Last Saturday, we hosted our 13th annual VISAA Division II Invitational. This past weekend, it was the Boy’s opportunity to shine. As you will read below, we had some outstanding performances, particularly in our Boys Relays. With those outstanding performances, came the Meet Runner-up honors and more State Meet qualifications – we’ll now be able to take eight (8) Boys to States!
We created this meet 13 years ago so that all 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 21 schools who brought 319 swimmers – that is nearly 2/3rd the size of the State Championship meet.
We stole page from our NoVa Catholic playbook by creating a traveling trophy with a plaque for all 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 trophies the previous four (4) years. This year, while the Boys trophy will return to Hampton Roads for a 5th straight year, the girl’s trophy will have a new home in Fairfax, VA.
Congratulations to Trinity Christian School who defeated the 6-time defending State Champion Hampton Roads Academy to become the VISAA Swimming Division II Invitational Champion for 2019. They really swam well – 75% (21 of 28, including relay lead-offs) of their individual swims were personal records. If they swim like that in Stafford in two weeks, I think they could win the Division II State Championship for the first time.
I’d also like to congratulate our Swimmers of the Meet, both of whom were selected by a vote of the coaches:
- Boys – Nicholas Psimas, Nansemond-Suffolk Academy. Nicholas is the rare High School-only swimmer who can earn gold medals in 50 Free (22.55) and 100 Free (49.13)
- Girls – Annalise Cornett, Trinity Christian School. Annalise earned two individual gold medals in 200 IM (2:11.47) and 100 Backstroke (58.33). Both of those swims were lifetime bests, by a large margin.
The meet just keeps getting faster. We had three (3) new Meet Records, all from the very fast Hampton Roads Academy Boys:
- Boys 200 Medley Relay – Hampton Roads Academy, B. Kim, C. Muench, K. Slate, A. Cronin – 1:41.60
- Boys 100 Fly – Cooper Muench, Hampton Roads Academy – 52.57
- Boys 400 Free Relay – Hampton Roads Academy, Blake Rouzie, Hunter Muench, Avery Cronin, and Cooper Muench. – 3:21.40
In the Delaney Athletic Conference, we have also traditionally counted this meet for DAC Championship Meet Records, but none of those records were broken this time.
Championship Meet Scoring
This meet was scored as a championship meet, where the top 12 places earned scores from 16 to 1.
While our boys were elated with the results, I know that our girls were a little disappointed – but I wasn’t. We will have our hands full with Trinity Christian at the DAC Championship meet next weekend, so our training plan is aiming toward that. We worked exceptionally hard this past week, and the result was that our girls looked tired on Saturday. That was because they were!
Keep the faith girls – it is all part of the plan for us to peak at DAC Champs next weekend.
For the 21 teams involved, here’s how the meet scores looked for the top finishers when it was all over:
- Trinity Christian 208
- Hampton Roads Academy 185
- Seton School 163
- Williamsburg Christian 132
- Fredericksburg Academy 109
- Nansemond-Suffolk 100
- Christchurch 84
- Highland 73
- Hampton Roads Academy 360
- Seton School 163
- Trinity Christian School 131
- Fredericksburg Christian 100
- Christchurch 94
- Fredericksburg Academy 84
- Steward School 78
Seton Boys and Girls Win DAC Conference Championship
One aspect of the meet that is very important is that it is used as a determinant for the DAC Conference Championship also. 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.
Fredericksburg Academy has some very strong swimmers, particularly Reid Schattgen (55.81 100 Fly and 2:04.34 200 IM) on the boy’s side and Annika Luce (1:12.59 100 Breast) on the girl’s side. Fortunately, both our boys and girls had the depth required to prevail.
We ended up beating the FA Boys 116 – 72 to get the last victory we needed to make our Conference Championship official. And on the Girls side, by beating the FA Girls in the dual meet scoring 181 – 104, we also sealed the deal officially for the girls.
If you look at the complete DAC Conference 3+ Dual Meet scoring for the Meet (posted under Meet & Team Information), you’ll see a very tight score between Trinity Christian and Seton, which Trinity prevailing 143-141. Fortunately for us, the Dual meet that counted was on January 5th.
Both of the next two weeks, our girls will face Trinity Christian when it counts for Conference or State accolades, but they will be both be in Championship format meets. That format favors the teams with a few superstars over the teams with a lot of strong high school swimmers.
Last year at DAC Champs, our girls were able to overcome Trinity Christian’s strength by only 0.5 points! Next weekend, I expect the meet to be very close again. We’ll be scoring 12 places, so if we win it, it will once again be because our top girls swam well and the heart of our girl’s team took a lot of places between 4th and 12th.
For our Boys, we have a very deep group led by our fastest swimmer, Jack Santschi, and bolstered by strong young swimmers like Nathan Luevano. I’m very optimistic about the eventual result so I want to focus on maximizing the number of boys who earn All-Conference honors (i.e. top 3 individually) and on getting some boys to qualify for States individually.
