What an awesome opening meet for Seton Swimming! As expected with dominated our conference competition, but Brentsville District High School proved to be deeper than I expected. The fact that we won 5 of the 6 relays, we tied (to the .01 second) the 6th relay, and the fact that we won nearly all of the other close races tells me that we could definitely run with them – they just had too many good swimmers for us. A high school population of 1,216 versus our 251 certainly contributed, but a win is a win – they just beat us.
The series between Seton and Brentsville is now 1-1, and we plan on making this meet an annual event. The Brentsville team is not only full of good swimmers, but they are pretty good folks also.
The final scores turned out like this:
Seton 134 Brentsville 152
Seton 210 Fredericksburg Academy 68
Seton 209 Highland 56
Seton 220 John Paul the Great 26
Seton 223 Quantico 26
Seton 223 Wakefield 20
Seton 132 Brentsville 154
Seton 211 Fredericksburg Academy 64
Seton 225 Highland 46
Seton 219 John Paul the Great 57
Seton 223 Wakefield 40
Seton 227 Quantico 20
On the strength of our parent volunteers, a Seton Swim meet has become quite an event. And the performances in the water lived up to the hype. Out of 115 individual swims for Seton, we had 67 Personal Records (PRs). That’s nearly 60% of our swims! We also had three new team records.
New Team Records
Going into the season, I thought that our team records were so fast, that there wouldn’t be that many broken. I could not have been more wrong:
- Before the meet, I told the team to watch out for our Boys 400 Free Relay of Jameson Hill, David Basinger, Vincent “Catfish” Dunn, and Connor Cook. They did not disappoint. Incredibly, they went 3:26.77, smashing the old record of 3:36.12 by nearly 10 seconds! The old record was set last year by Nevin Cook, Sean Koehr, Connor Cook and Daniel Koehr. The new record time would have placed 8th at last year’s State Championship Meet. It was also more than 7 seconds faster than the highest placing Division II school last year. We’re definitely going to run this relay at States!
- Because of communication problems between the Colorado Timing System and our laptop, I was not able to get splits on the 400 Free relay, but I did write down the lead-off split for junior Jameson Hill’s 100 Free. Because it was the lead-off leg from a standing start, Jameson’s :47.75 counts as a new team record. The old record :48.39 was set by Jameson at Time Trials in November. Coach Lowell, Coach Kosten and I just looked at each other with our mouths open when we saw his 50 split (after a complete turn when his feet touch) display on the board at :23.01 – now that is moving!
- Sophomore Lauren “the Machine” Donohoe jumped into the ranks of Seton’s all-time great swimmers when she went a blazing fast :54.51 to break the great Katie Planchak’s 100 Free Record of :55.13. To put that time into perspective, it would have place 3rd in last year’s State Championship and qualified the machine for All-State honors – and it is still the beginning of the season! The Machine also won a very close race in 100 Breaststroke with a great PR swim.
Great Scoring Swims
Besides those recording setting swims, there were some other amazing races during the meet. Let me highlight a few of the most memorable:
- Sophomore David Basinger’s 100 Fly was simply awesome. David went into the race with a PR of 1:03.90. As soon as he hit the water, it was obvious that he was going to have his hands full against a Brentsville upperclassman. For nearly the whole race, David hung on the guy’s shoulder, aided primarily by three great turns. In the last 10 yards, David starting moving up. As they reached for the wall, David’s head was behind his opponent’s head, but in true Michael Phelps fashion, David wanted the wall more. He reached hard under the water, touched, and we all looked up at the board – he had won by .09 seconds. David also cut 5.44 seconds from his 200 IM and took 2nd in the meet behind only Seton’s Jameson Hill. His 2:15.72 is excellent for a high school only swimmer.
