Congratulations to Highland School for running a great meet – their first meet ever. One of the things that we’ve done as a Seton Swimming organization this year is try to help other schools learn how to host a meet. These schools have dedicated Coaches and volunteer parents also, and it was great to see Highland, and Trinity Christian earlier in the season, muster their parent volunteers to learn how to run a great swim meet. Not only will that take the pressure off of us, it will allow us to have smaller, more intimate meets and offer more opportunities for everyone in the DAC. It’s a win all the way around – so thank you Highland School and Trinity Christian School for stepping up!
We had a local public school in the meet with us, and I had an interesting conversation with their coach after he commented on how amazed he was that we had touchpads at a regular season meet. His team was only “partially funded” he told me so they never have touch pads at their meets. I think sometimes we may take it for granted that we have things like electronic timing and music for even our most basic regular season meet. We can do that, not because we are some “rich catholic school”, but because of all of the parent volunteers that contribute to make Seton Swimming the program that it is. We even have four assistance coaches who come every morning for no pay and a host of other volunteer positions with titles like Head Timer Recruiter and Pizza Mom – it’s just a different mentality I guess. So to all of you swimmers, please take a moment to thank your parents for all the things they do to allow us to do what we do – with no funds from the school at all.
In spite of the fact that we were just coming off of break, and I can’t exactly say that I was pleased with the level of attendance I saw over that time, the meet scores still turned out quite favorable for Seton:
Seton 178 Wakefield 87
Seton 184 Fauquier High School 89
Seton 208 Highland School 54
Seton 216 St. Michael the Archangel 52
Seton 219 Wakefield Country Day 16
Seton 225 Chelsea Academy 25
Seton 150 Fauquier High School 136
Seton 178 Highland School 89
Seton 204 Wakefield 51
Seton 215 Chelsea Academy 35
Seton 215 Wakefield Country Day 15
Seton 221 St. Michael the Archangel 6
Seven (7) Swimmers Who Just Blew Me Away
“Where’s Katharine? She just killed it”, I asked sister Julia Rowzie after the 500 Free.
“She sure did!” replied Julia.
- Katherine Rowzie (FR) had e-mailed me over Christmas break asking to swim 200 IM and 500 Free. I often get requests to swim events like the 50 Free which can be difficult to rationalize with the needs of the team, but a request like that can almost always be accommodated 😉 Katharine had never swum these events before, so I was very pleased to see her go under 3:00 in the 200 IM – but it was in the 500 Free where I was most impressed. Every time I looked up, I just could not what I was seeing. In the end, Katharine finished 2nd behind a USA swimmer from Fauquier High School and swam an amazing time of 6:44.27! The State cut this year is 6:09 and Katharine is only a freshman – I can easily see Katharine swimming the 500 at States one day soon.
- While Katharine was swimming, I was over in lane 9 and 10 timing for two other first-attempts at the 500 by sophomore Colette Waldron and 7th grader Isabelle Luevano. Both had impressive swims, but Isabelle’s swim was almost an unbelievable as Katharine’s. A 6:51.92 for a 7th grader is very exciting for a coach – it is the 6th fastest time on the girls team right now. One thing that is even more exciting for the future of our girl’s team, is that two of the girls ahead of her in the 500 Free are an 8th grader, Mairead Geiran, and another 7th grader, Emily Flynn. Isabelle also had a great swim in the 200 IM where she cut 3.41 seconds from her PR.
- Lauren Volk (FR) did something that I would have previously thought was impossible – she improved 59.79 seconds in 100 Free all at once! That’s nearly a whole minute in a race where she swam a 1:17.21. In other words, she nearly cut her time in half!
- Nicholas Foeckler (JR) returned to the team after a year off, and just continues to make dramatic improvements. The last time he swam 200 Free and 100 Breaststroke was at time trials which were already massive improvements over his previous PRs. On Friday night, he somehow dropped another 28.46 seconds in 200 Free and another 14.39 seconds in 100 Breast. No wonder he had such a big smile on his face every time I saw him on deck.
