Now that was exciting!

Even though there were no spectators allowed in this meet, the energy was palpable as the girls from Seton and Trinity Christian slugged it out in what was, unsurprisingly, a very close meet that featured breakout swims by girls on both teams.

As expected, the Seton boys dominated, particularly in the sprints.  They got 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 5th in the 50 Free, and they won the 200 Free Relay by nearly 15 seconds.   I think I’ll let Jerry Dalrymple’s (SR), Evan Wilson’s (SR), Liam Kellogg’s (SR) and Jack Santschi’s (SR) swimming do the talking for this week.

The story for the Seton girls was quite a bit different, so I’ll apologize from the outset for focusing more of this blog on the girls.  I love you boys (my wife and I have nine (9) of you 😉), but you didn’t scare me on Saturday like the girls did!

In the end, our Seton girls prevailed, by only 18 points (with 200 total points scored), over an incredibly feisty Trinity team that brought their “A” game to the Freedom Center on Saturday night.

As usual though, the keys to victory for Seton were our depth, our relays, and our level of improvement.

  • For our depth, all four (4) of our official entries scored in all but one (1) individual event, often finishing in the top 6 or even the top 5. (The one event we missed was the result of a DQ)
  • For our relays, we out-scored Trinity 35 to 19, including the backbreaker for them when we got both 1st and 2nd in the 200 Free Relay.
  • For our level of improvement, how about 123 Personal Records (PRs)?! That tally included 20 PRs by more than 10.00 seconds, 8 PRs by more than 20.00 seconds and 3 PRs by more than 30.00 seconds!  We had 96 kids in the water this week, and 84 of them had at least one Personal Record.  Unbelievable!

Another element to the victory, although we would have won without it, was our new Diving team.  Event 9 and 10 in a VISAA high school meet is Diving, which we held before the swimming portion of the meet.  Mary Clare Waldron and Emma Catabui scored a total of 14 points in diving.  That means that in the remaining events that involved only swimming, we won by a mere 4 points!

I’m looking forward to seeing Trinity Christian add a Diving team so our divers can feel the same level of friendly competition with them as our swimmers feel.

Final Scores

On Saturday night, there were four (4) teams, all competing individually with one another.  In essence, there were 12 simultaneous dual meets going on, and in the six (6) that involved Seton, we outscored our opponents if every one.

Here’s the way the meet scores turned out for us at Seton:

Boys

Seton                        182         Trinity Christian School        114

Seton                        206         Immanuel Christian                    72

Seton                        230         The Carmel School                     37

Girls

Seton                        159         Trinity Christian School        141

Seton                        239         Immanuel Christian                   27

Seton                        239         The Carmel School                     14

How Did Our Girls Win?

Prior to the Meet, I “scored the Psych Sheet”, which is an exercise where you calculate what the score would be if everyone swam the exact times at which they were entered.  The result was a 24-point victory for the Seton girls, 162 – 138.  But Psych Sheets don’t swim.

As is often the case, what ends up happening in the pool is quite a bit different than what happens on the Psych sheet.  In the end, Seton had a big favorable swing in the relays, going from losing the three (3) relay events with an aggregate score of 34-20, to winning the three (3) relays with an total score of 35-19 – that’s a 30-point swing!

With the final margin of victory at only 18 points, that means that, for the individual events, the swing must have been 36 points in other direction.  Another huge swing.  As Trinity parent Fred Cornett told me about those big swings before the 200 Free Relay, “I can see the sweat on your brow.”  I was hoping he didn’t notice 😉.

Great swimmers have sometimes come to Seton – and we’ve been lucky to have that happen three (3) times this year – but in a school with only 131 girls in the grades 9 through 12 (Trinity has 132 girls according to the VISAA), improvement and depth are something that we have to manufacturer.

Let me show you what I mean by reviewing our plan for each event and comparing it to what happened:

Girls 200 Medley Relay

The meet started off better than the Psych Sheet, but much like I anticipated.  The Psych Sheet showed Trinity placing 1st and 3rd in this relay, but I was pretty sure that would not happen no matter which sets of four (4) girls they put into their line-up.   Our “A” relay is too fast, and our “B” relay is too deep.

