one of those records broken:
- Girls 50 Free – Anna Kenna – :24.70
- Girls 100 Fly – Anna Kenna – :58.62
- Girls 400 Free Relay, Trinity Christian, B. Williams, H. Silvernail, L. Schmidt, A. Cornett – 3:48.76
It is worth noting that these girls swam 15.07 seconds faster than their best time so far this season to take the Silver medal in this event.
As the coach of TCS’ main conference rival, I definitely was impressed. The record they broke was set in 2011 by Alex Doonis, Bridget Wunderly, Cat Rogers and Lauren “the Machine” Donohoe who went on to States that year to earn the silver medal in a different relay, the 200 Medley Relay, with a State record breaking time of 1:50.25. So they beat four of our best ever.
For the 19 teams involved, here’s how the meet scores looked for the top finishers when it was all over:
- Hampton Roads Academy 229
- Trinity Christian 207
- Seton School 179
- Nansemond-Suffolk 115
- Fredericksburg Christian 110
- Fredericksburg Academy 110
- Highland 73
- Hampton Roads Academy 382
- Walsingham Academy 154
- Fredericksburg Christian 137
- Wakefield 131
- Seton School 128
- Fredericksburg Academy 114
Seton Boys and Girls Win DAC Conference Championship
One aspect of the meet that proved to be surprisingly important was the emergence of the Fredericksburg Academy boys. The DAC conference uses this meet, rescored as a 3+ Dual meet, to count as a regular season score for DAC teams that have not yet met during in a meet during the season – and we had not swum against FA this season until Saturday. Recall that a 3+ Dual meet score is a separate score for each team in the meet against each other team in the meet.
After the Fredericksburg Academy Boys came close to us in the championship scoring, I realized that I should be worried. Before the meet, I didn’t think that having a bunch of swimmers competing in the Blue Crab Bowl (they took 1st and 2nd place for the State!) would make a significant difference – and thankfully, in the dual meet scoring, it did not. We ended up beating the FA Boys 165 – 111 to get the last victory we needed to make our Conference Championship official.
On the Girls side, by beating the FA Girls in the dual meet scoring 176 – 107, we also sealed the deal officially for the girls.
How Does Little Seton School Consistently Host Meets of this Scale?
Even though we have been doing it for many years, it still amazes me that a small school like Seton can put on such a large scale event. It happens because we can muster so many dedicated volunteer parents. While other schools can’t seem to come up with even one parent timer, we have our stalwart volunteers like Referee Charles Seltman, Starter, Therese Griffin Scorer Bill Dealey, CTS Operator Jim Griffin, and Stroke and Turn Judge Chris Caron.
We also had some other volunteers that played really stepped up for Seton:
- John Kleb was a fabulous announcer and DJ. I particularly liked his new touch of playing Olympic theme music while announcing the top 3 seeds in the final heat of each event.
- Anne Geiran did a tremendous job, with the help of Will Waldron, as our Head Timer. Using a system developed with Teiro Cuccinelli, we were quickly able to isolate which schools were dropping the ball on timers
- Michael Bingham, as usual, was able to pick up that ball and time in place of another school who didn’t bring any volunteers.
- Alexandra Luevano didn’t even have a swimmer in the meet (Isabelle was sick) yet she still managed to purchase and set up hospitality for the coaches and officials.
- Carole Pechie who found time away from family, work and nursing school to manage the awards, which included medals to the top three finishers.
For the many other parent volunteers that I have not mentioned here, thank you for your support in making Seton Swimming, Seton Swimming.
Medal Winners for Seton
Like most championship meets, we gave gold, silver and bronze medals, and, even though the competition from HRA, Trinity Christian and Fredericksburg Academy was stiffer than in years past at this meet, our top Seton Swimmers showed that they could compete at this level:
- Anna Kenna (SR), as already discussed, took two (2) gold medals in conference record times in 50 Free and 100 Fly. Anna also came within .01 seconds of beating her own team record in 50 Backstroke leading off our Medley Relay.
- Mary Heim (JR) took the Bronze medal in 100 Breaststroke with a .39 second PR 1:19.12. Mary is now just .40 seconds off the State cut in the event. Mary also had a 1.80 second PR in 100 Fly.
- Caroline Griffin (SO) took the Bronze medal in 100 Backstroke. She has already qualified for States in the event. Caroline also scored in 11th place in the 200 IM.
- Our Girls 200 Medley Relay of Anna Kenna, Mary Heim, Emily Flynn and Mary Pennefather took the Silver medal with some tremendous swimming. Anna lead-off with a 27.04 50 Back followed by Mary Heim’s 34.52 (previous best 35.34), Emily Flynn’s 31.25 (previous best 31.57) and Mary Pennefather’s 26.32 (previous best 26.59). I plan to give Anna one more shot at her 50 Back record at DAC Champs, and then for States, I’m thinking she’ll go back to Fly – but we shall see.
- Our Girls 200 Free Relay of Mary Pennefather, Julia Rowzie, Caroline Griffin and Anna Kenna took the Silver medal behind a Trinity Christian relay that almost broke the DAC record. Their time was a relay PR for the season.