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 Griffins, Scorers Bill Dealey and Anne O’Malley, CTS Operator Hank Konstanty, Stroke and Turn Judge David Wilson, Head Timers Jeff and Melissa Alsup, and Hospitality Coordinator Alexandra Luevano. And we cannot forget the great on-deck coaching our kids got from Pat Mulhern, Heidi Santschi and Kimberly Dalrymple.
We also had some other volunteers that played really stepped up for Seton:
- Kimberly Dalrymple and Heidi Santschi did a great job in the stressful work of finding a place for 319 kids on deck even though some of the visiting teams complicated the task by showing up very early.
- John Kleb was once again a fabulous announcer and DJ. We had some serious struggles with our sound system, but John made sure that it did not diminish the joy the kids felt about their performances in any way
- Anne Geiran and Alexandra Luevano did a great job with the medals. They were always right there with the medals, already labeled and ready to hand out.
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 we our boys took 2nd place overall and our girls took 3rd place overall, we only had two (2) relays earn medals. If any statistic reveals the power our depth, it is that one.
- Our Girls 200 Free Relay of Mairead Geiran, Mary Heim, Isabelle Luevano and Mary Pennefather took a Silver medal. All of the splits close to PRs, and Mary’s split of 27.35 was a lifetime best for her.
- Our Boys 200 Free “A” Relay of Jacob Alsup, Cormac Clune, Shane Koehr and Jerry Dalrymple took the Bronze medal with four (4) PR Splits! Jacob led off with a .23 second flat start PR of 25.49, followed by Cormac’s 25.85, Shane’s 24.46 and Jerry’s 24.43. Great work, especially considering that I had split the relays in an attempt to get both qualified for States.
The Boys Were Fabulous
I just highlighted our Boys 200 Free “A” Relay, but all of the Boys Freestyle Relays were amazing. We already have one relay for the 200 Medley, 200 Free and 400 Free Relays qualified for States, so our goal was to get a second one qualified in the 200 and 400 Free Relay. We got one, but not the other:
- We got our second Boys 400 Free Relay qualified for States, so that means that we will be taking eight (8) boys. We split up the talent across the two (2) relays to increase our chance of getting both in:
- Our Boys 400 Free “A” Relay of Liam Kellogg, Cormac Clune, Justin Fioramonti, and Jack Santschi was simply amazing with four (4) huge PR splits. Liam led off with a 1.16 second flat start PR of 57.01. He was followed by Cormac’s 1:00.13 (split PR by .90), Justin’s :58.63 (split PR by 1.86!) and Jack’s anchor 52.87 (split PR by 1.08!). Wow! Their 3:48.64 was by far our fastest of the season.
- Our Boys 400 Free “B” Relay of Jacob Alsup, Evan Wilson, Shane Koehr and Jerry Dalrymple also hit the State cut. I was bummed that the timing system missed the middle two splits, but they must have been pretty fast because, taking the total time for Evan and Shane, they both averaged 59.03.
- Our Boys 200 Free “B” Relay of Liam Kellogg, Justin Fioramonti, Evan Wilson and Jack Santschi just missed the State cut by .16. Jack and Liam have already qualified, but we were trying hard to get Justin and Evan into States for this event also. Justin definitely did his part with a .25 second PR split of 26.64, and Jack was amazing once again, splitting 23.84! That beat Jack’s PR split by .54 seconds and that also made Jack the first swimmer on the team this year to break :24.00!
- Individually, we had some really outstanding swims for the Boys also:
- Jack Santschi (SO) was the star of the meet on the Boy’s side. Not only did he anchor the 200 and 400 Free Relays with splits of 23.84 and 52.87, he also rocked the 50 and 100 Free from a flat start. In the 50 Free, he cut .18 seconds from his PR to go 24.70 and in the 100 Free, he cut .99 seconds from his PR to break 54 seconds for the first time (53.99). Outstanding work Jack!
- Nathan Luevano (8) blew me away on Saturday with his swim in the 500 Free. How about an 8th grader going 6:17.51?! That was 8.22 seconds than he’s ever gone before. And the heart Nathan showed in the 200 IM really pleased me. In his last 25 yards, he put it all on the line, and with perfect finish technique, out-touched an older competitor.
- Joey Dealey (8) also had a great swim in the 500 Free, cutting 10.57 seconds from previous PR. Joey had that great swim after cutting 1.94 seconds from his 200 Free PR about 1.5 hours earlier.
- Joseph Rowzie (8) had a tremendous swim in the 100 Backstroke, lowering his PR by a whopping 2.83 seconds.
- Liam Kellogg (SO) didn’t just have a great 57.01 lead-off leg of our 400 Free Relay, he also had two PRs individually. In 50 Free, he dropped .25 seconds to go 25.02, so close to breaking 25.00! Then in 100 Breaststroke, Liam dropped .07 seconds to go a very competitive 1:15.69.
- Shane Koehr (JR) also did well beyond just his great swimming in the relays. In 100 Back, he came another .54 seconds closer to that State cut he’s seeking.
- Christian Ceol (JR) led off the medley relay in style with a 1.26 second PR in 50 Back.