Our “A” Medley Relay started off with a tremendous backstroke leg from Lucy Garvey, who split 30.28.  We were working hard on Lucy’s underwaters with former Seton All-America Anna Kenna over Christmas break, and it really showed.  Lucy gave us a 1.22 second lead to prepare for Annalise Cornett (SR) of Trinity Christian to hit the water for the breaststroke leg.

While us coaches were worried that Annalise, the best overall swimmer in the meet, would eat up that lead, 8th grader Clara Condon (8) seemed unphased.  Not only did Annalise not eat up our lead, Clara managed to extend our lead with an amazing 32.35 split versus Annalise’s 32.60.  Wow!

Then came our another 8th grade superstar, Angie Testani (8), to swim the Fly leg against Trinity’s 8th grade superstar Liz Klanderman (8).  Again, our lead was extended when Angie split 30.13 versus Liz’s very strong 30.29.

As a side note, Angie and Clara seem virtually interchangeable in this relay – Angie split 32.44 on the breaststroke leg on December 12th, and I know Clara is very quick in Fly.  I think I’m going to switch them up next week and see which way is the fastest for us.  This is definitely a great problem for a coach to have!

At this point, we had an unexpected 1.63 second lead, and I was feeling good – until I saw Mary Pennefather’s relay start.  I had heard before the meet that Mary had hurt her ankle playing basketball, but Mary being Mary, she didn’t make a big deal about it.

Mary must have been really hurting though.  She usually anchors our relays with a 25-low – her PR split is a superfast 24.97 on the strength of her relay start – but with no ability to explode off the block and no ability to kick, she was really dragging.  Fortunately, her incredible heart got her to the finish in 28.26, just ahead of a surging Jenna Phillips (SR) from TCS who split more than a second faster than she did on December 12th.

Our “A” Relay ultimately won with a 2:01.02 on a previous season-best 2:00.12.  Had Mary hung a 25.2 on the end of our relay instead of a 28.2, we would have gone a very competitive 1:57.96 – that time would score well at States!

 ProjectedActual
 SetonTCSSetonTCS
Event Score513108
Meet Score513108

Girls 200 Freestyle

On the Psych Sheet, we were projected to get 1st, 3rd, 5th, and 7th, but in spite of PR swims by Mary O’Malley (JR), Lucy Pennefather (8) and Lily Byers (JR), two amazing swims by Trinity’s Bella Yaraschak (FR) (3.24 second PR) and Caroline Sykes (SR) (5.11 second PR) dropped us to 2nd, 4th, 5th and 6th.

Lucy Garvey (JR) scored in 2nd place, coming immediately off her swim in the medley relay, but the big win for us in this event was Lucy Pennefather (8).  I knew Lucy could do better than her previous PR of 2:37.06, but I was not expecting a 2:29.19!  That jumped her from the 7th seed to 5th.

We still won the event, but TCS gained some ground against our plan.

 ProjectedActual
 SetonTCSSetonTCS
Event Score17121514
Meet Score22252522

Girls 200 IM

This event featured Trinity’s Annalise Cornett (SR) who was seeded 15 seconds ahead of Angie Testani (8), and the two of them took 1st and 2nd, as expected.

Both Teresa Bingham (SR) and birthday girl Ava Hudson (FR) swam well, but even they were not enough for TCS senior Teresa Klanderman (SR) who swam 8.5 seconds faster than her seed time to jump up from the 5th seed to a 4th place finish.

Combined with a DQ on one of our swimmers, gained another 6 points over the score from the Psych Sheet.  Coach Koehr wasn’t nervous quite yet though, but I knew 50 Free was coming up next.

 ProjectedActual
 SetonTCSSetonTCS
Event Score13161019
Meet Score35413541

Girls 50 Free

Then I recalled how badly hurt Mary Pennefather (SO) was, and how Isabelle Luevano (JR) was in her first meet after just 3 days of practice since mid-December.

This was the event where we were supposed to pull away with a 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 5th place finish.  We still won the event, but not without another 12-point swing in Trinity’s direction.

