On Saturday, Seton Swimming ended our regular season with three more victories in a fun meet down in Fredericksburg, hosted by our friends at Fredericksburg Christian.  My goal for the meet was for everyone to either swim something they have never swum before or to improve in an event they do not normally swim.  This led to some great swims, some fun races, and, of course, some surprising performances.

So many swimmers were swimming events for the first time, that we only had 92 opportunities for a Personal Record (PR).  In spite of that, and the laid back nature of the meet, we still had 44 Personal records.  We have now had 454 personal records so far this season!  It looks like our goal of 500 PRs for the season is within reach.

We ended our regular season with our boys at 19-6 and our girls at 22-3.  None of our losses were against a VSIS Division II teams so this is a record of which we can be proud.  In fact, against teams in our Division, we still haven’t even had a close meet.

The final scores for this week turned out like this:

Boys

Seton     184                   Fredericksburg Christian       85

Seton     200                   John Paul the Great                  33

Seton     209                   Richmond Christian                  23

Girls

Seton     214                   Fredericksburg Christian       67 

Seton     227.5                 John Paul the Great                  29.5

Seton     229                   Richmond Christian                  26

New Members of the Post Season Championship Teams

With the post season fast approaching, we are now finalizing at championship teams.  While there are still opportunities to qualify for States, this was the last weekend that we could add qualifiers for National Catholics on Jan 31st and Feb 1st up at Villanova University – our entries are due Wednesday.  On Saturday, we had two more qualifiers:

  • David Basinger was always headed to National Catholics, but up until this weekend, it was only because of his role in the 400 Free and 200 Medley Relays.  While leading off the 200 Free relay on Saturday, David cut .36 seconds from his 50 Free, swam a PR of :24.48, and got under the National Catholic cut by .02 seconds.  I don’t think we’ll be running our “A” 200 Free Relay at States or Catholic Nationals, but if we were to do that, David also earned a spot on that relay with this great swim.
  • In just a few cases, the Catholic National cut is actually slower than the State cut.  This is the case with girls 50 Free where Cat Rogers had qualified for Catholic Nationals, but not for States.  Cat was trying to put an end to that this weekend.  In the girls 50 Free, in which Cat got first place overall, she cut .4 seconds from her PR to get within .02 seconds of the cut – close, but not quite enough.  An hour later, when she had the chance to lead off the girls 200 Free relay, she took full advantage. Somehow, she cut another .35 seconds from her PR, swam a :26.99, and beat the cut by .33 seconds.  That was a total improvement for the meet in 50 Free of .75 seconds – nearly unheard of for a swimmer at her level.  Welcome to the State Team Cat!   That swim also bumped Cat up to the 4th fastest 50 freestyler on our girls team – that means she is now on the “A” 200 Free Relay.

Here are the championship teams as they stand right now:

National Catholic TeamState Team
·         Jameson Hill

·         Connor Cook

·         Catfish Dunn

·         David Basinger

·         Daniel Koehr

·         Carolyn Claybrooks

·         Lauren Donohoe

·         Alex Doonis

·         Mary-Kate Kenna

·         Cat Rogers

·         Laura Talbott

·         Bridget Wunderly

·         Jameson Hill

·         Connor Cook

·         Catfish Dunn

·         David Basinger

·         Daniel Koehr

·         Carolyn Claybrooks

·         Lauren Donohoe

·         Alex Doonis

·         Mary-Kate Kenna

·         Rachel Lambrecht

·         Cat Rogers

·         Laura Talbott

·         Bridget Wunderly

Congratulations to these 13 swimmers!  A detailed report detailing the events in which everyone qualified is under Meet & Team Information.  By the time you read this, I hope that you’ll be able to look under Meet & Team Information to see our National Catholic entries also.

You Just Have to Love the 500 Free and the 200 IM

You didn’t have to qualify for the championship team to have a great swim.  Here are a few more of the truly great performances we had this past weekend:

  • I never would have thought it possible, but Alex Harrill beat Jonathan Rosato’s record for most improvement in a single swim when he lowered his 500 Free PR by 145.62 seconds!  That’s nearly two and half minutes!  Some of you may recall that, last season, Alex was basically a beginning swimmer who swam the 500 at the WARF with the entire team (and the lifeguards ;-)) at both ends of his lane cheering him on to a finish in almost 12 minutes.  Before the race, I told him to remember only three things:  1) Keep your head down, 2) Catch-up (keeping both hands in the front quadrant for as long as possible), 3) Pull all the way through.  He managed to do all of those things, and with a smiling bright red face, finished the race in a time I’m sure he had previously thought to be impossible.
  • Last week, I had to take Joseph Scheetz out of the 500 at the last minute because we didn’t have enough lanes, but this week he got his chance – and man did he take great advantage.  Joseph joined us this season as a beginning swimmer and, on Saturday, he completed the 500 Free in under 10 minutes!  You should have seen him keeping his head down, catching-up, and pulling all the way through – what a difference from the beginning of the year!  Coach Hoffer and Assistant Coach Mary Kate Kenna should be very proud also.
  • Not to be lost in all the excitement of that boys heat of the 500 was some pretty good swimming by 7th grader Joseph Kosten, who lowered his 500 Free PR by 64 seconds!  The Fab-14s are going to need a guy to cover the distance events – Joseph just might be the man for the job.  He also cut 2.38 seconds from his 200 Free
  • The boys weren’t the only ones challenging the 500 Free for the first time.  Sarah McGurk, Mary Kate Rivenburg, Sarah Heim and Mary-Margaret Harrill also broke the barrier.  All 4 of them went under 8:30, a great accomplishment for a first-timer, and Sarah McGurk actually went well under 8:00 with her 7:39.00.
  • Theresa Verry was so excited after she swam the 500 for the first time last week, that she begged me to swim it again this week.  I’m sure glad I let her, because in only a week’s time, she improved her time by 7.48 seconds!
  • The 200 IM is another event that newer swimmers are sometimes nervous about swimming because it requires proficiency in all four strokes.  Here are the swimmers who are no longer nervous about swimming the 200 IM:
  • Joseph Kenna
  • John Ross
  • David Lambrecht
  • James Mosimann
  • Jonathan Jacobeen
  • Michael Hill
  • Monica Mosimann – she scored in 6th place in the event!
  • Judith Cummings
  • Eileen Heim
  • Lizzie Rogers
  • Maggie Murphy
  • Hannah Lowell
  • Sarah Heim
  • Emily Lowell
  • Ali Salas

For some reason the 100 Fly also tends to first time swimmers nervous.  Here are the swimmers who gave it a shot for the first time last Saturday:

  • Michael Collins
  • Ivan Harangozo
  • Jonathan Jacobeen
  • James Mosimann
  • Eileen Heim
  • Emily Lowell

I’m really pleased to report that everyone on the team, except two swimmers, has now swum the 500.  It would have been everyone, but I just ran out of lanes.

They Improve Every Time They Hit the Water

Believe it or not, we ended the regular season with four (4) swimmers that swam a PR every single time they hit the water (not counting first time swims, of course).  The following swimmers achieved something that I previously would have thought would be impossible:

  • Freshman Kevin Bliss finished he run of PR with an incredible 28.37 second PR in 100 Fly!  He also swam 200 Free for the first time and took 3rd place overall!
  • 7th grader Joseph Kosten not only cut 64 seconds from his 500 Free, but he also cut 2.38 seconds from his 200 Free
  • 7th grader Emily Lowell finished the season with first time swims in the 200 IM and 100 Fly.  She swam all 8 events this year!
  • Theresa Verry cut 7.48 seconds in 500 Free and she swam the 200 Free for the first time.

How am I possibly going to pick the most improved swimmers for this season?  If you add Jonathan Rosato, Alex Harrill, Joseph Scheetz, Michael Hill, Michael Collins, David Basinger, Carolyn Claybrooks, Ivan Harangozo, the Heim sisters, the Mosimanns, the Kleb brothers, Brendan Koehr, David Lambrecht, the Lowell sisters, Sarah McGurk, Abbie Purnell, Mary Kate Rivenburg, Cat Rogers, Steven Shaw, Matthew Verry, Bernadette WunderlySarah Zapiain, and so many others to this list, the choice is going to be nearly impossible!

So Many Other Great Swims and Personal Records

You didn’t have to qualify for the championship team to have a great swim.  Here are a few more of the truly great performances we had this past weekend:

