I am quite sure that I have never been part of a regular season girl’s meet that was as exciting as our meet on Friday night. The emergence of Trinity Christian School (TCS), a team in only their second year of swimming, has totally changed the dynamics of DAC girls swimming. With outstanding leadership from their Athletic Director Cheryl King and some great coaching from Coach Andy Gingrich, what used to be a foregone conclusion is now very much in doubt – who will win the Girls Swimming DAC championship this year?
The answer to that question for the last 22 years has been Seton Swimming, and while the job is not yet done for this year, we dodged a real scare on Friday night when a projected score from the Psych Sheet prior to the meet showed TCS beating our girls by 12 points. Since 2001, I know that we’ve never even lost a girls regular season conference meet, and I assume by virtue of the fact that we were conference champs back to 1995, that this was true back to that point also – So I was treating this like a pretty big deal.
We had a plan to turn a 12 point loss into a 12 point win – we knew which races were going to make the difference. After warm-up, we gathered in the weight room at Central Park. With Fr. Noah Morey there to guide us, we talked about how we were going to need to pull out of ourselves every bit of the gift God gave us to swim – and we talked about how the team that swam the most Personal Records was going to win.
In the end, that last prediction proved to be true. We outperformed even my most optimistic expectation and won by 17 points! I am so proud of our girls.
Congratulations to Trinity Christian School for pushing us to be our best. I hope our two schools continue to compete in a way that makes both of our teams better swimmers – and better people – for many years to come.
If you are boy on our team, please do not feel slighted by the attention I’m giving the girls right now. On Saturday, December 17th, we are swimming against Fredericksburg Christian School (FCS). They are the only boys to team to have ever beaten us in a regular season meet, and trust me when I say that we are going to have a plan to make sure that does not happen again this year.
Here’s the way the meet scores turned out for us at Seton:
Seton 150.5 Trinity Christian 133.5
Seton 191 Highland 76
Seton 203 Wakefield 58
Seton 221 Fresta Valley 20
Seton 212 Chelsea Academy 18
Seton 219 Wakefield Country Day 15
Seton 180 Trinity Christian 78
Seton 173 Wakefield 82
Seton 205 Fresta Valley 59
Seton 198 Highland 55
Seton 208 Chelsea Academy 31
Seton 207 Wakefield Country Day 16
How Did Our Girls Win?
Of course, the top swimmers always make a big difference in the outcome of any swim meet, but on Friday night, it is no overstatement to say that everyone who swam a scoring race made an important contribution to this victory. Let me show you what I mean by reviewing our plan for each event and comparing it to what actually happened:
Girls 200 Medley Relay
I’m sure Coach Gingrich is reading this with a chuckle so I’m only going to say so much about our plan with the relays beyond the obvious – we didn’t put Anna Kenna in her normal lead-off spot and gambled that a greatly improved Caroline Griffin could partner with Reilly Cuccinelli, Mairead Geiran and Julia Rowzie to take the 10 first place points. And the gamble paid off.
Caroline cut .79 seconds from her 50 Back PR. Combine that with Julia Rowzie’s split that was .43 seconds faster than her PR and Mairead Geiran’s .42 second PR 50 Fly split, and you get a total improvement of 1.64 seconds. The relay won by 1.16 seconds, so it was these PRs that made the difference! I didn’t have a previous 50 Breaststroke time for Reilly so who knows how much faster she went, but I’m sure it was faster too.
Our “B” Relay of Elizabeth Caron, Katie Albin, Maria Tozzi and Mary Ostrich also had an incredible swim to take the 3rd place points. Elizabeth cut .75 seconds from her 50 Back PR and Mary Ostrich swam 1.13 seconds faster than her flat start 50 Free PR.
In the end, we were right on plan here with a 1st and 3rd over TCS
Girls 200 Freestyle
Mairead Geiran, in the first individual event of the meet, let us all know that Seton could have a good day when, instead of placing 3rd behind two of TCS’s top girls (8th grader Annalise Cornett and Laurel Schmidt), she cut an amazing 6.08 seconds from her PR and surprised us all with first! Incredibly, her split to her feet at the 100 was 1:00.14!