- Sophomore Bridget Wunderly just rocked in 100 Fly. She entered the meet with a PR of 1:10.36. I’m sure the two Brentsville girls were surprised when Bridget took the early lead. At the 50 she still had the lead, and then she started to pull away. By the last turn, we knew she was going to win, and we knew she was going to have a great time – and boy were we right! How about a 1:05.31! That was more than 5 seconds faster than her PR from last season and nearly as fast as our primary butterflier (Lea Mazzoccoli, who graduated) from last season. Bridget just earned her way onto the “A” Medley Relay.
- I wish I had splits on the Boys 200 Free Relay of Daniel Koehr, Brendan Koehr, Patrick Kenna and Catfish Dunn. Daniel Koehr led things off with a great start which gave him a lead that may have made the difference in the end. Brendan Koehr took the baton and looked stronger than I’ve ever seen him. His stroke was long and powerful. It was great to watch Patrick Kenna move so fast and keep his head so still. (He just came off a leg injury and only recently got back in the water.) But in spite of those 3 great swims, Catfish Dunn hit the water for the anchor leg about a half a body length behind. At first, I didn’t think he could catch the Brentsville guy, but after a great turn, Catfish started inching up. With less than 10 yards to go, inches became feet. Inside the flags, Catfish surged and out-touched the Brentsville swimmer by .25 seconds. What a tremendous finish!
- My voice was still sore from the Boys 200 Free relay when the Girls 200 Free Relay (Lauren “the Machine” Donohoe, Laura Talbott, Alex Cummings and Mary Kate Kenna) swam their back and forth race against Brentsville. Our relay was front loaded with our fastest sprinters and theirs was back loaded. Needless to say, the Machine got us off to a big lead. Laura Talbott showed that she is going to come back strong from her championship volleyball season with a very strong 50 Free followed by Alex Cummings who swam well. Then Senior Captain Mary Kate Kenna, not a sprint specialist, hit the water against Brentsville’s top sprinter. MK was giving it everything she had as the race approached the wall. She reached, side-by-side with the Brentsville girl, and looked up – a tie! 1:50.21 for both relays.
- Assistant Coach and Captain Mary Kate Kenna was a man amongst boys (just an expression MK ;-)) in the middle distance freestyle events. Not only did she dominate in both events, she had significant PRs also. In the 500 Free, she broke 6:00 for the first time in a yard pool with her 5:51.98 (her converted time from last year’s meet at FA was just barely under 6:00), and she lowered her PR in 200 Free by nearly 4 seconds. The 200 Free was particularly fun to watch. MK had a great start, but the Brentsville girl tried to hang on for the first 100. After the 4th turn, MK broke the girls spirit and the race was over. Besides Jameson and The Machine, MK was the only other swimmer to get first place in both of her events.
- Freshman Vincent “Catfish” Dunn is going to be one of the great ones I suspect. He broke 2:00 in 200 Free for the first time when he cut an incredible 7.63 seconds! He also cut another .21 seconds from his 100 Free when he went :54.51. That is very fast for a freshman.
In addition to the swimmers above, here are the other swimmers that contributed to our PR total on Friday night. It is very exciting to note that 22 of these PRs were in 100 Backstroke. We have spent a great deal of time recently on backstroke stroke technique in practice:
- Laura Talbott was one of the starters for the Seton Volleyball team that went to the State tournament. Because of that, she hasn’t been in the water until recently and that seems to have been a source of concern for her. Well she can put that concern aside after she hit 2 PRs on Saturday. In 50 Free, she cut .41 seconds over her best time last season, and in 100 Free, she cut an incredible 1.13 seconds. She know has the 3rd faster 50 time and the 4th fastest 100 time. I can’t wait until she gets back into shape!
- Assistant Coach and Captain Connor Cook did a great job, and showed her versatility, by taking on Brentsville top sprinter AND their top distance swimmer in the same meet. In the 50 Free, Connor almost got the Brentsville guy with his .43 second PR swim.
