I think I have driven home from every meet this year with a big smile on my face, but no smile was bigger than the one I sported on my drive last night.  The 15th Annual VISAA Division II Invitational Championship last Saturday was the highlight of the season for me, even above our January 9th face-off with Trinity Christian.

I was so pleased with what I saw on so many levels.  Our kids swam their best meet of the season, we won both the traveling trophies, the kids on the other teams had an opportunity to shine, Emma Catabui showed that she could complete 11 dives, the live stream by Paul Fifield and Bill Dealey was our best one yet – and most pleasing of all – we were able to have a championship meet of this size at all!

Early in my time coaching at Seton, I realized this basic truth:

If we want our kids to swim great, we need to give them great opportunities to swim.

Dual meets in poorly lit meter pools with no computer technology, no electronic timing systems, no scoreboards displaying names and splits, or no music to help build an energetic atmosphere was not going to cut it any longer.

We have spent a tremendous amount of energy and resources over the years building the infrastructure to host meets like Saturday’s Championship.  We now take all of those meet features for granted thanks to the fleet of Seton parent volunteers we have had over the years – and the kids have more than repaid us for the effort with their hard work and amazing performances in the water.

I am so grateful for the support we have received from the Seton Administration, particularly Mr. Bob Pennefather and Mr. Dan Vander Woude.  They have enabled us to run our Swimming and Diving program in a way that prioritizes the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being of our children.  At a time when so many adults are taking opportunities away from our kids, the Seton Administration has encouraged us to continue generating as many growth opportunities as we safely can.

The payback has been healthier and more emotionally stable kids – and the most prolific season we have had in nearly a decade.  So far, we have generated a very strong list of accomplishments:

  • Hosted eight (8) meets, more than any other school in the State of Virginia, public or private.
  • DAC Regular Season Champions – Boys (25th of 27) and Girls (27th in a row).
  • NoVa Catholic High School Champions – Boys
  • NoVa Catholic High School Championship Runner-Up – Girls
  • VISAA JV Invitational Meet Champions – Boys and Girls
  • VISAA Division II Invitational Meet Champions – Boys and Girls

With less than one (1) week remaining in the season, there is still work to be done and goals to be achieved.  Can we finish the job and win the following Titles too?

  • DAC Conference Meet Champions – Boys and Girls
  • VISAA Division II State Champions – Boys and Girls

I think that Trinity Christian is going to have a lot to say about that with the Girls, and Veritas is going to have a lot to say about our State Championship hopes with the Boys, so we need to finish at DAC Champs this Thursday the way we just performed at the VISAA Division II Invitational Championship last Saturday:

Boys

Seton Swimming                               471

Trinity Christian School                   224

Veritas School                                    161

Steward School                                  151

Randolph-Macon Academy               99

Williamsburg Christian Academy    63

Carmel School                                      29

Veritas Collegiate Academy              18

 

Girls

Seton Swimming                            369

Trinity Christian School                339

Steward School                                198

Oakcrest School                               158

Williamsburg Christian Academy  59

Veritas School                                     52

Highland School                                 52

Carmel School                                    23

It was a very fast meet that featured several of the top swimmers in the State of Virginia.

Congratulations to this year’s Swimmers of the Meet:

  • Boys – Joshua Fisher, Veritas, with two individual Gold Medals and two Meet Records
  • Girls – Molly Blanchard, Veritas, with two individual Gold Medals and two Meet Records

We had several Meet Records:

  • Boys 200 IM, Joshua Fisher, Veritas, 1:55.39
  • Girls 200 IM, Molly Blanchard, Veritas, 2:03.46
  • Girls 100 Fly, Erin Langenburg, Steward School, 56.68
  • Boys 100 Back, Joshua Fisher, Veritas, 51.72
  • Girls 100 Breaststroke, Molly Blanchard, Veritas, 1:05.26

We also had three (3) new DAC Conference Meet Records.  Traditionally, the DAC has counted swims in both this meet and the DAC Conference Championship for our Conference Records:

  • Girls 200 Medley Relay, Seton School, Lucy Garvey, Angie Testani, Clara Condon, Mary Pennefather, 1:53.55
  • Girls 100 Fly, Madisyn Carter, Highland School, 57.87
  • Girls 100 Breaststroke, Paris Thornburg, Highland School, 1:07.04

A recording of the Meet live-stream is under the About/Videos menu or by clicking here

Our Boys Were Dominate!

