I am not trained as any sort of Philosopher, but it seems to me for things to comply with the Natural Law, they should be readily observable in nature or the nature of us as human beings. They should be obvious, meaning they should be clearly evident from our direct observation of God’s creation. In other words, they should flow naturally.
One of the naturally flowing things that I have observed over my nearly 58 years on this earth is that we all seem to be the most joyful when we accomplish something as the result of great sacrifice. In other words:
The things that bring us the greatest joy are the things for which we sacrificed the most.
It is one of the reasons why children bring their parents so much joy. It sounds kind of paradoxical doesn’t it? But it is so obviously true that it must be as God intended.
As I ponder all the joy I saw from our swimmers during and after Saturday’s 14th annual Junior Varsity Invitational, I had another opportunity to ponder the truth of this simple paradox.
You swimmers have been getting up early and trudging to swim practice in the dark and the cold since early November, and you have done it joyfully. Many of you who swam on Saturday were swimming on a team for the very first time, and some of you could barely swim at all last November.
So, it was no surprise to me that there was so much joy on the pool deck Saturday. The smiles I saw after you touched the pads, the laughter behind the blocks before each relay, and Theresa Byers doing her best Tiger Woods impression when she looked up at her time on the scoreboard put a smile on my face that is still there nearly 48 hours later.
It has been a great season for those of you who finished on Saturday, and there is more joy to come as our Varsity teams compete for their 9th and 10th VISAA Division II State Championships.
Seton created this meet back in 2008 as a season-ending championship meet for the swimmers who would not be participating in the Varsity Championship season. This year was the 8th time that the boys won and the 6th time that the girls won. I’ve posted all of the past winners under Meet Results for this year’s meet.
Here is a breakdown of this year’s top scoring teams:
Seton School 407
Trinity Christian School 171
The Carmel School 101
Veritas Collegiate 79
Williamsburg Christian Academy 53
Seton School 406
Trinity Christian School 256
Highland School 48
The Carmel School 39
Veritas Collegiate 14
Williamsburg Christian Academy 12
For the first time, we also recognized two (2) Swimmers of the Meet:
- Girls – Madisyn Carter, Highland
- Three (3) individual Gold Medals and three (3) new Meet Records
- Boys – Justin Kim, Trinity Christian School
- Three (3) individual Gold Medals
We had several new Meet Records too:
- Girls 200 IM – Madisyn Carter, Highland – 1:02.34
- Girls 50 Butterfly – Madisyn Carter, Highland – 26.67
- Girls 50 Backstroke – Madisyn Carter, Highland – 28.41
- Girls 50 Breaststroke – Angie Testani, Seton – 31.88
- Girls 200 Breaststroke Relay – Seton, Angie Testani, Amelia Geary, Lucy Pennefather, Clara Condon – 2:21.04
You can find a recording of the live stream of the meet here: Videos | Seton Swimming
Highland Swimmers Stand Out
As you know, I am standing in as the Highland School coach for this season, and as you can see above, Highland was very well represented by freshman-phenom Madisyn Carter. We would have to go back to Reni Moshos (2011-2016) to find a Highland freshman this prolific.
I have been watching Highland swimming since 2001, and they have had a lot of great young female swimmers. I remember watching the great Highland girls of that early era like Brittany Carlton, Caroline Mello, Chelsea Patry, and in the early 2010s, Jessica Diaz. More recently, I can think of Morgan Malinow, Georgia Scarborough, and Reagan Dodson.
But as good as they all were, none of them ever reached the point where you could believe they could touch the legacy of Reni Moshos – until young Madisyn Carter.
She is sleek and fast, both under and on top of the water, and her technique with every stroke and on every wall are already superior. With that in mind, her accomplishments on Saturday came as no surprise.
At the beginning of the Highland season, which was only a couple weeks ago, we sat down and set some lofty goals. One of those goals was to break three (3) Meet Records at this year’s JV Invitational. Madisyn was so impressive in her conquest of that goal, that I decided to create a new annual award for this meet: Swimmer of the Meet.
