Now that was exciting!  A little painful, but certainly exciting.

On Saturday, January 8th, we hosted the 1st annual VCAC Invitational, a meet that by prior agreement would determine the first-ever VCAC regular season swimming and diving championship.

Since the 2015-16 season, I’ve been trained to focus on the Trinity Christian girls.  They beat us once, in 2017 in the DAC Championship Meet, but fortunately for us, we’ve always been able to maintain our streak of regular season conference championships.  After scoring the Psych Sheet for the girls this past weekend (an exercise where you calculate what the score would be if everyone swam the exact times at which they were entered), I felt reasonably comfortable that we would be able to extend our streak of regular season conference championships to 28 straight years.

And that is what happened.  Congratulations to the Seton girls for winning their 28th straight conference championship – a truly remarkable feat by nearly any standard.

The boys, on the other hand, weren’t really on my radar.  In our first two regular season meets, meets in which I did entries with no competitive considerations whatsoever, our boys bested the Trinity boys 159-146 and then 162-136.  Surely, if I actually paid attention to maximizing the possible scoring with my line-up, we would win, right?

I had fully intended to score the Psych Sheet for the boys also because I really did want to know where we stood against Trinity Christian – and John Paul the Great also – but I spent so much time changing relays in Saturday morning that I just ran out of time.  “Oh well”, I thought, “with our depth, we’re in good shape anyway”, so I headed to the pool to get an extra practice and a diving meet going.

And then kids started dropping out for unavoidable injuries and sicknesses.  By the time I saw a score with Seton ahead by only 4 points, 117-113, after the 200 Free Relay, it was too late for a wake-up call.  The dye was cast.

Congratulations to the powerhouse Trinity Christian boys for their well-deserved 1-point victory, and for their first-ever regular season Conference Championship.

Over the past 28-years, our boys have now lost the regular season conference championship only 4 times.  The first time was in 1996 in Seton’s 2nd season as a team.  Then we went all the way until the ’13-’14 and ’14-’15 seasons when Fredericksburg Christian took the regular season championship from our Boys for those two seasons by a combined total of less than 10 points.  And now, Trinity Christian has taken the championship by only 1-point.

Not to worry though.  Our Seton boys will be back.

Final Scores

On Saturday night, there were five (5) teams, all competing individually with one another.  Except for one exception, the scores turned out be quite favorable Seton.

Here’s a summary of those scores:


Trinity Christian     153         Seton                                         152

Seton                        175         John Paul the Great                  124

Seton                        165         Peninsula Catholic                    111

Seton                        188         Immanuel Christian                    79


Seton                        175         Trinity Christian School        130

Seton                        176         Peninsula Catholic                    127

Seton                        187         Oakcrest School                        115

Seton                        193         John Paul the Great                  107

Seton                        235         Immanuel Christian                    23

How Did the Trinity Christian Boys Win?

Had I “scored the Psych Sheet” in advance of the meet, an exercise where you calculate what the score would be if everyone swam the exact times at which they were entered, I don’t think I would have been particularly worried.  The projected result was an 18-point victory for the Seton boys, 165 – 147.  But Psych Sheets don’t swim.

Let me show you what I mean by reviewing the Psych Sheet projection for each event and comparing it to what happened:

Boys 200 Medley Relay

The meet started off better than the Psych Sheet, but much like I anticipated.  The Psych Sheet showed Trinity placing 1st with Seton taking 2nd and 3rd.

After a courageous swim by Nathan Luevano (JR), who was suffering from an earache but still split a near-PR 30.74 in 50 Breaststroke, combined with the fact that Trinity chose to use Josh Kim and Justin Kim in the other two relays, we were able to steal the win by only .48 seconds!

The medley relay has always been a bellwether for me, so after watching Michael Brox (FR) lead off with a strong 30.69, then Joe Wilson’s (JR) PR 25.76 split for Fly, and David Hudson’s (SO) excellent 25.21 anchor split, I had even less reason to be concerned about the outcome of the Boys meet – or so I thought.

  Projected Actual
  Seton TCS Seton TCS
Event Score 8 10 13 5
Meet Score 8 10 13 5

Boys 200 Freestyle

On the Psych Sheet, Trinity Christian was slated to get both 1st and 2nd with Josh Kim and Tyler Phillips, but our depth would keep us within one point because Michael Brox (FR), David Hudson (SO), William Sokban (FR), and Peter Konstanty (SO), were seeded in 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th.