Maggie Gibbons (FR) and Teresa Mosimann (SR) both had strong swims, scoring in 2nd and 6th, and Isabelle Luevano definitely surprised me with the quality of her swim.  After all that time out of the water, she still swam within 1.76 seconds of her PR.

On the other hand, Mary Pennefather was clearly hurting.  She still managed to power through to a 5th place finish with a 29.22, but it was clearly time to start thinking about pulling her from the Swim Meet so she didn’t hurt herself even more.

 ProjectedActual
 SetonTCSSetonTCS
Event Score2271613
Meet Score57485154

Diving

I was thanking God for the work of Coach Ashley Keapproth and Coach Seamus Koehr at this point in the meet, but they successfully started a Diving team at Seton, and I was looking for a lifeline.

Unfortunately, Amelie Halisky (10) was out sick, but both Mary Clare Waldron (JR) and Emma Catabui (JR) completed their 6-dives beautifully and scored the 14 points that comes with 1st and 2nd place.  Clare’s diving score of 120.75 was a 20.10-point Personal Record.

 ProjectedActual
 SetonTCSSetonTCS
Event Score140140
Meet Score71486554

Girls 100 Butterfly

This was Annalise Cornett’s 2nd individual event.  She had already raced Angie Testani (8), now it was Clara Condon’s (8) turn.  Both Annalise and Clara swam PRs and took the expected 1st and 2nd places.

Coach Ross Palazzo and I had discussed before the meet telling Clara to back off a bit on this event to save some energy for the 500 Free.   She was not likely to beat Annalise anyway, and she was seeded almost 6 seconds ahead of the 3rd place seed, but it is hard to tell a competitor like Clara to “just get 2nd”.  “Backing off” for Clara turned out to be a .53 second PR 😉

Teresa Bingham (JR), Sophia Zadnik (JR), and Madelyn Zadnik (FR) all swam well, particularly Madelyn who swam a 6.06 second PR, but it was another new Trinity 8th grader, Fletcher Larkin (8), who showed up to spoil the party for Seton in this event.

Fletcher jumped from the 6th seed to a 5th place finish with a 2.27 second PR.

Trinity Christian had out swum their seeds yet again.

 ProjectedActual
 SetonTCSSetonTCS
Event Score14151316
Meet Score85637870

Girls 100 Freestyle

Things were getting very worrisome for Coach Koehr at this point, and we were entering the 100 Free with the same problem we had in the 50 Free.  Mary Pennefather (FR) was hurt, and Isabelle Luevano (JR) has been out of the water.

But riding in a white horse from lane 2 came Emily Flynn (JR)!

Emily was seeded 7th, but at the 50 turn, she was winning!  After another great surge from Trinity’s Jenna Phillips (SR), who swam another huge 2.05 second PR, Emily eventually finished 2nd – way ahead of her 7th place seed.  Thank you Emily!

Isabelle swam very well considering how long she’s been out of the water (she took 4th), and Mary just fought though the pain to take 6th, and Maggie Gibbons (FR) swam well but a bit off her PR to take 7th.

With Trinity’s Kristen Womack (FR) moving up from the 4th seed to 3rd place, it was time to start thinking about my relay line-ups.  I could still change the last two relays before the end of the Girls 500 Free, which was the next event.

Should I put someone else on the anchor of our 200 Free “A” Relay?  Should I split our “A” and “B” 400 Free Relay to make sure that Trinity could not get both 1st and 3rd?

 ProjectedActual
 SetonTCSSetonTCS
Event Score18111316
Meet Score103749186

Girls 500 Freestyle

I missed much of this event, because at this point in the meet, I was looking up splits and trying to determine if I should change our 200 and 400 Free Relay line-ups.  I had until the end of the Girls 500 Free to submit updated Relay cards, and I was feeling a bit of pressure.

I was bummed I wasn’t able to watch most of the race though, because Clara Condon (8) did not disappoint.  She had never swum the 500 Free for Seton, so the best time I had for her was a 6:24 from USA Swimming.  I knew that wasn’t right, so I gambled that she could hang with Trinity Freshman-phenom Teagan Stermer (FR) who was seeded at 5:53.