It is something I should have done 14 years ago, but after watching Madisyn swim on Saturday, it suddenly became unavoidable. I was very proud of Madisyn on Saturday, and I know her other goals, including VISAA Division II Invitational Champion, DAC Champion, and All-State status are well within her reach in the next two (2) weeks.
Before I leave Highland, I wanted to mention Highland’s senior-superstar Paris Thornburg. I was so impressed with Paris as a young woman on Saturday.
Being a senior and arguably the top female swimmer in the Delaney Athletic Conference this year, she was not eligible for this meet – but that did not stop her from coming out to the Meet on Saturday to joyfully support her younger teammate. I thought it was a wonderful example that she set for all of us.
Paris has already learned one of the most important lessons that a young person can learn; that her life is not all about her.
Top Seton Relay Swims
Our Junior Varsity Relays, like our Varsity Relays, were particularly good on Saturday, but none was better than our Girls 200 Breaststroke Relay of Angie Testani (8), Amelia Geary (FR), Lucy Pennefather (8), and Clara Condon (8).
Their Meet Record-breaking performance featured a lead-off 32.18 by Angie (itself an individual meet record), and a meet-fastest split of 32.05 on Clara Condon’s anchor leg. In the middle, Amelia Geary (FR) stepped in at the last minute to join Lucy Pennefather (8) to round out a very strong relay that won the gold medal by almost 14 seconds.
Almost all of our other Relays performed well, with Seton taking six (6) of the eight (8) possible Gold medals, even after one “A” Relay was DQ’d for an early take-off:
- Our Boys 200 Medley “B” Relay of Liam Halisky (8), Chris Lynch (FR), Max Wilson (8), and Kevin Orellana (JR) took the Gold over our “A” Relay that was DQ’d for an early take-off. The CTS didn’t capture all of the splits properly, but I’m quite sure that Chris Lynch’s breaststroke and Max Wilson’s Butterfly split were superior. And I don’t think I saw a better relay start all day long than Max Wilson’s.
- Our Girls 200 Medley Relay of Shannon O’Malley (8), Madelyn Zadnik (FR), Anastasia Garvey (7) and Elodie Brox (8) took Gold by only .28 seconds on the strength of Elodie’s finish. She switched to “effective freestyle” about 10 yards out, and like Nathan Adrian in the 2012 Olympic 100 Freestyle, it made all the difference.
- Our Boys 200 Backstroke Relay of Connor Koehr (8), Peter Konstanty (FR), Liam Halisky (8) and Mick Fioramonti (FR) won the Gold medal by an unbelievable 35 seconds! Connor Koehr’s lead-off 33.07 was particularly strong.
- Our Girls 200 Backstroke Relay of Haley Fifield (8), Shannon O’Malley (8), Amelie Halisky (SO), and Anastasia Garvey (7) won by almost 11 seconds. Anastasia Garvey’s anchor split was the fastest in the entire meet at 29.98 – very fast for a 7th grade girl!
- Our Boys 200 Breaststroke Relay of Chris Lynch (FR), Max Wilson (8), Michael Brox (8), and Mick Fioramonti (FR) was very fast on their way to the Gold medal, particularly Chris Lynch’s 37.27 lead-off and Mick Fioramonti’s 37.78 anchor split.
- Our Boys 200 Free Relay of Nicolas Nagurny (FR), Peter Konstanty (FR), Josh Fioramonti (7), and Dominic Miller (FR) swam very well to take the Silver medal. Their splits of 28.12, 27.93, 30.27 and 29.43, respectively, were all impressive.
- Our Girls 200 Free Relay of Lucia Bingham (8), Madelyn Zadnik (FR), Mary Catherine Hurley (8), and Rose Waldron (8) swam well enough to take the Silver medal. It sure was fun to see Madelyn Zadnik bouncing with joy across the deck when she saw that her split was under :30 for the first time ever!