The 31 swimmers that we had in this meet swam 28 Personal Records, a number that is not bad considering how hard we worked in practice this past week. As I said before, this does not worry me at all because our target meet is DAC Champs, and this past week was but a necessary step in order to peak there. Here are the rest of the PRs from the Girl’s team:
- Teresa Bingham (8) has had another breakout season this year with huge improvement in multiple different events. This week it was a 3.47 second PR in 200 IM, a 2.12 second PR in 100 Fly and a .77 second PR in 50 Free leading off a relay.
- Lily Byers (FR) is another one who has had a breakout season. She almost broke 7:00 in the 500 Free after another 13.14 second PR. Her stroke technique was “long and strong” as Coach Mulhern always preaches. She also had a great swim in the 200 Free, cutting 1.02 seconds from her PR.
- Theresa Dwane (JR) was all smiles after the 200 Free. I would be too if I had just dropped 5.80 seconds!
- Gemma Flook (8) continues to show that she is going to be a future star on this team. I was so pleased to see her cut 2.93 seconds in 100 Free and 2.59 seconds in 100 Back. Those are huge drops for a swimmer of Gemma’s caliber.
- Ceili Koehr (FR) celebrated her 15th birthday with a great swim in the 100 Back, lowering PR by another 2.19 seconds. Happy Birthday Ceili!
- Anne Konstanty (JR) has become the four (4) stroke swimmer that we should all seek to be at Seton, and she demonstrated that with a 2.76 second PR in 200 IM.
- Catriona Linton (FR) had a great swim in the 500 Free, cutting 21.17 seconds from her PR. Cat was also outstanding in 100 Breast with a 2.94 second PR. Can’t wait to get Cat in practice next season for some more work on stroke technique. I really think she can be a big-time scorer for Seton in the years to come.
- Isabelle Luevano (FR) rocked the 100 Free with another PR, this time by .72 seconds.
- Mary O’Malley (FR) had a great meet! I really enjoyed watching her work to get longer in the 200 Free. The result of that effort was a 6.05 second PR! She also cut another .05 seconds from her 100 Fly PR.
- Katharine Rowzie (JR) swam very well in the 200 Free, lowering her PR by 2.74 seconds. She also cut her 100 Free PR by another .19 seconds leading off a 400 Free Relay.
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 25th 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 repeat their performance this past week if we are to come out on top against the much improved teams from Trinity Christian and Fredericksburg Christian.
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 three-fold: 1) win, 2) get the maximum number of Seton Swimmers designated All-Conference, and 3) finalize our state team relays.
The Conference Championship will be hosted by Highland, Wakefield and Seton at the Fitch WARF. Our warm-up time is at 4:20 p.m. so you should be stretching on deck by 3:59 p.m. I’d plan on the meet running until at least 8:30 p.m. As more information becomes available, I will post it on our site.
The State Championship Meet is Friday and Saturday, February 15-16th at Jeff Rouse Swim and Sport in Stafford, VA.
I have a draft of the State Championship team under Meet & Team Information and I will post some detailed logistical information shortly. 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.
Here are the individual State Meet qualifiers after this weekend:
- Mairead Geiran –50, 100, 200 and 500 Free, 100 Fly, 100 Breast, 200 IM
- Caroline Griffin – 200 IM and 100 Back
- Mary Pennefather –50 Free
Here are the relays that have hit the cut. We tried to get two more Boys relays in, but just missed on Saturday:
- Boys “A” 200 Medley Relay
- Boys “A” 200 Free Relay
- Boys “A” 400 Free Relay
- Boys “B” 400 Free Relay
- Girls “A” 200 Medley Relay
- Girls “B” 200 Medley Relay
- Girls “A” 200 Free Relay
- Girls “B” 200 Free Relay
- Girls “A” 400 Free Relay
- Girls “B” 400 Free Relay
The competition on both the Boy’s and Girl’s side for Relay spots has been keen, so I’ve been tracking it more closely. There was some movement on Saturday, so remember, that I am doing all by time. Specifically, I will use the fastest relay splits or flat start times swum this season. And remember that Liam is not going to States.
I have posted my records for relay splits under Meet & Team Information. There are two more chances to either qualify or move up to an “A” Relay:
- DAC Champs
- We get one scoring relay and one exhibition relay.
- So I won’t be able to split the Boys again for competitive reasons so if we want to get a second 200 Free Relay, we’re going to have to do it without Jack as a ringer.
- Preliminaries of the State Championship Meet
- If we have a relay make the Finals, then to be fair, I will factor in the splits swum during Prelims.
- I will still use the best splits for the entire season though.
Once again, we have a Team House this year for team meals and as a hang-out between sessions. I’ve enlisted some of the 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. I’ve posted information on the Hotel under Meet & Team Information also.
I have a summary of who is coming and where they are staying posted under Meet & Team Information. By now, you should
- Have a place to stay and told me what it is.
- Have a responsible adult established for each swimmer and told me who it is.
- Given me your rugby shirt size or told me that you already have one.
As soon as we get the rest of the details for the trip together, I’ll publish them for you all in one place.
Three (3) more good practices left before DAC Champs – let’s make the most of them!
Coach Jim Koehr