She could, particularly at the end.  Teagan ending up winning with a 5:54, but Clara swam an amazing time for an 8th grader – 5:57.69 – to take 2nd place.  Clara entered the race seeded 3rd and beat the 2nd seed from Trinity, Bella Yaraschak (FR) even though she swam a 8.07 second PR.

In the category of interchangeable, it is interesting to note that the December 12th 500 Free race between Teagan Stermer (FR) and Angie Testani (8) ended almost exactly the same way with Teagan going 5:53 and Angie going 5:57.  It is really amazing to have two (2) 8th grade girls who can go under 6:00 in the 500 Free.

The rest of the race was working in our favor too.  Mary O’Malley (JR) held her 5th seed with a 5.50 second PR, and both Lily Byers (JR) and Jacqueline Oswald (SO) jumped ahead of Trinity’s 6th seed to knock her to a non-scoring 8th place.  Jacqueline’s time was a 1.43 second PR.

We really needed that one!

Going into the final four (4) events of the meet, the score was tied.  I knew we would be very strong in 100 Breaststroke, so this next relay was going to tell the story.

 ProjectedActual
 SetonTCSSetonTCS
Event Score9201415
Meet Score11294103103

Girls 200 Freestyle Relay

This relay was the backbreaker for Trinity Christian.

Before the end of the Girls 500 Free, I spoke with Mary Pennefather.  I wanted to better understand how much pain she was in.  She had done her job, and I had other girls I could put in this relay.

Mary was adamant that she wanted to swim, so I went with that, submitting no new Relay card.  And boy (girl?) did it work out well!

Our “A” Relay of Angie Testani (8), Maggie Gibbons (FR), Lucy Garvey (JR) and Mary Pennefather (SO) crushed the field, as I expected once I saw that Annalise was not in this relay, and Mary powered through to a 27.68 split.

But it was our “B” Relay of Clara Condon (8), Teresa Mosimann (SR), Emily Flynn (JR) and Isabelle Luevano (JR) that broke the meet wide open for Seton by beating Trinity Christian’s “A” relay to give us both 1st and 2nd place.  All of the girls swam very well, including Isabelle.  After that race, our Stroke and Turn judge Mr. Albin told Coach Dalrymple that she “nailed her turn” and that it made all the difference in the relay.

Another big difference was Emily Flynn (JR), who once again rode in with a split 2.30 seconds faster than she swam on December 12th to give us the victory by only .34 second.

That .34 seconds created another 4-point swing.  1st and 3rd would have gotten us a win in the event, 13 to 5, but 1st and 2nd got us the win 15 to 3.  Ouch!

Knowing that Breaststroke was still coming, I starting to breath a little easy – not “easy” by any means, but definitely “easier” because we were almost back on plan.

 ProjectedActual
 SetonTCSSetonTCS
Event Score108153
Meet Score122102118106

Girls 100 Backstroke

This event went exactly as planned with everyone holding their seeds.

On the new-found power of her underwaters, Lucy Garvey (SR) took 1st place over the Trinity freshman superstar Teagan Stermer (FR) by almost 2 seconds.  Lucy’s longer walls also resulted in a 1.36 second PR.

Emily Flynn (JR) continued her very special day with a time that was 4.04 seconds faster than her season-best, jumping up to 5th.  Then Ava Hudson (FR) and Ceili Koehr (JR) sealed the deal with strong swims to take 6th and 7th.

We held serve, and our strongest event of the meet was next.  I was starting to smile again.

 ProjectedActual
 SetonTCSSetonTCS
Event Score14151415
Meet Score136117132121

Girls 100 Breaststroke

For a change, we had some points to give, and that was fortunate.

We had Angie Testani (8) in the center lane, and not surprisingly, she took the event by almost 6 seconds, but Trinity’s Teresa Klanderman (SR) was not done with her heroics.

Teresa’s season-best time, by 6.25 seconds, was enough to jump her up from her 3rd seed to 2nd place.  Trinity’s Cole Paige (SR) also swam improved her seed with a huge 3.81 second PR.

