Last Saturday, Seton Swimming traveled to St. Michael the Archangel, the newest member of the Delaney Athletic Conference, challenged seven DAC conference opponents, and clinched another conference title for both the boys and the girls. Seton Swimming’s conference title streak has run unabated since 1995. Even though most families on the team have only seen meet results in the DAC like last Saturday’s, I recall a time back in 2002 when Fredericksburg Academy gave our boys a scare the first year I was coaching and the swimmers who led us to our first state championship were still in middle school (déjà vu all over again?).

It is good to see some of the teams in our conference showing improvement, most notably Fredericksburg Christian, but we still had more than twice the points of our nearest competitor. And while we’ll have several more big graduations this year to add to the major ones last year, I’m not too worried about our trajectory in the conference, especially with the dedicated upper classmen we’ll have in the water next season and the young talent we have coming up.

The final scores for this week turned out like this:


Seton     187                   Fredericksburg Christian        79

Seton     195                    Fredericksburg Academy        63

Seton     206                   St. Michael the Archangel       52

Seton     217                    Highland School                      39

Seton     211                    Richmond Christian                38

Seton     210                   Wakefield School                     32

Seton     208                   Wakefield Country Day           29


Seton     189                   Fredericksburg Christian        90

Seton     188                   Fredericksburg Academy        87

Seton     201                   Wakefield School                     60

Seton     215                    Highland School                      57

Seton     204                   Richmond Christian                56

Seton     222                   St. Michael the Archangel       34

Seton     219                   Wakefield Country Day           22

Current Members of the Post Season Championship Teams

This was the last weekend to qualify for National Catholics at Villanova (and LaSalle for Sunday finals) on January 29th and 30th since the entries are due on Wednesday night, so I’m happy to report that we had another relay sneak in. For some reason, the relay qualifying times for National Catholics are much faster than States, so prior to this weekend, our boys had only qualified with the 200 Free Relay. On Saturday, David Basinger, Catfish Dunn, Jamie Smith and Brendan Koehr swam 3:39.07 and got into the meet, just under the 3:40.00 qualifying time. They will join our Boys 200 Free relay of David Basinger, Catfish Dun, Joseph Kenna and Patrick Kenna whose 1:36.36 at our December 4th meet beat the qualifying time of 1:37.00.

On the girls side of National Catholics, our 200 Medley and 200 Free Relays of Alex Doonis, Cat Rogers, Bridget Wunderly and Lauren “the Machine” Donohoe have easily hit the time standards for National Catholics. Fortunately, Rachel Lambrecht has qualified individually for National Catholics because we may need her to step in for Lauren if the Machine’s injured wrist is not quite ready for action.

Here is the National Catholic Team for 2011:

  • Catfish Dunn (all but Breast)
  • David Basinger (every event)
  • Joe Kenna (50 Free)
  • Patrick Kenna (Relay)
  • Jamie Smith (Relay)
  • Brendan Koehr (Relay)
  • Lauren Donohoe (every event)
  • Alex Doonis (all but 2 events)
  • Cat Rogers (every event)
  • Bridget Wunderly (all but Breast)
  • Rachel Lambrecht (200 IM, 100 BR)

Congratulations to these 11 swimmers! A report detailing the events in which everyone qualified is under Meet & Team Information. I have a block of rooms reserved at the Hampton Inn so call now and reserve your room out of the block. The hotel contract and contact info is under Meet & Team Information.

The State Championship Team got four more members this weekend when Sarah Zapiain, Lucy Bennett, Mikey Wittlinger and Rachel Lambrecht beat the qualifying time for the Girls 400 Free Relay with a 4:24.31, nearly 5 seconds faster than their previous best. Amazing what a casual mention about a possible swim team road trip can do for a relay time 😉 And I have a strong feeling that they can go even faster than this.