Top Seton Individual Swims
The future of Seton Swimming is very bright. You will see what I mean as I review the swimmers who scored the most points, including all of those who won Gold, Silver or Bronze medals on Saturday:
- Angie Testani (8) had already broken the Meet Record for 50 Breaststroke leading off our 200 Breaststroke Relay, but that record only lasted until the individual event for 50 Breaststroke. Angie swam a lifetime best 31.88, dropping another .50 seconds from her swim 30 minutes before, to lower the record previously held by Williamsburg Christian’s All-State swimmer Kaitlyn Sullivan. Katie is still a senior so Angie will get to see her head-to-head this coming weekend at the D-II Invitational. Angie also took the Silver medal in 100 IM and the Bronze medal in 50 Fly, with PRs in both of those events too.
- Max Wilson (8) rocked his 50 Fly, taking the Gold medal with a 42 second PR. Max also took 4th in 100 IM (with a 4.19 second PR) and in 50 Back.
- Clara Condon (8) came off that outstanding 32.05 split in our record-setting Breaststroke Relay to take the Silver medal in 50 Fly with a 1.11 second PR 29.59, the Silver medal in 50 Breaststroke, and the Bronze medal in 100 Free. Her 50 Fly would have won Gold in nearly any other year but recall that this year’s meet featured Madisyn Carter crushing the meet record in that event.
- Peter Konstanty (FR) seemed to break out late in the season when I gave him the opportunity to swim some of the sprint events. Peter had an amazing meet with PRs each time he swam. He won the Silver medal in 50 Fly with a 4.23 second PR, and also cut 6.89 seconds in 50 Breaststroke and 6.53 seconds in 100 IM.
- Connor Koehr (8) hung close to the eventual Swimmer of the Meet in 50 Backstroke to earn the Silver medal with a very fast .21 second PR 32.62.
- Chris Lynch (FR) was on fire Saturday. Not only did he crush his split in the Breaststroke Relay, but he also took the Silver medal in 50 Breaststroke with a 10.69 second PR, he took 5th in 50 Fly with a 2.30 second PR, he took 12th in 100 IM with a 3.47 second PR, and he led off a Medley Relay with a 11.57 second PR in 50 Back.
- Nicolas Nagurny (FR) made the most of his first season on the team with a blazing fast 27.73 in 50 Free. That was a .97 second PR for Nicolas and earned him the Silver medal.
- Mick Fioramonti (FR) won two Bronze medals after a big 10.26 second PR in 100 IM and another big 2.33 second PR in 50 Backstroke.
- Josh Fioramonti (7) had a tremendous swim in 50 Fly lowering his PR by 8.29 seconds to jump up to the Bronze medal.
- Anastasia Garvey (7) swam a very strong 1:16.89 in her first-ever high school attempt at the 100 IM. That time, which would have been competitive in the Boys event, earned the 7th grader the Bronze medal. Anastasia also cut 1.27 seconds from her 50 Fly PR.
- Lucy Pennefather (8) had a break-out meet, not only in the record-breaking Breaststroke Relay. Lucy also took 4th in 50 Breaststroke with a 1.54 second PR, 5th in 100 Free with a 1:07.41, and 6th in 100 IM with a 2.95 second PR.
My Junior Girls
It is not unusual to have upperclassmen join our team for the first time, but what is unusual is to have so many Junior girls join us all at once – we have 17 Junior girls on the team this season! And seven (7) of them are swimming on a team for the first time.
I am sure a big part of the reason is that we have such a great group of Junior girl Captains who were really good at recruiting. I know Coach John Halisky is already looking to hire them as his new inside sales force!
Whatever the reason, the bond that I have developed with these girls has made the season even more special for me than normal.
I am not just talking about our Junior girl Captains Céilí Koehr, Teresa Bingham, Mary O’Malley, Lily Byers, and Isabelle Luevano. I am not just talking about returning Varsity swimmers Sophia Zadnik, Emily Flynn, Mary Clare Waldron, and Emma Catabui who were already special to me. And I am not even just talking about Lucy Garvey, who has already found a unique spot in my heart after she came to Seton for the first time this year after swimming with us during middle school.
I am also talking about a group of Junior girls who are completely new to swimming.
I generally do not coach a particular set of lanes at practice. I try to spend the maximum amount of my personal time floating from lane-to-lane teaching stroke technique. As we say in business, that is the “highest and best use” of my time.