  • Daniel Koehr just rocked in the boys 50 Free!  I was standing next to Coach Lowell and Coach Kosten when the starter sounded the horn – Daniel had an unbelievably fast start.  We all just said “Wow!  Did you see that?”  I haven’t seen start that quick since Nevin Cook.  With that fast start, and some tough competition from the top FCS sprinter, Daniel cut another .30 seconds from his 50 Free to get it down to :24.68.  It was a fun race to watch – I love watching the older boys swim the 50 Free – there’s white water everywhere!
  • When David Basinger was younger, I used to swim him in backstroke all the time – he reminded me why when he took 1st place overall and swam a 4.42 second PR!  David also cut another .25 seconds from his 200 IM giving him a 3 PR meet!
  • How about those Fab-14s!  I’ve been trying to run at least one all-7th grade relay each meet.  This week, we had a Fab-14s 200 Medley relay of Jamie Smith, Timmy Murphy, Joseph Kenna and Joseph Kosten who, had they been official, would have placed 3rd overall behind only Seton’s “A” and “B” relays!  These same four swimmers also gave FCS a run for their money in 400 Free Relay.
  • Did you see freshman Michael Collins swim breaststroke?  He lowered his PR by another 5.28 seconds.  This was his first year swimming – the first time ever I think – but his times are starting to get the point where we’ll be expecting him to score for use regularly in the future.
  • It is so much fun to watch freshman Michael Hill improve because he takes so much joy it in.  I was almost as excited as he was (that would be impossible however ;-)) to see him cut another 1.40 seconds in his 100 Breaststroke PR to go 1:23.37, an amazing time for a beginning swimmer.  A big part of the reason is the beautiful glide that he adds to every stroke – this is what the great breaststrokers do to take full advantage of their kick.
  • Another young swimmer who had a good day in the Breaststroke was 8th grader David Lambrecht, who cut 7.30 seconds from his previous best time.  David sure has had a good season this year.
  • John Ross has been sick recently, but you’d never know it if you watched his 100 Breaststroke – he also cut his Breaststroke PR by 1.28 seconds.  What was up with boys breaststroke this week?
  • The fast heat of boys 100 Breaststroke was a lot of fun with Jameson Hill, Connor Cook and Daniel Koehr all facing off against one another.  Jameson got first with a PR time, but Daniel and Connor were giving him a run for his money.  At the 50, Daniel Koehr was even with Jameson.  As you might have guessed, they took 1st, 2nd and 3rd in the event.
  • 8th grader Keeley Cook showed her swimming versatility with PRs in 100 Fly (by 1.76 seconds) and in 100 Breast (by .83 seconds).  Keeley is one of those rare swimmers who can swim all 4 strokes very well, and that will make her a very valuable member of our team in the future.
  • Freshman Sarah Zapiain also showed how versatile she can be when she cut 3.65 seconds from her 200 IM PR and 2.75 seconds from her 100 Fly PR.  She placed 3rd overall in both events, and her fly time of 1:17.47 is a pretty good time for a freshman.
  • Did you know that Alex Doonis can swim breaststroke?  Neither did I, but she most definitely can.  Alex took first place over in 100 Breast, cutting her previous PR by 3.25 seconds in the event.  Rachel Lambrecht and Cat Rogers were not cutting her any slack though – it was a very close race between the three of them.  And as it was with the boys, these three went 1-2-3 in the event.
  • Rachel Lambrecht lowered her 200 IM PR by nearly a second and took 2nd overall, behind only Alex Doonis.
  • Ivan Harangozo has tried everything this season, and he continues to improve.  This week, he cut a very big chunk out of his 100 Breast PR when he lowered his time by over 6 seconds.
  • I have to admit that I really enjoyed taking Patrick Kenna out of his comfort zone of races under 51 yards.  So it was even more fun on Saturday to see him step up and get 2 big PRs.  In the 200 IM, he dropped 5.32 seconds, and in the 500 Free, he dropped 5.33 seconds.  Patrick finished 2nd overall in the 500 and 5th overall in the 200 IM, scoring 9 points in those two events alone.
  • Joseph Kenna also showed that he can do more than sprint freestyle when he swam the 200 IM for the first time, and when he PR’d in 100 Backstroke.
  • Keeping with the Kenna theme, I guess I should mention that Mary Kate Kenna somehow cut 1.00 seconds from her 50 Free to go :27.40.  It is very unusual for a senior swimmer of Mary Kate caliber to cut some much time in such a short race so I’m sure she was very pleased.  MK also cut .14 seconds from her 100 Free PR leading off the 400 Free relay.