That’s exactly how it played out with all four (4) Seton swimmers performing well, especially Peter Konstanty who swam a 2.36 second PR.

Thanks to our close win in the Medley Relay, we were still in great shape.

  Projected Actual
  Seton TCS Seton TCS
Event Score 14 15 14 15
Meet Score 22 25 27 20

Boys 200 IM

Trinity’s top swimmer was seeded 1st in this event with the other Trinity swimmers seeded 4th, 5th and 7th.   After one DQ from each team, Seton ended up taking 2nd, 3rd, and 6th with Joe Wilson (JR), JJ Brox (JR), and Seth Kellogg (FR), respectively.  JJ Brox had a particularly good swim, beating his PR by .45 seconds.

After three (3) events, we remained well ahead of the Psych Sheet projection, although I remained in blissful ignorance of how well we were doing.

  Projected Actual
  Seton TCS Seton TCS
Event Score 13 16 13 15
Meet Score 35 41 40 35

Boys 50 Free

It was interesting to see Trinity’s Josh Kim in this event, so naturally he ended up winning, but we gained significant ground by finishing 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 6th – a great example of how our depth plays out in the score.

The star for Seton here was freshman Drew Nguyen (FR) who went 25.44, .57 seconds faster than ever before.

At this point, I was still not aware of the score, but had I known that we were winning by 10 points with the Psych Sheet showing that we should be losing by 7 points, I definitely would have been feeling comfortable.

  Projected Actual
  Seton TCS Seton TCS
Event Score 14 15 17 12
Meet Score 49 56 57 47


In retrospect, this event was the beginning of our problems with injury and sickness.

Part of the reason I was so comfortable going into the meet was because of Diving.  Yes, Trinity Christian’s Harper Thornett looks like he can be competitive for the State Championship, but he was all that Trinity had.  By contrast, we had five (5) divers entered, so it should have been pretty easy to take 2nd thru 5th and win the event by a substantial number of points.

Our Divers continue to get better under the great coaching they are receiving from Coach Ashley Keapproth and Coach Seamus KoehrConnor Koehr took 2nd  with an 11.45-point PR, Josh Fioramonti took 3rd with a score very close to his PR, and Jacob Oswald took 4th.

Mick Fioramonti would have scored in this event also, but I had him entered as exhibition so that he could score in two (2) swimming events.  This would have worked well for us except that the fourth Diver I had scheduled to score was injured and was not able to dive – which I completely understand.  When I learned of the issue after the event was over, I knew it would not be right to change Mick’s entry status.

Having only three (3) scoring divers cost us what turned out to be a pretty valuable 3-points.

  Projected Actual
  Seton TCS Seton TCS
Event Score 18 8 15 8
Meet Score 67 64 72 55

Boys 100 Butterfly

Here’s an event where a great swim by Trinity Christian’s Tyler Phillips made the difference by jumping him from the 2nd seed to 1st place with a 1.53 second PR.

It was not that Seton’s boys swam poorly.  Joe Wilson and Michael Brox were very close to their PRs, and Max Wilson and Josh Fioramonti swam big PRs by 2.88 seconds and 9.49 seconds, respectively.

Despite those good swims, Tyler’s swim cut a potential 5-point advantage in this event to only 1-point.  That’s another 4-points that would come in pretty handy in another hour and a half.

Believe it or not, we were more than halfway through the meet, and I still wasn’t even thinking about looking at the score yet.  From what I could see, things were still just fine.

  Projected Actual
  Seton TCS Seton TCS
Event Score 17 12 15 14
Meet Score 84 76 87 69

Boys 100 Freestyle

This is the event where, in retrospect, injury and sickness proved to be devastating to our chances to win.  We were seeded to get 2nd, 3rd, 5th, and 6th which would have won the event by 3-points, but now, two (2) of our four (4) swimmers were out.

Drew Nguyen (FR) was a star once again taking 2nd place with a blazing 57.83 – that was a 1.57 second PR.  Mick Fioramonti (SO) took 4th with a 1.49 second PR of his own.  As good as those swims were, they could not make up for two (2) missing swimmers.

