It was a great weekend of swimming for Seton – it has me very encouraged for our December 19th Homecoming Meet when we face the boys from Fredericksburg Christian with a conference championship on the line.  One thing I have concluded after this past weekend is that our Boys are better than I thought.   I knew our Girls would be strong, but I am so encouraged by the big improvements that I saw from our Boys team, that I’m thinking that our conference championship loss last year to the FCS boys will not be repeated again this year.

We had two meets this weekend.  On Friday night, we had our Icebreaker Invitational at Central Park with Trinity Christian, Randolph-Macon Academy, Wakefield, Highland, Middleburg Academy and Holy Family.  It was a great opportunity for us to show off what we have learned in the first four (4) weeks of practice – and we sure showed a lot – 107 Personal Records!

One of the highlights of the meet for me was that we welcomed two new swim teams into existence.  Trinity Christian, in their first meet ever, really put on an impressive show.  Normally in the DAC, the scores are not very close, but Trinity Christian showed me that they are going to be really good in the near future.  We’re really going to need to keep working!

And Holy Family Academy now has a team with Dani Flook as their sole swimmer.  Dani, freshly back from Italy, carried the load very well for HFA on Friday night.  We are so happy that she is back in the water with us.

Here’s the way the meet scores turned out:

Boys

Seton                       167         Trinity Christian School                                  104

Seton                       187         Wakefield                                                        71

Seton                       203         Highland                                                               61

Seton                       226         Randolph-Macon Academy                                  47

Seton                       224         Middleburg Academy                                        20

Girls

Seton                       159         Trinity Christian School                                  119

Seton                       216         Highland                                                          51

Seton                       213         Wakefield                                                              45

Seton                       224         Randolph-Macon Academy                                  37

Seton                       225         Middleburg Academy                                       19

Seton                       219         Middleburg Academy                                        12

And then on Saturday, we took our “A” Relays and our Seniors down to Woodberry Forest for their 3rd annual Relay Carnival.  It was a blast!  Not only did we get to compete in several unusual and fun relays, we also got to jump into 25 yard races in each stroke – most of us haven’t done that since we were 8 and Unders in summer league – and boy was it fun.

This Relay Carnival has become an annual Seton tradition on the first Saturday of December.  The good folks at Woodberry Forest really did a great job!

Top Performances at Central Park

There were so many great swims on Friday night and Saturday.  Here are the swimmers that scored big in one or more of their events:

  • Anna Kenna had the kind of performances this weekend to which we have become accustomed with big wins all around. On Friday night, she had individual first place finishes in both 100 Back and 100 Fly by very wide margins – she pretty much won both races by more than a half a length of the pool.  Anna also had tremendous lead-off legs in the 200 Medley and 200 Free relays, relays which placed 1st and 2nd

At the Relay Carnival, Anna turned even more heads.  She won the gold medal in 25 backstroke with her huge underwaters.  I was standing at the 15 meter ring (you cannot go more 15 meters underwater off of a wall), but I told her to push the envelope.  This was a time to practice going big – and boy did she – 25 backstroke in only 13.37 seconds!

  • Claire Kenna mirrored Anna’s results with two individual first place finishes in 50 Free and 100 Breast, both by wide margins, and a 1st and 2nd in two relays where she was the anchor leg. I always use Claire as the anchor because I know that, when the race is close, she has the heart to get to the wall first.

Claire also had a good run at the Relay Carnival with a bronze medal finish in 25 Breaststroke.  It was really good practice for Claire to be so explosive off of the wall for a short distance.  She actually improved her time over last year b .54 seconds.

  • Mairead Geiran is going to be one of those names that I suspect you will be seeing a lot in my blogs over the next six (6) years, and on Friday night she showed why. She’s only in 7th grade (so she cannot score yet), but she is already a four (4) stroke swimmer.  In the 200 IM, she went 2:30.29 – a time that would have placed 3rd overall in the meet had she not been exhibition.  And in the 500 Free her 5:56.97 actually would have won the meet!  A 7th grader breaking 6:00 in the 500?  Wow!  Even more impressive, both of those times would have qualified for States and her 200 IM would have also qualified for National Catholics.  We’ll be working on Breaststroke this week – I can’t wait to widen Mairead’s pull – then she will really start going fast!
  • Andrew Quinan, or at least the new tall and trim version of the guy, was absolutely stellar this weekend. It is still early in the season yet Andrew still managed to lower his 500 Free PR by 8.67 to go 6:11.31 and place 2nd  Andrew had a similarly stellar swim in the 200 IM where he cut 5.30 seconds to go 2:26.87 and place 3rd overall.  In the 200 Free Relay, I was stunned to see him split 24.00 – his PR in 50 Free is 25.99! (PRs don’t count off of a rolling relay start).  And in the 400 Free Relay, Andrew split 53.97 – the PR I have recorded for him is 59.02.  I cannot wait to see what he can do in the 50 and 100 from a standing start.