- Emily Flynn (7) can’t score yet, and it is a real bummer for us because she’d be scoring a lot of points! Her 200 Free was superior – it looked “long and strong” and Coach Mulhern used to say in the old days. She cut 7.21 seconds from her PR to go 2:24.60, an outstanding time for a 7th grade girl. Emily also showed me something that I didn’t realize before Friday – she’s going to be a very fine breaststroker. In 100 Breast, she cut 2.32. seconds to go 1:31.73 – another great time for a 7th grade girl.
- Anne Konstanty (FR) didn’t rest on her laurels after that great swim in the 500 Free at the Icebreaker Invitational on December 2nd – remember how she swam side-by-side with her competitor for 19 lengths and pulled away to win, to the cheers of the entire team, in her first ever 500 Free? Well on Friday, I had to double check her time, because she somehow dropped another 15.45 seconds to go 7:34.99. Anne is just a freshman, so I can see her scoring a lot of points for Seton in the future in the 500 Free – and maybe even making it to States one day!
- Christian Ceol (FR) is starting to get there, and his 200 Free was evidence of it. Christian is proving that he can become a versatile swimmer capable of scoring in all eight (8) events, and his 25.18 second drop in 200 Free – down to 2:32.73 – was just further proof.
52 Personal Records the Week After Christmas Break
There were plenty of other great swims on Friday night – here are the rest of our 52 Personal Records:
- Ben Ceol (JR) popped a :25 relay split at Homecoming, so he wanted the chance to prove he could do it from a flat start. He got that chance with which he cut his PR by 1.05 seconds to go 25.85.
- Mairead Geiran (8) rocked the 50 Free, cutting 1.08 seconds to go a very fast 26.70. This sort of swim could be very valuable as I try to line up relays for a shot at the State Runner-up title at the State Championship.
- Jack Santschi (8) also rocked the 50 Free, lowering his PR by 1.90 seconds to break :26 (and :27 for that matter) for the first time ever. Imagine how fast he could go if he didn’t breath 8 times during the race 😉
- Ryan Hall (JR) was super in his 200 Free, cutting 21.85 seconds from his Personal Record. Ryan also cut 2.89 seconds from his 100 Breast PR.
- David Flook (FR) cut another 11.91 seconds in the 500 Free and is now within 10 seconds of the State cut. I’ll make sure he gets at least one more shot, probably on January 21st.
- Jerry Dalrymple (8) has shown me that he can compete in all eight (8) events and swim all four (4) strokes. I really liked his .52 second PR in 200 IM and his .30 second PR in 50 Free leading off a relay. I’m also thinking that he has a shot at that 5:48.84 state cut in the 500 Free. Maybe I’ll put him up against David Flook on January 21st so they can push each other to the cut?
- Maria Tozzi (8) was all smiles after a 13.23 second PR in 200 Free. Maria can also go 1:21 in 100 Fly, so she’s yet another middle schooler who makes the future look so bright.
- Grant Mantooth (SR) is getting very close to the new State cut in the 50 Free (24.26). Grant took another .01 seconds off of his PR to go 24.59. He’s been 22.83 in a relay split, so I think with a little work on his underwater off the wall, we’ll be there.
- Reilly Cuccinelli (SR) had a great 200 Free, lowering her PR by 5.77 seconds.
- Sophia Zadnik (7) lowered her PR in 100 Breaststroke by another 5.42 seconds. Sophia has really come a long way in her first year at Seton Swimming.
- Kevin Geiran (JR) is starting to get a pretty competitive time in 100 Back after swam a 1.07 second PR.
- Justin Fioramonti (FR) had a great swim in 100 Breast, cutting 4.87 seconds from his PR. Just also cut another .20 seconds in 200 Free.
- Liam Kellogg (8) is starting to get very competitive in 100 Breast after a 3.16 second PR that resulted in a 1:26.34. That’s a pretty good time for an 8th The actual race was very exciting – Liam went from something like fourth to first place in his heat in the last 25 yards!