Because our Girls have been in such a pitched battle with their Conference rival all season long, I know I tend to talk a lot about them, so let me start with our Boys this week.

It has been a decade since I have seen our Boys dominate a championship meet at this level.  They more than doubled the 2nd place score – without a single USA Swimmer.  It was a great testament to the depth we have on our Boys team this year.

As a coach, I have always found that our performances in the Relays are the bellwether of how our team is going to swim.  Given the results of Saturday’s meet, it is not hard to imagine how well our Relays swam:

Our Boys 200 “A” Medley Relay of Evan Wilson, Nathan Luevano, Joe Wilson, and Jack Santschi kicked it off with a 3.30 second PR.  Going into the meet, their PR was 1:51.94, which was .10 seconds slower than Trinity Christian’s PR.  The Trinity Christian boys swam well, but not the 1:48.54 that Seton swam to the Silver medal.

All four (4) splits were outstanding, particularly Evan Wilson’s 28.31 PR Backstroke, Nathan Luevano’s 30.96 PR Breaststroke, and Jack Santschi’s superfast 23.35 PR anchor leg.

One wake-up call came from Veritas School, led by their 23.99 lead-off backstroke leg that was swum by eventual Swimmer of the Meet, Joshua Fisher.  Veritas could be the one team for our Boys to watch if we want to claim a VISAA Division II State Championship.

In the Boys 200 Free Relay, we were out-touched for the Gold medal by Veritas by only .01 seconds, despite a huge lead-off PR by Liam Kellogg followed by three (3) PR splits from Jerry Dalrymple, Joe Wilson, and Jack Santschi.  Our Boys finished at 1:36.56 on a season PR of 1:39.12 – wow!

We need to get our time down by only .02 seconds at DAC Champs to put us in the best possible position against Veritas in the virtual State Championship.  If we can improve by only .08 seconds, we can jump ahead of Woodberry Forest in the virtual State Championship too.  Neither of those schools will have another chance to improve their time, so we need to take full advantage of our extra opportunity.

We did not load up our Boys 400 Free Relays, but that didn’t stop Jerry Dalrymple, Evan Wilson, David Hudson, Liam Kellogg, Mick Fioramonti, Peter Konstanty, Connor Koehr and Joey Dealey from taking both the Gold and Silver medals.  Our best “A” Relay has the fastest VISAA Division II time in the State so far at 3:41.58, which is a very good sign.

Individually, we also showed our depth, which proved to be a big advantage for us in a meet that scored the top-12 finishers.  We put all four (4) of our scoring swimmers in the top-12 in five (5) of the eight (8) individual events, including taking 1st through 4th place in the Boys 500 Free.  We had three (3) swimmers in the top-12 for 100 Free and 100 Breaststroke, and two (2) swimmers in the top-12 in 50 Free.  No wonder we scored so many points.

Here were the medalists that led the scoring for our Boys.  As an indication of our depth, note how many younger swimmers show up on this list and note how few Gold medals we won:

  • Nathan Luevano (SO) took the rare Boys Gold medal for us in the 500 Free. He also won Bronze in 100 Breaststroke.
  • Jack Santschi (SR) took two (2) Silver medals in the most competitive events in the meet, the 50 and 100 Free. It is hard to win a State Championship without a lead freestyle sprinter, and fortunately for Seton, we have a good one.
  • Joe Wilson (SO) also took two (2) Silver medals, one in the 200 IM and one in 100 Fly. Joe’s 100 Fly was a 1.58 second PR which got him under the 1:00 barrier for the first time.
  • Connor Koehr (8) took a Silver medal in Diving and a Bronze medal in the 500 Free. Connor’s 500 Free was completed in a 6:41.21, a 19.67 second PR.
  • Mick Fioramonti (FR) took the Silver medal in 500 Free and the Bronze medal in Diving. His 500 Free was a 2.37 second PR.   Mick also swam a 3.14 second PR in 100 Free leading off our 400 “B” Free Relay.
  • Evan Wilson (SR) had his best swim of the season in 100 Backstroke, where he took the Silver medal with a 2.25 second PR. During the live-stream, I thought he may have gotten 4th, but one swimmer ahead of him was the exhibition swimmer we included from Division I Woodberry Forest.  And looking at all the times recorded from the timing systems, we saw that he did in fact out-touch the swimmer from Trinity Christian.  The scoreboard had numerous obvious errors.  Evan also took 4th place in Diving.
  • Liam Kellogg (SR) swam a PR every time he hit the water on Saturday, swims that were good enough to win an individual Bronze medal and a 4th place finish. How about a 9.06 second PR in 200 Free, a .45 second PR in 100 Free, and a .37 second PR in 50 Free leading off a relay?
  • Jerry Dalrymple (SR) took the Bronze medal in a very fast heat of 50 Free. He also scored in 4th place in 100 Fly.