The State Team is still being formed, but so far it looks a lot like the National Catholic team with the addition of Michael Hill, our Girls 400 Free relay and our divers that can complete 11 dives. And I know that Jonathan Rosato and Joe Kosten and working hard to hit that 100 Breaststroke qualifying time – fortunately, they both have several more opportunities. Once again, I have a block of rooms reserved at a Hampton Inn and the contract and contact info is under Meet & Team Information.

Top Performances

One of the fun things about mixing a meet like this into our schedule is that our top kids get a chance to swim things they seldom get to swim and our other kids get a chance to see how fast they’d be if they were on any other team but ours 😉 I really enjoyed watching so many great swims – here are a just a few of them:

  • If there was a swimmer of the meet, I think that I would have had to give it to Cat Rogers who swam 100 Fly and 100 Back, events that I previously considered to be her “off” events – but no more! Cat went 1:02.47 in 100 Fly! That was the 6th fastest 100 Fly in the history of Seton Swimming with only Bridget Wunderly (4 times) and Jessica Dunn (1 time) swimming the event faster in a Seton meet. To give you an idea of how much Cat has improved since she left the basketball court three short years ago, that swim was more than 26 seconds faster than she did just two seasons ago. Naturally, that took 1st place by a wide margin. Then in 100 Back, Cat took 3rd in a very fast heat behind former backstroker Bridget Wunderly with another PR time of 1:07.66.   Cat has now qualified in every event for both National Catholics and States – and she’s a junior – yeah!
  • I wouldn’t have believed that 7th grader Emily Heim could do it, but she did: She made our long-time referee and the Godfather of Seton Swimming, Charles Seltman, positively giddy with delight as he watched her swim. And for those of you who’ve hung around Mr. Seltman as long as I have, “giddy” is not normally a word you’d associate with him. After her 50 Free, Mr. Seltman came up to me and said “she’s a tiny little thing but boy is she fast!” I just told him to wait for 100 Breast. When the Emily got up on the blocks, Mr. Seltman was right there with me, and Emily did not disappoint. During her first 25, Sarah Zapiain and I made eye contact across the pool, and I saw her mouth “Oh, my gosh!” By the time the race was over, Emily cut another .53 seconds from her PR, went 1:21.84, and would have finished 3rd overall had she not been too young to beat up on the older kids from the other DAC schools. In fact, the only two girls to beat Emily were both USA swimmers from other schools, only one of which was from the DAC. So if it weren’t for the top swimmers at Seton, Emily would be the 2nd fastest breaststroker in the conference!
  • Every year, I seem to have a story about some swimmer(s) who had the chance to swim the 500 Free for the first time and learn one of the great lessons of swimming: you can almost always do more than you think you can. This past week, the story repeated itself again with Mary and Rose Remington who faced down the daunting challenge of a 20 length race and conquered it. To help build their confidence, we did a set in timed set of 500 Free in practice this week so they had something with which to compare their upcoming swim. (Nearly the entire team did it, so no one should have any doubt that every swimmer on Seton’s team can complete a 500 Free). Then on Saturday, Mary cut 45.66 seconds from her PR and Rose cut 43.35 seconds from her PR. Mary even broke 9:00 minutes. So in the future Mary and Rose, if you want to score points towards a Varsity letter, the 500 is a great way to go. Just ask Sarah Zapiain, Mikey Wittlinger, Maggie Murphy and Monica Mosimann who all scored big in the meet in that event.
