For the first time in Seton history, our girls team has defeated Paul VI Catholic High School! Our boys team almost duplicated the feat, by coming within 9 points of the large diocesan Catholic School rival.
On Saturday, December 20th, Seton Swimming had our first annual homecoming meet. Twenty-two (22) alumni returned to swim in some fun alumni relays and to see how far Seton Swimming has progressed since they were here. It was great to see so many former swimmers come back to share in the great tradition that is Seton Swimming. Our current swimmers were excited to see the alumni come back, and performed in a way that made the alumni proud.
Not only did we compete successfully with Paul VI Catholic High School, a VSIS Division I school whose boys won the Division I State Title 2 years ago, but our girls came within 12 points of beating Division I powerhouse Collegiate School from Richmond.
Our victories came on the strength of 56 Personal records (we have now had 314 personal records so far this season!) and 4 new team records, all set by newcomer, junior Jameson Hill.
For the season so far, our boys are 10-4 and our girls are 11-2.
The final scores turned out like this:
Seton 183 Paul VI 125
Seton 147 Collegiate 165
Seton 238 Wakefield 40
Seton 235 Pope John Paul the Great 48
Seton 148 Paul VI 157
Seton 121 Collegiate 191
Seton 238 Pope John Paul the Great 22
Seton 235 Wakefield 40
Our Girls Were Amazing
What a joy it was to watch our girls perform. Prior to the meet, I never would have expected them to dominate Paul VI the way they did, and I definitely wouldn’t have expected the to come within 12 points for Collegiate!
One sign of our strength was the girls relays, where we won 2 out of three versus PVI:
- In the 200 Medley Relay, Laura Talbott, Mary Kate Kenna, Bridget Wunderly, and Lauren “The Machine” Donohoe beat PVI’s “A” relay by 11 seconds.
- In the 400 Free Relay, Lauren Donohoe, Laura Talbott, Bridget Wunderly and Carolyn Claybrooks beat PVI by nearly 6 seconds.
We were also very strong in the individual events:
- Senior Captain Mary Kate Kenna took first versus PVI in the 200 Free by a wide margin
- Junior Carolyn Claybrooks showed how much she has improved when she PR’d by 1.67 seconds in 200 IM to take first place against PVI. She also came within .03 seconds of beating one of Collegiate’s top female swimmers for first overall.
- In the 50 Free, Lauren Donohoe, Cat Rogers and Sarah Blanchard went 1, 3 and 5 against PVI. Cat Rogers in particular has really started to emerge as a scoring threat for us in the sprint freestyle events.
- Bridget Wunderly really stepped out in 100 Fly, taking first place overall
- In 100 Free, Lauren Donohoe, Laura Talbott, Kelsey Kleb and newcomer Sarah McGurk went 1, 2, 3 and 4 to win that event over PVI 23 to 6!
- Carolyn Claybrooks and Keeley Cook were strong in the 500 Free, placing 2nd and 3rd, respectively, over PVI
- Bridget Wunderly, Laura Talbott, Monica Byers and Danille Smith went 1st, 2nd, 4th and 5th place in 100 Back
- In 100 Breaststroke, Mary Kate Kenna won overall, and Rachel Lambrecht, Leslie Zapiain and Maggie Murphy went 2, 3 and 5 versus PVI.
Our depth in girls was clearly our strength during the regular season, and it really showed on Saturday.
Boy was that close for the Boys!
I started to get the sense that the boys meet was close with Paul VI after the 500 Free when I saw that we were only down by 40 points. That doesn’t sound like it is that close until you consider that diving counts as a swimming event – and now have a diving team! PVI’s boys divers scratched, so our three divers would score 19 points against them just by completing 6 dives each (more on diving later). That meant that PVI’s real lead was only 21 points! With the excitement of the almuni races, I wasn’t paying close attention, but we were quietly racking up the points against them to keep it close:
- Jameson Hill had won both the 200 and 500 Free
- Vincent “Catfish” Dunn won the 200 IM, with David Harris taking 3rd
- Connor Cook took 2nd in 100 Free
That’s when we starting walking them down. In the 200 Free relay, we picked up two points on them when a Jameson Hill, Catfish Dunn, Daniel Koehr, and Patrick Kenna did a great time. There splits were 21.90, 24.35, 24.18 and 24.62, respectively. I don’t know where Patrick Kenna came up with a 24.62, but he picked a great time to do it!
Then, in backstroke, we gained 7 points when Connor Cook , Catfish Dunn, Ivan Harangozo, and Matthew Verry went 1, 3, 4 and 7 against PVI. Catfish, Ivan and Matt all PR’d. Now we were only down by 12.
