On Friday night, Seton Swimming was honored to participate in the inaugural high school swim meet at the new Collegiate Aquatic Center on the south side of Richmond. We were joined by two of the top Division I teams, with two of the top coaches, in the State of Virginia: Collegiate School and Norfolk Academy. As usual, they were extremely gracious to us.
The pool was the result of the Greater Richmond Area Partnership (GRAP) between Collegiate School, Trinity Episcopal School, Poseidon Swimming, Sports Backers and the Richmond Kickers. Led by Collegiate board member Bill Ukrop of Richmond grocery store fame, GRAP actually purchased the above-ground pool used for the 2008 US Olympic Swimming Trials in Omaha, Nebraska and reinstalled it in a gorgeous facility in Chesterfield County.
We took the unusual step of renting buses to make the trip a season opening teambuilding affair. I trust everyone had a great time on the road trip. (I understand that we got our money’s worth at CiCi’s pizza afterwards also.)
Before the meet, I told the kids a little about the pool, including the fact that 9 world records have been set in it. So I challenged our team – not to set 9 new world records but to set 90 new personal records. And they did it! We had an amazing 93 PRs on Friday night, a great night by anyone’s standards.
’12-’13 Seton Swimming Leadership
Also before the meet, I announced our new leadership for the coming the season. I had a number of good candidates so I felt the need to change how I organize the leadership structure. This change will allow me to not just get the right people representing me as leaders on the team, but it will also allow me to hopefully turn this season into a leadership development experience for them also:
|Captains||Luke Marrazzo||Mikey Wittlinger|
|Asst. Coaches||Joe Kosten||Alex Sinner|
I was particularly excited about appointing Joe and Alex as assistant coaches. They have been coming from their USA practices and helping kids our team improve their strokes and their walls. I love the excitement they show after teaching a young swimmer to dive for the first time or after helping them make some improvement to their stroke. I know they will follow in the footsteps of former great swimmer-coaches like Connor Cook and Lauren Donohoe.
There were so many great swims, that it is difficult to single out just a few, but here’s an attempt to highlight some of the most outstanding performances that I saw:
- Joe Kosten had a great early season meet. Normally, a swimmer of Joe’s caliber won’t see big PRs until late in the season as he reconditions and then tapers his training, but Joe defied expectations with a 6.38 second PR in 200 IM and a 3.62 second PR in 100 Breast – both of which qualify him for the State Championship meet!
- Cris Salas deserved to be excited after hitting 4 PRs, one in everything he swam. How about a 6.52 second PR in 200 Free, a 2.79 second PR in 100 Back, a 2.02 second PR in 50 Free leading off a free relay and a 1.65 second PR in 50 back leading off the medley relay. Nice work Cris!
- Brian Koehr took on a really big workload and made the most of the opportunity. In the 500 Free, he dropped an amazing 50.43 seconds and in the 200 IM, he cut 15.39 seconds. He also cut over 5 seconds in 50 Back leading off the medley and was very close to his PR in 100 Free leading off a 400 Free relay. I’m sure he slept well – especially after eating a reported 16 slices of pizza!
- Tyler Hoffman may have caught the swimming bug. I was so pleased to see him lower his 100 Back PR by 16.25 seconds and his 50 Free PR by 4.25 seconds. 53 in 50 Free for an 8th grader is starting to get pretty good.
- Cecilia Garvey’s backstroke has really been looking good in practice so I was so pleased to see it translate to a 3.84 second PR down in Richmond. Cecilia also had 3 other PRs on Friday night including a .33 and then a .77 PR in 50 Free and a .70 PR in 50 Back leading off the medley relay. She’s only in 8th grade, so I’m looking forward to big things from Cecilia in the future!
- Tommy Flook continues to show that he came to play this season. In the 200 Free, he cut 11.86 seconds, quite a bit for someone who is already swimming pretty fast. In 100 Fly, he cut an equally amazing 5.17 seconds, and in 50 Back leading off the medley relay, he cut .61 seconds. Only a sophomore, I see big things in Tommy’s future.