  • I’ve been trying to get Paul Pechie in the 500 Free forever it seems and something always seems to get in the way. He was sick one meet, then it snowed another meet, and then in practice I think we had a mishap with the timing – but this past Saturday, we finally pulled it off. In his first ever attempt at the 500, 8th grader Paul Pechie went an incredible 7:52.59 and took 7th place overall in the meet!
  • I was so pleased to see Lucy Bennett have such a great meet because she works so hard in practice. Not only did she qualify for States in the 400 Free relay (see above), she had 2 PRs and took 2nd place overall in the 200 Free. Her 200 Free PR was by 3.80 seconds and beat every swimmer entered except for our own Bridget Wunderly. Her 2nd PR was in 100 Breast by .52 seconds. Nice work Lucy!
  • You gotta love Keziah Higginbottom. She just quietly works every set in practice, never complaining and never drawing attention to herself. On Saturday, though, Keziah definitely got my attention when she attempted 100 Fly and 200 IM for the first time. I had no idea how fast she was in these events so I had her entered as exhibition in the 100 Fly – and boy did she surprise me! She swam a 1:15.46 (I entered her with a 1:30.00 coach’s time) and would have taken 4th place overall had I been smart enough to realize what she could do.   She now has the 7th fastest 100 Fly time on the team and 3 of the girls ahead of her are seniors. Keziah also took 5th place overall in the 200 IM. I’ve already gone into my software to make sure that I give her those points toward a Varsity letter.
  • Rachel Lambrecht has shown this season that she can swim a lot more than just Breaststroke. She’s already qualified for Catholic Nationals in 200 IM and on Saturday, she made a good run at the State qualifying times for both the 200 IM and 100 Fly. I was most pleased with her 100 Fly where she cut 9.01 seconds from her 2 year old PR to go a very fast 1:11.78. I saw her fly in practice and I suspected that she could do well, but I didn’t know it would be that well! I was standing over her lane during her turn – her eyes were closed and her concentration level was confirmed by a 30.5 split at the 50.   Rachel also cut .71 seconds from her 200 IM PR and is now within .59 seconds of qualifying for States in the event!
  • Jonathan Rosato was one focused dude on Saturday, and the results showed. After swimming a 2.71 second PR in 200 Free, “Bucket” was ready to take another shot at the State qualifying time in 100 Breast. A bunch of us were standing at the end of his lane cheering so we could all clearly see the look of determination on the otherwise happy-go-lucky Jonathan – the boy was focused! Although he didn’t get it yet, he got another .31 seconds closer with a 1:13.10 (the cut is 1:11.41). I know he is working very hard in practice with Coach Lea – I really think he can do it.
  • In a meet like this, you just expect our other top kids to do well, so in order to give them more of a challenge, I had most of them swimming in their “off” events – here’s how they did:
    • David Basinger took 1st place in both the 200 Free and 100 Breaststroke by wide margins
    • Alex Doonis took 1st place in both the 50 and 100 Free, events that she wanted to swim again this past weekend. No one was close in either race.
    • Vincent “Catfish” Dunn got a chance to sprint the 50 and 100 Free and won both times. I felt really bad for the St. Michael’s coach’s son who is a very talented swimmer but ended up in heats with Catfish for both of his individual events. He just couldn’t hang with Catfish’s turns and kickouts.   Bummer.
    • Bridget Wunderly took 1st in 200 Free and 2nd in 100 Back. Her 200 Free time was a .91 second PR. I’m really enjoying watching her swim this season – I have a strong feeling she’s going to do something special at States.
    • Even though he’s only a freshman, I’m going to put Jamie Smith in this section and tell you that he won 100 Fly.