I know both of the missing swimmers really wanted to swim, and in Nathan Luevano’s case, had he not courageously swum the medley relay with a severe earache, we almost certainly would not have won the event by only .48 seconds.  That swim got us an extra 6-point advantage from the get-go, so he did his part for sure.

Once again, I was faced with the dilemma of whether I could convert our two (2) exhibition swimmers to scoring swimmers, but with Nathan dropping out after the meet began, and me not finding out about the other sickness until right before the meet started, I just didn’t feel comfortable doing it.

Yes, I had allowed other schools make those sorts of changes leading up to the meet because of the extraordinary amount of sickness, but that was all before we got to the pool.  Since individual entries were supposed to be final at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday night, I thought that making those kinds of adjustments as we were warming up was a bridge too far, especially for the meet host.

  Projected Actual
  Seton TCS Seton TCS
Event Score 16 13 10 18
Meet Score 100 89 97 87

Boys 500 Freestyle

Injury reared its ugly head once again, but fortunately, the remaining three (3) swimmers significantly over-achieved with three (3) PRs to jump from their 3rd, 4th and 5th seeds to 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place.

JJ Brox (JR), Max Wilson (FR), and Peter Konstanty (SO) had superior swims, beating their previous PRs by 15.41, 12.81, and .65 seconds, respectively.

Unfortunately, our fourth scoring swimmer had come to me during warm-up to tell me that he had a prior injury and could not swim.  I completely understand that, but once again, hearing about this so late in the game, I did not feel like I could change the entry status of a fifth Seton exhibition swimmer.

That 5th swimmer was Aaron Bishop (SO) who had swum an excellent 7:57.98 in his first-ever attempt at the 500 Free.  Aaron’s time would have scored in 6th place and pushed another Trinity swimmer down to 7th – and that would have resulted in another 3-point swing in our favor.  Oh well.

  Projected Actual
  Seton TCS Seton TCS
Event Score 14 15 15 13
Meet Score 114 104 112 100

Boys 200 Freestyle Relay

This relay was the backbreaker for Seton.

On the Psych Sheet, we were projected to take 1st and 3rd which would have effectively ended the competition, but instead, Trinity Christian ended up with the 1st and 3rd.

Part of the problem was Justin Kim (SO), Tyler Phillips (8), and Josh Kim (SR), plus a new 8th grader Noah Yun (8), who all had superior swims.

The other part of the problem was that our “A” Relay anchor had now left the building with an earache.  Without the ability to really think through all of the implications, I pulled Joey Dealey (JR) up from the “B” relay, thereby weakening that relay also.

Despite great swims by Joe Wilson (JR), Drew Nguyen (FR), David Hudson (SO), and especially Joey Dealey (JR), they simply were not going to beat that powerhouse Trinity “A” relay line-up.

And diluting our “B” relay added insult to injury because now they also lost to their peer relay from Trinity Christian.

Bam!  That was a 16-point swing!

To tell you the truth, I was so unconcerned up to that point that I was paying attention to the John Paul the Great relays which were both seeded within a second of both of our relays.  I didn’t even understand yet what had just happened.

That understanding came rather abruptly when Anne O’Malley came down and handed me a scoring report through the 200 Free Relay – Seton 117, Trinity Christian 113.

Uh-oh.  How did that happen?  Only three (3) events left!

  Projected Actual
  Seton TCS Seton TCS
Event Score 13 5 5 13
Meet Score 127 109 117 113

Boys 100 Backstroke

This event proved to be the final dagger from which we never recovered, but again, it not because the Seton Swimmers swam poorly.

Mick Fioramonti (SO), Connor Koehr (FR), Ryan Beltran (SO), and William Sokban (FR) all swam very well, particularly Mick and Ryan who swam .78 second and 2.81 second PRs, respectively.

The problem for Seton turned out to be new Trinity Christian 8th grader Noah Yun who was seeded 4th at 1:12.29 and ended up jumping up to 2nd with a 1:04.29!

As Coach Ross Palazzo and I were frantically trying to score out possible scenarios that could still lead to victory, we could not figure out where we went wrong with our math.  This was it.  We thought we were up by 4-points, but we were really up by only 3-points.

