Last Saturday, we had the opportunity to travel down to St. Michael the Archangel for the annual Winter Invitational they hosted again this year.  As always, it was a well-run meet with a very gracious host.  And has been the case all season, Seton Swimming performed very well against the mostly DAC conference competition.  Naturally, when you have 62 personal records, not including relay splits, good things are going to happen on the scoreboard.

And here is what that scoreboard looked like at the conclusion of the meet:


Bishop Ireton          147.5       Seton                                82.5

Seton                     132          Benedictine                       90

Seton                      123          John Paul the Great         100

Seton                      143          St. Michael                        82

Seton                      174          Wakefield Country Day     50

Seton                      123          Massanutten Military         12


Bishop Ireton          150          Seton                                80

Seton                      149          John Paul the Great          75

Seton                      156          St. Michael                        70

Seton                      175          Wakefield Country Day     32

Seton                      194          Massanutten Military           2

Some Swimmers Have it Figured Out

Before I talk about the meet specifically, I’d like to highlight something that I’ve been seeing at practice that pleases me immensely:

I used to have a very wise plant manager named Rod Rakosi who worked for me at an Industrial Laundry plant in Morgantown, WV.  Rod used to say, “Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die”.  I’m sure he wasn’t the first person to say that, but he’s where I first heard it so he gets the credit.

Whenever he said that, what he was trying to communicate is that the things that bring us the most joy in life are usually the result of some great sacrifice – the more significant the sacrifice, the more joyful the result.   That’s why parents often get so much joy from their kids – because raising kids can be so challenging and it requires such great sacrifice.

Think about the times when you have experienced the greatest joy in your life and it probably centered around something that you accomplished that resulted from unusually hard work, some extraordinary risk, or some great sacrifice – or all of the above.   When I saw Peter Quinan look for his finish time and then pump his fist in the air after his 500 Free this past weekend, I knew it wasn’t just because he swam a 6:09 for the first time.  It was because his PR resulted from a getting up early in the morning and working so hard in the pool.  Had he been capable of swimming a 4:54 and did a 6:09, would he have been nearly as joyful?  Of course not.

As obvious as this all sounds, some people never figure it out – even smart people.  I was listening to the radio in my truck and heard an interview with pop psychologist Deepak Chopra.  He was trying to convince listeners that it was vital for the brain development of a child that they never be unhappy.  Now you have to be really smart to be able to convince yourself of something so silly.  I think old Deepak could benefit from a few Catholic teachings on sacrifice – or maybe he should just spend some time after practice with a small group on our swim team.

Every day after practice, we do some additional dryland exercises, but that is not enough for a group that wants more – a group that wants to do better and experience the joy that comes with improving yourself.  Led by Captains Luke Marrazzo, Stephen Shaw, Peter Quinan and David Lambrecht this group does enough core body exercises and extra push-ups to make me tired just watching them.  Besides these four captains, the regulars in the group include:

  • Andrew Bishop
  • Ian Curley
  • Ben Ceol
  • Patrick Dealey
  • Tommy Moore
  • Andrew Quinan
  • Matt Fioramonti
  • Elizabeth Earls

I think all of us can benefit from the example of these swimmers.

Top Performers

With 62 Personal Records, it is hard to single out the top performers, but here are a few who performed particularly well:

  • Alex Sinner has returned strong from her hip injury taking a first and third place in her two individual events. Her first place came in a competitive heat of 50 Free with a time that qualified for both States and National Catholics.  Her third came in 100 Breaststroke where she swam a PR and just missed the championship qualifying times.  Alex now has 7 of the 8 individual qualifying times for both States and 6 of the 8 for National Catholics.  That’s pretty good evidence of Alex’s real versatility.
  • Kimberly Rector also showed her that she is can swim any event and do well. Normally a distance swimmer, Kimberly took 2nd place overall in 100 Breast with a .20 second PR and 6th place overall in the 50 Free with a .45 second PR.  As a coach, it is great to know that I can put Kimberly in literally any event and expect her to do well.
  • Claire Kenna swapped events with Kimberly and did equally well. In the 200 IM, Claire cut 4.59 seconds and took 2nd place   That great swim was good enough to get her the National Catholic cut!  Then in 100 Fly, Claire cut 1.44 seconds and took 5th place overall.  I guess Claire can swim any event also!
  • I already mentioned Peter Quinan’s PR in the 500, but what I didn’t mention was that his swim was good enough for 3rd place overall
  • Luke Marrazzo has really manned-up this season, and I could not be more pleased with him. He dropped his 100 Free PR by nearly a second and went 55.13 seconds, good enough for 3rd place overall in a very competitive heat.  He has been listening so well in practice, that I grabbed several kids while he was swimming so that I could point out how well he pulls all the way through.  Luke also made a great run at the championship qualifying times in 50 Free when he cut .24 seconds and went a very fast 24.75.
  • Keziah Higginbottom had a tremendous swim in the 500 Free, taking 5th place overall after a 32.36 second PR. She also took 4th place over in what has become her signature event, 100 Fly.  Keziah is a great example in practice – she really has a great work ethic.
  • Emily Heim has also been ramping it up in practice and starting to see the results. She had two 4th place finishes on Saturday and two PRs.  In 200 Free, she cut 4.79 seconds and in 500 Free, she cut .18 seconds.  Did anyone notice that I was really mixing up the events that people swam this past week?
  • Tommy Flook was a beast in the 500 Free, lowering his PR by 47.42 seconds and taking 4th place Tommy also cut 1.59 seconds from his 100 Breast PR to take 6th place overall.  I’m really enjoying watching Tommy’s rapid improvement this season – and we’re almost there with his butterfly.
  • I was extremely pleased with Jillian Ceol’s 200 IM. Her 2:38.88 was 1.77 seconds faster than her previous PR and took 4th place overall.  What pleased me most however was how she swam the race – she really raced it.  Sometimes, in these longer events, kids are afraid to take the risk that they might “die”, but Jillian took the risk and got the reward!