Then Julia Rowzie, who was seeded 6th versus TCS jumped up to 4th with her 14.29 second PR, and Katie Dealey, who was seeded 8th versus TCS jumped up to 7th with her 15.53 second PR. With Cat Pechie’s strong 6th place swim, we got way ahead of our plan very early in the meet.
Girls 200 IM
In another event where the top swimmers all hit the State Qualifying time, Caroline Griffin made her freshman debut in a big way. With a 7.78 second PR, Caroline jumped from the 5th seed versus TCS all the way up to 2nd! With Dani Flook beating her seed by .28 seconds, Katie Dealey cutting 6.06 seconds from her PR, and Anne Konstanty taking the 7th place points, we once again outperformed our seeds overall:
Girls 50 Free
Anna Kenna crushed the field in this event with her .25 second PR 24.75, but it was Katharine Rowzie who brought in the unexpected points in this one. Katharine also cut .25 seconds which was enough to jump her up from the 5th seed to 4th. With Reilly Cuccinelli taking 3rd and Rosie Hall taking 7th, we outperformed our seeds for the 3rd event in a row.
Imagine the joy we were all feeling when Mr. Kleb announced the score for the first time after this event. We should have been losing by 1 point yet we were up by 13. The girls (OK, and me too) were getting very excited.
To put Anna Kenna’s swim in a little perspective: 24.75 in 50 Free would have placed 6th at States last year where two of the girls were seniors and the winner only went 24.24. We’re still at the beginning of the season so this is a very, very good time. We will be publishing the VISAA Top 16 times after next weekend’s meet. I will be very interested to see how high up the list a 24.75 lands Anna.
Girls 100 Butterfly
Dani Flook beat her seed by .89 seconds to take second behind TCS’s top swimmer Laurel Schmidt per the plan, but Maria Tozzi was the star of this event. Her 4.48 second PR jumped her from the 5th seed versus TCS all the way up to 3rd. Elizabeth Caron took 6th with a swim right on her PR and Mary Ostrich took 7th with a 4.06 second PR.
After a great swim by TCS’s Jenna Phillips (5.71 second PR), we ended up holding serve with the net points scored ending up right on plan.
Girls 100 Freestyle
Once again, Anna Kenna crushed the field with a .08 second PR 53.82. For those of you new to swimming, it is very unusual for a swimmer at Anna’s level to hit her best times this early in the season. It bodes very, very well for what she might do during the championship season.
Then the Rowzie girls came to both outperform their seeds and gain valuable points for us. Julia swam a 1.67 second PR to jump from the 4th seed to 3rd and Katharine swam .47 second PR to jump from the 6th seed to 5th. With a 4.39 second PR from TCS’s Grace Gabriel, TCS gained some of that ground back with the end result that we stayed on plan – which at this point, was all we had to do for the rest of the meet.
Girls 500 Freestyle
For anyone who was actually at the meet, this won’t look like the highlight in the box scores, but it was clearly the highlight of the entire night: The first heat had Seton Anne Konstanty facing off one-on-one with TCS’s Lucy Sicks for 5th and 6th place.
The race was side by for 19 of the 20 lengths. The entire Seton team was at both ends of Anne’s lane. The noise in the arena was deafening. On the 19th turn though, all that Anne has been learning in practice came out of her. Good feet placement and a strong push-off on her turn followed by a tight streamline got her a quick lead.
Then, although she had to be extremely tired, she remembered to get “long and strong” with her head perfectly still. She found the “skate” position with every stroke and held it until her stroking hand had nearly re-entered the water. After splitting between :49 and :51 per 50 yards for most of the race, Anne came home in :39.08 to win by nearly 2 seconds!
I think I exceeded my normal 6” vertical leap multiple times during her last 25. I will not soon forget.
The second heat of the race featured Mairead Geiran crushing her PR by 10.69 seconds to win the event with her second State Qualifying time of the night. Maria Tozzi took 4th place versus TCS with a very fine early season swim.