Great Performances from Future Standouts

I’m putting a special emphasis this week on the kids, besides the ones mentioned above, that you’ll be reading about more often next season who had particularly good swims this past week:

  • Junior Michael Hill had two PRs in events other than his normal breaststroke routine.   He cut his 200 IM PR by 4.87 and .36 seconds in 100 Free. We’ll be looking for a lot of leadership from Michael next season.
  • Junior Sarah Zapiain is one of our most versatile athletes. I can use her in sprint relays as well as middle distance freestyle and the 200 IM – she can even dive. That versatility is going to come in very handy next season which is why I was so pleased to see her PR in 200 IM on Saturday to take 4th   Sarah also took 4th in 500 Free.
  • Does anyone go for it harder than sophomore Steven “Spartan” Shaw? He took 2nd overall in 100 Back, and he took 4th in 200 IM with a 2.05 second PR. I suspect that a large part of the PR came on an outstanding butterfly leg.   I’m already working out so that I can hang with him during dryland a couple years from now! (I plan to ask Kenna how that P90X is going – if he can do it, I’ll just have to try it!)
  • I was most pleased with sophomore Peter Quinan’s 500 Free where he cut 12.44 seconds, broke 7:00 for the first time and took 4th place overall. Peter also swam a PR in a 6th place finish in 100 Breaststroke. I’m looking for big things from Peter in the future.
  • We’re really going to be counting on sophomore Luke Marrazzo next season, so I was very pleased to see him go out of his comfort zone and do so well in his first attempt at 100 Fly – he finished 5th. Luke also took 4th in 200 Free.
  • We’re also looking for big things in the future from freshman Joe Kosten who took 3rd and 5th in 100 Breast and 200 IM.
  • Junior Monica Byers took 4th overall in 100 Fly with a near PR time.   Because she is so versatile and has such good stroke technique, we’ll be counting on Monica next year to score in many different events, including 100 Back and 500 Free.
  • Junior Hugh Brien, a first year swimmer, took the opportunity to try 100 Back and took 9th. Hugh also took 8th in 100 Free. I’m looking for good things from Hugh next year, particularly in 100 Fly and middle distance freestyle.
  • Sophomore David Lambrecht has been very focused on improvement this season and it showed on Saturday. David cut 23.81 seconds from his 200 IM PR to take 10th He also cut 2.64 seconds from his 100 Back PR.
  • Sophomore James Mosimann challenged the 500 Free for the last two weeks in a row, and I was very pleased to see him give it his best shot. He got 10th overall which means he scored in every one of the simultaneous dual meets that were running on Saturday. James also swam in the 50 Free – I was very pleased with his stroke technique.
  • Junior Maggie Murphy took on both the 200 and 500 Free and scored 8th and 9th overall, respectively. Her 200 Free was a 5.24 second PR.

Other Personal Records

I wish I could mention everyone, but our web site only allows about 4,500 words in a single posting, so let’s not use up another word before I fit in the rest of the kids who swam personal record times.   There were another 46 last Saturday which brings our season total to 457 PRs. Here are the ones not yet mentioned:

  • The battle for the last spot on our Boys 200 Free Relay continues between Patrick Kenna and Brendan Koehr. Brendan cut .01 from his 50 Free PR to go 15, but unfortunately for Brendan, Patrick also cut .01 seconds and went 25.10. The battle continues next week leading up to National Catholics!
  • Brendan Koehr also took a stab at 100 Fly for the first time in two years and cut 9.27 seconds from his PR to go a pretty good 1:12.63. He was actually winning the event at the 50 split!   Too bad we didn’t have CTS because I would have loved to see the split on that 2nd 50 😉 But seriously, Brendan swam the race exactly like you’re supposed to swim a 100 yard race – you just go for it. I couldn’t have been prouder had I been his father.
  • Senior Leslie Zapiain had a .64 second PR in 100 Fly to take 6th place overall.   Leslie also took 6th in 100 Back.
  • Freshman Sarah Heim continues to show that she has a bright future with Seton. And her 100 Breast continues to get better.   On Saturday she lowered her PR by another .67 seconds. Too bad there’s not a way to have a family Breaststroke relay! I’m also anxious to teach her more about butterfly.
  • Michaela Pennefather had cut 8.45 seconds from her PR in 100 Fly in a great swim. If you take out the other Seton kids, 7th grader Michaela would have gotten 5th!
  • Patrick Koehr, one of the Fab-14 freshman boys, had an awfully good meet with two PRs. In 100 Back, he dropped 2.47 seconds and would have placed 6th if not for a little mishap while entering the water. And in 100 Free he cut .86 seconds and took 6th place overall.
  • 7th grader William Arnold had a great swim in 100 Free when he cut 6.58 seconds from his PR
  • 1st year swimmer Josepha Gonzalez swam a .47 second PR in 100 Free and her little sister Therese Gonzalez cut 12.41 seconds from her 100 Free. I love to see their big smiles every morning at practice.
  • Patrick Hall lowered his 50 Free PR by another .15 seconds.   This year, Patrick has shown me that he has a great future in Seton Swimming.
  • Freshman Xavier Holl had PRs in both 100 Free (by 2.05 seconds) and 50 Free (by .53 seconds).   Xavier has really come a long way this season.
  • Claire Kenna cut another 2.08 seconds in 100 Back to go 1:21.62, an excellent time for a 7th
  • Tommy Moore (being in sales, I always think of “Tommy Boy” when I mention his name) lowered his 50 Free PR by another .12 seconds.
  • Michael Manley, who is also diving for Seton, had two PRs including a 2.90 second PR in 100 Free and a .16 second PR in 50 Free.
  • Paul Mosimann lowered his 50 Free PR by another 1.65 seconds.
  • Did you see Nicolette Smith swimming butterfly in the Arlington Catholic Herald?   Well this week, she swam sprint freestyle and had PRs in both the 50 Free (by .08 seconds) and the 100 Free (by 2.61 seconds).
  • Nice 50 Free Matthew Verry! Matthew, who almost never gets an opportunity to swim in the sprints took full advantage with a .58 second PR.
  • 7th grader Vivian Zadnik had a 7.44 second PR in 100 Free and a .64 second PR in 50 Free. I think Vivian has had a PR in every meet this year?