In Breaststroke, Daniel Koehr took first place against PVI to score 8 points. With the help of Jonathan Rosato’s 4th, David Harris’ 6th and Andrew Minarik’s 7th, we gained another point on PVI to put us down on 11 with 1 events to go.
During the actual meet, there was a mistake in the scoring. At this point, I actually believed that we were down by 1 point which would mean that a victory in the 400 Free relay would mean a victory in the meet.
I was very excited to look at the Meet Program and see that I had our 400 Free relay totally stacked. Jameson Hill, David Basinger, Catfish Dunn, and Connor Cook beat PVI by 4 seconds. The only split we got was Jameson’s but it was a good one – a team record :47.59! PVI got 2nd and 3rd, so the net gain for us was 2 points. I thought we had just won by 1 point! As it turned out, we were down by 28 points going into the diving competition, or 9 points assuming diving’s outcome.
One thing that this meet proved for us is that diving is going to be competitive weapon for us against the Division II schools who seldom have it. This season, Coach Maureen Duran was determined to get a diving program going. She thought it would be a great opportunity for more kids to participate in Seton sports. I thought it would be a great way to score extra points at the State Swimming and Diving Championship – looks like both of are going to be right on this one.
Coach Duran took swimmers David Basinger and Patrick Kenna, plus gymnast Joey Rubin to 1st, 2nd and 3rd, making our boys meet with PVI the closest we’ve ever had! In high school swimming, diving counts just like one swimming event. Would David and Patrick have been able to score that many points in another swimming event? I don’t think so.
At States, this season, we’ll also be bringing Ann Duran, and swimmers Sarah Zapiain and Cat Rogers to the diving competition. Wouldn’t it be great if one or more of them could contribute to our State Championship run with a top 16 finish? Don’t be surprised if it happens.
Four (4) New Team Records
Jameson Hill had a tremendous meet when he not only swept the Seton freestyle records, but laid down a marker against the two of the favorites for the State title in the 200 and 500 Freestyle. The performance was all the more amazing when you consider that he did it just a few hours after completing a 10,000 meter practice!
The fun began in the first individual event of the day, the boys 200 Free, when Jameson faced off against Collegiate sophomore Thomas Stevens. Jameson took a half body length lead right off the start and held it for the first 125 yards. His 50 split was a blazing :23.27 and his 100 split was :48.68. To put it into perspective, that 100 split was faster than the Seton team record coming into this season. Jameson put the race away on the 6th length when won the turn big and added another half body length to his lead. He eventually won by nearly 1.5 seconds in a record time of 1:40.84. The VSIS Championship Meet Record is 1:40.42, so I’m thinking that Seton will be able to put up another State record in February. Jameson has gone 1:38.95 as recently as two weeks ago in Baltimore.
The fun continued in the boys 500 Free, when Jameson raced against Brooks Ross, the Collegiate senior who was formerly favored to win the State Championship in this event. This race was far less exciting. Jameson took out the first 100 in :52.60. He had a full body length lead at the 50 and 2 body lengths at the 100. I don’t think there’s any doubt that Jameson had won the mental battle. He ultimately finished in a record time of 4:40.64. Believe it or not, Jameson has gone 4:34.40 in this event (Baltimore again). The State Championship meet record for 500 Free is 4:34.30.
Both the 200 and 500 Free records were formerly held by Nevin Cook.
Jameson’s last two records came leading off relays. He swam a new team record :21.90 in 50 Free leading off the 200 Free Relay and a new team record :47.59 in 100 Free leading off the 400 Free Relay. Nevin Cook formerly held the 50 Free record, and the 100 Free record was formerly held by Jameson himself. Jameson has gone :46.03 in 100 Free outside of high school. It’s too bad he can’t swim three individual events at States – he could actually compete to win the 100 Free also!
Congratulations to Jameson Hill for setting new records in the 50, 100, 200 and 500 Freestyle.
Big wins and big team records are great, but I still think he most impressive statistic for Seton Swimming is that we’ve now had a season total of 314 personal records! This week, we added 56 new PRs to our total, including:
- Brendan Koehr shown tremendous improvement this year. On Saturday, he cut almost 17 seconds off of his 500 Free PR.
- Jonathan Rosato had another breakout swim this week, this time in the 200 IM where he lowered his PR by 21.77 seconds!
- It was fun to see Julia Irving run up to me after 100 Breast and excited announce that she cut almost 6 seconds from her 100 Breaststroke time. Keep listening in practice Julia and that will keep happening! She also cut .93 seconds from her 50 Free PR.