That changed this season when we decided to add a Wednesday/Friday practice group that I coached personally along with Coach Jerry Zadnik, Virginia Hartung and Madelyn Zadnik. As a result, I got to know some of the kids better than I might otherwise have.
As I watched the meet on Saturday, I will admit to paying particularly close attention to these new Junior girls who finished their first competitive swimming season with big smiles on their faces – and with a big smile on my face too. Watching them bounce around the deck like the excited little girls that they were not so long ago will be one of my lasting memories from this season:
- Sophia Kanazeh (JR) was a kind of leader among this group I thought. She has a presence about her that I cannot put into words – there is just something unique there. I cannot wait to see what she does later in life. If she attacks her vocation the way she attacked learning freestyle, backstroke and, most recently, breaststroke, then whatever God’s plan is for her will be fulfilled.
- Theresa Byers (JR) was so excited with her 3.02 second drop in 50 Free and her 1.20 second drop in 50 Back. The first time she swam 50 Free at Time Trials, she went :54, and she could not even really swim backstroke. Saturday was the first time she has ever swum Breaststroke legally. At Time Trials, it took her 2:57.75 to finish 100 Breaststroke, yet on Saturday, she swam 50 Breaststroke in nearly 1:00.
- Clare Witter (JR) swam in the same Wednesday/Friday lane as Sophia and Theresa. Early on, I pretty much identified her by her black swim cap, but it did not take long for me to start identifying her by her rapidly improving stroke and her big smile. Clare made sure she had a big ending to her season with a 4.90 second PR in 50 Free and her first-ever attempt to swim Breaststroke in a competitive situation. It was great to see.
- Clare McCardell (JR) was an Irish Dancer with my daughter Céilí, so I’ve known of her for awhile now, but it was great to actually get to know her and her siblings more personally when they joined the team for the first time. It was also a lot of fun to watch Clare drop another 1.53 seconds in 50 Free to wrap up her season on Saturday.
- Rebekah DeWolf (JR) swam a Personal Record every time she hit the water on Saturday. It was so much fun watching her drop 4.82 seconds in 100 Free, .78 seconds in 50 Free, .26 seconds in 50 Back leading off a medley relay and then another 1.29 seconds in the 50 Back individual event.
- Jacinta Gonzalez (JR) always brought her joy to practice with Coach Zadnik and Coach Linda Byers. On Saturday, it was amazing to see a 12.53 second drop in 100 Free! She also broke 1:00 in 50 Back for the first time after a huge 7.23 second PR and almost break :40 in 50 Free after another .54 second PR.
- Emma Brox (JR) had swum before, but never at Seton. This season, she followed her siblings to the team, and I was so pleased at the progress she made. On Saturday, her 50 Free time dropped to 31.22 (a .34 second PR) and her 100 Free dropped to 1:13.91 (a 2.85 second PR). Those were huge improvements from her 34.79 and her 1:22.65 at the beginning of the season, respectively.
I have a lot of framed pictures in my office on the counter behind my desk – I am looking at one the 2012 Senior girls gave me right now. Let’s make sure we get a good picture of me with all of you girls at the awards banquet so I can look at that in the future too.
Let me add a few senior girls here, because they occupied that same special space as their Junior teammates:
- Teresa Kerlek (SR) paved the way for the Junior girls, above, by being a Junior girl who joined the team for the first time herself last year. Saturday was her last meet at Seton, and I suspect ever. She always brought a smile with her to practice and the meets, and I always knew she would give it her all. I was grateful for the joy that she brought to me also.
- Virginia Hartung (SR) did not swim on Saturday because she made the Varsity team for the first time, but she did coach several of the swimmers who did swim. Believe it or not, Virginia Hartung e-mailed me early in the season when we created the Wednesday/Friday practice group, and, knowing that I was over-committing myself, stepped forward to serve as the Captain and Assistant Coach for that group. Wow! When I first appointed Virginia a team Captain at the end of last season, I had an inkling that she might be a natural leader from no other reason than her family demographics. How right that inkling proved to be!