Of course, scoring 471 points in a Championship Meet does not just happen from with top-3 finishes.  Here are the other Personal Record swims that contributed to the dominance shown by our Boys’ team:

  • Peter Konstanty (FR) completed the Seton sweep of the 500 Free with a 4.74 second PR to take 4th Peter also scored in 7th place in 200 Free.
  • Nicolas Nagurny (FR) was on fire! I was really impressed with his 200 Free, where he scored in 5th place after a 4.30 second PR.  And then he just blew me away with his 7.99 second PR in 100 Free.  Are you kidding me?  Nicolas came into the meet seeded 14th and jumped all the way up to 8th.
  • Max Wilson (8) had two 7th place finishes after two new Personal Records. In 100 Fly, Max dropped 2.58 seconds, and in 100 Back, Max dropped 1.51 seconds.
  • Dominic Miller (FR) had a great swim in 100 Backstroke where he cut 3.32 seconds from his PR to finish in 8th Dominic also scored in 5th place for Diving.
  • JJ Brox (SO) had two big PRs. His 4.11 second PR in 200 IM scored in 8th place and so did his .49 second PR in 100 Fly.
  • Chris Lynch (FR) took 8th place in 200 IM with a 10.54 second PR that got him below 3:00 for the first time.
  • Michael Brox (8) scored in 12th place with a .03 second PR in 100 Breaststroke.
  • Liam Halisky (8) was awesome in 500 Free, beating his previous PR by 37.84 seconds.
  • David Hudson (FR) dropped again in 100 Back, this time by .47 seconds. That swim scored in 5th  David also scored in 5th place in the 200 IM.
  • Joey Dealey (SO) looked very strong in the 50 and 200 Free. His 200 Free was strong enough to score in 6th
  • Seth Kellogg (8) dropped 3.58 seconds in 100 Fly to score in 9th

How Did Our Girls Win a Close One – Again?

Prior to the Meet, I “scored the Psych Sheet”, which is an exercise where you calculate what the score would be if everyone swam the exact times at which they were entered.  The result was a 2-point loss for the Seton girls, 344 – 342.  But fortunately for Seton, Psych Sheets do not swim.

Going into the meet, I knew that the Relays, particularly our “B” Relays, could be the difference.  I also saw that we had big opportunities to improve our score in the 200 Free, 50 Free and especially the 100 Free.  All we needed was a few of those to go our way.

In the end, all of them went out way.

Let me show you what I mean by reviewing our plan for each event and comparing it to what happened:

Girls 200 Medley Relay

The meet started off better than the Psych Sheet, but much like I anticipated.  The Psych Sheet showed Trinity placing 2nd and 3rd in this relay, but I was reasonably confident that our depth would benefit us in the battle of the “B” Relays to let us take 3rd – and that is how it turned out, but just barely.

Our “A” Medley Relay started off with a tremendous backstroke leg from Lucy Garvey, who split 29.38.  Her previous best split was 30.28, so that was a huge drop.  That 1.55 second lead was extended by Angie Testani – even though she was swimming against Trinity’s top swimmer.  Angie split a blazing 30.55 in 50 Breaststroke, .46 seconds faster than her PR split, and more importantly, .75 seconds faster than Trinity.

