Last Saturday, we traveled down to St. Michael the Archangel for the annual Delaney Athletic Conference championship meet, and once again, we took the championship meet title for the girls. The actual conference champion is determined by the regular season records, and by virtue of the fact that we were undefeated against conference teams for the entire season, the Seton’s Girls secured their 21st straight conference championship in swimming.
On the Boys side, up to this year, we had won the conference championship for 18 straight years, and the last time we lost the conference championship meet was the first year that I was Head Coach back in the ’02-’03 season when we lost the meet to Fredericksburg Academy – but both of those streaks ended last year at the hands of Fredericksburg Christian, and they did it to us again this year too. During the regular season, FCS beat our boys only one out of three times that we met, but the conference championship is determined by the first two meets – and they won theirs by 8 more points than we won ours. Also on the boy’s side, we were missing three of our top swimmers, one due to injury, one for the Blue Crab Bowl and one for VEX, and I think you can see how that impacted the final score.
Here’s how the final scores looked on Saturday.
Fredericksburg Academy 314
Fredericksburg Christian 244
St. Michael the Archangel 228
Wakefield Country Day 100
Fredericksburg Christian 496
St. Michael the Archangel 231
Randolph-Macon Academy 177
Fredericksburg Academy 167
Wakefield Country Day 115
Medal Winners and All-Conference Swimmers for Seton
One unique form of recognition available to our swimmers at this meet was the possibility of being designated “All-Conference”. All-Conference recognition goes to any swimmer that gets a gold, silver or bronze medal in an individual event.
Here are Seton’s All-Conference Swimmers for 2014-2015:
- Ashley Cackett is All-Conference! Her race in the 500 Free was one of the highlights of the meet for me. She had a real race on her hands for more than 400 yards against a strong swimmer from Fredericksburg Academy. As we watched her though, we noticed that, on every wall, Ashley would take advantage of a good push-off and streamline to gain just a little bit of an edge. You do that 19 times – and you win! She finished the race with a lifetime best 6:46.80 and the bronze medal. Ashley also had a 4.94 second PR in 200 IM. Only a freshman, I’m really looking forward to having Ashley back on the team next season.
- Mary Heim was the other highlight of the day for me. Mary is All-Conference! She cut 4.01 seconds from her 200 IM PR to jump ahead of two other swimmers to take the bronze medal and complete a sweep in the event for Seton. I’ve always put an emphasis on the development of all four (4) strokes for Seton swimmers, so that result pleased me greatly. She also swam a lifetime best in 100 Back and took 6th place overall. Mary is only in 8th grade, so I can see a very bright future for her.
- Anna Kenna is the DAC Champion in 100 Free, winning the event by more than 5 seconds! In the 50 Free, she took the silver medal by the eventual Swimmer of the Meet, Reni Moshos of Highland. Had I put her in her normal 100 Backstroke, she would have won that event by more than 8 seconds. Oh well, sometimes it is the luck of the draw. Anna’s performance cemented her status in my mind as one of the top 3 swimmers in the entire conference – and she’s only a freshman! Anna should be looking to make the championship finals at States next week in both 100 Free and 100 Back. I hope to see her also make the finals with several of her teammates, mentioned below, in a pair of “A” relays.
- Kimberley Rector is the DAC Champion in 200 IM, the event highlighted above where Seton took all three of the top places. Kimberly also took the silver medal in the 500 Free behind the new conference record holder Courtney Jones of FCS. Kimberly will be swimming both of these events, plus two “A” relays, at States – let’s come back for finals in at least one of them Kimberly!
- Alex Sinner is the DAC Champion in 100 Butterfly with a time right at her best time since States last year. She also took the silver medal in the 200 IM. Alex is another example of a four (4) stroke swimmer. She will be taking her great technique in the 200 IM and 100 Fly, plus two “A” Relays, to States next week.
- Dani Flook is the DAC Champion in 100 Backstroke! Her .19 second PR in the event earned her the victory by nearly 4 seconds. Dani also had a huge 3.07 second PR in 100 Fly which jumped her ahead of two other swimmers up to the silver medal! Dani will be with us next weekend at States for the 100 Backstroke and the 200 Free plus two “A” relays.
- Emily Heim is another 2-time All-Conference swimmer taking the silver medal in 100 Free and the bronze medal in 100 Breaststroke. Her 100 Free was a .36 second PR. Emily will be swimming 100 Breaststroke plus two relays at States next weekend.
- Claire Kenna is a 2-time All-Conference swimmer after winning the silver medal in 100 Breaststroke and the bronze medal in 200 Free. I’ll be using Claire on all three (3) relays at States in an attempt to get all of the back to the Finals. If we can do that, I think we’ll be in good shape to win the Division II State Runner-up behind Hampton Roads Academy. Claire will also be trying to final in 100 Breaststroke next weekend.