- And sister Dani Flook is also swimming in an inspired manner. She swam 200 IM for the first time and broke 3:00 – a significant accomplishment for an 8th grade girl. She also dropped 5.32 seconds and went 1:6.88 in 100 Back. She does such a nice job in this stroke, that I have been using her to demonstrate the drills for me in practice.
- Will Arnold just continues to impress! Almost unbelievably, he cut 24.62 seconds from his 200 IM PR and 13.88 seconds from his 100 Fly PR. He’s only a freshman, and I can already see that he is going to score a lot of points for us over the next 4 years! Will also lowered his 50 Free PR by nearly .82 seconds.
- This is Matt Fioramonti’s first year swimming, but I think he’s starting to get the hang of it. On Friday, Matt cut 71.44 seconds (not a typo) from his 100 Backstroke time at Time Trials. I think he’s learned how to swim the stroke! 1:24.70 is a great time for a first-time swimmer in his 2nd Matt also cut 1.96 seconds from his 50 Free PR.
- Andrew Bishop is really working hard in practice to apply what we are trying to teach him – and the results are starting to show. It is not normally possible for someone who is already as fast as he is to drop 1.58 seconds in 50 Free, but that’s what he did. He also had two PRs in 100 Free swimming it during the meet and as the lead-off of our 400 Free relay. I’m very happy to look down at my report and see that Andrew is only a sophomore!
An Incredible 93 Personal Records
It is seldom that see this many personal records in a single meet, especially this early in the season. Generally, you’d expect more PRs after more time conditioning, but that was not the case on Friday night. It is just another confirmation of our team philosophy that “the faster way to get faster is to do the strokes correctly”. Many of the older kids on our team who didn’t hit PRs were very close – so just wait until you get into shape!
Below is an enumeration of the rest of the great performances that made up this total:
- Ben Ceol really had a great swim in 100 Back, lowering his previous best from Time Trials by almost 11 seconds. He also swam two PRs in 50 Free during the individual event and leading off a 200 Free relay.
- John Paul Kleb was super on Friday night with 3 PRs. In the 100 Back, he cut 3.42 seconds, in 50 Free he cut 1.33 seconds and in 50 back leading off a medley relay he cut 1.33 seconds.
- Georgine Irving brought some of that New Jersey attitude of her’s to Richmond and swam 3 PRs also. She lowered her 100 Back PR by 4.58 seconds and then twice lowered her 50 Free PR by the same 4.08 seconds.
- Patrick Dealey seems to be inspired to do well this season. He cut 4.39 seconds from his 50 Back PR leading off a medley relay. He also had two 50 Free PRs swimming it in the individual event and then leading off a 200 Free relay.
- Ben Dealey is getting the hang of backstroke as evidenced by his 22.01 second improvement. He also improved by 6.25 seconds in 50 Free. Those are some big drops Ben – Coach Irving will be very proud to read this!
- Joe Fioramonti had two big PRs on Friday. Joe cut 5.46 seconds from his previous best 50 Free and 5.02 seconds from his previous best 100 Back.
- John Paul Kenneally made it worth the trip with an 11.89 seconds PR in 100 Back and a 4.09 second PR in 50 Free. Those were some very nice swims.
- 7th grader Natalie McIntyre had a big evening with two huge PRs. She improved her 50 Free by an amazing 4.82 seconds and her 100 Back by an incredible 4.36 seconds.
- Dominic Wittlinger had incredible drops in both of his events also, cutting 4.79 seconds from his 100 Back PR and 3.58 seconds from his 50 Free PR.
- It’s been fun to see Kimberly Rector back at Seton’s practice. She smiled her way a 13.35 second PR in 100 Fly and a .49 second PR in 50 back leading off our medley relay.
- I was really pleased to see Sally Marrazzo swim so well. In the 500 Free, she cut 3.49 seconds and in the 50 Free, she cut. 30 seconds.