But I definitely was not complaining because all three (3) of our remaining girls also swam Personal Records: Clare Waldron (JR) by .20 seconds, Lucy Pennefather by 3.91 seconds, and Sophia Zadnik (JR) by 1.11 seconds.

 ProjectedActual
 SetonTCSSetonTCS
Event Score2181910
Meet Score157125151131

Girls 400 Free Relay

With a 20-point lead, I knew the game was over.  Even if they got 1st and 2nd and both of our Relays were DQ’d, they couldn’t score more than 15 points.

At the time I had to make the decision to submit or a new Relay card, or not, I did not have this information though.  The decision I made was to not change anything at all.

I had considered splitting the relay (putting some of the fastest kids on each relay) to ensure that we didn’t do worse than 2nd and 3rd, but after watching Teresa Mosimann (SR) and Lucy Pennefather (8) swim all evening, I felt comfortable that they could join Captains Lily Byers (JR) and Mary O’Malley (JR) on our 400 Free “B” Relay to take 3rd, preserving our chance to take 1st place with our “A” Relay.

When Annalise did not show up to the blocks for the 200 Free Relay, I knew that she must be in this relay, but it was too late to change.  Fortunately, these girls did not make me regret my decision even though the Trinity “B” Relay swam 5 seconds faster than I had anticipated.  One of the reasons for that was Lily Byer’s (JR) 1.28 second PR for her lead-off 100 Free.

Our 400 Free “A” Relay of Teresa Bingham (JR), Isabelle Luevano (JR), Maggie Gibbons (FR) and Emily Flynn (JR) was surprisingly close to Trinity’s “A” Relay.  All the girls swam well, particularly Isabelle who was just a second off of her PR and, of course, Emily Flynn who once again rocked her swim with the best split of her life.

 ProjectedActual
 SetonTCSSetonTCS
Event Score513810
Meet Score162138159141

So, it was a roller coaster, but the score ended up fairly close to the Psych Sheet score with Seton winning by 18 instead of 24.

I was so impressed with the difference-making performances of so many of our swimmers.  I have already learned to expect greatness from Lucy Garvey (JR), Clara Condon (8) and Angie Testani (8), and I was rewarded for my confidence in Captains Teresa Bingham (JR), Mary O’Malley (JR) and Lily Byers (JR) plus Maggie Gibbons (FR).  We saw tremendous courage from Mary Pennefather (SO) and tremendous heart from Isabelle Luevano (JR).  We saw a breakout performance from Emily Flynn (JR), and we saw the emergence of new scorers like Lucy Pennefather (8) and Teresa Mosimann (SR).

Coach Mulhern was home sick, but he watched the whole thing.  He sent me an e-mail after that meet that read, in part, “Emily Flynn was on a mission.  You got our attention girl!  She has been working really hard in practice, and it’s paying off.

I also could not help being impressed with the performances of several Trinity Christian swimmers.  We saw breakout performances from Teresa Klanderman (SR), Jenna Phillips (SR), Carolyn Sykes (SR), Anna Deatherage (SR) and Cole Paige (SR), who are all making the most of the senior year, and it is sure fun to watch.  Teresa and Jenna were particularly impressive.  And we saw the future of the Trinity Christian team with very strong swimming from the likes of Teagan Stermer (8), Bella Yaraschak (FR), Liz Klanderman (8), Kristen Womack (FR) and Fletcher Larkin (8)

There are plenty of “what-ifs” as you look back through these results and consider the possibilities.  What if Trinity’s Reagan Buff (8) had been there?  What if Mary Pennefather (SO) wasn’t hurt? What if Isabelle Luevano (JR) had not been out of the water so long?  What if Amelie Halisky (SO) had been there to dive?  What if we had never started a Diving team?

As I reflect though, I do think the stronger team won.  Trinity Christian is very well coached, and they showed amazing heart and spirit, but our depth and the strength of our new swimmers were just too much for the dual meet format.

When we see Trinity Christian in a meet with Championship scoring however, I fear that I may not be able to draw that same conclusion because our depth will be partially nullified, and the scoring power of Annalise Cornett will be amplified.