- Hannah Lowell shows as much heart as anyone we have on the team. She was very excited when she had the opportunity to swim both the 200 and 500 Free. Her excitement paid off with two huge PRs. Hannah cut over 14 seconds in the 200 Free and over 25 seconds in the 500 Free. She dropped so much time in the 500, I thought she only swam 18 lengths! All of that triathlon work this past summer seems to be really helping her.
- In addition to Bridget Wunderly’s big PR in 100 Fly, she also managed to cut .59 seconds in 100 Back, where an improved roll and a quieter head are starting to pay dividends.
- Carolyn Claybrooks has come back this season much stronger, and she showed it in the 200 IM. She cut 5.96 seconds from her previous PR and came within a whisker of 1st place against a very strong Brentsville swimmer.
- Not sure how it is possible for senior who has been swimming his whole high school career, but Christian Vestermark cut his 50 Free time by 1.11 seconds to :26.72. Christian now has the 7th fastest freestyle time on the team so we can look forward to seeing him on more scoring relays in the future.
- Rachel Lambrecht is not a name you always hear a lot, but I think you’ll be hearing more about her in the future. She showed her versatility with a 2.76 second PR in 200 IM, which was good enough to get 4th versus Brentsville and 2nd versus every other team.
- I think Cat Rogers is going to have to get her wisdom teeth pulled more often. While still recovering from this painful procedure, she somehow managed to lower her 50 Free PR by .95 seconds and her 100 Breaststroke PR by 2.27 seconds. Cat seems to go faster every time she hits the water.
- I still remember Joseph Scheetz telling me before time trials that he couldn’t swim 100 yards. We now know for sure that he was not right. On Saturday, he not only finished 100 Backstroke, he finished it more than 18 seconds faster than he did at time trials. He also cut nearly 7 seconds from his 50 Free.
- Christian “Rocky” Kleb was simply super in the 500 Free on Saturday. He lowered his previous best time by 29.37 seconds! On the opposite end of the spectrum, he cut 2.86 seconds from his 50 Free.
- Freshman Monica Byers works very hard in practice, which is why it did not surprise me that she cut 2.64 seconds in 200 IM. I’m also looking for some good things from her in 100 backstroke in the future.
- You should watch Emily Lowell do the stroke drills in practice – she really works to do them perfectly. That is probably part of the reason why she had PRs in both 50 Free (by 2.52 seconds) and 100 Backstroke (by 2.67 seconds). She was really long on her 50 Free.
- Matthew Verry hit PRs in both of his events. He cut 8.89 seconds in 100 Breaststroke and 3.14 seconds in 200 Free. Both of these swims were strong enough to score for Seton!
- David Lambrecht had two PRs also. He cut 1.27 seconds in 50 Free and 1.38 seconds in 100 Back.
- Jonathan Rosato continues to impress. He cut 3.7 seconds from his previous best in 100 Breaststroke and was Seton’s 2nd highest finisher in the event. Jonathan has improved to the point where he is now a real player for Seton Swimming.
- Like Jonathan, Brendan Koehr is now playing a key role on the Seton Swim Team. Not only was he on our winning “A” 200 Free relay, but he continues to improve in 100 Free (by .24 seconds) and 100 Back (by .75 seconds).
- Kevin Bliss is starting to show good potential. He’s listening well in practice and giving his 100% personal best in every race. That’s why he had a 2.44 second PR in 50 Free and a 2.64 second PR in 100 Back.
- First year swimmer Theresa Verry is really improving! She dropped another 4.97 seconds in her 50 Free.
- Another first year swimmer, Mary Kate Rivenburg, had PRs in both of her events when she cut 1.21 seconds in 50 Free and .93 seconds in 100 Back.
- Sarah Blanchard cut another .55 seconds from her 100 Backstroke.
- It was a good days work for Judith Cummings who had a 1.38 second PR in 100 Back and a 1.70 second PR in 50 Free.
- Abi Purnell duplicated Mary Kate’s feat with even bigger PRs. Abi cut 3.08 seconds from her 50 Free PR and 4.42 seconds from her 100 Back PR.
