Last Saturday, Seton Swimming hosted a number of DAC conference opponents plus a visiting team, St. Mary’s Ryken, of Leonardtown, MD and defeated all comers. I was particularly pleased with the result considering the fact that all of our USA swimmers were away at their big winter focus meets, so we claimed these victories with swimmers that practice exclusively with us.
I was also very pleased by the way our team supported one another, the improvement I’m seeing in everyone’s stroke technique, and the 84 Personal Records that we set.
The final scores for this week turned out like this:
Seton 166 St. Mary’s Ryken 103
Seton 175 St. Michael 94
Seton 191 Fredericksburg Christian 84
Seton 191 Wakefield 64
Seton 197 Wakefield Country Day 58
Seton 202 Middleburg Academy 42
Seton 216 Highland 35
Seton 168 St. Mary’s Ryken 111
Seton 214 Highland 55
Seton 209 Fredericksburg Christian 52
Seton 208 St. Michael 50
Seton 211 Middleburg Academy 34
Seton 219 Wakefield 32
Seton 207 Wakefield Country Day 29
With our All-State swimmers out for the weekend, it was very exciting to see other swimmers step up and fill their scoring roles. There were so many kids who had tremendous performances. I generally don’t highlight nearly this many swimmers in this section of my blog, but I decided that I was simply going to have to make an exception this week:
- Did you see Michael Hill breakthrough in sprint freestyle? For those who pay attention like I do, you may have noticed that, for the last two years, Michael’s 50 Free seemed to hover around 28-high or 29-low, and he just couldn’t seem to get that big drop. Well, it definitely happened on Saturday when he cut 1.65 seconds (not a typo) in 50 Free. That is a big drop for someone at Michael’s level. When he was swimming, I asked Coach Lowell, “Who’s that in the water”. When he said “Michael Hill”, I didn’t believe him at first – that’s how much better his freestyle looked. Great job Michael – all that hard work paid off for you!
- Patrick Koehr had similar breakthrough in the sprints. I was stunned to watch him drop 1.32 seconds from his 50 Free PR. His 26.17 is now the 2nd fastest boy’s time on the team behind only Vincent “Catfish” Dunn. And his anchor split in the medley relay was even faster – 25.72! Then in the 100 Free, Patrick took 4th overall with a 2.30 second PR that broke the 1:00 minute barrier for the 1st time in his life. I’ve seen this story of plateau followed by sudden dramatic improvement before from some of his brothers (especially Daniel and Brendan), so I’m looking forward to the continued momentum.
- 8th grader Claire Kenna has another big meet, taking 1st in 100 Breaststroke after a 2.29 second PR and 2nd in 50 Free after a .27 second PR. Claire is now the 3rd fastest sprint freestyler amongst our girls, behind only our two senior standouts, Cat Rogers and Alex Doonis. Last week, I kind of doubted that Claire’s relay split of 26-high was possible, but this week, Claire removed all doubts with another 26.69 50 Free split on the end of our medley relay. Yep, she’s the real deal.
- 9th grader Alex Sinner also showed tremendous strength in the sprints, taking 1st place in 100 Free with a 1.00 second PR that broke the 1:00 barrier for the first time. Alex also PR’d in 50 Free leading off a relay (27.73) and in 100 Back, taking 3rd place with a drop of .66 seconds.
- Thanks to a little birdie who told me that Kimberly Rector might be good in the 200 IM, I gave her a shot at it on Saturday, and she repaid me with a 1st place finish! Her time was 6.30 seconds faster than even her best USA time. Kimberly also cut 2.14 seconds from her 100 Back to go 1:13.30, a very fast time for an 8th Recall that last week, Kimberly was a standout breaststroker – so I think we are looking a great all-around swimmer here. Former Seton star Jessica Dunn’s 200 IM record may be in jeopardy in the years to come.
- Did you watch 8th grader Jillian Ceol take 1st place in the 200 Free with a 5.82 second PR? She also jumped into the 100 Breast, took 6th place and swam a .19 second PR. And she did it all with a sinus infection!
- David Lambrecht had another great meet, taking 2nd place in the 500 Free after an 11.11 second PR and 5th place in 200 Free with a 17.08 second PR. David also cut .63 seconds from his 100 Free PR while leading off a relay. Like Jillian and Claire, this is David’s second week in a row with a standout performance.
- Senior Captain Lucy Bennett had a great meet, breaking :30 in 50 Free with her .59 second PR and lowering her previous best relay split for 50 Fly down to 30.85. Lucy also took 3rd place overall in the 500 Free behind only two top USA swimmers from Wakefield Country Day and FCS. Lucy is a very hard worker at practice, and it is starting to pay off for her.
- Another hard worker in practice is Keziah Higginbottom, and like Lucy, it paid off for her on Saturday. Keziah but her 200 Free PR by 7.07 seconds and took 3rd It was a really great swim!