Realizing that Josh Kim had only swum one (1) relay, we knew that our best hope in the 400 Free Relay was to lose the event by only 2-points.  That meant the whole meet would come down to Breaststroke.  On the live-stream, we thought that we were left with a 2-point buffer (4-points minus 2-points in the 400 Free Relay), but the truth in retrospect was that we had only a 1-point buffer for Breaststroke because we were only 3-points ahead.

  Projected Actual
  Seton TCS Seton TCS
Event Score 16 13 14 15
Meet Score 143 122 131 128

Boys 100 Breaststroke

When Coach Palazzo and I looked at the Psych Sheet for this event, our heart sank.  Our top seed had left the building with an earache, leaving Trinity Christian’s top three (3) swimmers at top of the seedings.  Obviously, if Trinity got 1st, 2nd and 3rd in this event, the game would have been up.

Could Seth Kellogg (FR), Chris Lynch (SO) and Joey Dealey (JR) pull off some heroics?  They almost did!

Chris Lynch and Joey Dealey started the heroics by both of them jumping ahead of Trinity’s 3rd seed during their race against him in heat 2.  They both had tremendous swims under great pressure with Chris dropping 3.25 seconds and Joey dropping 2.11 seconds!

Would those times hold up against the other two Trinity swimmers in heat 3?  Trinity’s top seed, Ian Park was not going to be beaten, but could Seth Kellogg jump up to 2nd place?

The answers were “almost” and “yes!”.  With the whole team cheering, Seth swam a 4.01 second PR to jump ahead of two (2) of the three (3) Trinity swimmers!  Wow!

“Quick Coach Palazzo! does that leave us with a the 2-point buffer we need?”, I asked as we anxiously waited for Mr. Dealey to post the results to Meet Mobile.

Once the results were posted through, we realized that Seth, Chris, and Joey’s heroics were going to leave us 1-point short – unless we could win the 400 Free Relay.

  Projected Actual
  Seton TCS Seton TCS
Event Score 14 15 13 15
Meet Score 157 137 144 143

Boys 400 Free Relay

As we watched Josh Kim, Justin Kim, Ryan Hough, and Noah Yun (who ended up scoring in three relays – smart!) walk up to the blocks, we were forced to face the inevitable.

Even with a completely healthy team, we would not be able to beat that relay line-up.  They went a very fast 3:37.94.

JJ Brox (JR), Michael Brox (FR), Joey Dealey (JR) and Drew Nguyen (FR) gave an amazing effort.  JJ led off with a 59.43 (a 1.55 second PR) followed by Michael’s Brox’s 59.79 (a 3.62 second relay split PR), Joey Dealey’s 1:03.06, and Drew Nguyen’s 57.83 (a 1.57 second relay split PR).  Their 4:00.11 was 8.71 seconds faster than their seed time!

And our “B” Relay of Peter Konstanty (SO), William Sokban (FR), Max Wilson (FR), and Mick Fioramonti (SO) also did their part by taking 3rd with a time that was 15.60 seconds faster than their seed time.  Peter led off with a PR of 1:01.11, beating his previous best by 3.70 seconds – pretty good considering how much practice he’s had to miss with sickness.

But it wasn’t enough.  Trinity won the event by 2-points which negated our 1-point lead.

Game over.  Trinity Christian won 153 – 152.

  Projected Actual
  Seton TCS Seton TCS
Event Score 8 10 8 10
Meet Score 165 147 152 153

Unlike so many of our girls meets versus Trinity Christian in the past, this was no roller coaster.  Our Boys led from the first event of the meet all the way up to the very last event.

While the scoring for Trinity Christian was certainly a team effort, led by great swimmers like Josh Kim, Justin Kim, and Ryan Hough, it is easy to see how Tyler Phillips’ 100 Fly and Noah Yun’s 100 Backstroke were the swims you can look back on as the most impactful.

On the Seton side, I was exceptionally pleased with how our Boys responded to the adversity of injured and sick swimmers.  Joe Wilson (JR), David Hudson (SO), Michael Brox (FR), Mick Fioramonti (SO), JJ Brox (JR), and Max Wilson (FR) were particularly impactful.

And how cool would it have been to write in this blog about how Seth Kellogg, Chris Lynch and Joey Dealey saved the day in the 2nd to last event of the meet?  Losing our top seed was a lot to overcome, but they almost did it!

