Last Saturday, we loaded our Seton Swim team onto two buses and headed to St. Catherine’s School in Richmond for our season opening team building meet. In spite of the fact that the SAT, the Manassas Christmas Parade, Irish Dance, and sickness kept 27 of our swimmers away, including several of our top swimmers, the 48 swimmers that took the trip not only swam very well, but they also had a great opportunity to grow together as a team and to have a whole lot of fun at a very well-run meet. Where else but Golden Corral could you see pizza, mashed potatoes and fried shrimp on the same plate?
The meet included six (6) teams including three other Division II teams including our DAC rival, Fredericksburg Christian School. The other two teams were the host teams, Division I powerhouses St. Catherine’s and St. Christopher’s School and a Richmond area public school, Mills Godwin.
Here’s the way the meet scores turned out for us at Seton:
Seton 127 Fredericksburg Christian 34
Seton 125.5 Virginia Episcopal 43.5
Seton 104 Williamsburg Christian 55
Mills Godwin 127 Seton 43
St. Catherine’s 151 Seton 32
Seton 115 Fredericksburg Christian 48
Seton 111 Virginia Episcopal 47
Mills Godwin 128 Seton 42
St. Christopher’s 151 Seton 32
Standout Swimmers from Saturday
It is always fun for us coaches to look across the pool and have to ask, “Wow! Who is that?” We had a number of standout performances that really caught our attention on Saturday. Some of them were from our top swimmers as you might expect, but some were from swimmers who are already emerging as future scorers in post-season:
- Mary Pennefather (8) cemented her spot as one of Seton’s top sprinters with her 3rd place overall finish in the 50 Free. That 50 Free was good enough to qualify Mary in the event for both States and National Catholics! She was a force on the back end of our relays also. I have been pleased see Mary trying to develop her strength in events other than just sprint freestyle. On Saturday, she got to show off her backstroke finishing 12th overall in the 100.
- Jacob Alsup (JR) made the most of his early season opportunity to swim 100 Fly and 100 Breast, two strokes we’ll be working more on in the next two weeks. In 100 Fly, he dropped 2.31 seconds taking 5th overall and in 100 Breaststroke, he dropped .85 seconds taking 4th
- Shane Koehr (JR) rocked the 100 Free, dropping .55 seconds to take 5th I’m bummed that we don’t have a split on his anchor leg for the 400 Free Relay, because Mr. Wilson told me unofficially had it below :58. Shane also had a great swim in 200 IM taking 8th place overall.
- Isabelle Luevano (FR) swam wonderfully in the 20 Free and 100 Fly. She had PRs of 3.51 seconds and 4.37 seconds, respectively, placing 6th and 7th in the two events. Outstanding swimming Isabelle!
- Christian Ceol (JR) is looking really strong in the water. He took 7th place overall in a 100 Free with a time right on his PR and he took 8th place with a strong 100 Backstroke.
- Evan Wilson (SO) is new to Seton and new to the team, but he’s already having an impact. He dropped his 200 Free time from time trials by 11.88 seconds to take 9th. He also took 7th in 100 Back in a very good time. I can’t wait to see how Evan develops with some more time with us.
- Anne Konstanty (JR) has grown into one of Seton’s top swimmers. Because she can swim all four (4) strokes now, she was able to take 7th in 200 IM with her 2.83 second PR. I also gave her a shot at 100 Backstroke and she rewarded my choice with a .45 second PR and a 10th place finish. I know Anne likes the 500 Free, but she is so versatile that I don’t want her to get sick of it by swimming it every week.
- Jack Santschi (SO) is definitely one of our top male sprinters, if not THE top male sprinter, but I wanted to see what he could do in other events on Saturday. I was very pleased with the way he swam in his 7th place 200 Free and his 10th place 100 Fly.