The Andrew Quinan show continued the next day at Relay Carnival with a 1.82 second PR in 25 Back and a .52 second PR in 25 Fly.  I think Andrew is poised for a pretty good senior season!

  • Kimberly Rector is back for her senior season and already scoring big for Seton in the toughest events. Kimberly won the 500 Free and got 2nd overall in the 200 IM with a pair of good early season swims.  Kimberly also swam well in two relays, including our 1st place girl’s medley relay.   At the Relay Carnival on Saturday, Kimberly was not feeling particularly well, but she still managed to drop .18 seconds in 25 Back.
  • Matthew Fioramonti, you stud! Great swimming on Friday with that 5.06 second PR in 200 Free and that 2.51 second PR in 100 Back.  Both swims were good enough for 3rd place overall.  Boy did he look strong in both events.  And the next day at Relay Carnival, Matt furthered secured his spot on next week’s “A” Medley relay with a .05 second PR in 50 Back and a .04 second PR in 25 Back.
  • Alex Ceol is proving to be one of our strongest male swimmers this year. I was very pleased to him cut .65 seconds from an already pretty strong Butterfly PR – his 1:07.17 was good enough for 3rd place overall.  Alex also had a nice swim in the 200 IM where he took 5th place overall.
  • Martin Quinan is taking his place as one of the leading scorers for our team. His 2.35 second PR in 100 Breast got him a 3rd place finish with a 1:12.46, and his 4.65 second PR in 200 Free got him 6th place with a 2:22.02.  Martin also hit a .68 second PR in 50 Free leading off a relay at Woodberry Forest to go 28.17.
  • Vivian Zadnik is making the most of her senior season already with two 3rd place finishes on Friday night in the 200 Free and the 100 Breaststroke. Vivian also stepped in for a sick Emily Heim to handle breaststroke duties for our 1st place girls medley relay and a leg of freestyle for our 2nd place girls 200 free relay.

107 Personal Records for 72 Swimmers!

Imagine averaging 1.5 personal records per swimmer for the first meet of the year?  Well that’s what we did!  And that even includes all of the people who missed time trials so there was no previous time against which to get a PR.  So far this season, we’ve concentrated on Freestyle and Backstroke, so most of the entries this past week were in events that used those strokes – and the results were stunning.

In the 50 Free, we had 28 PRs for 41 swims against which there was a previous time and in 100 Back, we had 25 PRs for 39 swims.  A performance like that really pleases me and all of the other coaches.

It is impossible to single out a small group of the most stunning improvements, but at the risk of failing to highlight someone, here are some of the most impressive Personal Records that I saw.   Remember, the faster you are going, the harder it is to get a big drop:

  • Joe Arnold, how do you drop 9.15 seconds in 100 Back? I can’t wait for him to grow, because he is already swimming very long.
  • Will Arnold is back with a vengeance after a one year hiatus. How about a 6.61 second drop in his premier event, 100 Fly?
  • Ashley Cackett is literally recovering from brain surgery, but you never would have known it Friday night. She cut 5.25 seconds in 50 Back leading off a medley relay and another .65 seconds off of her PR in 50 Free!
  • Elizabeth Caron, a new 7th grader on the team, is starting to look like she’s going to be a really good one for us in the future. So coachable – as evidenced by a 8.75 second drop in 100 Back.  Her new stroke was “long and strong” as former Seton Coach Pat Mulhern used to say.
  • Ben Ceol had a big meet too with a huge 5.48 second PR in 50 Back leading off a medley relay and a 1.97 second PR in 50 Free to break :30 for the first time!
  • Drew Dalrymple rocked his 100 Fly with an 8.82 second PR! He also had a huge 2.72 second PR in 50 Back leading off a medley and a 2.98 second PR in 100 Back.
  • Jerry Dalrymple somehow cut 3.86 seconds in 50 Free to go :28.97 – wow! And his 1:21.67 in 100 Back is going to score some points for us in the future for sure.
  • Ben Dealey can officially swim backstroke now. How about a 18.67 second PR in a 50 to lead off a medley relay?  Ben also cut 1.78 seconds in 50 Free to go 28.41 and break :30 for the first time!
  • David Flook is another very exciting young 8th grader that is on the team for the first time this season, and he is definitely making his mark. His backstroke improved by 1.44 seconds and is already down to 1:06.65.  To put that in perspective, at this point in Kevin Koehr’s career, he was going 1:09.45 – and Kevin ended up as an All-America.  And David is not just a backstroker.  He has a beautiful Butterfly, and 1:02.26 100 Freestyle, a 27.92 50 Free (after a .51 second PR at relay carnival) and a 2:29.64 200 IM.  To put David’s 200 IM in perspective, at this point in Nevin Cook’s career, he was going 2:26.70 – and Nevin not only ended up as an All-America, he held the Virginia State record in this event at one point.  Boy the future sure looks bright for this four (4) stroke swimmer.
  • Kevin Geiran just stunned me with his swims Friday night. He dropped 16.27 seconds in 100 Back and 2.12 seconds in 50 Free.  His 50 Free time is now down to 26.44 which will almost certainly put him in the mix for our scoring relays.  So glad he’s only a sophomore!
  • Caroline Griffin, only an 8th grader, is going to be a good one, especially if she keeps improving like she did on Friday night. Her 200 IM PR dropped by 6.43 seconds, her 100 Back PR dropped by 1.00 seconds and her 50 Back PR leading off a medley relay dropped by .64 seconds.  The National Catholic cut for girls 100 Back is 1:10.00 and Caroline is already down to 1:12.99.
  • Patrick Hall had an amazing weekend of swimming. There were more times than I count when I had to turn to Coach Lowell and ask, “who is that?”  His strokes are so much better already this year – he literally cut almost 2 minutes (113.06 seconds) from his 500 Free PR.  He also cut .70 seconds from his 100 Breaststroke PR.  Awesome job Patrick!
  • Bernadette Hassan tries so hard that I just love it when she sees a good result from her efforts – and Friday she saw some good results. How about a 9.79 second PR in 100 Back and a 2.53 second PR in 50 Free?
  • Patrick Hassan also had two PRs, one in 100 Back by .58 seconds, and one in 50 Free by .12 seconds.
  • Tom Irving was showing some finesse in that 100 Backstroke and it resulted in a 3.23 second PR for him. Tommy also sliced through the water to a .43 second PR in 50 Free.
  • Seamus Koehr is looking a lot stronger this year, and his strokes are looking much more refined. Leading off a relay, Seamus went 27.69 in 50 Free after cutting 1.13 seconds from his PR.  Seamus also cut 3.99 seconds from his 100 Breastroke PR and 4.66 seconds from his 500 Free PR – after losing his cap and googles ;-).  And at Relay Carnival, he also looked very strong, particularly in 25 Back with a huge 1.68 second PR and in 25 Fly with an even bigger 3.10 second PR.
  • Shane Koehr, an 8th grader, is starting to show what happens when you listen in practice. He lowered his 50 Free PR by 3.47 seconds, his 50 Back PR leading off a relay by 2.34 seconds and his 100 Back PR by 1.14 seconds.  Very impressive Shane!  I particularly liked your shoulder roll in backstroke.
  • Grant Mantooth was a man waiting for his moment I guess, because he swam on Friday night like I’ve never seen him swim before. Armed with some improved stroke technique, he dropped 2.22 seconds in 50 Free to go 25.38 – I’ll have to look, but I suspect that time will earn him a spot on our “A” 200 Free Relay.  Grant also dropped 5.66 seconds in 100 Breast and 3.75 seconds in 100 Free.  I can’t wait until we do more Breaststroke work in practice!  And I can’t wait to work more on his turns.  We fix those turns and the State cut of 24.49 for 50 Free and 1:09.49 for 100 Breaststroke are going to be well within Grant’s reach.
  • Josh Miller was simply awesome in the 200 Free, lowering his PR by a whopping 42.42 seconds!
  • Therese Pechie used an improved hand entry to power to a 30.86 second PR in 500 Free. If she keeps swimming with that improved technique, she should see some similar improvements in the other freestyle events.
  • Jack Santschi was another swimmer who has improved so much already this season that I barely recognized him in the water. How about an 8.74 second PR in 100 Back and a 3.59 second PR in 50 Free?  Jack’s 50 Free time is already down to 28.49 – great!
  • Leo Santschi is a senior who came out for swimming for the very first time, and I sure am having fun coaching him. It was so exciting to see his 6.84 second PR in 100 Back and his 3.77 second PR in 50 Free – Leo is now under :30 seconds in 50 Free.  Yep Leo, if it were easy, they’d call it football!
  • Anthony Spinosa is another senior who came out for swimming the first time, and like his buddy Leo, I am having a ball coaching him. His improvement has been remarkable, and he keeps asking for more.  I particularly enjoyed his 3.59 second PR in 50 Free on Friday night.
  • Peter Tozzi is swimming for Seton for the first time, and he is really starting to improve rapidly. He lowered his 100 Back PR by 6.22 seconds and his 50 Free PR by 1.49 seconds – both really nice drops.
  • Marcie Van de Voorde had two outstanding PR swims on Friday. In 100 Back, she cut a whopping 14.66 seconds, and in 50 Free, she cut a huge 3.79 seconds.
  • Dominic Wittlinger is really working hard in Coach Lowell’s lanes, and it is showing in the results. I know Coach Lowell was pleased as I was to see Dominic lower his 200 Free PR by 9.94 seconds and his 100 Free PR by .92 seconds.