- Sarah Zapiain was one of those 22 Backstroke PRs when she cut 1.29 seconds from her 100 Back. She’s still young and her time is starting to get pretty competitive.
- Michael Hill is really starting to impress me. You can tell he is trying to get better. His 3.30 second PR in 50 Free (:34.72) was outstanding for a beginning swimmer. I don’t think he’s a beginning swimmer anymore.
- Lexy Smith was listening in practice. She lowered her 100 Back time by nearly 5 seconds!
- Julia Irving has figured out what can happen if you listen in practice. She cut 1.10 seconds in 50 Free and 1.59 seconds in 100 Back.
- Eileen Heim somehow managed to drop 4.39 seconds in 100 Back. She also dropped another .20 seconds in 50 Free
- Sarah Heim cut 2.18 seconds in 50 Free and 1.38 seconds in 100 Back.
- 7th grader Timmy Murphy is going to be a good one in the future if he keeps improving the way he has so far this season. On Saturday, he cut 1.4 seconds in 100 Free and .09 seconds in 100 Back.
- Jack Corkery cut 7.44 seconds in 100 Back and 1.56 seconds in 50 Free.
- Sister Maggie Murphy smiled her way to a .54 second PR in 100 Breaststroke.
- James Mosimann lowered his 100 Back time by 4.71 seconds!
- Monica Mosimann also lowered her 100 Back time. She cut .22 seconds from her best time last season.
- Daniela Sinner asked me if she could swim the 500 in this meet. She rewarded me for putting her in it with a .54 second PR and a scoring finish against Brentsville.
- Andrew Minarik scored twice for Seton and had a PR in 200 Free when he swam more than 7 seconds faster than ever before.
- Sarah McGurk cut .74 seconds in 100 Back. We started working on Breaststroke in practice. With her great kick, I can’t wait to see her use what she’s learning about that stroke in a future meet.
- Michael Collins just continues to get better. This week, he cut 3.09 seconds from his 100 Back.
- Sarah Welsh lowered her 50 Free time another .10 seconds.
- Joseph Kosten is one of several 7th graders that is showing promise for Seton. Joseph cut nearly 4 seconds from his 50 Free time!
- Alex Harrill is warming up for a future repeat at the 500 Free with his .89 second PR in 100 Back. (Kristen Rafter did a nice job at the 500 on Saturday ;-))
Other Great Performances
During the course of the meet, there were several other swims that I really enjoyed watching:
- We have a group of 7th grade boys that I think might become something special before they graduate in 2014. The Fab-14s look like they might include Jamie Smith, Joseph Kenna and Timmy Murphy. Jamie has gone 1:02 in 100 Free, Joseph went :29 in 50 Free, and Timmy gives an amazing effort in the sprints. These three can really rock! When we add Patrick Koehr to the mix next year, we will have the makings of some very fast relays in the future. If Connor Kleb and Joseph Kosten keep improving at the rate they have been, we should have the makings of 3 good relays between the 6 of them. Only the girls side, keep your eyes on Julia Irving, Sarah Heim and Emily Lowell.
- Speaking of Julia Irving, it’s great to finally see her keeping her head down on freestyle – and quiet. Her underwater pull in backstroke is excellent also.
- I didn’t get a reliable count, but I’m pretty sure that Connor Cook swam that 50 Free sprint with only one breath!
- Sarah Blanchard had a great swim in her very first 100 Fly. She was really nervous before the race, but did a great job. She has a very nice butterfly. As she gets more time in practice, that last 50 will get easier Sarah!
- Jonathan Rosato also swam 100 Fly for the first time. His body position was excellent and his timing nearly perfect. I was screaming as I watched him pull ahead of two Brentsville swimmers in the last 25 yards. I really think Jonathan can be a butterflier for us in the future.
- The boys 200 Medley relay was a lot of fun to watch. Connor Cook led off with a :26.99 in 50 backstroke, both Daniel Koehr and David Basinger had great relay starts, and then Jameson Hill sealed the deal with the 50 Free anchor leg.