In the end, I was very happy that this event did not make a difference in the meet outcome however because the top seed, TCS’s 8th grade Phenom Annalise Cornett, had an asthma attack and was unable to swim. Annalise’s loss (assuming she would have beaten our 8th grade Phenom Mairead Geiran which was certainly not guaranteed) was an 8 point swing for Seton, but we ultimately won by 17.
Girls 200 Freestyle Relay
I almost got too cute on this one, but Anna Kenna was able to bail me out. TCS seems to be loaded with fast female sprinters so these freestyle relays are always going to be a challenge for us when we face them.
We needed to make sure we had some of our own top sprinters available to forgo disaster in the 400 Free Relay, because, except for Anna Kenna, TCS has several sprinters faster than our fastest. This means that it is always going to be a difficult decision for us on how we play these relays.
For our “A” Relay our best hoped looked like a pretty poor situation where we took 2nd and they got both 1st and 3rd. So that’s what we worked to get. On Friday night, we lined up Dani Flook for a strong lead-off followed by Katharine Rowzie and Rosie Hall, and then Anna Kenna at the anchor in the hopes that she could be sure we took 2nd.
Dani Flook got us a small lead, but in spite of some personal best swimming by both Katharine and Rosie against two of TCS’s fastest girls, Anna hit the water nearly 3 seconds behind. I was very nervous because if TCS would have gotten both 1st and 2nd, they would have won the event 15 – 3 and that could have cost us the entire meet.
But Anna didn’t let us down. 4th and Goal, you give Anna the ball. She split an amazing 24.33 and touched .08 seconds ahead of the TCS “B” Relay to secure the planned 2nd place finish. Whew!
Girls 100 Backstroke
Caroline Griffin got her 2nd State cut of the meet, and with a 2.31 second PR, jumped from the 2nd seed to take 1st place in the event over a talented TC sophomore. Elizabeth Caron had a strong early season swim to take 4th as planned. We also took 5th and 6th with Bernadette Hassan’s huge 4.31 second PR and a strong swim from Katie Dealey.
At this point in the meet, I think Caroline’s great swim helped me recover from our scare in the 200 Free Relay – I was starting to feel pretty good about how this one was going to turn out – but there were still two events left, including a high scoring relay event.
Girls 100 Breaststroke
I made a mistake on my entries for this event, forgetting that Mary Ostrich has an injured hip and can’t swim breaststroke (sorry Mary!), but Reilly Cuccinelli, Katie Albin and Katya Konstanty saved us from suffering the consequences in terms of points lost.
Reilly took 2nd as planned, but Katie Albin’s .56 second PR jumped her from the 4th seed vs. TCS to tied for 3rd (which is why we have .5 points in our final score). Katya Konstanty also over performed jumping up from the 7th seed to take 5th place with a huge 4.12 second PR!
Those great swims pretty much sealed the deal. With a 15 point lead, the best TCS could do was a tie – and even that could only happen if both of our girls 400 Free Relays were DQ’d.
Girls 400 Free Relay
The safe thing to do at this point would have been to tell our girls just to have safe starts, but I wasn’t about to do that. They were all sky high with excitement to swim so I wanted to see what they could do.
The plan here was to take 1st place and leave ourselves with an outside chance for 3rd. I’ll tell you this though: Our “B” Relay of Julia Rowzie, Katharine Rowzie, Cat Pechie and Reilly Cuccinelli was going to have nothing to do with “an outside chance”. They were determined to beat the TCS “B” Relay for 3rd.
And they almost did! Julia Rowzie was so pumped that her lead-off 100 Free swim was an amazing 2.11 seconds faster than her PR! Then strong swims by Katharine Rowzie and Cat Pechie left Reilly with a small lead over one of TCS’s top sprinters, Laurel Schmidt. In spite of Reilly’s PR split, we could not hold TCS off – but it was some great swimming by those girls – they even hit the State qualifying time!
Our “A” Relay of Mairead Geiran, Caroline Griffin, Dani Flook and Anna Kenna left no doubt that they were going to seal the win for us. When Mairead led off with a 1.74 second PR 57.60 followed by Caroline’s 1:03.17 split (2.28 seconds faster than her PR), I knew the deal was done. Anna came home in 54.66 and we won the event by more than 26 seconds, almost lapping the TCS “A” relay.