Then Clara Condon (8) smoked her 50 Fly with a split of 28.30, a 1.16 second PR!    To complete this incredible relay, Mary Pennefather (SO) anchored with a 25.32, a .31 second split PR.

Their final time was a new DAC Record 1:53.55 and a season-best by an amazing 4.22 seconds.  Of the times reported, that is the fastest girls medley relay in all the VISAA right now, by almost 4 seconds.

Looking at last year’s State Meet Results, that time would have placed in the Top-8.  Looking at the schools with Medley Relays from last year’s Top-8, I see one (1) that we just beat, two (2) that are not swimming at all this year, and three (3) that had one or more seniors.  There are several Division I schools yet to upload their results to SwimCloud, but, considering that most of the times they will be reporting will be from swims at practice, I expect this time to hold up pretty well.

Another point of reference on how fast that Relay was:  Our team record for the Girls Medley Relay is 1:50.25, a time by Alex Doonis, Cat Rogers, Bridget Wunderly, and Lauren Donohoe that won the Silver medal at States in 2011 and beat the previous State record in the process.  With all four (4) of our girls coming back next season, that record could be in jeopardy.

As great as our “A” Relay was, I expected them to win.  So, it was the “B” Relay of Jacqueline Oswald (SO), Clare Waldron (JR), Lily Byers (JR), and Mary O’Malley (JR) to which I was paying the most attention.  We needed them to beat the Trinity Christian “B” Relay – and they did!

Their 2:05.98 was a tremendous time for this group with Jacqueline Oswald’s 1.37 second PR split (33.07) in 50 Back and Mary O’Malley’s 1.08 second PR split (26.90) on the anchor leg making the biggest difference.

In the end, Mary just out touched the Trinity Christian anchor by only .07 seconds.  We were already ahead of plan.

 ProjectedActual
 SetonTCSSetonTCS
Event Score52505648
Meet Score52505648

Girls 200 Freestyle

With Annalise Cornett (SR) scheduled to swim in this event, we knew that we could have a tough run here, but that did not keep me from seeing opportunity.  Lucy Garvey (JR) had that opportunity, and Lucy took full advantage.

Lucy was seeded 5th behind three (3) Trinity swimmers, but Lucy jumped up to the Silver medal with a huge 4.46 second PR.  Mary O’Malley (JR), Lucy Pennefather (8), and Teresa Mosimann (SR) all held their seeds despite a 5.39 second PR from Mary and a 2.11 second PR from Lucy (Amy Phillips from Trinity also had a big PR).  But the damage I was hoping for was done.

Two events were complete, and in both, we scored more than planned.

 ProjectedActual
 SetonTCSSetonTCS
Event Score28463144
Meet Score80968792

Girls 200 IM

This event featured two of the top swimmers in the VISAA, including the eventual Swimmer of the Meet, but Angie Testani (8) was not intimidated.  She took the Bronze medal and held her 3rd place seed with a .99 second PR.

Then Teresa Bingham (JR) jumped from the 10th seed to 8th place with a 3.19 second PR, Ava Hudson (FR) advanced from the 11th seed to 10th place, and Madelyn Zadnik (FR) moved up from the 12th seed to 11th with a 4.80 second PR.

You cannot ask any more than that, but unfortunately for Seton, the Klanderman sisters also had strong PR swims to jump from the 6th seed to 4th and 8th seed to 5th, respectively.

The result was that we lost a little ground here, despite some great swimming by our girls.

 ProjectedActual
 SetonTCSSetonTCS
Event Score18182226
Meet Score98114109118

Girls 50 Free

This was another event where we had the pleasure of seeing two of the top swimmers in the VISAA, WCA’s Kaitlyn Sullivan and Highland’s Paris Thornburg.  Seeded down in 5th, with a 26.92, was Seton’s Mary Pennefather (SO) – I knew she would do better than that.

And she did.  Mary rocked a 25.98, her season-best by almost a whole second, and jumped up to 4th place.  Then Maggie Gibbons (FR) dropped an amazing 1.20 seconds that jumped her up to 7th place from the 11th seed.  Those were big finishes!

Isabelle Luevano (JR) held her 6th seed with a .54 second PR to complete our scoring with an event total that was better than planned for the 3rd time in four (4) events.  On the Psych Sheet, we were supposed to be 14 points behind, but we now found ourselves ahead by 4.