- I was so happy to see 8th grader Geni Lucas breakthrough in the 500 with an incredible 22.95 second PR – her stroke is looking so smooth! I remember when she first got to practice after wrapping up a very successful cross country season, she seemed a little frustrated that she wasn’t “getting faster”. Well Geni, I think you are getting faster. Nice work!
- Junior Captain Steven Shaw took 2nd and 3rd place in his two individual events and notched 3 PRs on Saturday. His 200 Free was .32 seconds faster than his previous PR and took 2nd while his 100 Fly PR dropped by 1.64 seconds and took 3rd. In Fly, only one of the swimmers who finished ahead of him were from the DAC, and he was less than a half second ahead. Could be a fun race at DAC Champs? Steven also cut .20 seconds from his 50 Back leading off our medley relay.
- Luke Marrazzo leaped into the top 4 for Seton sprinters with a .82 second PR in 50 Free on Saturday. He also took 3rd place overall in 100 backstroke scoring a lot of points for Seton.
- This is freshman Patrick Pennefather’s first year on the team, but he’s already making his mark. On Saturday, Patrick had two 3rd place finishes, one in his first attempt ever in the 500 free and the other in 100 Breast. After watching him finish that 500, I can’t wait to give him another shot at it – now that he has some experience in the event, I’ll bet he can go even faster. He’s a big kid with a lot of heart – I’m looking for big things out of Patrick in the future.
- Speaking of heart, how about Peter Quinan’s 200 IM! He told me that he wanted to try it again because he thought he could drop time, and man was he right – how about a 32.90 second PR? And a 4th place finish to boot? Peter also took a crack at 100 Fly for the 1st time ever and took 6th place overall – a great day’s work for sure. It’s hard for me to keep track of everyone’s best relay split, but it wasn’t hard for me to notice that Peter’s 50 Fly split in the medley relay was more than 2 seconds faster than I’ve ever seen from him before.
- I was very pleased to see hardworking junior Mikey Wittlinger get the benefit of her extra time in the water with her 2nd place finish overall in the 200 Free.
- And I was also very pleased to watch Senior Captain Monica Byers do so well in the 500 Free, taking 4th place overall. Coach Lowell has Monica swimming at practice with the 8th grade girls has a sort of honorary big sister and assistant coach. I hope Monica is enjoying doing it as much as I am enjoying watching her do it!
- Julia Irving is finding ways to score for the team. She took 4th in 200 IM with a 6.50 second PR and 6th in 100 Fly with a 7.13 second PR. Only a sophomore, Julia could be on the front end of those 8th grade girls helping to lead them to a State Championship?
This past week, we spent a great deal of time working on our butterfly stroke technique, and that turned out to be part of the reason we saw 84 PRs on Saturday. Here are the ones that I have not already mentioned:
- Sarah Blanchard is starting to get her form back after a hiatus playing basketball. Her 100 Free PR dropped another .43 seconds on Saturday, and she looked strong in other freestyle sprints.
- Kevin Bliss had a great swim in 100 Breaststroke where he cut 4.13 seconds from his PR
- And how about Teresa Bliss’ two PRs? Not only did she drop 2.31 seconds from her 50 Free PR, she dropped 1.49 seconds in 100 Free also!
- Sarah Brien was another 2 PR performer. In 100 Free, she cut 1.47 seconds, and in 50 Free, she cut 1.46 seconds.
- Carly Byers continues to show improvement. On Saturday, she cut .75 seconds from her 50 Free PR
- And brother Michael Byers cut time in both 100 Free (.88 seconds) and in 50 Free leading off a relay (.94 seconds)
- Mary Camarca’s backstroke looked much better, and the 4.34 second PR was proof! Did you notice that Mary had some cousins swimming for St. Michael?
- Hayden Catalano had a great day, highlighted by her 9.07 second PR in 100 Free which almost won her heat!
- Michael Collins is starting to find a new niche for Seton Swimming in the 500 Free where he cut 3.40 seconds and took 6th overall in the meet.
- Jack Corkery had a two PR day including a 3.07 second PR in 100 Free and a .27 second PR in 50 Free. I can really see improvement in the way Jack practices so it shouldn’t have surprised me to see him swimming so “strong and long” on Saturday – in fact, I think there will be more big drops in the future.
- Tim Costello is starting to get the hang of things with Coach Irving. His freestyle is getting longer and that was probably why he saw a .98 second improvement in his 50 Free time on Saturday.
- Judith Cummings sure did have a good swim in the 200 IM when she cut 2.02 seconds from her previous best time.
- It sure was fun watching first year swimmer, 8th grader Elizabeth Earls get excited about her 5.68 second PR in 100 Free and her 5.68 second PR in 100 Breast. Those are big drops – more to come Elizabeth?
- Cecilia Garvey had another big meet with two big PRs. She cut 3.01 seconds in 100 Free and 2.93 seconds in 100 Breast – all with a big smile on her face.
- Therese Gonzalez was huge in 100 Back! How about that 15.05 second PR!