Other Great Performances

And here are a few more great swims that I haven’t yet mentioned:

  • In my continued efforts to make sure the younger kids get a chance to swim every event, I was able to get four of our 7th graders in 100 Fly and they really did a nice job. Geni Lucas, Jillian Ceol and Kimberly Rector all swam great times in their first attempts at the event. Geni Lucas even got 2nd in her heat – and she was winning after the 1st 25 yards!
  • How about Claire Kenna’s first attempt at the 200 IM? Had she been able to score, she would have placed 5th overall in the event!
  • I enjoyed watching Rocky Kleb swim 100 Free. He just barely missed a PR, but had a very nice swim.
  • There were 8 heats of girls 50 Free and Jillian Ceol and Emily Heim both swam in the fast heat – very cool.
  • Tommy Shaw looked very strong on that 50 Free. I can’t wait to see what happens as he gets bigger.
  • Judith Cummings did a nice job this week in 100 Free and 100 Breast.
  • I’m not sure that everyone realizes what goes into lining up the relays, especially during the meet after we discover that kids who are entered have not shown up. Well Grace Van de Voorde and Diana Pechie, our team managers, have developed a system with me to redo relays in the heat of battle, and it worked better than ever this week.  Let’s all remember to thank them for their help – let’s also remember that it is a big problem for me and them when you are scheduled to swim and don’t show up.

Next Weekend’s Regular Season Finale

Next weekend is going to be a grand finale to our regular season down in my hometown of Warrenton at our town’s beautiful Warrenton Aquatic and Recreation Facility (WARF). The day will start with our annual state-wide Junior Varsity Invitational with first warm-up at 1:00 p.m. Last year we had 13 teams competing in several fun events including 50 yard races for each stroke and relays other than the old medley and freestyle types. All of our middle schoolers and some of our high schoolers can count on the opportunity to swim in this meet. For those of you not expecting to swim during the championship season, where there is no exhibition, this will be your final weekend of swimming. I’ll make sure that Pizza Mom Mrs. Lowell knows to buy pizza!

Immediately following the JV Invitational, probably around 5:00 p.m., we’ll start warm-ups for our Varsity meet against Woodberry Forest, St. Gertrude’s, Benedictine, Flint Hill and John Paul the Great. It will be a long day of swimming, officiating and timing so I look forward to every family participating on deck in some way if you can balance it with other family events.

See you all at practice, and let’s get ready for a great meet on Saturday!

Coach Koehr

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