One final lesson from the story of Saturday’s meet for the boys:  The performance of everyone on the team matters.  Seton doesn’t win with just our top swimmers.  Had we taken just one more 7th place finish on Saturday, we’d be regular season Conference Champions once again.

We still have the first-ever VCAC Conference Championship Meet on February 12th.  Let’s get back to work and get a different result on the weekend before States!

The Important Role of Suffering in Our Lives

After the meet cleared out, I sat peacefully alone in my truck in the Freedom Center parking lot for a while to enjoy my favorite Dominican import and to ponder all the ways our boys could have come up with a single point.

Then I headed over to Therese Griffin’s surprise 50th birthday party at the All-Saints Knights of Columbus Hall.  Many of you will remember years of service by Therese and Jim Griffin as wet-deck and dry-deck officials for the Seton Swim Team.  Therese’s family had pulled out all the stops on a “Sound of Music” Themed Party including having all the Griffin kids dressed up like von Trapp family children.  (You know they must really love their mother!)

As we were discussing the von Trapp Family story in our small conversation circles, I got to hear a bit about a similar story from Anaritha Gonzalez.  I was mesmerized by a family history so dramatic yet only one generation away.

Through early 1945, Anaritha’s grandmother lived a surprisingly comfortable life in Trebnitz (now Trzcianka), a rural town in wartime Poland that had been part of Germany prior to World War I.  Her husband was away at the war fighting for his native Germany.  I’m guessing there were hardships, particularly having her husband away for so long, but since much of rural Poland was untouched by the war after the 1939 Nazi Blitzkrieg, she was making the best of things with her five (5) children in her large, well-appointed house, outfitted with domestic servants to ease the burden.

That all changed as the Russians and the Americans raced toward Berlin from opposite directions in the Spring of 1945.

In May 1945, the Russians entered their small town and gave them two (2) hours to vacate.  With her five (5) children, she had some quick decisions to make about what was truly important, because all her belongings were about to be reduced to whatever she could carry.

Oh, one little detail I forgot to mention – Anaritha’s grandmother was days away from her due date with a sixth child.

I can only imagine what the chaos must have looked like at the train station as the entire population tried to get out of the path of the advancing Russian Army.  One indication of how bad it must have been was that Anaritha’s grandmother tied a rope around each of her five (5) children and then around herself.

Unable to get on the train, they headed southwest through Czechoslovakia toward the American lines, begging for help from unhelpful local farmers who had their own problems and foraging for berries and mushrooms in the woods.  Then her water broke.

Unable to find an Inn in Ronsperg, Germany (modern-day Pobezovice, Czech Republic), she found a stable in which she fought through two (2) days of labor, alone with her children, trying to give birth to a breach baby.  Miraculously, both she and the baby survived.  That baby eventually became Anaritha’s mother.

The baby survived the war with her family in what is the modern-day Czech Republic.  In her mid-twenties, she got married to a doctor in Italy that wanted to take her to the United States.

As Anaritha tells the story, her mother was terrified of raising a family in the United States because she was worried that the Americans were too “soft”.  It was the late 1960’s and early 1970s at this point, so it is easy to see how a woman with her life experience would reel at the sight of college liberals screaming their entitlement.

Today, Anaritha’s mother lives comfortably in Connecticut, and I’m sure she, no doubt, relishes her grandchildren in Manassas, including Seton Swimmers Jacinta and Max.

As I ponder this incredible story, I can’t help but think about how much the German people also suffered at the hands of the Nazis.  Not all of them were supportive of Hitler and his Party.  Anaritha’s incredible grandmother doesn’t sound like the kind of woman likely to be easily taken in by promises of a utopian Arian-society and a 1,000-year Reich.

And fortunately, the kind of perseverance required of Anaritha’s grandmother in 1945 is seldom required in our great country today.  However, you will never learn of what you are capable if you never allow yourself to experience pain.  It is part of the reason for the “S” in our GEMS.

Sacrifice – We offer it up.  We love our teammates.

This story also reminds me an awards banquet talk I gave a few years ago.  It is amazing how much resilience we have as human beings, particularly children.

Please Meet Me Halfway

I am so grateful for our Team Managers, Wystan Byers (SR) and Matt Block (SR).   As I told them again this morning, “You guys are amazing, and the biggest reason you are amazing is because you don’t wait for me to tell you what to do.  You see what needs to be done, and you get it done.  In today’s world, that may automatically put you in the top 5% of all people, including adults.