- Tommy Flook finished his high school career with another two All-Conference designations! Tommy took the bronze medal in 200 Free and the bronze medal in 100 Fly. It took a 2.44 second PR by Tommy in the 200 Free to jump him up from the 4th seed to the bronze medal. Tommy will be joining us at States for three “A” relays.
Championship Meets are won with relays
There are 48 possible individual medals, and as you see from above, we only won 17 of them. That’s not bad, but the big points in this meet were scored by our relays. In a high school championship meet, relays typically score double the points of an individual events. The traditional depth that we’ve always had at Seton has long been the foundation of many great relays, and that depth was on display again Saturday when our Girls took home all three gold medals and our Boys took home a bronze medal::
- Our Girls 200 Medley Relay took the gold medal by nearly 10 seconds! Anna Kenna, Emily Heim, Kimberly Rector and Claire Kenna just rocked the pool winning the gold medal by nearly 10 seconds. I’m hoping that this relay can swim well enough to come back for finals on Friday night at States – it’s going to be close, but I think they can do it! It is very exciting to remember that the oldest kids on this relay are still only juniors!
- Our Girls “B” Medley Relay of Bridget O’Malley, Vivian Zadnik, Meghan O’Malley and Therese Pechie were not eligible to score, but they actually swam the 4th fastest time in the meet.
- Our Girls 200 Free Relay of Anna Kenna, Dani Flook, Kimberly Rector and Emily Heim found themselves in a tight race early, but they eventually won the gold medal by more than 4 seconds.
- Our Girls “B” 200 Free Relay of Cat Pechie, Mary Heim, Vivian Zadnik and Therese Pechie swam the 5th fastest time in the meet.
- Our Girls 400 Free Relay of Claire Kenna, Dani Flook, Kimberly Rector and Alex Sinner won gold by nearly 6 seconds! Once Claire’s lead-off leg, it was basically over.
- Our girls 400 Free “B” Relay of Bridget O’Malley, Michaela Pennefather, Meghan O’Malley and Cat Pechie would have taken 4th place had they been eligible to score.
- Our Boys 200 Medley Relay of Matthew Fioramonti, Andrew Quinan, Tommy Flook and Brian Koehr took the bronze medal behind some strong swimming, particularly Brian Koehr’s anchor leg. We were well behind St. Michael’s when Brian hit the water, and he just walked the kid down and blew past him to secure 3rd
- One aspect of this relay that I noticed in particular was Matt’s backstroke start. It was the best I’ve seen from him.
- Our Boys 200 Free Relay of Andrew Quinan, Tim Costello, Matthew Fioramonti and Mark O’Donohue over achieved to take 5th There were a lot of great splits. After the race, I ran up to Mark O’Donohue and said Mark, you split 25.01! (His PR is 25.50). Also, Tim Costello split 26.08 with a standing start PR of 26.59 and Matt Fioramonti split 26.03 with a standing start PR of 26.22.
- Our Boys 200 Free “B” Relay of Josh Miller, Mark Fioramonti, Patrick Hall and Jude Van de Voorde also overachieved on the strength of some very fine splits. Josh Miller led off with a PR 26.03, then Mark Fioramonti split 26.83 (PR of 27.69), Patrick Hall split 27.10 (PR of 27.56) and Jude Van de Voorde split 26.56 (PR of 27.58). All four splits were awesome!
- I think we are going to have to work some more on relay starts this coming week. We had a number of boys relays DQ for early take-offs. When that happens, it is not necessarily the fault of the swimmer on the blocks. A lot of time, it could just as easily be the fault of the swimmer in the water if he does not swim hard all the way into the wall. I don’t know what happened on Saturday, but it happened in our “B” Medley Relay and in both our “A” and “B” 400 Free relays.
- Sounds like a coaching problem if it is happening that frequently. Coach Lowell is going to need to fix this during the upcoming week 😉
- It was particularly ashamed for our Boys 400 Free “A” Relay of Brian Koehr, Paul Pechie, Mark O’Donohue and Tommy Flook who would have had the silver medal on the strength of some amazing splits such as Paul Pechie’s 57.33 (PR of 58.82) and Tommy Flook’s 55.22 (PR of 56.04)
- Our Boys 400 Free “B” Relay, while DQ’d for a early take-off and swimming in the wrong order (go by what I say, not by what the timer says), still had a couple of tremendous split by Patrick Hall who split 1:00.18 (PR of 1:03.48) and Dominic Wittlinger who split 1:00.98 (PR of 1:02.58). I know that Coach Lowell was particularly impressed with Dominic’s swim.
We had 29 personal records on Saturday (same as last year oddly enough) which means that 45% of our individual swims resulted in a lifetime best – not a bad way to end the conference season! And remember as you are looking through these notes that finishes up through 12th place scored points in this meet. Here are the personal records that I have not already mentioned:
- Mark O’Donohue gave me one of my highlights for the day when his longer stroke resulted in a 16.06 second PR in 200 Free! Wow!