Personal Records

There were not touch pads in use at the this meet, so the large number of PRs are we have been seeing for lead-off legs or relays were not captured this week.  In spite of that limitation, we still managed to swim 62 total personal records. Here are the personal records that I have not already mentioned:

  • Vivian Zadnik swam the 500 Free and somehow dropped more than 1.5 minutes (93.97 seconds) from her PR. Now that is what I call improvement!  Vivian also took 7th place overall in 100 Breast.
  • Lizzy Zadnik was also stellar this past weekend with 2 big PRs. In 100 Breast, she dropped 4.41 seconds and in 100 Free, she dropped 1.37 seconds.  Her strokes are really looking strong.
  • Meggie Vestermark is back from her illness and performing well again. On Saturday, she cut 3.66 seconds from her PR in 100 Fly – and she was worried about disappointing me 😉
  • Jude Van de Voorde saw the benefits of his work in practice with a 500 Free PR of nearly 1 whole minute (56.62 seconds). Jude also took 5th place overall in 100 Breast
  • Brendan Santschi had a big PR in 100 Breast, lowering his previous best by 4.39 seconds.
  • Cris Salas has definitely found joy in swimming this year, and on Saturday, he had two big PRs. In the 200 Free, he cut 3.35 seconds and in the 100 Free, he cut 2.64 seconds.  Only a freshman, Cris’ times are starting to get very competitive.
  • Martin Quinan smiled his way to a 2.34 second PR in 100 Breast
  • Ryan Pugh dropped an amazing 10.15 seconds from his 100 Breast PR. Given conflicts with his schedule, I think this was his last meet of the season – it was quite a way to wrap up!
  • Paul Pechie has always been one who can swim all four strokes with great technique and that’s probably why he was able to cut another 4.8 seconds from his 200 IM PR
  • Meghan O’Malley continues to improve. This week, it was in 50 Free where she lowered her PR by another .20 seconds.
  • Catherine Moore made Coach Irving proud with her 17.35 second PR in 100 Back and her 3.06 second PR in 50 Free.
  • Sally Marrazzo didn’t swim in a PR in the 200 IM, but that’s only because she didn’t have a previous time. I just wanted to make sure I mentioned how pleased I was with her swim in that event.
  • David Lambrecht is having a tremendous senior season. In David’s case, he cut 4.88 seconds from his 100 Fly PRand 2.34 seconds from his 200 IM PR.  David also had a great lead-off leg for the “B” 400 Free relay where he actually beat our “A” relay lead-off swimmer.
  • Joe Kosten took 5th place overall in a screaming fast 50 Free with a .39 second PR swim.
  • Collette Kosten lowered her 50 Free PR again, this time by a whopping 2.12 seconds.
  • Brian Koehr has improved so much this season over last that he’s sometimes hard to recognize in the water. That was the case in the 200 Free where he dropped 23.80 in 200 Free.
  • John Paul Kleb had a two PR afternoon. In 100 Breast, he cut 5.85 seconds and in 50 Free, he cut .60 seconds.
  • Connor Kleb was awesome during his 100 Free, cutting another 1.31 seconds from his PR.
  • Michael Kenneally had a nice swim in 50 Free, lowering his PR by more than a second
  • Joe Irving is going to be a really good swimmer for Seton, especially if he keeps improving the way he has recently. How about a 5.08 second PR in 100 Back?
  • Xavier Holl was doing a fine job of lengthening his stroke and that resulted in a 5.05 second PR in 100 Free. He also managed a .04 second PR in 50 Free.
  • Tyler Hoffman is another swimmer with seemingly limitless potential. In 100 Breast, he lowered his PR by 6.21 seconds and in 50 Free, he lowered his PR by .90 seconds.  Only an 8th grader, his times are starting to get pretty fast for high school swimming.
  • Connor Given cut 9.84 seconds from his 100 Back PR
  • Allison Given cut 10.68 seconds from her 100 Back PR. Sounds like a really positive trend in the Given household!
  • Nina Francis had a nice swim in 100 Breast where she lowered her PR by 1.49 seconds.
  • Dani Flook continued improvement in her 100 Back with another .16 second PR
  • Matt Fioramonti also had a good swim in 100 Back, cutting another .93 seconds from his PR
  • Mark Fioramonti is really starting to get the hang of this sport with his 1.67 second PR in 100 Free.
  • Patrick Dealey has been swimming very well all season, but on Saturday, he swam particularly well. He lowered his 100 Breast PR by 3.05 seconds and his 100 Free PR by 2.23 seconds.
  • Kalli Dalrymple continued to show great improvement on Saturday, even finishing as a heat winner in one of her events! In the 50 Free, she dropped 2.20 seconds and in 100 Free she dropped 1.86 seconds – which probably explains why she won a heat seeded by time – because she’s simply getting better faster than the kids against which she was racing.  Nice work Kalli!
  • Ian Curley is new to the sport of swimming, but he knows what it takes to succeed in any sport – and he’s putting in the work. The payoff came with a huge 2.03 second personal record in the 50 Free.  He also had a great swim in 100 Free and on the anchor of one 200 Free relay.  On the relay, he brought his team from behind to win the heat.
  • Tim Costello had two PRs on Saturday. In 100 Back, he cut 1.90 seconds and in 100 free, he cut .14 seconds.  It was a good day for my nephew!
  • Alex Ceol swam very well on Saturday and also had two PRs. In 100 Breast, he cut .42 seconds and in 50 Free, he cut .30 seconds.
  • David Catabui was really great in 100 Back, lowering his previous best by 14.37 seconds! He also had a huge PR in 100 Free, lowering his previous best by 3.45 seconds.
  • Andrew Bishop has really done well in his first season swimming at Seton. On Saturday, he cut another .68 seconds from his 200 Free PR
  • Will Arnold is part of that group of underclassman that seem to show unlimited potential. I was really pleased to see him cut another 1.05 seconds in 100 Back.