- Teresa Mosimann (SR) did not swim on Saturday either because she also made the Varsity team. Teresa has had siblings swim on the team over years, but this has been the first year that she chose to swim – and I am so glad that she did! With Coach DD Ross out for much of the season, I got the opportunity to coach her personally. She is a just a wonderful young woman to be around. Plus, she has moved the needle for us in scoring against Trinity Christian, and I expect that she will be one of the difference-makers against TCS in next two championship meets – I expect them to be very close.
Varsity Time Trials for the virtual State Championship Meet
As I have explained before, this year’s State Championship will be virtual meaning that every team will submit their entries with the best times they have swum during the current season, and the meet will be scored as if those were the times swum in the meet.
That means that anyone who wants to win can afford can find an advantage if they can create opportunities for their swimmers to don the knee skins and get hyped to swim fast in an environment that is as close to a State Meet environment as possible.
Given our long-time rivalry with Trinity Christian, I thought, “What could be better than putting our boy’s and girl’s 400 Free Relays side-by-side in the middle of the pool for a head-to-head race in public?”.
After discussing it with Trinity coach Alyssa Knauf, that is exactly what we did – in a non-scoring Time Trial event that ran right near the beginning of the meet.
The result on the Girls side was the fastest two (2) 400 Free Relay times swum so far this season in all the VISAA, including Division I, with Seton just behind Trinity Christian. On the Boy’s side, the result was the fastest time in all the VISAA Division II with Seton more than four (4)-seconds ahead of the second fastest, Trinity Christian.
Both races were very exciting with tremendous swims from all the swimmers involved, but let me start with the girls:
Our Girls 400 Free Relay of Angie Testani (8), Mary O’Malley (JR), Lucy Garvey (JR) and Mary Pennefather (SO) exceeded my expectations for how fast they swum. Next weekend, I will ask all the girls who own one to wear their knee skin suits, but for this week, I was focused on these four (4) girls – this was their State Championship race – and they swam like it!
Our girls entered the Meet with a PR of 4:04.94. When I added up their fastest individual splits for the season, I could see that they should be capable of swimming 4:00.80. They were not even close to that.
The Trinity Christian girls’ PR for the season was 3:58.68 and the swum of their season-best splits was 3:58.38. Had Teagan Stermer been available, that sum would have dropped to 3:57.03 – so I knew we were going to have our hands full.
Our girls met the challenge with their most amazing swims of the season: Angie Testani split 58.85 on a previous PR split of 59.78, Mary O’Malley split 59.50 on a previous PR split of 1:00.80 (broke a minute!), Lucy Garvey split 58.75 on a previous PR split of 59.98, and most impressively of all, Mary Pennefather anchored with a blazing fast split of 57.40 on a season-best split of 1:00.24.
The result was an unbelievable 3:54.50 – a drop of 10.44 seconds!
For Mary Pennefather, that was not just a season best, it was a lifetime best. Last season at National Catholics, she split her previous best at 57.52. I was so pleased with that swim, particularly when you consider that, after COVID closures, snow cancellations, and her ankle injury, she has only had the benefit of 18 total practices. It just gives you an idea of the sort of athlete we are dealing with here – Mary Pennefather is back!
Unfortunately for us, the Trinity girls were also up for the challenge, and swam incredibly well themselves. Jenna Phillips (SR) split 58.68 on a previous PR split of 59.68, Caroline Sykes (SR) split 1:01.45 on a previous PR split of 1:02.62, Reagan Buff (FR) split 59.11 on a previous PR split of 59.78, and most damaging of all, Annalise Cornett (SR) split a blazing fast 54.49 on a season-best split of 56.30.
With that incredible anchor leg from Annalise, Trinity was able to out-touch us by 0.77 seconds to take the victory. As I said on the broadcast though, we are in no position to complain. We swam our hearts out and did our best. When you can say that, then it does not make the sting go away completely, but all you can do is tip your hat to the winners.
In the end, we may have both been winners through, because, as I told the Trinity girls before the race, our goal is to sit #1 and #2 atop of the VISAA Division II leader board – and we are not there for Division I also!