- Seamus Koehr (JR) can officially swim 100 Fly. He went a competitive 1:18.34 after dropping 13.71 seconds from his PR. It’s been great using Seamus to score in all eight (8) events, so now I’ll give him a little more time in his favorite 100 Breaststroke.
- Shane Koehr (FR) was looking strong in 100 Free during his 3.08 second PR swim. He’s down to 1:04.34 now.
- Meghan Curley (SR) continues to impress me in her first year of competitive swimming. I was so excited to see her lower her 100 Back PR by a whopping 13.47 seconds!
- Katya Konstanty (JR) wasn’t feeling well, but that didn’t seem to stop her. How about a 3.04 second PR in 100 Free!
- Rosie Hall (JR) did a great job in her two events. In 100 Back, she cut 5.83 seconds and in 100 Free, she cut 4.34 seconds. I’m so pleased with how much she continues to improve.
- Brendan Santschi (JR) showed how competitive he could be in 100 Breaststroke after a 3.78 second PR.
- Julia Rowzie (JR) was able to try something other than a freestyle event on Friday and took advantage of the opportunity. She swam 100 Fly 3.44 seconds faster than ever before.
- Mary Ostrich (SO) continues to get more competitive in 100 Free, this time lowering her PR by 3.30 seconds.
- Julianna Holmes (SR) had a great week at practice and it showed in her 1.43 second PR in the 200 Free and her 2.69 second PR in 100 Breaststroke.
- Joseph Rowzie (7) was super in 100 Breaststroke, swimming his lifetime best time in 100 Breaststroke by 3.11 seconds.
- Caroline Griffin (FR) lowered her 500 Free PR by .68 seconds. Caroline continues to demonstrate how valuable she is as a swimmer to on our team that can literally be competitive in all eight (8) individual events.
- Cat Pechie (SR) has been entered by me in a wide variety of events this season to help out the team. On Friday, she took a crack at 100 Back and scored in 8th place overall after a .21 second PR.
- Victoria Baker (8) had a strong swim in 50 Free, lowering her PR by 1.54 seconds.
- Anna Kenna (SR) was feeling the effects of an injury so I just told her to swim easy through her events and get out in the middle of the race if it hurt at all. In spite of that, she swam her PR (at least at a high school meet) in 200 Free by .93 seconds. Anna has been swimming full-time with Occoquan’s Coach Dean and Coach Owen this year and the results of her hard work have been very evident.
- Ashley Cackett (JR) didn’t have a PR, but that didn’t mean she didn’t leave an impression on me. Ashley was the anchor on a very competitive 400 Free Relay. We just worked on relay starts this week, and Ashley was clearly listening. Her text-book start got her an extra half-body length on her competitor from Fauquier High School.
Wakefield Country Day and Renaissance Montessori Swam Great
Our sister schools also had some highlights on Friday night.
Wakefield Country Day School had all three of their swimmers with and all three made the most of the opportunity:
- Lucas DuMez (SR) had everyone’s attention when he swam two PRs in 200 IM (by 3.37 seconds) and in 100 Fly (by .52 seconds). Lucas has now achieved our first goal for the season – swim and qualify for States in all eight (8) individual events. What is even more impressive is that he swam lifetime bests in 7 of those 8 swims – not just high school bests, but his actual lifetime bests. Looking at last year’s State meet results, it appears to me that Lucas could qualify for at least the Consolation Finals in any of the eight (8) events, so it is going to be a lot of fun testing out his best events over the next 5 weeks to figure out which ones he should swim at States.
- Bridgette Larson (JR) also completed her season goal of competing in all eight (8) events after strong swims in 100 and 200 Free. From now on, Bridgette and I will be more collaborative in deciding what she swims.
- Kathryn Phillippe (JR) was all smiles after a 4.60 second PR in 100 Breaststroke. To complete her goal, we still have the 100, 200 and 500 Free and 100 Fly. Next up, the 500 I think 😉
Renaissance Montessori had another two of their three girls in the water this week:
- Lucy Garvey (7) continues to amaze me. How does someone so little go so fast! How about a 1.70 second PR (2:37.96) in 200 IM and a 1.44 second PR (1:26.76) in 100 Breaststroke?