- Andrew Quinan was awesome in the 200 IM, taking 4th place after a huge 12.62 second PR. It took a PR from the 3rd place finisher to keep Andrew out of the medals.
- Meghan O’Malley had a really big drop in 100 Fly, lowering her PR by 2.57 seconds. She also had a big PR in 500 Free, cutting 3.26 seconds.
- Patrick Dealey ended his season in style with two big PRs. In 100 Fly he cut 4.90 seconds and in 500 Free he cut 1.68 seconds. He took 7th and 11th respectively in his two swims.
- Paul Pechie was awesome in his 200 IM, taking 5th place with a 3.98 second PR.
- Michaela Pennefather took 5th place with a 2.42 second PR in 100 Breast and 6th place with a 1.01 second PR in 100 Free.
- Tim Costello took 9th place in 100 Breaststroke with a .88 second PR in 100 Breaststroke.
- Kalli Dalrymple dropped again in the 200 Free! After a great performance on January 17th that jumped her up to Varsity, she cut another 3.80 seconds in the event. Her swim was good enough for 8th.
- Joe Fioramonti, only a freshman, took his four-stroke ability into the 200 IM and cut 5.24 seconds from his PR to take 7th
- Seamus Koehr ended his season in fine fashion with a 2.92 seconds PR in 100 Back.
- Josh Miller also ended his season strong with a .17 second PR in 50 Free leading off a relay. His new found prowess in the 50 Free was good enough for 8th place in a very fast heat.
- John O’Donohue fought to a 1.83 second PR in 100 Fly on Saturday to take 9th
- Bridget O’Malley lowered her 200 Free PR by .49 seconds and took 7th She also took 5th in 100 Back.
- Cat Pechie swam very well leading off a relay, and it resulted in a .02 second PR for 50 Free.
- Madeline Snider ended her season in style with a 2.19 second PR in 200 Free to take 5th She also took 4th place in a fast heat of 50 Free.
- Jude Van de Voorde was very excited (and so was I) after he broke 1:16 for the first time in 100 Breast to take 5th His 1:15.91 was a lifetime best by .79 seconds.
- Vivian Zadnik had a great swim in 200 IM, dropping 13.49 seconds from her lifetime best. She also took 4th in 100 a very fast heat of 100 Breaststroke.
The State Championship Meet is this Friday and Saturday, February 13-14th
I have submitted our State Meet entries, and they are now posted. I hope to bring 17 swimmers to the Collegiate Aquatic Center this year.
Here is the roster for our State Championship Team:
Dani Flook Matthew Fioramonti
Emily Heim Tommy Flook
Anna Kenna Brian Koehr
Claire Kenna Mark O’Donohue
Bridget O’Malley Paul Pechie
Meghan O’Malley Patrick Pennefather
I’ll post details of the logistical arrangements in an “Everything You Need to Know” type document, but briefly, here’s the deal:
- Thursday practice will be a State Team breakfast at IHOP. I’ll announce plans as soon as I figure it out.
- Our Thursday night warm-up time is set 4:30 – 5:00 p.m. Plan to be on deck around 4:15 p.m. for a relaxed session of stretching, swimming and relay starts.
- Friday morning Preliminaries start at 9:45 a.m. for the 200 Medley Relay, 200 Free, 200 IM, 50 Free and 100 Fly. Our warm-up time has not been assigned, but I expect it to be from 8:10 to 8:35 a.m.
- After Prelims, we’ll have something planned. Once we get it together, I will let you know.
- Friday Finals for those that qualify in the morning for the top 16 starts at 6:30 p.m. with an open warm-up starting at 5:00 p.m. “B” Relays are not eligible for Finals.
- Saturday is a repeat of Friday for 100 Free, 500 Free, the 200 Free Relay, 100 Back, 100 Breast and the 400 Free Relay, and once again, we will retire to the Sinner’s house between sessions.
- One difference from Friday is that Finals warm-up starts 15 minutes earlier to make time for the Senior parade. Seniors line up for the 6:05 p.m. parade by 5:50 p.m. in the hallway.
- After the meet, I will be retiring to some yet-to-be-determined location for a well-earned beverage and would love to have as many people who are interested, even those who didn’t swim, join me. If you want to head home, that’s fine too.
Here are a couple other things to understand about the meet:
- The admission fees set by VISAA are brutal: $10/person/day with a $30/day family maximum. I fought it, but I lost.
- Any team member in a team uniform will be admitted for free, so where your Seton Swimming t-shirt!
- We no longer need to supply Meet Marshals for the Watch & Go seating area, but we do need to supply three (3) timers for Friday night’s finals. I have the following people lined up for that:
- Allen Sinner
- Chuck Rector
- Laura Heim
- Several of the State Team members are swimming on only one of the two days. I will leave it up to the parents, but they are welcomed to participate in everything with us even on the days that they are not swimming
Two more practices – let’s get ready to race!
Coach Jim Koehr