- Emily Heim rocked 100 Free with a 2.18 second PR! Another 8th grade girl stepping up and performing beyond her age.
- Sarah Heim was awesome in the 200 IM. I was so pleased to see her cut 17.81 seconds from her PR. She also cut 3.81 seconds from her 100 Fly PR. Yes, these are two difficult events, but they are also events where a swimmer can score an awful lot of points for Seton!
- Pat Hilleary took advantage of the coaching in backstroke and lowered his 100 PR by 7.36 seconds.
- Tyler Hoffman had a very productive day, cutting 4.65 seconds from his 100 Free PR and .85 seconds from his 50 Back PR leading off a relay. I was particularly pleased to see Tyler keep swimming when he lost his googles on the start of 100 Free.
- Thomas Irving is finding ways to harness all of that strength – he cut 7.84 seconds from his 100 Back PR on Saturday. Nice work!
- Michael Kenneally is taking advantage of his 1st year on the team by learning to swim the strokes with better technique and using those new skills to cut .40 seconds from his 50 Free PR.
- John Paul Kleb, another first year swimmer for us, lowered his 50 Back PR by .74 seconds leading off a relay.
- Brian Koehr had a pretty good day on Saturday, scoring 3 PRs, including a huge PR in 200 Free, a 1.22 second PR in 50 Free leading off a freestyle relay, and a .51 second PR in 50 back leading off a medley relay.
- Jessica Krynitsky continues to show improvement, this time with a .48 second PR in 50 Free.
- Caitlyn Lightner had a great swim in the 100 Free, cutting 1.58 seconds from her previous best.
- Emily Lowell wasn’t shy about jumping into that 200 IM. She cut her PR by 8.36 seconds.
- Sally Marrazzo had 3 PRs on the day, including a 1.04 second PR in 100 Back, a .57 second PR in 50 Free and a .06 second PR in 50 back leading off a medley relay.
- Nice work “Tommy-boy” Moore with that 1.70 second PR in 100 Free.
- Paul Mosimann also had a nice swim in the 100 Free with his 3.69 second PR.
- Maggie Murphy was awesome in that 200 IM, lowering her PR by 7.94 seconds to take 10th place overall. I’ve never seen anyone smile so much during a race like that.
- Mark O’Donohue continues to show improvement in his 100 Free. On Saturday, he cut .93 seconds from his PR.
- Meghan O’Malley looked very good in her 50 Back leading off a medley relay, and her .26 second PR was the proof.
- Cat Pechie was showing some great improvement in breaststroke at this mornings practice following her PR in backstroke last week. I think Cat has a bright future on our team.
- Paul Pechie has recovered from injury and it showed in his 200 IM on Saturday. He cut 3.79 seconds from his previous best. Paul also cut .42 seconds from his 50 Back PR leading off a medley relay.
- Did you see Michaela Pennefather in that 500 Free? She lowered her PR by an incredible 23.22 seconds!
- Ryan Pugh had a very good day with two PRs, including a 4.27 second drop in 100 Back and a 2.49 second drop in 50 Free.
- Mary Remington PR’d two more times this week. She cut 4.28 seconds from her 100 Breast PR and .47 seconds from her 100 Free PR.
- And Rose Remington also cut big time from her 100 Free, lowering her PR by 4.02 seconds.
- Cris Salas was all smiles after his 100 Free. I would have been smiling too if I had just dropped 7.51 seconds!
- John Wunderly had to be pleased with his performance. In 100 Back, he cut 2.36 seconds, and in 50 Free, he cut .81 seconds.
- Lizzy Zadnik did a nice job in that 50 Free, lowering her PR by .81 seconds
- And Vivian Zadnik also swam well, cutting 2.30 seconds from her 50 Free. (Tough have a last name that starts with “Z” – always at the bottom of the list ;-))
Because we had spent so much time working on butterfly last week, I used Saturday’s meet as an opportunity to let several swimmers try the 200 IM and/or 100 Fly for the first time ever. I was very pleased with the performances of the following swimmers in these events:
- Will Arnold
- Stephen Britten
- Emily Heim
- Hayden Catalano
- Peter Quinan
- Will Arnold
- Brian Koehr
- Stephen Britten
- Bryanna Farmer
- Theresa Verry
- Meggie Vestermark
There’s a lot of points to be scored in these two events because so many teams can’t find 4 swimmers who can do them. I’m very happy to say that we have a few more swimmers capable of competing in these events now.
Next Week’s Homecoming Meet
This coming Saturday (Dec 17th), we are hosting our annual homecoming meet. We’ll have a wide variety of teams participating, including Collegiate School which has one of the top Division I teams in the state – they have some very fast kids. Not only will we have several of our alumni back in the water for some exhibition relays, we’ll have our three top swimmers, Vincent “Catfish” Dunn, Alex Doonis and Cat Rogers in a preview of some races that we are likely to see at States. Come ready to cheer!
See you at practice this week – we are learning how to swim breaststroke!
Coach Jim Koehr