For the Boys, our 400 Freestyle Relay of Joe Wilson (SO), Evan Wilson (SR), Nathan Luevano (SO), and Jack Santschi (SR) also had a superior swim beating our previous season best 400 Free Relay time by 1.09 seconds to post the fastest VISAA Division II time so far this season. Our 3:41.58 time is also the 7th fastest overall.
The PR swim was amazing, not just because of the four (4) great splits, including a huge PR split of 55.52 from Nathan Luevano, but also because we were missing two of our four (4) fastest 100 freestylers. Both Liam Kellogg (SR) and Jerry Dalrymple (SR) were out of town this past weekend.
Recall that we have the option to submit a relay time as the sum of our four (4) fastest flat start times from this season. Looking at our relay that way, then Jack Santschi’s 52.60 plus Liam Kellogg’s 54.87 plus Jerry Dalrymple’s 54.94 plus Joe Wilson’s 55.52 result in an aggregate time of 3:37.93.
That 3:37.93 would jump us up to the 6th fastest time in all the VISAA (both D-I and D-II) so far this season. Of course, other teams may also find that their aggregate times are faster, so we will have to wait and see – or just get a faster time!
Here are a few of the other Varsity Swimmers who made the most of their opportunity to swim in a Time Trial:
- Teresa Bingham (JR) cut .45 seconds in 100 Free.
- JJ Brox (SO) dropped another .07 seconds in 50 Free.
- Joey Dealey (SO) lowered his 100 Free PR by .81 seconds.
- Emily Flynn (JR) had another big drop in 100 Free, nearly breaking 1:00 after a 1:06 second drop.
- Isabelle Luevano (JR) got down to 1:00.03 in 100 Free after lowering her PR by another .26 seconds.
- Nathan Luevano (SO) swam a blazing fast 25.22 50 Free after a .25 second drop.
- John McGrath (JR) was able to join us for one last swim and took full advantage, cutting .16 seconds from his 50 Free PR to go 25.64.
- Mary O’Malley (JR) lowered her flat-start 100 Free PR by another .43 seconds. Now that she has tasted a :59 with a relay split, I know she wants more of that from a flat start!
- Evan Wilson (SR) got down to 56.10 in a flat-start 100 Free, beating his previous best by .37 seconds.
Even with all of that great swimming from our Varsity kids, our quest to win our 9th and 10th VISAA Division II State Championships is far from complete. We have two big championship meets with the VISAA Division II Invitational Championship on Saturday, February 6th and then DAC Champs on Thursday, February 11th.
We need to treat both of those meets like this year’s State Championship. Let us leave nothing undone. Bring those knee skin suits and as much determination as you can muster!
Believe it or not, we had another 130 Personal Records on Saturday! That is really quite remarkable considering that a lot of kids were swimming events for which I had no previous flat-start time (like 50 Breaststroke for instance).
Here are the swimmers who swam a PR on Saturday who I have not already mentioned:
- Jed Albin (FR) had a great season-ending performance with three (3) PRs including a 2.83 second PR in 100 Free, a 2.59 second PR in 50 Back, and a 1.11 second PR in 50 Free. Jed’s 50 Free is now down to 30.10.
- Molly Bauer (8) had a great swim in 50 Back, dropping .16 seconds from her previous best.
- Lucia Bingham (8) looked very strong in the water, and it showed in her times – she had four (4) PRs on Saturday! In 50 Fly she cut 2.70 seconds, in 50 Back she cut 1.24 seconds, in 50 Free she cut .86 seconds, and then in 50 Free leading off a relay she cut another .06 seconds.
- Mariana Bingham lowered her 50 Free PR by another .31 seconds.
- Elodie Brox (8) did more than just a great anchor leg in that medley relay we spoke about above. She also cut 7.45 seconds in 100 IM and 1.93 seconds in 50 Breaststroke.
- Michael Brox (8) broke :30 for the first time in 50 Free, cutting .39 seconds from his previous best.
- Lucy Cunningham (8) had a great three (3)-PR meet including a 1.37 second drop in 50 Back leading off a relay, a 1.34 second drop in 100 IM, and a .55 second drop in 100 Free.