- David Catabui showed tremendous improvement in the 50 Free, cutting 11.33 seconds! He also cut 5.47 seconds from his 100 Back PR. I hope you enjoyed your visit with your Aunt Bridgit – say hi for me.
- Martin Quinan seems to be getting a lot out of practice. On Friday, he swam a personal best in both 100 Back (by 6.11 seconds) and 50 Free (by 1.60 seconds)
- Up and coming Freshman Ryan Pugh swam two PRs, including a huge 8.13 second PR in 100 Back and a .96 second PR in 50 Free.
- Paul Pechie rocked the 500 Free with a 29.09 second Personal record and he did equally well in the 100 Fly where he swam a 9.21 second PR. It is great to see this sophomore step up so effectively for our team in the more difficult events.
- Mark O’Donohue is probably looking forward to our upcoming work in Breaststroke after his 4.14 second PR in the event. He also cut 1.15 seconds in 50 Back leading off a medley relay.
- Collette Kosten swam 2 Personal Records. She cut 9.32 seconds in 100 Back and 1.74 seconds in 50 Free.
- Great job Connor Given! I was very pleased to see you drop 17.73 seconds in 100 Back and 7.33 seconds in 50 Free – that’s a lot of improvement!
- Elizabeth Earls welcomed a new sibling into the world with a .63 second PR in 100 Breast and a .51 second PR leading off the 200 Free relay. I’m glad she was able to make the meet. Only a Seton Mom could possibly send me an e-mail like the one I got from her mother. Her mother, Diana Higgs, informed me that she might not be able to drive for a “few days” because of her C-Section! Just a few days? Some of these Seton woman are really tough! I can see where Elizabeth gets it.
- Noelle Hickey did a really nice job in her two events, including a 1.63 second PR in 100 Back and a 1.04 second PR in 50 Free.
- Xavier Holl is back on the team this year and continuing his consistent improvement. He cut another .54 seconds from his 100 Back PR and another .09 seconds from his 50 Free PR
- Joe Zapiain promised me a PR in the 50 Free, and he delivered, dropping .25 seconds down to 26.67.
- Vivian Zadnik had a nice swim in the 50 Free also, dropping 2.89 seconds!
- Connor Kleb came up big in the 500 Free with a 15.69 second PR. As the season progresses, I’d expect Connor to score some points for us in this event!
- How about Jillian Ceol lowering her 500 Free PR by 5.00 seconds this early in the season? Nice work!
- Kalli Dalrymple improved her 50 Free PR by a very large 3.76 seconds.
- Kenneth Cuomo had a nice swim in 100 Back, lowering his PR by 3.85 seconds. He also made a great first attempt at the 200 IM.
- After being sick for most of last week, Tim Costello somehow managed to lower his 50 Free PR by 2.28 seconds!
- Bryanna Farmer is showing signs of significant progress this season already. Even this early in the season, Bryanna managed to drop 1.25 seconds in 200 Free.
- John O’Donohue continues to improve in so many ways including his 50 Free PR, which dropped by 1.82 seconds.
- Brendan Santschi saw the fruits of his hard work in practice with a 3.24 second PR in 50 Free.
- Nina Francis cut even more time from her 50 Free PR, lowering her previous best by 3.54 seconds.
- Meridyth Rosato dropped nearly 2 whole seconds in 50 Free
- Tommy Moore matched Meridyth with a 1.98 second PR in 50 Free also.
- Rose Remington also dropped 1.41 seconds in 50 Free. Hope you represented Seton well in the Manassas Christmas parade!
- Nice work Fiona Miller with that 4.32 second PR in 100 Back.
- David Lambrecht cut 3.71 seconds in 50 Back leading off a medley relay. He also had some nice swims in the 200 and 500 Free events.
- Alex Sinner, after swimming earlier that day, improved her Seton PR in the 200 Free by .10 seconds. Her swim early in the day was even faster. See you at States Alex!
- James Kosten did a nice job in his first meet with a 2.69 second PR in 50 Free.