  • Brendan Koehr has a nice 2 PR meet.  In his favorite event ;-), 100 Breaststroke, he lowered his previous best by 2.13 seconds.  He also cut another .32 seconds from his 50 Free and took 4th place overall in the meet!  Brendan has made so much improvement this season, that he now occasionally swims in one of our “A” relays.
  • I’m not sure how Jonathan Rosato keeps improving but he does.  He had two PRs this week including a 3.28 second PR in 100 Back and a .78 second PR in 100 Free.
  • Steven Shaw is another one who has had a breakout season this year.  On Saturday, he had another two PRs, cutting 1.33 seconds from his 100 Back PR and 1.52 seconds from his 50 Free PR.  In the 50, he broke :30 for the first time.
  • I think that 8th grader Bernadette Wunderly has the potential to become one of our top swimmers in the future.  She cut another 1.41 from her 100 Fly to go 1:19.06, a really good time for an 8th grader – and it was good enough to get 4th overall.  She also cut 6.24 seconds from her 100 Breaststroke PR.
  • Big sister Bridget Wunderly almost never gets to sprint, so I was happy to see her get the most from her opportunity when she lowered her 50 Free PR by .67 seconds in a very fast heat of girls 50 Free.
  • Matthew Verry has improved almost every time he has swum this season – he has really had a great year.  On Saturday, I let him try 100 Fly for the first time and he took 3rd overall!  It really looked like a good butterfly too – his hands were really light out front and he pushed his chest down on each stroke.  Thomas Kosten, who also tried Fly for the first time, took 4th overall!
  • It is always great to have senior swimmers that you know you can put in anything, they’ll do their best, and they’ll almost always score for the team.  One such swimmer is Kelsey Kleb (David Harris is another).  Kelsey swam 100 Fly and got a 1.08 second PR this week.
  • Hey David Harris – did you have a good time swimming the 50 and 100 Free?  After a season of constantly swimming the difficult events, you earned it.
  • In 100 Free, Vincent “Catfish” Dunn, had me worried at the 50 while he was racing FCS’s top sprinter, but he definitely took the stress out of it all by the 75.  He pulled away in the last 50 to take 1st place overall by a fairly wide margin.
  • Carolyn Claybrooks, Bridget Wunderly, Sarah Blanchard, and Danielle Smith went 1-2-3-4 in 100 Free, scoring 23 points in this event alone.  Laura Talbott, Lauren Donohoe, Carolyn Claybrooks and Danielle Smith did the same thing in 100 Back.
  • Nice work, Hannah Lowell, on that 100 Free!  That was the best turnover I’ve seen from you, and the results showed it – a 1.76 second PR.
  • Judith Cummings not only tackled the 200 IM for the first time, she also PR’d in 100 Free.  Her freestyle at the end of the 200 IM was beautiful, and that is not always easy to do when you are very tired – very nice catch-up.  Not a bad day’s work for Judith.
  • Emma Mooney fought through an injury playing that lesser winter sport at Seton to swim a .21 second PR in 50 Free.  She had an excellent catch-up freestyle and her head was very quiet throughout the entire race.
  • I know Monica Mosimann had a good time swimming the 200 IM for the first time and scoring at it.  She did an excellent time for her first attempt.  I thought her backstroke leg was particularly good – her head position was excellent.  She also must have enjoyed that .36 second PR in 100 Free.  She has a great body roll when she swims freestyle, which is why her stroke is so smooth.
  • It must have been the mustache that Timmy Murphy drew on himself, because he managed to continue his near perfect streak of improvement again this week with another PR in 100 Free.
  • Had 7th grader Jamie Smith been official, he would have placed 3rd overall in 100 Back.
  • Lizzie Rogers, after a great swim in her first attempt at the 200 IM, came back to swim a 1.06 second PR in 100 Breaststroke.
  • Jack Corkery swam the 200 Free for the first time and took 5th overall, scoring 3 points!
  • Laura Talbott, Monica Byers, Sarah McGurk and Mary-Margaret Harrill took, 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 5th in 200 Free.  It was the first time that Sarah and M&M have tried this event, and it was a first time performance.
  • Senior Alex Cummings took 3rd overall in the 500 Free with a very long stroke.
  • Sarah Heim had a very strong last lap in the 500.