- Kyle Da Re (SR) ended his career at Seton in style with a big 6.12 second PR in 50 Breast, a .72 second PR in 50 Free, and a .53 second PR in 50 Back.
- Haley Fifield (8) looked great in the water. Her backstroke in particular looked good with a 2.29 second PR leading off the backstroke relay. Haley also cut a whopping 4.24 seconds from her 50 Breaststroke PR.
- Elizabeth Francis (8) was a happy girl after she beat her previous best in 50 Back by 3.15 seconds!
- Amelia Geary (FR) had such a breakout season that she jumped onto that record-breaking relay (above). She also dropped 7.88 seconds in 50 Fly and 2.77 seconds in a flat-start 50 Breaststroke.
- Christian Ghering (8) really did well in his 50 Free, dropping a huge 3.36 seconds.
- Max Gonzalez (8) looked very fast in 50 Free. His 33.14 was 1.26 seconds faster than his previous PR.
- Orla Haggerty (8) was killing it with her much-improved stroke technique. How about a 8.93 second drop in 50 Breast, a 7.59 second drop in 100 Free, a 1.44 second drop in 50 Free, and a 1.20 second drop in 50 Free again leading off a relay?
- Amelie Halisky (SO) had big season-ending PRs in 100 IM, by 1.69 seconds, in 50 Breaststroke, by 1.24 seconds, and in 100 Free, by .28 seconds.
- Liam Halisky (8) showed me that he can be a good Butterflier after his 5.37 second PR in the 50.
- Sophia Halisky swam really well in 50 Back leading off a relay and in 50 Fly, dropping 1.29 seconds and .09 seconds, respectively.
- Gabe Hambleton (7) looked great in his 50 Free dropping another 3.70 seconds. He looked even better in his first-ever attempt at 50 Breaststroke.
- Monica Hartung (7) swam stronger than I’ve seen her swim all year, particularly in Freestyle where she dropped 7.70 seconds in 100 Free and 6.32 seconds in 50 Free.
- Patrick Hartung (SO) is quickly learning how to take advantage of his length and it showed with a 6.58 second PR in 50 Fly, a 2.14 second PR in 50 Back leading off a relay, and a 1.15 second PR in 100 Free. I love to see how he is pulling all the way through now.
- Peter Hartung (8) had a big meet with huge drops in 50 Back (by 5.98 seconds), 100 Free (by 4.55 seconds), and 50 Free (by .37 seconds).
- Daniel Hurley (7) has improved an unbelievable amount this season, including Saturday’s 2.93 second PR in 50 Back and 2.43 second PR in 50 Free. Daniel also swam Breaststroke for the first time in a Meet and nearly broke 1:00.
- Seth Kellogg (8) was killing it! I loved to see his 4.76 second PR in 50 Fly, his 4.97 second PR in 50 Breast, and his .32 second PR in 50 Free leading off a relay.
- Kieran Kelly (8) is down to 35.05 in 50 Free after another .02 second drop. That’s pretty fast for a first-year swimmer.
- Colette Kramer (7) had her best swim of the season in 100 Free, lowering her PR by 3.10 seconds.
- Kateri Mantooth (SO) was a great addition to the team this year. Her first-ever high school attempts at 100 IM and 50 Breaststroke were outstanding, and her 100 Free was a 2.82 second PR.
- Aidan McCardell (7) was starting to make things look easy. That was certainly the case in 100 Free where he swam the entire event without switching to backstroke and did it 9.96 seconds faster than ever before. He also looked very good competing in Breaststroke for the first time in his life.
- Dominic Miller (FR) has developed a much longer stroke freestyle, and it is his hard work on that new stroke to which I attribute his big 2.97 second PR in 100 Free. He also swam a very competitive 1:17 in 100 IM and 34.01 in 50 Back.
- Anthony Morales (7) was faster than ever in 50 Free, lowering his PR by .51 seconds.
- Jenna Novecosky (SO) has improved dramatically this season. In her first year at Seton School, Jenna jumped into swimming and ended her season with a 2.35 second PR in 50 Back and a .16 second PR in 50 Free. She also competed in Breaststroke for the very first time.