- Justin Fioramonti (JR) swam with the heart that I’ve come to expect from a Fioramonti boy, and that heart got him a .79 second PR in 50 Free. That earned him 8th In the 500 Free, I was very impressed with Justin’s stroke and the resulting early season time. Justin took 9th overall.
- Mary Heim (SR) is starting her senior campaign strong with a 7th place overall finish in 100 Breaststroke and 8th place in 200 Free. Mary really finished last season strong, and I can already see her on a trend toward that once again.
- Jerry Dalrymple (SO) is one of the top swimmers on our team, but Saturday he was feeling really sick. Not knowing that, I put him in the 200 and 500 Free. Did Jerry whine or complain? He did the best he could, and it was still really good because he took 8th place overall in both of two events. All I ask is that you do the best you can – whatever that is today. That is exactly what Jerry did, and in doing so, he set a great example for his fellow teammates.
- Gemma Flook (8) is still young, but she sure doesn’t swim like it. Her 13.92 second PR in 100 Fly got her 9th place overall. She also had a strong swim in 100 Back that was good enough for 8th
- Emily Flynn (FR) is not swimming USA this year, but that didn’t prevent her from having strong swims in the 200 and 500 Free, placing 9th overall in both events. I love how long Emily gets off of every wall.
- Nathan Luevano (8) is in his first year scoring for Seton Swimming, but he is wasting no time. He took 9th place overall finishes in 200 IM and 100 Breaststroke with a huge 11.54 second PR in his 200 IM. Nathan is going to be a good one for us!
- Teresa Bingham (FR) brings so much joy to swimming, even the 200 IM. I was so pleased to see her tackle the event with a strong time and a 10th place finish. She also had a strong swim in 100 Free that was good enough to take 9th place overall.
- Katie Dealey (JR) is doing a great job as a captain, so I was very pleased to see the example she set with her great efforts in 50 Free (9th place) and 100 Free (11th place).
There Were So Many Other Personal Record Swims
I’ve already mentioned numerous Personal Records, but here are the rest of the 46 PRs that I have not yet had an opportunity to highlight. I’m sure the actual number was higher, but the meet host had trouble with the timing systems so we lost the lead off splits for the 200 and 400 Free Relays which are usually a big source of Personal Records.
For those of you who are new to the team, you will see that I really focus on this. I learned two things along time ago: 1) that the fastest way to get faster is to do the stroke right, and 2) if you focus on Personal Records, the winning takes care of itself. That is why I was so pleased with our high number of PRs, particularly from so many of the younger swimmers we have coming up through the ranks:
- Anna Allen (7) had a huge drop in 50 Free, lowering her PR by 12.43 seconds.
- Julia Atkinson (7) continues to get better seemingly every day. On Saturday, she cut another 5.33 seconds from her 50 Free PR.
- Lily Byers (FR) is going to be a good one. Her 50 Free PR got another .81 seconds faster on Saturday.
- Jack Champney (7) overcame some obstacles to show a massive 25.96 second improvement in 100 Free. I only wish the timing system had gotten his 50 split because I’m sure that would have been a big PR in 50 Free even though it was part of the 100 yard race.
- Anabel Clune (7) had a wonderful swim in the 50 Free, lowering her PR by a huge 4.24 seconds. It’s amazing what swimming on your side can do for you.
- Lily Clune (FR) also had a big drop in 50 Free, cutting her PR by 2.35 seconds.
- Joey Dealey (8) showed some great improvement in 50 Back and 50 Free. In 50 Back leading off the medley relay, he cut a huge 5.09 seconds from his PR, and in 50 Free he cut a huge 2.44 seconds. Great meet for Joey!
- Elizabeth Dwane (FR) made the most of her first chance to swim in a meet for Seton with two nice PRs. In 50 Free, she cut 1.90 seconds and in the 100 Free, she cut .72 seconds
- Theresa Dwane (JR) showed some great potential in Breaststroke cutting 2.01 seconds from her 100 Breast PR. I can’t wait to see what she can do after we work on her stroke over the next two weeks.