- Joseph Kenna just rocked in 50 Free. Can you believe that a 7th grader went :27.66? He also went 1:01.65 in 100 Free which was 3 seconds faster than his previous PR.
- Sarah Blanchard improved in both the 50 and 500 Free events, by 1.58 and 4.39 seconds respectively. Sarah somehow continues to get faster!
- Freshman Cat Rogers is becoming a real player for us in the sprints. She lowered her PR by .94 seconds to swim a :27.74! She was so excited to tell me that she got the National Catholic qualification time – and I was excited to hear it! Cat actually swam on a “A” relay for us this week!
- 8th grader Steven Shaw is also becoming a real player for us. I entered him in the 200 Free and the 100 Fly, and he rewarded me with 2.89 and 2.33 second PRs, respectively. And he scored in both events!
- Andrew Minarik challenged the 100 Fly and won with a 8.63 second PR. He also cut another 2.18 seconds from his breatstroke when he gave two PVI swimmers a great race.
- Monica Byers cut 1.56 seconds from her 100 Fly PR.
- Keeley Cook lowered her PR in 200 Free by 1.71
- Jack Corkery PR’s in both of his events. In 50 Free, he cut .88 seconds, and in 100 Free, he cut 5.21 seconds!
- Lauren “the Machine” Donohoe cut another .12 seconds from her already very fast 50 Free time.
- Freshman Vincent “Catfish” Dunn is getting very close to breaking 1:00 in 100 Backstroke. On Saturday, he cut another 1.22 seconds from his PR.
- Ivan Harangozo took 4th against PVI in 100 Back with a 1.27 second PR. He also cut .14 seconds in 100 Free.
- Eileen Heim lowered her 50 Free PR by another .43 seconds.
- Sarah Heim continues to get faster everytime she hits the water. This time she cut 1.39 seconds in 50 Free and .17 seconds in 100 Breast.
- Michael Hill also continues to get faster everytime he hits the water. He cut 5.12 seconds from his 100 Back PR and 2.47 seconds from he 50 Free PR. He was so much faster than his heat in the 50, that I had to look at my meet program to see who it was!
- Patrick Kenna cut .71 seconds from his 100 Free to go a very fast :58.94.
- You can just tell that Connor Kleb really wants to improve. On Saturday, he cut exactly 1.35 seconds from both his 50 and 100 Free PRs.
- Joseph Kosten, one of the Fab 14s, lowered his 50 Free PR another .28 seconds
- Thomas Kosten had two big PRs. He cut 1.59 seconds from his 50 Free PR and broke :30 for the first time. He also cut 1.16 seconds in 100 Free
- David Lambrecht improved again. This time he cut another .56 seconds from his 50 Free and another 4.27 seconds from his 100 Back.
- Hannah Lowell lowered her 100 Back PR by another 2.46 seconds
- Freshman Sarah McGurk lowered her 100 Free PR by .30 seconds
- James Mosimann cut .54 seconds from his 50 Free PR.
- Timmy Murphy, another one of the Fab 14s, lowered his 50 Free time by .03 seconds and his 100 Free time by .20 seconds
- Mary Kate Rivenburg had another great meet with 2 PRs. She swam 2.65 second PR in 50 Free and a .43 second PR in 100 Breaststroke
- Lizzie Rogers had a PR in 100 Back.
- Nice work John Ross! He cut his PR in 100 Back by 9.38 seconds.
- Ali Salas lowered her 100 Back PR by 2.60 seconds.
- Joseph Scheetz cut another 2.06 seconds from his 50 Free PR.
- Jamie Smith had a good PR swim in 100 Free for his grandparents to watch.
- Great job Matthew Verry – you scored in both 200 Free and 100 Back with a 9.81 second PR in 200 Free and a 2.24 PR in 100 Back
- Theresa Verry got a PR in 100 Back, by 4.91 seconds and a PR in 50 Free by 1.01 seconds
- Christian Vestermark now has his 50 Free time down to :26.47, .25 seconds faster than ever before
- Bridget Wunderly lowered her already fast 100 Back time by another .74 seconds and took 3rd overall.
- Leslie Zapiain scored in the 200 IM with a 1.12 second PR. In a close race, she beat PVI’s #2 girl.
This meet was a great way for us to go into the Christmas season. The great performances we saw, the relationships we rekindled, and the fun we had should all serve as reminders of how lucky we all are.
In the not to distant future, I’ll start to publish the names of swimmers who have qualified for the post season – I know we will have large teams at both National Catholics and at the State Championship meet. If you expect to be at those meets, it is very important that you attend practice over break. There’s not enough time between now and those meets to recover from two weeks off.
Have a Merry Christmas!