 ProjectedActual
 SetonTCSSetonTCS
Event Score16142217
Meet Score114128131135

Diving

I have been so impressed with the work of Coach Ashley Keapproth and Coach Seamus Koehr, and it helped our score at this point in the meet.  Even though the Diving event was held before the Meet, we did not add the score into the meet until the normal Event #9 and #10.

Both the Steward School and Seton had Diving entries with Steward taking first place, but Mary Clare Waldron (JR) also dove extremely well, scoring 126.10, a Personal Record by 5.35 points.  That was good enough for the Silver medal.

The most exciting part of the Diving meet though was the Bronze medal performance by Emma Catabui (JR).  Emma has been fighting to get her Reverse Dive and Reverse Somersault to complete her virtual State Meet program of 11-Dives.  On Saturday, she did it!

It takes a lot of courage to land on your back from 2 or 2.5 meters in the air and then climb back on the board to try it again.  Emma showed that courage.  She conquered.  I was so proud of her.

At this point, we were projected to be winning by 11, but we found ourselves winning by 21, 10 points ahead of plan.

 ProjectedActual
 SetonTCSSetonTCS
Event Score250250
Meet Score139128156135

Girls 100 Butterfly

Seton had four (4) PRs in this event with all our girls scoring higher than their seeds.

Our 8th grade star Clara Condon led the scoring with her 5th place finish after a .58 second PR.  Her 1:04.78 is a very fast time for an 8th grade girl!  Our team record is 58.51, set by Anna Kenna in 2018.  I am thinking that Clara could have that record before her time is done at Seton.

Teresa Bingham (JR) cut .49 seconds, Lily Byers (JR) cut 1.55 seconds, and Sophia Zadnik (JR) cut .80 seconds to finish 8th, 10th, and 11th, respectively.

With those great swims, we extended our lead once again.  So far in the Meet, we had met or exceeded our plan in every event but one.

 ProjectedActual
 SetonTCSSetonTCS
Event Score15121612
Meet Score154140172147

Girls 100 Freestyle

From the beginning of the Meet, 100 Freestyle was the event where I knew we could get some separation.  Mary Pennefather (SO) was seeded 7th with a 1:00.04, and I knew that she could crush that after she split 57.40 in a relay last weekend.

Mary did not disappoint.  Her season-best 59.31 jumped her up to the Bronze medal – and ahead of Trinity Christian’s two (2) top seeds!

Maggie Gibbons (FR), fresh off her outstanding performance in the 50 Free, repeated the feat with a big 1.41 second PR 1:02.86 that jumped her from the 11th seed to a 9th place finish.

Isabelle Luevano (JR) and Emily Flynn (JR) both swam right on their PRs to score in 5th and 7th.

My hopes for this event were realized.  The damage was done, and I knew we would be hard for them to catch at this point.  We were supposed to be winning by only 14 points after this event, but we had doubled that margin to 38.

 ProjectedActual
 SetonTCSSetonTCS
Event Score25253320
Meet Score179165205167

Girls 500 Freestyle

This was projected to be a very tough event for us, and it was – but not because we swam poorly.  It was just that Trinity Christian was so strong.

Trinity took 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th to get the maximum possible 52 points in the event.  Fortunately for us, the damage was mitigated a bit by Lucy Pennefather’s (8) 16.78 second PR that jumped her up from the 8th seed to a 6th place finish, ahead of one (1) Oakcrest girl.

With Mary O’Malley (JR), Ava Hudson (FR), and Ceili Koehr (JR) swimming close to their PRs and holding their seeds, we escaped the event with 2 more points than we projected.

Despite this onslaught by TCS, we were still ahead by 13 points when we should have been down by 13 points.

 ProjectedActual
 SetonTCSSetonTCS
Event Score25522752
Meet Score204217232219

Girls 200 Freestyle Relay

This was another event where I was hoping to steal some points, particularly after I saw that both Annalise Cornett (SR) and Teagan Stermer (FR) were in this event right after they had just finished the 500 Free, but my hopes were not realized.