- Allison Given lowered her 100 Back PR by another .69 seconds.
Let’s Try the 500 Free and 200 IM!
Two of the most difficult events in a high school swim meet are the 200 IM and the 500 Free, but for that reason, we can often score the most points against our competition in these events using swimmers who are willing to do their best in all that they do.
During the season, I will try to make sure that as many people as possible get their shot to make a difference for Seton in these events. Here were the kids who swam these events for the first time ever on Friday night – I was really pleased with how they did:
- Dani Flook, 200 IM
- Ashley Cackett, both 200 IM and 500 Free!
- Michael Kenneally, 200 IM
- Kenneth Cuomo, 200 IM
- Elizabeth Earls, 500 Free
It is never too early to start thinking about States and National Catholics!
Unlike most of our other meets, during the Championship season, we have two big swim meets that require participants to achieve a qualifying time during this season (that’s a change from the past). The National Catholic High School Championship is at Villanova University at the end of January and the State Championship at the same pool we swam in on Friday night over the 3rd weekend in February.
After this weekend, here are the swimmers who have qualified individually so far:
|National Catholics||Alex Sinner|
· 200 Free
· 100 Free
· 100 Back
· 200 IM
· 100 Breast
· 50 Free
· 100 Free
200 Medley “A”
200 Free Relay “A”
400 Free Relay “A”
400 Free Relay “B”
· 500 Free
· 200 Free
· 100 Free
· 100 Back
· 200 IM
· 100 Breast
· 100 Free
200 Medley “A”
200 Free Relay “A”
400 Free Relay “A”
400 Free Relay “B”
| Joe Kosten|
· 200 IM
· 100 Breast
200 Medley Relay
200 Free Relay
For relays, we are I am able to enter an “A” scoring relay and a qualifying “B” exhibition relay. At the time that I submit our relay entries, I will enter the fastest two qualifying relays that I can, so that means that relay line-ups are subject to change up to the last moment depending on who is the fastest at that time. For now, I won’t even attempt to project who is traveling with us for relays yet – I will just say that there are a lot of opportunities for swimmers on our team!
Thank You Coach Mark Faherty
For those of you at practice on Thursday, you had the outstanding opportunity to learn how to do a freestyle and backstroke flip turn from one of the area’s outstanding coaches, Mark Faherty, the administrative head coach Nation’s Capital Swim Club West (formerly Curl-Burke). Coach Faherty came in to guest coach while I had to be down at the Darden (UVa) Business School, and from all accounts, he was truly outstanding. If you are feel inclined, click on Coach Faherty’s name above and send him a brief note of thanks.
On a personal note, you might find it interesting to learn that I used to mow the lawn and babysit for Mark’s parents when I was a young teenager outside of Alexandria, Virginia. I remember clearly when Coach Faherty was born – I must be getting old 😉
So How Do you Score in a High School Meet anyway?
With so many families new to Seton Swimming, I thought you might find it helpful to see an explanation of how we score our meets. It’s a little confusing so I’ve included a detailed explanation in Coach Koehr’s Corner.
Opportunities for Improvement
As always, I’d like to highlight some of our opportunities to improve. This week, there were two areas where we must get better:
- Meet Warm-up – Now that we have Captains appointed, I hope that this gets better, but when Coach Lowell tells you to get behind the blocks for warm-up, he shouldn’t have to tell you to get an even number of kids in each lane. When he calls your heat to jump in feet first, he should see your entire heat leap simultaneously. And when he says that you should swim for 5 continuous minutes, he definitely should not see you stopping on the wall to chat with your friends. I’ll be looking for the captains to help fix this at Saturday’s meet
- We still had some kids miss events. No excuse for that. This is a high school swim team, and you all should be able to get to where you are supposed to be at the time you are supposed to be there without any adult supervision.
Please pray for the Irving Family and Coach Irving’s father.
We’ll start breaststroke this coming week, so don’t miss practice!
See you Monday morning,
Coach Jim Koehr