Relay strategy is going to continue to be a highlight of our Girl’s meets with TCS. We have a lot of good swimmers, but we only have a few that can hang with TCS’s top girls so where we use them will always be a fun chess match between me and Coach Gingrich.
So this was the story our improbable win over a very strong and well-coached TCS team: Breakout performances by our leaders and personal records by the rest of the team made the difference. We don’t have to be 1st if we can be 2nd, 3rd, 5th and 6th. Swimming is a team sport after all.
Our Middle Schoolers May Grow Into Something Very Special
You didn’t have to be watching very closely to see the number of middle schoolers who were swimming very well. If we can get through this season unscathed, I have a hunch that the next several seasons may be much easier for us once our 7th graders are eligible to score:
- Jerry Dalrymple (8) just rocked in the 200 IM and 500 Free in his first attempts at both events. We really emphasize swimming all four strokes at Seton, and Jerry is showing that he wants to be a four-stroke swimmer. His 2:30.66 in 200 IM and his 6:09.50 are excellent times for an 8th grade boy! I also didn’t escape my notice that Jerry split 57.58 anchoring our “A” 400 Free Relay – wow!
- Isabelle Luevano (7) got me very excited with her swimming on Friday. I was particularly excited by her 2.77 second PR in 100 Free where she went 1:04.24. That is a very good time for a 7th grade girl. I’d think that Isabelle could break 1:00 before she reaches high school.
- Emily Flynn (7) is going to be a good one. Her freestyle is very strong, and I was pleased to see that it was getting longer too. She cut another .60 seconds from her 100 Free PR to go a very fast 1:05.22. I’d think that Emily could also break 1:00 before she reaches high school. Another highlight for Emily was her split in the 200 Free Relay – 28.89 for a 50 Free split is very good.
- Jack Santschi (8) is already a very important member of the Boys Varsity team. His 1:01.04 in 100 Free was a 1.44 second PR. His 1:00.41 split in the 400 Free Relay was even faster. He was unfortunately DQ’d in 200 IM, but 2:39.38 was very encouraging nonetheless
- Elizabeth Caron (8) cut another .75 seconds from her 50 Back PR leading off a medley relay. She also had a very nice swim in her first attempt at 100 Fly. Elizabeth will be a key member of our Varsity team from now on I’d expect.
- Maria Tozzi (8) took 4th and 5th place respectively on Friday night in 100 Fly and 500 Free. That was lot of points!
- Caroline Pechie (7) is already starting to go very fast. How about a 32.93 in 50 Free? That was a 2.09 second PR. Caroline went even faster in the 200 Free Relay where she split 31.57! Caroline also went 1:31.30 in 100 Back after dropping 1.76 seconds.
- Mary O’Malley (7) was all smiles after her 3.73 second PR in 50 Free and her 1.68 second PR in 100 Back. I was all smiles too!
- Teresa Bingham (7) cut 1.52 seconds from her 50 Free PR to go 32.85. She really looks smooth in the water.
- Joseph Rowzie (7) was awesome during his 5.00 second PR in 100 Back. Joseph also cut a whopping 1.93 seconds in 50 Free.
- Maddie Given (7) looked very good with her 10.61 second PR in 50 Free – yes, that was 10.61 seconds! She also cut 9.33 seconds in 100 Back. That was quite a meet for young Maddie!
- Timmy Kelly (8) was just recently able to join the team but I could already see a lot of promise with his 50 and 100 Freestyle swims.
- Sophia Zadnik (7) sure looked happy after her 5.75 second PR in 50 Free.
- Victoria Baker (8) had a very nice roll to her backstroke.
There Were SOOO Many Other Great Swims and PRs
I’ve already mentioned countless Personal Records, but here are the rest of the 73 PRs that I have not yet had an opportunity to highlight. One thing that I noticed as I was writing this was how many top performing freshman and sophomores we have coming up through the ranks:
- Grant Mantooth (SR) secured his spot as our team’s top sprinter with a tremendous swim in the 50 Free, cutting his PR by another .16 seconds to take 2nd place overall. In the 200 Medley Relay, Grant’s anchor leg was an even faster 23.98! He was just eating up the water. Grant also cut .59 seconds in 100 Free after a very exciting race with Drew Dalrymple (see below).