In Swimming, the Little Things Matter

Since we weren’t hosting the meet for a change, I had a chance to watch the swims a little more closely:

  • With no CTS, your spoiled coaches missed a lot of splits, but I’m sure that Hannah Lowell did a good one on the end of a 200 Medley Relay.  She out-touched an girl from FCS in a very close race.
  • Monica Byers and Sarah Blanchard did a really fine job on the back end of our “B” 200 Medley Relay, when they passed, and later pulled away from, the FCS “A” relay.
  • If you want to see the proper head position in freestyle, watch Catfish Dunn the next time he swims.  His head is absolutely still (“quiet” as we say), even when he’s sprinting.
  • While watching Thomas Kosten swim the 200 Free, Coach Lowell told me that he thinks Thomas may be the best dryland trainer on the team.  That is saying something if you’ve ever seen Daniel Koehr and Connor Cook do dryland.  Thomas was also one of a few swimmers who has made the effort to meet Coach Lowell at Freedom for extra practice work.   You have to be impressed with his work ethic, and the results are showing.
  • Theresa Verry had a really big sprint at the end of 200 Free, and almost caught a girl from FCS.  Longer races just might be the thing for Theresa in the future.
  • Abbie Purnell’s strokes have improved dramatically this season.  In the 200, I couldn’t help but notice how long it has gotten.  “Long and strong” as former Assistant Coach Pat Mulhern used to say.  Her backstroke was also very smooth, largely because she has learned to keep her head back and quiet.
  • James Mosimann had a very nice glide in his breaststroke during the 200 IM.
  • Jonathan Jacobeen must have had a great split in the last 50 of his 200 IM – he really turned it on.
  • I didn’t even recognize John Ross when he was swimming Fly at the beginning of the 200 IM.  He has really improved this stroke.
  • Patrick Kenna is another one who has a newly discovered (at least by me) Butterfly.
  • Rachel Lambrecht did such a nice job in her 200 IM that our starter, Mrs. Harris, felt compelled to seek me out to tell me about it.
  • I had an idea that Joseph Scheetz was going to do well in the 500, when he crushed his heat in the 50 Free.
  • I was at the end of the lane for part of Ali Salas’ first-ever attempt at the 200 IM.  When she turned on the breaststroke leg, I could see that her goggles were half-way filled up.  She was doing exactly the right thing when that happens – just keep going as hard as you can.
  • Do you remember how powerful Jason Lezak’s stroke was on the end of the men’s 400 Free relay in the Olympics as he walked down that mouthy Frenchman?  Well that is what Rocky Kleb’s stroke reminded me of as he passed and eventually out-touched that really big kid from FCS.
  • Emily Lowell showed me that she has some potential in butterfly.  Her first 25 yards in that 100 Fly really looked like butterfly.  Eileen Heim also showed me that she has some potential in this stroke.
  • Lexy Smith made a nice run at two FCS girls at the end of 100 Free.

Planning for the Rest of the Year

With this meet, we have officially concluded our regular season schedule.  Next week, we are hosting a State-wide Junior Varsity Invitational at the WARF in Warrenton.  I’ll be working the meet sheet this afternoon.  I’m looking forward to having everyone on the team attend this meet.  We’d like to get the Varsity swimmers to time so that the parents can have a break to enjoy the meet.  For many of our JV swimmers this will be their last meet of the season.

On the following weekend, we have both the National Catholic HS Championships and our annual Seton Invitational at Freedom.  There are no exhibition entries allowed in championship meets, but, with our fastest swimmers all up at Villanova, there will be many more opportunities for other Seton swimmers to participate in our Invitational than usual.  I will just to post the meet sheet for all of these meets as soon as I can so that everyone can see where they fit in.

On Feb 7th, we have our conference championship meet down at Fredericksburg Academy.  FA has not yet published the Meet Announcement so I don’t know how many swimmers I’ll be allowed.  I suspect they will do it like last year and take the top 16 swimmers in the conference for two heats in each event.  While this meet is not particularly competitive for us, it is the only meet where a swimmer can be designated as “All-Conference” so I have historically taken anyone who is capable of finishing in the top 3 in an event at this meet.  I will also take anyone else who is interested in swimming who can finish in the top 16.  Unless I hear from you, I’ll enter the entire State Team in this meet plus enough swimmers to have at least two or three competitive entries in each event.

So I need to know as soon as possible if you will be unable to make any meets for the remainder of the season.  Many of you have already told me, but remember – if I don’t get an e-mail about it, I don’t know about it.

Finally, Mrs. Heim and Mrs. Mosimann are taking charge of concessions for the Invitational on Jan 31st.  Please be responsive if they call you for help.  And Mrs. Doonis has already begun organizing the concessions for the State Championship meet on February 13th and 14th.    The concession stand at the State Championship is our major fundraiser for the year, so Mr. Cook and I are looking forward to 100% participation for all families on the team.  We’ve told Mrs. Doonis to go ahead and assign responsibilities to every family.  I know you will all do what is necessary to help us make this the best State Meet that has ever been run – and a lucrative one too.

See you all at practice on Monday,

Coach Koehr

Seton Swimming’s G.E.M.S.

What makes Seton Swimming special?

N

Gratitude

“Who has it better than us? Nobody!”

N

Excellence

We focus on better. Good takes care of itself.

N

Meekness

We help our opponents over the bar that we raised by winning

N

Sacrifice

We offer it up. We love all of our teammates.

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