Amazingly, both Teagan and Annalise recovered quickly and swam PR splits – and the TCS relay, as a whole, dropped 1.82 seconds.  That proved to be hard to be very to beat, but we sure gave it one heck of a great try.

Our Girls 200 Free “A” Relay of Lucy Garvey (JR), Angie Testani (8), Maggie Gibbons (FR), and Mary Pennefather (SO) had an amazing swim, dropping 4.08 seconds from their previous best this season.  Wow!  And their 1:46.19 was 1.15 second faster than the sum of all their PR splits.

The reason for this amazing time was that all four (4) girls beat their previous best splits.  Lucy beat hers by .52 seconds, Angie by .52 seconds, Maggie by .01 seconds, and Mary by .10 seconds.

If you told me before the meet that we would swim a 1:46.19, I would have bet that it would have been good enough to win.  Kudos to Trinity Christian, particularly Annalise Cornett and Teagan Stermer for performing so well coming off of that 500 Free.

Our Girls 200 Free “B” Relay of Isabelle Luevano (JR), Lily Byers (JR), Clara Condon (8), and Emily Flynn (JR) also got the job done by beating the Trinity Christian “B” Relay.  Their 3.09 second margin of victory was largely due to a 1.09 second PR split by Lily, a .42 second PR split by Clara, and a .21 second PR split by Emily.

Between Seton and Trinity Christian, despite all the great swimming, the order of finish ended up as projected – but Steward did us a favor by jumping up to the Gold medal and taking the bonus 1st place points away for Trinity.

The result was yet another event where we gained ground on the projected score.  I was starting to feel pretty good at this point because I knew we still had 100 Breaststroke coming.

 ProjectedActual
 SetonTCSSetonTCS
Event Score50544646
Meet Score254271278265

Girls 100 Backstroke

At this point in the meet, all we had to do was to stay on plan, but even in this event, we improved our competitive position again with four (4) more Personal Records.

Lucy Garvey (JR) held her 3rd place seed with a tremendous 1.93 second PR 1:03.82.  She was racing against two (2) of the top girls in the DAC, Delaney Gibbons of WCA and Madisyn Carter of Highland, so imagine how excited I was to see her hanging close with them for much of the race.

Emily Flynn (JR), Lily Byers (JR) and Jacqueline Oswald (SO) also swam PRs, by 1.36 seconds, 5.00 seconds, and 1.88 seconds, respectively.  Emily’s swim moved her up from the 10th seed to a 9th place finish.

We were supposed to be losing by 20 points, but we were winning by 11 points – and our strongest event of the meet was next.

 ProjectedActual
 SetonTCSSetonTCS
Event Score18211921
Meet Score272292297286

Girls 100 Breaststroke

This event, once again, featured two the top swimmers in the VISAA, including Highland’s Paris Thornburg, but it also featured two of the future top swimmers in the VISAA, Angie Testani (8) and Clara Condon (8) – and both took another step toward that status with big PRs.

Angie took the Bronze medal at 1:08.27, a 1.85 second PR, and Clara took 4th place at 1:10.35, a 2.92 second PR versus her best high school time.

Look at those times.  It is hard to believe they are 8th grade girls.

To make things even better, both Clare Waldron (JR) and Sophia Zadnik (JR) finished above their seeds, with Clare swimming a 1.23 second PR.

 ProjectedActual
 SetonTCSSetonTCS
Event Score268289
Meet Score298300325295

Girls 400 Free Relay

With a 30-point lead, I knew the game was over unless our relays got DQ’d, which I am happy to say they did not (You know I’m thinking about you 😉).

Even though every relay held their seed in this event, I will give Trinity Christian a lot of credit.  With several of their top swimmers having already swum four (4) events, I did not believe the TCS “A” Relay could hit their 4:08 seed – but they did!  And they did it with two 8th graders and a freshman.  Pretty strong.

But we were pretty strong also, taking the Silver medal behind only a Steward School relay anchored by Erin Langenburg (JR).

Our Girls 400 Free “A” Relay of Isabelle Luevano (JR), Teresa Bingham (JR), Emily Flynn (JR), and Mary O’Malley (JR) swam a 4:04.54 at the end of the meet, led by Teresa’s 1.64 second PR split.