- Alex Ceol (JR) had a tremendous meet on Friday, taking 1st in 100 Fly and 3rd in 100 Back, both with PR times. In 100 Fly, he cut 1.19 seconds and got under the State qualifying time! And in 100 Back, Alex cut 2.21 seconds – that’s a pretty big drop for someone at Alex’s level.
- Kevin Geiran (JR) is now the 2nd fastest sprinter on the team. On Friday, he cut another .43 seconds from his 50 Free PR to go 25.13. I’m looking forward to seeing that translate into a strong 100 Free also. In the 200 Medley, Kevin’s anchor was 24.59 – his start and turn were really great! Kevin also had a huge drop in 100 Back, cutting another 5.94 seconds in 100 Back.
- Drew Dalrymple (FR) also had a great meet on Friday night. In one of the most exciting races of the night, Drew faced off with Grant Mantooth and tied for third (at 58.15) in 100 Free! That was a .71 second PR for Drew, who earlier in the meet cut an amazing 10.84 seconds from his 200 Free PR. But Drew wasn’t done – he also cut a whopping 1.01 seconds from his 50 Free PR leading off a 200 Free Relay. Drew, as a freshman, is currently the 3rd faster freestyle sprinter on the team.
- Shane Koehr (FR) was our walk-away winner for Most Improved Swimmer last season, and he just keeps getting faster. I entered him in the 200 Free because he hasn’t swum it in a while so I wasn’t surprised when dropped an amazing 21.62 seconds! Imagine how fast he could go if we could just get him to keep his head still 😉 Shane also cut another 3.64 seconds from his 50 Back leading off a Medley Relay and 2.41 seconds in 50 Free leading off a 200 Free Relay. Those are big drops that will probably get Shane into our scoring relays next week.
- Matthew Kelly (SO) is already proving to be a seriously good addition to the Seton team after transferring from New Mexico with his family. He has developed a pretty good distance freestyle, which he demonstrated with a 6:36.42 in the 500 Free and a 2:20.94 (a 7.06 second PR) in the 200 Free. I was also excited to see him cut another 2.75 seconds from his 100 Free PR.
- Seamus Koehr (JR) secured his spot our top breaststroker with a 1.11 second PR to go 1:14.64. Great work Seamus!
- Justin Fioramonti (FR) was wonderful in 100 Back, swimming 1:22.54 after a 4.33 second PR. I was very excited for Justin, and I think he was excited too!
- Meghan Curley (SR) made me so proud on Friday night. Not many seniors come out for swimming for the first time, but Meghan joined us this year and really learning a lot. I was so pleased to see her lower her 50 Free PR by almost a whole second.
- Nick Foeckler (JR) had some huge PRs on Friday night. How about a 10.61 second PR in 100 Back and a 2.28 second PR in 50 Free? Nick, I want you to start swimming with Coach Ross on Monday.
- Ben Ceol (JR) was not feeling well, but I only knew that because I heard it later – he sure looked healthy in the water! How about a .93 second PR in 100 Breast and a .61 second PR in 50 Free?
- Bernadette Hassan (SO) had a tremendous 50 Back leading off a medley relay. She somehow managed to cut an incredible 7.58 seconds from her 50 Back PR! And then she cut 4.31 seconds from her 100 Back PR and .54 seconds from her 50 Free PR. Outstanding Bernadette!
- Lauren Volk (FR) is a first year Seton swimmer, and I am so pleased to see her progress already. On Friday night, she dropped a nearly unbelievable 9.57 seconds in 50 Free. Amazing Lauren!
- Collette Waldron (SO) is also a first year Seton swimmer who is showing amazing improvement. It was great to watch her cut 4.10 seconds from her 50 Free PR and 1.55 seconds from her 100 Back PR. Keep it up Collette!