Wystan and Matt were particularly valuable to the team this past Saturday.  During what could have been total chaos before the meet, they coolly took charge and made things work better that I could have possibly expected.

I realize that none of you would never consciously contribute to any chaos before a swim meet if you understood what happens when I get surprised by the fact that someone scheduled to swim is not going to be there.  So, let’s relive the scene I experienced on Saturday:

After nine (9) versions of relays, prepared in the comfort of my office with access to my computer and all the required data about 127 kids’ availability, capabilities, and PRs, I show up to the meet to find out that seven (7) kids aren’t coming.

Some told me via e-mail after I was already at the pool.  That is way too late because:

  • I’m trying to get an extra swim practice organized,
  • I’m setting up a sound system,
  • I’m announcing a diving meet,
  • I’m organizing more than 20 volunteers,
  • I’m preparing to commentate for four (4) hours on the live-stream, and
  • I’m dealing with six (6) visiting teams.

Some arrived late so we didn’t know if they were swimming or not.  I don’t specify that you arrive at 12:39 p.m. because I mean “about 12:39” – I mean that we start stretching and taking attendance at exactly 12:39.

And what is completely disrespectful and therefore completely unacceptable, some just didn’t show up at all.

Now imagine what it takes to change a relay in the heat of battle right before a meet is about to start:

  • “Who of the more than 100 kids in the meet isn’t already swimming two relays?”
  • “Do we have enough available swimmers to replace the missing kid(s), or do we have to scratch one of the relays and shift those kids around too?”
  • “Who can or cannot swim butterfly?”
  • “Are you sure he can swim a legal breaststroke?”
  • “Shoot, this is a scoring relay.  Who’s the next fastest swimmer?  Go grab that folder from my briefcase.  I hope that kid is not already scoring in the 400 Free Relay too because this could ripple through all the scoring relays.”
  • “I wish I could remember the strategic implications of lining up the relays the way I did.  I hope this doesn’t cause a problem.”
  • “Who is going to communicate all of these changes to Mr. Dealey while he’s trying to get the time systems and live-stream ready to go?”

And then the most difficult of all,

  • “How are we going to find all the kids affected by these changes among the throng of over 100 Seton Swimmers?”
  • “Did that beginner swimmer really just do a 28.54 relay split or did the meet software that tracks everyone’s times just record the wrong time for him? Does Coach Koehr have to go back and look at the livestream to figure that out or should he just delete a possible huge PR?”

Swimmer:Coach, it says I’m swimming the G relay on wall, but Joey just told me I’m supposed to be with him on the H relay now.

             Me, in exasperation:Talk to Wystan and Matt

Swimmer: Coach, one of the swimmers posted for our relay is missing?  Should I just grab someone else?

             Me, in exasperation:Talk to Wystan and Matt

Swim Mom:My daughter is confused about what relay she’s in

              Me, in exasperation:Talk to Wystan and Matt

I understand that things happen that are beyond our control – I’m a parent too.  Kids get sick or injured, and it is not always clear whether they’ll be able to swim until the day of the meet.   Just e-mail me that so I can plan.

I also know that swimmers on the team are at all different ability levels, and with those varying ability levels comes varying levels of commitment.   Some want to go to hockey or basketball, for instance.  I’m fine with that – really – if I know about it.

I hope you know that I’m happy to meet you where you are – but you need to meet me where I am also.

All I ask is that you tell me while I still have enough time to deal with it using my computer.  With 127 kids, it takes me many hours to put together and then adjust our entries.  Solving this puzzle, because that is what it is, is 100 times easier if I’m in my office.

Out of respect for me and your teammates, can we say from now on that if I haven’t heard from you by 9:00 a.m. on the morning of the meet, I can assume that you are swimming the events in which you are entered?

And can I further assume that if you know you must miss a meet right now that you will tell me right now?

National Catholic High School Swimming and Diving Champs

Next weekend, we have two (2) swim meets.  For most of the team, we’ll be hosting our annual Seton Winter Invitational on Saturday at the Freedom Center.