Our Girls 400 Free “B” Relay of Teresa Mosimann (SR), Lucy Pennefather (8), Jacqueline Oswald (SO), and Maggie Gibbons (FR) just missed improving their 4th seed when they just missed beating the Trinity Christian “B” Relay.

It was not through a lack of effort though.  Teresa and Jacqueline swam PR splits, and Maggie finished what may have been the best meet of her life with a fourth big PR, this time a PR split in her 100 Free anchor leg by 1.75.

 ProjectedActual
 SetonTCSSetonTCS
Event Score44444444
Meet Score342344369339

This was probably the best overall performance by our Girls team of the season.  From start to finish, in every event but one, we met or exceeded our seeds.  A meet that we were supposed to lose by 2 points turned into a 30-point victory.

19 Seton girls swam 26 Personal Records, not counting the countless PR splits in those all-important relays.  You’ve heard me say it before:

If we swim PRs, the winning takes care of itself.

Congratulations to our Seton girls for their well-deserved Championship victory.

Highland Girls Break More Records

At the belated beginning of our season for the Highland girls, Paris Thornburg (SR) and Madisyn Carter (FR) set some big goals.  Among those goals were new DAC Records for each of them.

Check and check.

Paris Thornburg (SR) surprised even herself with the way she swam on Saturday, especially in 50 Freestyle.  She entered the meet with a season-best 25.41, but she was hoping to get close to her lifetime best 24.78.

How about a 24.66!  That took the Silver medal for Paris behind only the Williamsburg Christian superstar Kaitlyn Sullivan.  The expression on Paris’ face when I watched her look up at the scoreboard was priceless.

It was obviously a very happy surprise – and an incredibly fast swim.  Looking at the times reported in the VISAA, Paris now holds the 2nd fastest 50 Free time swum this season.

Then in 100 Breaststroke, Paris faced off against the eventual Swimmer of the Meet, Molly Blanchard from Veritas, and she hung on tough.  So tough in fact, that she beat the DAC record of 1:07.06 by .02 seconds!  That time is also currently the 2nd fastest time reported in the VISAA so far this season.

Madisyn Carter (FR) also had two (2) outstanding Silver medal swims, with two new Personal Records and a new DAC Record.

In 100 Butterfly, our freshman superstar faced off against the great Erin Langenburg (JR) from Steward and stayed close with an amazing 57.87,  a lifetime best by .62 seconds.  That time beat the DAC record that she, herself, held from last season.

Think about that for a second.  57.87 in 100 Fly for a freshman girl.  Wow!   To put that in further perspective, it is the 2nd fastest time reported in the VISAA so far this season.

Then in 100 Back, Madisyn got to race another top VISAA swimmer, Delaney Gibbons from Williamsburg Christian.  Despite being seeded 3.5 seconds behind Delaney, Madisyn almost beat her.

I looked back at some Seton history to try to put Madisyn’s final time of 1:01.38 in perspective.  On about the same weekend in 2015, then freshman Anna Kenna went 1:01.21.  You might recall that Anna Kenna was eventually a High School All-America in 100 Backstroke.

Madisyn also holds the 4th fastest 100 Backstroke time reported in the VISAA so far this season.

Our Goals for Paris and Madisyn include being State Finalists in two events each.  Can they finish in the Top-3 and garner All-State honors too?  They have one more chance at Thursday night’s DAC Championship to improve those chances.

This is turning into a lot of fun.

Highland Hawks Swimming Season Plan-v4

What’s Left?

We are near the end of our time in the water now, but we are not at the end of our goals.

On Thursday night, February 11th, we will have the final real meet of our season, the 27th Annual DAC Conference Championship Meet at the Freedom Center.

For the Boys, our goal is to get as many times that can score in the virtual State Championship meet as possible and get as many swimmers as possible into the Top-3 which means All-Conference honors.

For the Girls, life is a bit more complicated because we have those same two goals, but we cannot afford to look past a very strong Trinity Christian team.  Beating Trinity at the Conference level and beating them at the State level are conflicting goals, unfortunately, because they require different strategies.

Even I am going to be interested in seeing how Coach Koehr walks that line this week.

Two more practices.  Let’s make the most of them!

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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