So, for now, congratulations to the Seton Girls!   But congratulations to the Trinity Christian girls too.  There is no denying that their girls swam amazingly well.

Massive Personal Records

At the outset of my blog this week, I mentioned that we had 20 PRs by more than 10.00 seconds, 8 PRs by more than 20.00 seconds, and 3 PRs by more than 30.00 seconds.

Many of those massive PRs came from our Group 4 and 5 swimmers who have been working on Breaststroke and Backstroke, respectively.

I was so, so, so pleased with these kids (who I have not already mentioned) who are showing so much improvement:

  • Patrick Hartung (SO) swam the largest PR of the entire meet when he dropped 35.30 seconds in 200 Freestyle. He was taking much better advantage of his length, and it really paid off.  Patrick also cut 4.17 seconds from his 100 Back PR.
  • Jacinta Gonzalez (JR) was right there with Patrick on the huuuge-ness of her PR in 100 Breaststroke. She dropped 33.35 seconds!
  • Clare Witter (JR) carried her great work in practice through to the meet and cut 32.35 seconds from her 100 Back PR.
  • Anthony Morales (7) looked great in 100 Backstroke, and it showed in the time – a 27.47 second PR.
  • Peter Hartung (8) almost broke 2:00 with his big 26.77 second PR in 100 Breaststroke.
  • Theresa Byers (JR) looked so good in her 100 Backstroke, and that resulted in a 24.00 second PR for her. I loved the smile on her face when she looked up at her time.
  • Greg Bauer (7) cut 21.52 seconds from his 100 Breaststroke PR.
  • Christina Witter (7) did not surprise me at all when she dropped 20.74 seconds in 100 Back.
  • Kevin Orellana (JR) is back, and he made the most of it with an 18.37 second drop in 100 Free.
  • Monica Hartung (7) took what she’s been learning how to swim backstroke from her sister Virginia. I was so pleased to see her cut 15.77 seconds from her PR in 100 Back.
  • Shane Hudson had a great swim in 100 Breaststroke, lowering his PR by 14.83 seconds.
  • Madelyn Zadnik (FR) is a Group 2 swimmer, but still managed to have a massive drop in 200 IM, cutting 13.89 seconds from her PR to break 3:00 for the first time.
  • Daniel Hurley (7) dropped 13.29 seconds in 100 Back.
  • Mick Fioramonti (FR) had a big 13.03 second PR in 100 Fly which got him to down to a competitive 1:16.11. Mick can definitely score in the DAC with that time.
  • Max Gonzalez (8) is really getting the hang of this swimming thing, and he proved it with a 12.14 second PR in 100 Breaststroke.
  • Orla Haggerty (8) looked so good swimming her 11.35 second PR in 100 Breaststroke, that I used her as an example during my commentary on the livestream.
  • Seth Kellogg (8) swam a competitive time in 100 Backstroke after dropping 11.25 seconds.
  • Teresa Mosimann (SR) is not a Group 4 or 5 swimmer, but she still managed to drop a huge 10.81 seconds in 100 Breaststroke.
  • Kyle Da Re (SR) learned to swim breaststroke this year and cut 10.73 seconds from his PR in the event.

Our Divers Continue to Improve

I’m really enjoying being the announcer for Diving each week.  It’s fun to watch and learn.  And it is fun to watch them add new dives to their repertoire as we saw this week.

I hope you got the chance to watch some of the recording of the live stream for Diving this week.  Paul Fifield had Coach Ashley Keapproth on the microphone to commentate as she was scoring.  I personally found it very interesting – and very educational.

Only two (2) boys and two (2) girls scored in Diving since the rest already had two (2) individual swimming events.  Diving counts just like a swimming event in every way including eligibility and scoring.  In spite of that, I’ll report the results to all of you in order of finish, whether that finish counted or not:

For the Boys, we had:

  • Evan Wilson (SR)                  130.35, a 6.65-point PR
  • Tony Hudson (SR)                116.55
  • Josh Fioramonti (7)             106.50
  • Max Wilson (8)                      105.90, a 19.35-point PR
  • Mick Fioramonti (FR)           100.95
  • Connor Koehr (FR)                100.95
  • Joe Wilson (SO)                       76.50
  • Dominic Miller (FR)                75.60
  • Jed Albin (FR)                           60.30

And for the Girls, we had:

  • Mary Clare Waldron (JR)       120.75, a 20.10-point PR
  • Emma Catabui (JR)                  69.15

I’ll note here for Clare Waldron’s benefit that our team record for 6-Dives for Girls is held by Keziah Higginbottom from 2013 when she scored 142.70.