- Mick Fioramonti (7) also showed massive improvement in the 50 Free, lowering his PR from time trials by 2.47 seconds.
- Maddie Given (FR) continues to improve with her .79 second PR in 50 Free
- Moira Haggerty (8) was last year’s Most Improved Swimmer, and she is keeping that up with her .17 second PR in 50 Back leading off a medley relay
- Amelie Halisky (8) had a big day with three (3) Personal Records. In 50 Back leading off a medley relay she cut an incredible 9.211 seconds, in 50 Free she cut 1.49 seconds and in 100 Free, she cut 1.28 seconds.
- Jo Hartung (7) is new to swimming, and doing a great job with it. I was so excited to see her 23.82 second PR in 100 Free!
- Patrick Hartung (8) continues to improve with an other .06 second PR in 50 Free
- Ava Hudson (7) dropped another .56 seconds from her 50 Free PR
- David Hudson (7) showed some huge improvement on Saturday with a 2.15 second PR in 50 Free and a .89 second PR in 100 Free. David’s 50 Free is now under :30 seconds which is quite good for a 7th
- Bethany Johnson (JR) is showing amazing improvement in her first year swimming. How about a 7.01 second PR in 100 Free and a 3.51 second PR in 50 Free!?
- Peter Konstanty (7) had two huge Personal Records on Saturday. He cut his 50 Free PR by 1.74 seconds and his 100 Free PR by 1.26 seconds.
- Chris Lynch (7) showed some amazing levels of improvement. In 50 Free, he cut an almost unbelievable 8.03 seconds and in 100 Free, he cut a whopping 6.66 seconds!
- Mary O’Malley (FR) is back on the team after a one year hiatus, and she is making the most of the opportunity. I really enjoyed watching her 2.09 second PR in 100 Free and her .52 second PR in 50 Free.
- Reagan Rose (FR) was super, showing huge improvement in both the 100 and the 50 Free. She had big PRs of 13.60 seconds and 3.76 seconds, respectively.
- Madelyn Zadnik (7) is always my example in practice on how to do the stroke drills properly. That’s why I was so pleased to see her drop another 1.45 seconds in 50 Free.
- Sophia Zadnik (FR) had a super productive day of swimming on Saturday. She cut a huge 4.32 seconds from her 100 Free and 1.10 seconds from her 50 Free. Those are big drops!
- Bernadette Caron (7) is our lone swimmer from Holy Family Academy, and she represented her school very well on Saturday. She was particularly good in the 200 Free where she swam the event 27.39 seconds faster than she did at time trials!
Other Great Things I Saw on Saturday
Not every good swim is a PR, in part because it is so early in the season and in part because, sometimes, we don’t have a previous time against which to compare. Here are some of the other swims that caught my eye on Saturday:
- Catriona (Cat) Linton (FR) looks like she’s going to be a very nice addition to the team. I see the potential for her to develop into an eight (8) event swimmer so I wanted to see what she could do in 100 Fly and 500 Free. She did very well for a first attempt at both, and she was particularly good with the 500 Free where she broke 7:00. Her underwater pull is very strong, so when becomes able to convert each of those pulls into the long glide on her opposite side, we may end up with a State qualifier in the event before she graduates.
- Lily Byers (FR) is going to be a good swimmer for us, I can already see it. That is why I wanted to see what she can do in the 200 IM. It was a great swim and a great time for a first-time attempt. I think Lily can be a four (4) stroke swimmer for Seton.
- Cormac Clune (SO) is in his first year at Seton, but he sure looks like he going to prove to be a great addition to the team. He’s a great athlete so I know he can become a good sprinter, but I know he can become much more than that. There are eight (8) individual events in a high school meet, and I’m betting that Cormac is capable of being competitive in all eight (8) of them. That’s why I gave him a shot at 500 Free and 100 Fly. In the 500, I could see him trying to get longer. His time was solid, and I know with more glide in his stroke, it can be even better. In 100 Fly, it was obvious how strong the kid is. I can’t wait to work on his stroke technique this coming week!