And here are the rest of the great performances that made up our PR total:

  • Katie Albin was awesome in the 200 IM, cutting 2.13 seconds from her PR to miss breaking 3:00 by only .01 seconds
  • David Catabui is approaching that :30 second barrier in his 50 Free after a big 2.36 second drop. He also cut 1.10 seconds from his 100 Back PR.
  • Tim Costello broke :26 seconds in 50 Free with a .60 second PR to go :25.99! Tim also cut 1.61 seconds from his 100 Breaststroke PR.  At the relay carnival, Tim also cut his 25 Back PR by .58 seconds.
  • Kalli Dalrymple has been fighting shoulder pain, but that didn’t keep her from a .55 second PR in 100 Back and a .32 second PR in 50 Free.
  • Joe Fioramonti cut a big 2.33 seconds from his 50 Back PR leading off a medley on Friday night.
  • Justin Fioramonti also had a big PR in Backstroke cutting 1.17 seconds from his 100 Back PR
  • Rosie Hall had a nice swim in 50 Free, lowering her previous best time by .40 seconds.
  • Ryan Hall did a great job with that 2.48 second PR in 100 Back and that 1.45 second PR in 50 Free. Ryan’s 50 Free is now under :30 seconds for the first time.
  • Virginia Hartung is really improving this year. I was really pleased to see her cut 1.49 seconds from her 50 Free PR.
  • RJ Kenna cut 2.48 seconds from his 100 Fly PR. I can’t wait to see what he can do once he starts kicking!
  • Jeremy Kleb was super in the 50 Free, lowering his personal record by 2.22 seconds!
  • Brian Koehr had a some PR swims at Relay Carnival including a .50 second PR in 25 Back (14.48) and a .03 second PR in 25 Free leading off a relay (11.76). Brian’s starting to get some of that speed we saw at the end of last season back for this season.  And if you get a chance, watch Brian’s flip turn – he has one of the faster turns on the team.
  • Anne Konstanty had a pair of really nice PRs, including a 3.29 second PR in 100 Back and a 2.30 second PR in 50 Free. I was also very pleased to see how much Anne’s turns have improved.
  • Katya Konstanty, a sophomore on the team for the first time, is showing some very good early improvement. I was very pleased to see her cut 3.54 seconds in 100 Back and 3.01 seconds in 50 Free.
  • Anton Murray cut a huge 5.51 seconds from his 50 Free PR
  • Patrick Murray swam the best 100 Backstroke of his life, lowering his PR by 18.10 seconds.
  • Mary Ostrich, a freshman on the team for the first time, swam a lifetime best 100 Backstroke, by 6.88 seconds, and lifetime best 50 Free, by 2.17 seconds. Mary is really starting to get the hang of this swimming thing.
  • Michaela Pennefather got .41 seconds closer to that magical :30 second barrier in 50 Free.
  • Katharine Rowzie had a PR every time she hit the water on Friday night. She cut 6.51 seconds in 100 Back, 2.48 seconds in 50 Back leading off a medley relay, and 2.01 seconds in 50 Free.
  • Cris Salas is looking for that State cut in 50 Free – and he got .47 seconds closer to it Friday night. His 25.44 is now less than 1 second from the 24.49 qualifying time.