The 29 swimmers that we had in this meet swam 24 Personal Records, a number that is not bad considering the number of swimmers that we had recovering from some sort of illness or out for the Blue Crab Bowl:
- Katie Albin (SO) crushed her 500 Free PR by 6.59 seconds to break 7:00 for the first time. She also had a lifetime best Breaststroke split in a medley relay. She split 36.94 versus a previous best 37.66
- Teresa Bingham (8) has had a breakout season this year with huge improvement in multiple different events. This week it was 100 Fly where she cut a huge 8.91 seconds.
- David Catabui (SR) had a great swim in 100 Breast where he lowered his PR by 5.02 seconds.
- Ben Ceol (SR) dropped yet again in 50 Free, this time by .22 seconds down to 24.71. Ben also had a huge drop in 100 Breaststroke, by 3.52 seconds.
- Annie Cuccinelli (SO) didn’t PR in 100 Fly, but only because it was her first try at the event. I was quite pleased with her 1:35.36 though.
- Jerry Dalrymple (FR) cut another .16 seconds from his 50 Free PR leading off a 200 Free relay. This was the first time he’s broken 26 seconds from a flat start.
- Jack Santschi (FR) had a very fast 24.69 split in the 200 Free Relay of 24.69. His previous best split was 25.21.
- Jeremy Kleb (SO) had a great meet. In the 500 Free, he dropped 9.26 seconds to break 7:00 for the first time. He also had lifetime best relay splits in the 200 Free Relay with a 27.32 (vs. 28.31) and the 400 Free Relay with a 1:03.89 (vs. 1:04.99)
- Therese Pechie (JR) looked very strong in 200 Free after breaking 2:30 for the first time with a 1.39 second PR. She also beat her lifetime best 200 Free Relay split of 28.52 by .01 seconds.
- Mary Heim (JR) split 28.02 (vs. a 28.31 previous best) in our Medley Relay
- Shane Koehr (SO) had the meet of his life on Saturday. He started off with a 28.52 split in 50 Back leading off a Medley Relay. That was 1.45 seconds faster than ever before. Then he cut 1.59 seconds in 200 IM and .90 seconds in 100 Back. Finally, he led-off a 400 Free Relay with a 59.57, 1.19 seconds faster than his previous PR. That was the first time he’s broken a minute in 100 Free!
- David Flook (SO) was awesome leading off a Medley relay with his .50 second PR split of 29.23. He also split 59.79 in the same 400 Free Relay as Shane, and it was his first time under 1:00 also. It is exciting to watch Shane and David push each other to ever higher levels of excellence.
- Seamus Koehr (SR) split 1:00.68, a split that was 1.02 second faster than ever before.
- Anne Konstanty (SO) continues to improve. This time she lowered her 200 Free PR by another 2.33 seconds and her 50 Free PR leading off a relay by .40 seconds. That was the first time Anne has broken 30 seconds in 50 Free.
- Mary Pennefather (8) is really getting fast in the 50 Free for a girl her age. With another .44 second PR, she’s down to 26.97 from a flat start.
- Julia Rowzie (SR) was great in the 200 Free with her 3.88 second PR. She also had a very fast 1:01.53 split in the 400 Free relay. Her previous best split was 1:02.80.
- Katharine Rowzie (SO) has adopted the longer events as her own and scoring big points for Seton in them. I was so pleased to see her drop 5.13 seconds in 200 IM and 7.23 seconds in 500 Free. She also had a lifetime best 100 Free split in the 400 Free Relay with a 1:02.33 (vs. 1:03.58)
- Simon Seoh (8) is making the most of his opportunity on the Varsity team with a 5.09 second PR last weekend in 100 Breaststroke.
- Colette Waldron (JR) rocked her 100 Free, dropping 5.06 seconds.
Next Weekend’s DAC Championship Meet
Next weekend is our annual Conference Championship meet. While the actual team declared Conference Champion is determined by the regular season (our girls were conference champions for the 24th straight year), this meet is still a big meet for us. First of all, our Girls will face-off against a very strong Trinity Christian team that showed this past week what they can do. And our Boys will need to show Fredericksburg Academy, Fredericksburg Christian and Wakefield that, with our Blue Crab Bowl victors back, we can still win in a championship meet.
In addition, anyone who finishes in the top 3 will be designated All-Conference. I hope to work on the entries on Monday, and my goal will be four-fold: 1) win, 2) get the maximum number of Seton Swimmers designated All-Conference, 3) break some DAC records, and 4) finalize our state team relays.
The Conference Championship will be hosted by Trinity Christian at the Fitch WARF. Our warm-up time is at 3:20 p.m. so you should be stretching on deck by 2:59 p.m. I’d plan on the meet running until at least 7:30 p.m. As more information becomes available, I will post it on our site.
The State Championship Meet is Friday and Saturday, February 16-17th at Jeff Rouse Swim and Sport in Stafford, VA.
I have a draft of the State Championship team under Meet & Team Information along with some basic logistical information. I say draft, because I do it as much as possible based on time and there is one more meet where people can earn a spot on a relay.
Once again, we have a Team House this year for team meals and as a hang-out between sessions. I’ve enlisted some Mom’s of State swimmers to take charge of the team meals. I also have a block of hotel rooms between the pool and the Team House. As soon as we get all of the details of the trip together, I’ll publish them for you all in one place.
Three (3) more good practices left – let’s make the most of them!
Coach Jim Koehr