- Ethiana Hasch (7) had a great meet. Not only did she swim a strong 200 IM in her first attempt at the event, but she cut 4.79 seconds from her 100 Breaststroke PR.
- Samantha Wong (SO) joined the team after never having competed formally in swimming before. Congratulations to Sam for her first ever 50 Free in competition as the anchor of one of our 200 Free Relays. Next week, we’ll take the next step of competing in the 50 Free individually. It’s going to be fun to watch you Sam!
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 17-18, 2017 at the Christiansburg Aquatic Center. I am a co-host for the meet along with Coach Greg Guldin of Woodberry Forest so I’m very excited for Seton to have a strong showing. 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 Kenna – 50 and 100 Free plus 200 IM and 100 Back with new cuts in 200 Free and 100 Fly
- Caroline Griffin – 200 IM and 100 Back
- Mairead Geiran – 100, 200 and 500 Free, plus 200 IM and 100 Fly with a new cut in 50 Free
- Alex Ceol – 100 Fly
- Lucas DuMez (WCDS) –with new cuts this week 50 and 500 Free, Lucas has now qualified in all eight (8) individual events! I did an analysis (posted under Meet & Team Information) of where’s his times would have placed last year without any seniors, and it looks like he could literally swim in the Finals for any of the eight (8) events. Amazing.
Here are the relays that have hit the cut:
- Girls “A” 200 Medley Relay
- Girls “B” 200 Medley Relay
- Girls “A” 200 Free Relay
- Girls “A” 400 Free Relay
- Girls “B” 400 Free Relay
- Boys “A” 200 Medley Relay
- Boys “A” 200 Free Relay
- Boys “A” 400 Free Relay
As I keep reiterating, 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.
That’s an intentional loophole that we put into the rules to allow people to qualify, even if the relay line-up that we ultimately enter in the meet cannot quite hit the qualifying time. I’m trying to get some “B” relays qualified for the Boys, but I need 8 boys to have swum on a relay that hit the cut. That’s why you may see some unusual relay line-ups over the next few weeks.
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. This will probably be the case for the Girls. 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 21-22nd with prelims in the morning on January 21st and finals on Sunday, January 22nd. We also have a meet at Central Park that afternoon, so I will be driving back and forth from Baltimore.
Here’s who has qualified for National Catholics. Entries are due this Wednesday – a draft of our entries is now posted:
- Anna Kenna – 50 and 100 Free, with new cuts in 200 IM and 100 Back
- Caroline Griffin –100 Back
- Mairead Geiran – 100 and 200 Free, plus 200 IM and 100 Fly
- Dani Flook – 50 Free
And here are the relays that have hit the National Catholic cut.
- Girls “A” 200 Medley Relay
- Girls “A” 400 Free Relay
An eligibility report for both meets is posted under Meet & Team Information. For States, remember that if you are listed under Event #101 or #102, that means that you have qualified for the Bonus 50 Free. The Bonus 50 Free is an extra event in which you can participate only if you qualify in some other event, including a relay.
Let’s wrap it up with some final notes:
- With our sister team Wakefield Country Day and Renaissance Montessori School, we had 62 swimmers swim a season low 52 Personal Records or .84 PRs per swimmer. On many teams, that might be pretty good, but we are used to better. A big part of the reason for the low PR count was almost certainly the way our team practiced over Christmas break. The captains ran several very good practices, but the lanes were far too empty with swimmers who I knew were in town staying home. We need to fix that next season, and I’ll most likely start with the Varsity letter criteria.
- If you were able to take the time to read this entire blog, I’m guessing that it would be nearly impossible for you not to start getting excited about the number of strong young swimmers that we have coming up the ranks right now. The Seton Girls won four (4) State Championships in a row ending five (5) years ago. I think we may have another group capable of adding to that total before they graduate. We also look like we have a group of young Seton Boys that are every bit as strong in talent if not in numbers.
See you Monday morning,
Coach Jim Koehr