Other Great Performances

I’m not completely diligent at this because I’m so ADD, but here are some other great things I remember or took notes on from the meet:

  • Reilly Cuccinelli, a junior who is on the team for the first time, had to miss time trials so there was no way for her to get a PR at this meet, but that didn’t keep her from really performing well. She’s already shown that she can be one of our top freestylers, so next week, we’ll see what she can do in some other strokes too.
  • Bryanna Farmer brought a smile to my face several times over the course of the weekend with some hard fought swims on both Friday night and Saturday. I was particularly excited with her 3rd place finish overall in 100 Fly on Friday night.
  • Bridget O’Malley, a sophomore, is clearly going to be one of our scoring leaders this year and in the years to come. She had a strong 200 Free that took 2nd place overall and a 100 Free that took 6th place overall.
  • Chris Hartung is having a lot of fun discovering the power of his underwaters off of each wall. He was especially good at them during the relay carnival.  Underwater swimming off of each wall is like a 5th stroke in swimming, and Chris is starting to get the hang of it.
  • Liam Kellogg (7) and John Pennefather (FR) both had to miss time trials, which was a shame because there is no way in the world they would not have had huge PRs on Friday night. I just could not believe how strong they looked.  How about 50 Free times of 32.06 for Liam and 31.42 for John?

Qualifiers for VISAA 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 in a non-time trial meet (that’s a change from the past).  The National Catholic High School Championship Loyola University in Baltimore at the end of January and the State Championship in Christiansburg on February 19-20th.

After this weekend, here are the swimmers who have qualified individually so far: Anna Kenna, Claire Kenna, and Kimberly Rector.  All three (3) of these girls have qualified for both meets in at least one event, and I’d certainly expect them to qualify in more events in the future.

We had others who very close to qualifying, and I’d expect all three (3) to get it done sooner rather than later: Matthew Fioramonti, Brian Koehr. Cris Salas, David Flook, Grant Mantooth, Martin Quinan and Vivian Zadnik.

For relays at States, we are I am able to enter an “A” scoring relay and a qualifying “B” exhibition relay.  Swimmers are qualified to swim on a relay if they have either qualified in an individual event or swum on the relay when it hit the qualifying time.  For National Catholics, we only get an “A” Relay for each event.

When entries are due, I will create the fastest possible relay combinations from the group of qualifying swimmers.  Because we are so far away, I won’t even speculate who will actually be on these relays yet.

Here are the relays that we have qualified so far for States:

  • Boys 200 Medley “A” Relay
  • Girls 200 Medley “A” Relay
  • Girls 200 Medley “B” Relay
  • Boys 200 Free “A” Relay
  • Girls 200 Free “A” Relay
  • Boys 400 Free “A” Relay
  • Girls 400 Free “A” Relay

Here are the relays that we have qualified so far for National Catholics:

  • Girls 200 Medley “A” 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 say that there are a lot of opportunities for swimmers on our team!

Opportunities to Improve

As exciting as it all was this past weekend, there were still a few things that I am very anxious to tighten up.

  • We had a number of kids miss their events, including some upperclassmen. That has to end.  This is not summer swimming – I’m not going to set up a Clerk of the Course and I’m not going to run around with a sharpie writing your events on your hands.  We are likely to have a close meet that could determine the conference championship on December 19th.  A missed event might mean lost points.  In addition, if you are a scoring swimmer, you are taking a spot that someone else couldn’t take – that’s not fair to your teammates.
  • We worked in practice on streamlining off of the walls. The Girls are definitely better than the boys, but I saw far too few kids with “hand on top of hand, squeezing your head with your biceps until your brains squirt out of your ears”.  You’re never faster than when you push off the wall.  Why would you negate all that free speed?

Final Notes

  • We’ll continue our work on the short-axis strokes this week with a concentration on butterfly continuing on Monday and Breaststroke probably beginning on Tuesday – so don’t miss practice!
  • I’ve scheduled the pool time at Central Park for practices over Christmas break. I’m targeting December 21st, 22nd, 28th and 29th at 10:00 a.m. for Varsity swimmers (non-exhibition) only.  If you are in town, I will expect you to come.  If we want to be ready for the championship season which begins only a month after Christmas, we need to train over break.
  • On December 31st, we’ll have our annual Cystic-Fibrosis swim-a-thon. Thanks again to the Given family for running it again.  I’ll pass on more information as I get it.
  • We WILL practice Tuesday morning on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception

See you Monday morning,

Coach Jim Koehr

Seton Swimming’s G.E.M.S.

What makes Seton Swimming special?

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Gratitude

“Who has it better than us? Nobody!”

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Excellence

We focus on better. Good takes care of itself.

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Meekness

We help our opponents over the bar that we raised by winning

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Sacrifice

We offer it up. We love all of our teammates.

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