- Jeremy Kleb (FR), you are really starting to come into your own! I loved that 12.20 second PR in 200 Free, the 2.36 second PR in 50 Free leading off a 200 Free Relay, and the .75 second PR in 100 Back. It is worth noting that Jeremy had that level of performance with an injured elbow!
- Rosie Hall (JR), besides doing such a great job on the “A” 200 Free Relay, also had a great swim leading off the 200 Medley. She cut her 50 Back PR by .78 seconds.
- Christian Ceol (FR) is starting to get it. I was particularly pleased with his 2.49 second PR in 100 Back. I think both Christian and I know exactly what he needs to do to PR in sprint freestyle next week 😉
- Dominic Wittlinger (JR) had a nice swim leading off the 200 Medley where he cut 2.42 seconds from his 50 Back PR
- Julianna Holmes (SR) started her senior season off with a bang. That was a great 1.51 second PR in 100 Back!
- Katie Albin (FR) beat her 50 Free PR by .01 seconds leading off a 200 Free Relay
Our Sister Teams, Wakefield Country Day and Renaissance Montessori, Also Swam Very Well
I was very pleased to welcome two of our sister schools, Wakefield Country Day (WCDS) and Renaissance Montessori School (RMS), to their first meet with us on Friday night. The other Seton Coaches and I are also serving as coaches for these two schools. Thank you for being so welcoming to these swimmers and parents.
Renaissance Montessori had one of their three girls in the water, 7th grader Ethiana Hasch. Ethiana has been practicing with us since the beginning of the season, and the results were nothing short of astounding. In 100 Free, Ethiana cut an amazing 8.01 seconds and in 100 Back, she cut 2.67 seconds! Her times, particularly her 100 Free time, were very good for a 7th grader. I can already see that Ethiana is going to have a great high school swimming career for RMS!
Wakefield Country Day brought all three of their swimmers to the meet. Our goal is for them to all PR in all eight (8) individual events, and they are off to a very nice start:
- Lucas DuMez (SR) swam 8.01 seconds faster than the time I had for him in 100 Free. He went 51.35 to win the event on Friday night. I have strong feeling that the time I had was very old, but it’s hard to argue with the quality of a swim that fast for sure. Lucas also swam 4.33 seconds faster than the time I had in 100 Breaststroke. I don’t think Lucas normally swims breaststroke, but a 1:06.02 is very fast! Both of these swims qualified him for States in the event.
- Bridgette Larson (JR) had a very nice early season swim in 200 IM. It’s difficult to PR in this event early in the season because it is so physically demanding, but her swim was good enough for 7th place overall. Bridgette also had a nice swim in 100 Breaststroke going 1:34.19.
- Katherine Phillippe (JR) lowered her 100 Back PR by 2.38 seconds to take 10th place overall. Katherine also had a nice swim in 50 Free.
State and National Catholic Qualifiers
We have two championship meets where, in order to be eligible to participate, you have to meet a qualifying time standard during the current season.
The VISAA State Championship is February 17-18, 2017 at the Christiansburg Aquatic Center. I am a co-host for the meet along with Coach Greg Guldin of Woodberry Forest so I’m very excited for Seton to have a strong showing. We’ve even rented a beautiful house for team gatherings and meals between sessions. It should be a great time for everyone eligible to participate.
Here are the individual State Meet qualifiers after this weekend:
- Anna Kenna – 50 and 100 Free
- Caroline Griffin – 200 IM and 100 Back
- Mairead Geiran – 100, 200 and 500 Free
- Alex Ceol – 100 Fly
- Lucas DuMez (WCDS) – 100 Free and 100 Breast
Here are the relays that have hit the cut:
- Boys “A” 200 Medley Relay
- Girls “A” 200 Medley Relay
- Boys “A” 200 Free Relay
- Girls “A” 200 Free Relay
- Boys “A” 400 Free Relay
- Girls “A” 400 Free Relay
- Girls “B” 400 Free Relay
I will not list names for these relays because it is impossible to tell who will actually swim. You are eligible for me to enter you on a relay at States if you have swum on that relay during the season when it hit the cut, but that doesn’t mean I will be able to actual enter you to swim. We go to States to try to bring home a State Championship or State Runner-up. If I feel like we have a legitimate shot at one of those titles, it would not be unusual for me to use some of our top swimmers in 3 relays and only one individual event because relays score so many points. Time – and your times – will clarify this situation for all of us.