- Lily Clune (FR) looks to me like she can be a pretty good breaststroker. Her first attempt in a Seton meet got her 11th We’ll be working on Fly and Breaststroke over the next two weeks – I’m anxious to see what she can do with those two strokes.
- Theresa Dwane (JR) had a great swim in the 500 Free with a stroke that continues to improve in its length.
- Joey Munsell (7) missed time trials so unfortunately, I have no way to measure his improvement – but I know that improvement has been dramatic! His first attempts at 50 and 100 Free were very strong times for a 7th I think Joey can be a really good one for Seton if he keeps working at it.
- Anna Allen (7) is new to swimming so the whole experience can be a little intimidating, I know. I was so pleased to see Anna dive in and try so hard – her courage was rewarded with a 12.43 second Personal Record in the 50 Free.
- Emma Catabui (7) is on a swim team for the first time and was not able to swim at time trials. As her first competitive high school swim, she led off one of our 200 Free Relays and looked great! Fortunately, I wrote down her time on my meet program because the timing system failed to record it. Now I have a 50 Free time for her against which we can measure improvement. The way she works at practice, I have no doubt there is going to be a lot of improvement!
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 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:
- Mary Pennefather –50 Free
Here are the relays that have hit the cut:
- Boys “A” 200 Medley Relay
- Boys “A” 200 Free Relay
- Girls “A” 200 Medley Relay
- Girls “A” 200 Free Relay
- Girls “A” 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 19th-20th with prelims in the morning on January 19th and finals on Sunday, January 20th. 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:
- 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:
- None so far
An eligibility report for both meets is posted under Meet & Team Information.
There’s been so much to say, but let’s wrap it up with some final notes:
- Our Captains are doing such a great job this year – I am very pleased with the way they are working to make the team Warm, Welcoming and Fun for everyone down to the 7th Great work Captains!
- It would be very helpful if every swimmer showed up the meet knowing what they are swimming. I always post it on the website in advance. I’d really appreciate it if parents with kids who are not on my e-mail list make sure they are seeing the information that I’m sending out.
- I almost always have a rhyme or reason to the relay orders that I enter. A big part of it is that we are all working to be four (4) stroke swimmers at Seton, so it would not be unusual at all for me to put you in an exhibition relay swimming your “off” stroke. Do not change the relay order on your own. It is also a disqualification.
- Thank God Mrs. Heim had the foresight to put each of the swimmer’s names in their shorts and shirts. They all look alike, so please make sure you are wearing your own uniform on deck.
- One thing we were not able to practice at Time Trials was the post meet handshake. This is an important ritual to me, so I’m always a bit frustrated when kids are swimming in the 400 Free Relay and everyone else is in the locker room. How would you like to be in a race at the end of the meet all alone? Or can you imagine someone getting off the bench at a basketball game and heading to the locker room to change before the game was over? I’m going to ask the Captains to help me improve on this. At the beginning of the 400 Free Relay (the last event of the meet), the entire team should be cheering on deck with their uniform still on. Right after the race, we can line up for the post-meet handshake.
- On Monday, we are going to start Butterfly and Breaststroke. By Christmas break, I hope to build each of those stokes from scratch plus the related turns. There is so much to cover and we only practice three (3) days per week so I just don’t have time to go back and reteach things – so when you miss practice, you miss something important
- On New Year’s Eve, December 31st, we’ll have our annual Cystic-Fibrosis swim-a-thon. Thanks again to the Given family for running it again. I’ll pass on more information as I get it.
Our next meet is on Saturday, December 8th at the Freedom Center. Our warm-up is at 1:00 p.m. so please be on deck ready to stretch before 12:39 p.m.
See you Monday morning,
Coach Jim Koehr