- Shannon O’Malley (8) had huge drops in 50 Back (by 3.75 seconds) and in 50 Fly (by 3.12 seconds).
- Kevin Orellana (JR) never looked better in 100 Free, and boy did it show – how about an 18.89 second drop! Kevin also cut 4.15 seconds in 50 Back and 2.32 seconds in 50 Free.
- Emma Reynolds (SO) cut 5.04 seconds from her 50 Free PR!
- William Reynolds (7) had a nearly unbelievable 38.68 second drop in 100 Free. William also cut .73 seconds from his 50 Free PR.
- Olivia Sayani (SO) was all smiles as she got out of the water after her .29 second PR in 50 Back and her 1.78 second PR in 50 Free.
- JoJo Vander Woude (8) wrapped up a great first season with a 1.29 second PR in 50 Back and a .70 second PR in 50 Free.
- Cate Waldron (FR) had three (3) PRs including a 7.74 second drop in 50 Breaststroke, a .96 second drop in 50 Back, and a .74 second drop in 50 Free.
- Rose Waldron (8) is going to be a good Butterflier, and it showed in her 7.67 second drop in 50 Fly. She also used her underwater Butterfly kick to drop 2.30 seconds in 50 Back.
- Christina Witter (7) has developed a long and beautiful freestyle after a season of dramatic improvement. It is amazing what you can do when you have the heart of Christina Witter. Christina ended her season with a 3.12 second drop in 50 Back, a 1.37 second drop in 50 Free, and a great first-attempt at 50 Breaststroke.
- Madelyn Zadnik (FR) had a huge 3.23 second drop in 50 Breaststroke and a huge 2.40 second drop in 50 Fly.
Other Great Swims
Finally, we had several other swimmers end the season with strong swims:
- Julia Atkinson (FR) has shown good improvement this season, and her strokes continue to be long and graceful. I particularly enjoyed watching her first attempt in 100 IM because she can swim all four (4) strokes.
- Greg Bauer (7) is going to be a good one when he gets older. His 100 IM was very competitive, particularly for a first-ever attempt at the event.
- Moira Haggerty (SO) continues to look good in the water. I can’t wait to work with her on Butterfly next season, an event where I think she can score some points for Seton.
- Mary Catherine Hurley (8) looked really good on Saturday, particularly in her first attempt at the 100 IM and 50 Breaststroke.
- Joseph Minarik joined us in the water just a few weeks ago so I didn’t have any previous times on him. Trust me when I tell you though, Joseph swam three massive Personal Records.
- Mary Catherine Munsell (7) swam some pretty good times in her first attempts at 50 Backstroke and 50 Breaststroke.
- Kevin Norton (7) is going to be a good one, I can see it already. He started in Group 4 and progressed so quickly that he ended up leading a lane in Group 3. He tried 100 IM, 50 Fly and 50 Breaststroke for the first time on Saturday. Can’t wait to work with him again next season to see how far he can go.
- Mary Claire Osilka (7) came along way this season, and it showed in first attempts at 50 Back and 50 Breaststroke.
There have been many reasons that this has been a great season so far, not the least of which is that we are having a season at all! I am so pleased that all of the kids who got to compete on Saturday were able to grow physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually through the sport of swimming.
Now it is up to the final 39 Varsity swimmers on our team to close out the season with some championships. We have two big meets left where we will actually be in the water:
- VISAA Division II Invitational Championship – Saturday, February 6th at the Freedom Center
- DAC Conference Championship Meet – Thursday night, February 11th at the Freedom Center
During those meets, we will not only be competing for those championships, but we will also be competing to swim the best possible times to submit to the virtual State Championship Meet.
To make sure we are properly prepared, I am trying to get some pool time for practice on Wednesday morning for the Varsity swimmers. (The Divers will also have their normal practice then). Plan on a Wednesday swimming practice, but I will confirm when I hear back from the Freedom Center.
Let’s make a strong final push toward the championship meets!
Coach Jim Koehr