Qualifiers for States and National Catholics

As I’ve already mentioned, Alex Sinner added 50 Free for both Nationals and States to her list of achieved qualification standards.  Claire Kenna also added a cut in the 200 IM.  And with entries due this week for National Catholics, we now know who’s on the National Catholic Team.

Congratulations to:

National Catholics

Alex Sinner

  • 200 IM
  • 100 Fly
  • 200 Free
  • 100 Free
  • 100 Back
  • 50 Free

Kimberly Rector

  • 200 Free
  • 200 IM
  • 100 Breast

Claire Kenna

  • 50 Free
  • 100 Free
  • 100 Breast
  • 200 IM

Emily Heim

  • 100 Breast

200 Medley “A” (Sinner, Heim, Higginbottom, Kenna)

400 Free Relay “A” (Kenna, Sinner, Rector, Ceol)

And here are the current qualifiers for States:


Alex Sinner

  • 200 IM
  • 100 Fly
  • 500 Free
  • 200 Free
  • 100 Free
  • 100 Back
  • 50 Free

Kimberly Rector

  • 200 Free
  • 500 Free
  • 200 IM
  • 100 Breast

Claire Kenna

  • 50 Free
  • 100 Free
  • 100 Breast

Emily Heim

  • 100 Breast

Girls 200 Medley “A”

Girls 200 Free Relay “A”

Girls 400 Free Relay “A”

Girls 400 Free Relay “B”

Joe Kosten

  • 200 IM
  • 100 Breast

Boys 200 Medley Relay

Boys 200 Free Relay

Boys 400 Free Relay

I’ve posted the entries for National Catholic entries on the under Meet & Team Information.  It is also time to call and claim a room out of my block of 8 rooms at the hotel.  It will be easiest just to call the hotel directly at (410) 685-3500 and ask from one of the rooms under “Jim Koehr”.  Just change it to your own name, and please do it before Friday.

Seton Swimming at Woodberry Forest, Saturday, January 19, 2013

Next weekend’s meet is at Woodberry Forest School in Orange, VA.  It is about 10 miles south of Culpeper on Rt. 15.   Please plan to be in the pool lobby stretching at 12:00 p.m.  Diving starts at 11:45 a.m. and swimming warm-up ends as soon as diving is over.  We have the 2nd warm-up.

Final Notes

I realize that final exams are a tough balancing act for a lot of kids, but I’m really pleased with how many of our swimmers are achieving the balance.  It is a very adult skill.

But if the balance proves to be impossible, then, as always, I will defer to parental discretion on the needs of each individual swimmer.

I hope you had a blessed Christmas season.

Coach Jim Koehr

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