The National Catholic High School Championship is at Loyola University in Baltimore on January 21-22nd with prelims in the morning on January 21st and finals on Sunday, January 22nd. We also have a meet that afternoon, so depending on how many girls qualify, we’ll have to discuss later how we are going to handle that.
Here’s who has qualified for National Catholics so far:
- Anna Kenna – 50 and 100 Free
- Caroline Griffin – 100 Back
- Mairead Geiran – 50, 100, and 200
- Dani Flook – 50 Free
And here are the relays that have hit the National Catholic cut. Once again, I will not attempt to project the line-ups for these relays yet:
- Girls “A” 200 Medley Relay
- Girls “A” 400 Free Relay
An eligibility report for both meets is posted under Meet & Team Information. If you are listed under Event #101 or #102 for States, that means that you have qualified for the Bonus 50 Free. The Bonus 50 Free is an extra event in which you can participate only if you qualify in some other event, including a relay.
Relay Carnival, a Chance to be an 8-Under Again
Our first meet every year is on a Friday night so that we can bring a subset of our team to the Relay Carnival at Woodberry Forest on the first Saturday of December.
One of the most enjoyable features of the meet is the prelims/finals format in 25 yard events. It sort of like being an 8-Under all over again – except the winner does 25 back in 13 seconds!
There was a lot of really good swimming, including another 67 PRs. I won’t kill you with a blow-by-blow of the Relay Carnival also, but I will highlight our finalists:
- Anna Kenna (JR) was in the championship finals for both 25 Back and 25 Fly, and in both cases, she was facing last year’s State Champion in 100 Freestyle, Jasmine Heller. In 25 Back, Anna’s underwater was just too much for her competition – in the finals, Anna sent 13.15 to win by .18 seconds. In 100 Butterfly, Jasmine got her back, but Anna’s 12.30 was still smoking fast. Anna also won the consolation final (7th place) in 25 Breaststroke – I’ll bet that was a lot of fun for her.
- Mairead Geiran (8) showed that she could definitely hang with the big girls. I’m embarrassed to say that I didn’t know Mairead was such a good breaststroker. She took 5th in the championship final! And in 25 Butterfly, an event in which I knew she could do well, she won the consolation finals (7th place) with a very fast 12.91.
- Our Girls 100 yard Medley Relay of Anna Kenna, Mairead Geiran, Dani Flook and Julia Rowzie took 2nd place and showed me that maybe there is an alternative way to line up our 200 Medley?
There’s been so much to say, but I’m 5,500 words into this thing so let’s wrap it up with some final notes:
- It was really great to have Noah on deck with us on Friday night. This is the second meet in a row that he’s joined us. When I was googling him to get the proper spelling of his last name, I saw that he was quite the athlete before he was a priest.
- We will be starting Butterfly and Breaststroke tomorrow. By Christmas break, I hope to build each of those stokes from scratch plus the related turns. I’d also like to have a practice where Coach Reid Owen comes back and teaches us some techniques specific to sprinting.
- That’s a lot to cover, so we will practice on Thursday, December 8th. I recognize that logistics may make that impossible for some of you, but I’m expecting the bulk of the team there. Look at the results we are seeing from this work – if you miss practice, you are also going to miss some of those results.
- On New Year’s Eve, December 31st, we’ll have our annual Cystic-Fibrosis swim-a-thon. Thanks again to the Given family for running it again. I’ll pass on more information as I get it, but I can tell you now that I’m looking forward to doing a better job of raising money for this great cause than I did last year.
Our next meet is on Saturday night December 10th at the Fitch WARF in Warrenton. We are helping Trinity Christian School learn how to host a meet on their own, so please come ready to help. Our warm-up is at 6:00 p.m. so please be on deck ready to stretch before 5:39 p.m.
See you Monday morning,
Coach Jim Koehr