- Our Girls 200 Medley Relay (Bridget Wunderly, Mary Kate Kenna, Carolyn Claybrooks and Lauren Donohoe) had universally great starts, especially Carolyn’s.
- Leslie Zapiain breaststroke is really nice. If you get a chance to watch, notice her great body position. She does a perfect body dolphin with each stroke. She also had a great freestyle kick in the 200 Free relay.
- Keeley Cook gave 100% in the 500 Free, battling a much older Brentsville girl the entire way.
- Kristin Rafter and Daniela Sinner scored in the 500! If you want the best possible chance for a Varsity letter, ask me to swim the 500 and the 200 IM. Nice work you two. I particularly enjoyed Kristin’s smile after the race.
- Ivan Harangozo, a freshman, did a nice job with his first attempt at 200 Free. It was great to see him pulling all the way through on each stroke.
- Even though Andrew Minarik was swimming in the light right next to where I was standing, I somehow managed to miss a whole other side to Andrew – a very revealing side. Ask him about it.
- Michael Collins also attempted 200 Free for the first time. He was really pushing it on that last 25. When you swim, you should leave nothing in the pool, and that’s what Michael did. Michael also showed dramatic improvement in his stroke technique for 100 Backstroke.
- Wasn’t it fun seeing the smile on Mary Fowler’s face after she dove off the blocks for the first time and completed 100 Freestyle for the first time. I was very proud of her.
- I thought it was really cool to watch Jamie Smith congratulate his opponent from Brentsville, even though the guy was a foot taller than him.
- Andrew Minarik was the poster child from what former Coach Pat Mulhern used to say was swimming “long and strong”.
- Monica Mosimann’s freestyle has gotten very, very nice. With a good stroke will come faster times!
- Sarah Zapiain swam so fast in 100 Free that she broke a fingernail!
- Congratulations to Thomas Kosten who completed the 500 Free for the first time in competition.
- Bernadette Wunderly was great during her very first 200 Free.
- James Mosimann’s backstroke technique has really improved.
- My note next to David Lambrecht’s name in 100 Backstroke was simply “wow!”.
- We most often think of Rachel Lambrecht as a breaststroker, but her backstroke was beautiful in that 200 IM.
- Michael O’Donnell has a very nice hand entry on his freestyle.
- Sarah McGurk lost her goggles on her backstroke start and responded in exactly the right way – you just keep going!
- Bridget Wunderly’s freestyle looked very strong in the 400 Free relay.
- How about 8th grader Stephen Shaw stepping up to swim 200 IM and 100 Fly for the first time?
Looking closely at the results, the meet was actually very close. An 18 point difference is reversed if 9 points go our way (plus the 9 points that didn’t go their way). 9 points is not very much:
- We won the relays, but they always seemed to get 2nd and 3rd. That means we won those relay events by a score of 10-8. If our “B” relay could take 3rd, then we’d win the event 13-5. There’s 3 of the 9 points! So if you are in a “B” relay, don’t think your swim doesn’t matter.
- In most of our meets, the first 7 places get points (8, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 points). If each team gets 4 scoring entries, that means that one team has 4 people score and the other team has only 3 people score. It also means that if you get 6th instead of 7th, you’ve claimed 1 of those 9 points we need to win. So if you are that 3rd or 4th varsity (scoring) swimmer from Seton, don’t think your swim doesn’t matter.
So the big lesson from this past week’s meet is that every swim matters!
Saturday was a fun way to start the season – in spite of the Brentsville loss, I’m very pleased with the way we swam. Next Saturday’s meet is in Warrenton at the WARF. We’ll be swimming The Heights School, Kettle Run (the new Fauquier County high school) and Richmond Christian for the first time. We’ll also have three DAC schools with us. It should be another fun meet. We start stretching at 12:45 p.m. See you at practice this week.