A select group of qualifiers will be heading to Baltimore, MD for the National Catholics at Loyola University of Maryland.  That group gotten larger by four (4) this past weekend.  Congratulations to:

  • Elodie Brox (FR) swam a .89 second PR in 50 Free with an injured wrist and beat the National Catholic cut by .28 seconds.
  • Mary Clare Waldron (SR) had a very exciting 100 Breaststroke swim where she lowered her PR by 2.89 seconds to beat the National Catholic qualifying time by .16 seconds.
  • Joe Wilson (JR) led off the 200 Free Relay with a blazing 24.44. His .18 second PR was enough to get him under the qualifying time of 24.50.  Joe will be our loan male swimmer representing the team.
  • Rosie Waldron (FR) has been diving well enough that Coach Keapproth wants to invite her to join us so she can get her first taste of a larger meet.  We are looking for big things from Rosie in the future, so let’s get it going now!

Here is Seton’s 2022 National Catholic Team.  Congratulations to:


  • Elodie Brox
  • Clara Condon
  • Lucy Garvey
  • Maggie Gibbons
  • Isabell Luevano
  • Mary O’Malley
  • Mary Pennefather
  • Angie Testani
  • Mary Clare Waldron
  • Joe Wilson


  • Connor Koehr
  • Mick Fioramonti
  • Mary Clare Waldron
  • Emma Catabui (not able to attend)
  • Rose Waldron

Massive Personal Records

Given the amount of missed practice time since before Christmas, it is truly amazing how many Personal Records we had.  Here are some of the most remarkable:

  • Aaron Bishop (SO) is really starting to swim well. I was amazed by his 81.51 second PR in 500 Free – almost a minute and a half!  A-Ron cut a massive 13.79 seconds from his 50 Back PR leading off a relay.
  • Rebekah DeWolf (SR) had a great weekend. How about a 78.68 second PR in 500 Free and a 4.79 second PR in 200 Free!?
  • Kevin Orellana (SR) can swim! He was awesome in 100 Back where he dropped 47.92 seconds and in 50 Free leading off a relay.  (Did he really go 28.54 like my report shows?  I just went back to the livestream and saw that it wasn’t Kevin.  I wonder how many other relay splits are wrong in my database now after the relay chaos of this past weekend.)
  • Molly Bauer (FR) dropped a crazy amount of time in 100 Backstroke – 33.86 seconds! She also dropped a ridiculous amount in 50 Free – 2.95 seconds!
  • Rosie Waldron (FR) broke 8:00 in 500 Free with her 23.87 second PR.
  • Allison Quispe (8) had a huge drop in 100 Breaststroke, lowering her PR by 21.83 seconds.
  • Amelia Geary (SO) showed how well she’s developing all four (4) of her strokes with her 17.40 second PR in 200 IM.
  • Noemi Rodriguez (7) continues to get better. This past weekend, she lowered her 100 Breaststroke PR by 17.07 seconds.
  • Elizabeth Francis (FR) was looking good in the 500 Free where she dropped 14.40 seconds.
  • Elizabeth Maranian (SR) had her best swim of the year in 100 Breaststroke with a 12.44 second PR.
  • Anna McGrath (FR) made me smile with her 12.24 second PR in 100 Breaststroke.
  • Joseph Borneman (FR) looked better than ever in 100 Back, lowering his PR by 8.91 seconds.
  • Ryan Baughman (8) cut 8.29 seconds from his 100 Back PR. Go Irish!
  • Maria Pennefather (SR) is back from her shoulder injury and made the most of the opportunity with a 9.28 second PR in 100 Back.

There Were So Many Other Personal Record Swims

I have already mentioned numerous Personal Records, but here are the rest of the 82 Personal Records that I have not yet had an opportunity to highlight.  That brings our season total up to 582 PRs!  Check out how many younger swimmers we have improving on our team:

  • Ariana Aldeguer (7) continues to turn heads as she improves from her already very fast times. How about another 3.62 second PR in 200 Free and another 1.23 second PR in 100 Free.  It’s hard to believe, but Seton has a 7th grade girl that can go 57.84 in 100 Free and 2:06.03 in 200 Free!
  • Ryan Beltran (SO) dropped 2.81 seconds in 100 Back. I would have loved to see what he could do in 100 Fly 😉
  • Lucia Bingham (FR) had a great swim in 100 Breaststroke in which she lowered her PR by 4.70 seconds. Lucia also cut .80 seconds from her 200 IM PR.
  • Nora Blanchette (8) swam 100 Free 1.96 seconds faster than ever before.
  • Elodie Brox (SR) did more than just qualify for National Catholics in 50 Free. She also cut 3.31 seconds from her 100 Back PR.
  • Emma Brox (SR) broke 3:00 in the 200 Free for the first time after her 3.98 second PR.
  • Ben Ellis (7) is back, and he made the most of it with a 6.73 second PR in 100 Breast and a .80 second PR in 50 Free.
  • Haley Fifield (FR) looked “long and strong” in her 200 Free, and the result showed with a 1.37 second PR.
  • Kyleigh Fifield (7) swam 100 Breaststroke 1.87 seconds than ever before.
  • Emily Flynn (SR) is back, and it showed in her 1.38 second PR in 50 Back leading off a medley. It was also showing in her 500 Free until her lap counters miscounted and she stopped 50 yards early before finishing the last 50 and a stop of about 29 seconds.  My best estimate is that she would have gone about 6:21 which would have been right on her best time from last year’s DAC Champs.
  • Anastasia Garvey (8) proved once again that she’s a 4-stroke swimmer with her 6.35 second PR in 200 IM.
  • Veronica Gonzalez (6) swam better than ever with a 1.88 second PR in 100 Free and a .06 second PR in 50 Free.
  • Aoife Haggerty (7) broke 2:00 for the first time in 100 Back after a 3.28 second PR.
  • Peter Hartung (FR) cut 5.36 seconds from his PR in 100 Breaststroke to also break 2:00 for the first time.
  • John Henry Hawley (8) continues to get faster, this time in 100 Breaststroke, by 5.36 seconds.
  • Daniel Hurley (8) looked great in 100 Free during his 1.25 second PR swim.
  • Dominic Judge (7) swam two PRs. In 100 Breaststroke he cut 1.43 seconds, and in 50 Free he cut .40 seconds.
  • Sofia Kohlhaas (6) had a great swim in 100 Free where she dropped another 1.46 seconds.
  • Colette Kramer (8) is approaching the 2:00 barrier in 100 Free after her 4.55 second PR. She also had a .74 second PR in 50 Free.
  • Penny Kramer (7) lowered her 50 Free PR by 2.11 seconds.
  • Isabelle Luevano (SR) dropped another .10 seconds in 100 Breaststroke.
  • Dominic Miller (SO) looked great in 50 Back leading off a medley relay. And it showed with his 1.29 second PR.
  • Maria Miller (8) continues to grow as a 4-stroke swimmer after another 4.09 second drop in 100 Breaststroke.
  • Shannon O’Malley (FR) swam 100 Backstroke .88 seconds than ever before, breaking the 1:20 barrier for the first time.
  • Justin Orr (SR) improved by 1.47 seconds in 50 Back leading off a medley relay and by .71 seconds in 50 Free.
  • Nick Vaughn (FR) broke :40 for the first time in 50 Free after his 3.05 second PR.
  • Cate Waldron (SO) lowered her 100 Back PR by 1.25 seconds.
  • Lily Waldron (6) broke the 1:40 barrier in 100 Back with a 4.91 second PR.
  • Mary Clare Waldron (SR) didn’t just have a big drop in 100 Breaststroke. She also cut .43 seconds in 50 Free leading off a relay.
  • Madelyn Zadnik (SO) dropped another .10 seconds in 100 Free
  • Sophia Zadnik (SR) had her best swim in 200 Free with a 1.65 second PR.
  • Michael Zahorchak (7) lowered his 100 Breaststroke PR by 1.65 seconds and his 50 Free PR by .38 seconds.

Final Notes

There has been so much to say, but let us wrap it up with some final notes:

  • There are only three (3) weeks left in the season for our non-Varsity swimmers. Everyone will be swimming in the Seton Winter Invitational on January 15th and then the Northern Virginia Catholic High School Championship (aka, “NoVa Catholics”) on January 22nd
  • Then, as a season-ending meet for all non-Varsity swimmers (i.e., swimmers who are not entered into meets during the championship season where there is no exhibition swimming), we will host our 15th annual Junior Varsity Invitational Championship at the Fitch WARF in Warrenton on January 29th.

So, let’s make the most of our training in January.  It’s nearing the end of the season for most of you, and this is when championships are won for the rest of you!

Coach Jim Koehr

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