There Were So Many Other Personal Record Swims

I have already mentioned numerous Personal Records, but here are the rest of the 123 PRs that I have not yet had an opportunity to highlight.  Check out how many younger swimmers we have improving on our team:

  • Jed Albin (FR) cut 1.22 seconds from his 50 Free PR.
  • Michael Allen (JR) wrapped up his season with a 4.36 second PR in 50 Free.
  • Julia Atkinson (FR) cut .13 seconds in 100 Backstroke
  • Molly Bauer (8) was all smiles (how surprising 😉) after her 2.90 second PR in 50 Free.
  • Lucia Bingham (8) had two PRs: In 50 Free leading off a relay she dropped .73 seconds, and in 100 Breaststroke she dropped 1.87 seconds.
  • Meg Blanchette (8) looked better than ever in 100 Breaststroke during her 4.10 second PR swim.
  • Nora Blanchette (7) had a strong swim in 100 Backstroke, cutting 4.29 seconds from her previous best.
  • Elodie Brox (8) looked great during the 3.76 second PR in 100 Breaststroke.
  • Emma Brox (JR) got me to stand up and take notice during 100 Breaststroke. How about a 9.27 second PR?  She also cut .41 seconds from her 50 Free PR.
  • JJ Brox (SO) continues to improve with three (3) PRs on Saturday. JJ cut 2.26 seconds in 200 IM, .84 seconds in 50 Free leading off a relay, and .55 seconds in 100 Breaststroke.  He went 1:14.19 in 100 Breaststroke which is getting to be a pretty good time.
  • Michael Brox (8) had two huge PRs. How do you cut 6.76 seconds in 100 Free?  Wow!  Then he cut 4.88 seconds in 100 Backstroke.  I think Michael is finally getting comfortable using all that new-found length he has to his advantage.
  • Emma Catabui (JR) lowered her 50 Free PR by 1.61 seconds.
  • Joey Dealey (SO) had a strong swim in 100 Fly, lowering his PR by 2.58 seconds. Joey also cut .03 seconds from his PR in 100 Free leading off a relay.
  • Rebekah DeWolf (JR) made her Dad proud with that big 2.46 second drop in 50 Free. She also would have dropped 25 seconds in 100 Breaststroke had the mean Stroke and Turn judges not DQ’d her for a illegal kick. We’ll fix that in practice Rebekah and go grab that PR too.
  • Haley Fifield (8) powered herself to a 6.85 second PR with that great breaststroke kick that she has.
  • Liam Halisky (8) rocked his 100 Backstroke – it was so impressive, that I even recall talking about it on the livestream broadcast. Looking at the results, I know see why – a 7.12 second PR!  Liam also had a big PR in 50 Free, beating his previous best by 2.77 seconds.
  • Sophia Halisky also caught my eye with her 5.71 second PR in 100 Breaststroke.
  • Gabe Hambleton (7) made Mama Akers happy with that 1.73 second PR in 50 Free.
  • Virginia Hartung (SR) applies some of her own coaching to her own swimming, and it resulted in a 7.57 second PR in 100 Breaststroke.
  • David Hudson (FR) looked very good in 100 Fly during his 2.60 second PR swim.
  • Mary Catherine Hurley (8) continues to improve, it seems, nearly every time she swims. This time is was a 2.89 second drop in 100 Breaststroke.
  • Liam Kellogg (SR) took advantage of what might be the last 500 Free he will swim in his career. He finished with a time 9.51 seconds faster than his previous best.
  • Kieran Kelly (8) had a huge 6.80 second drop in 100 Free to go a strong 1:21.74, a very good time for a new swimmer.
  • Céilí Koehr (JR) looked very good in 100 Free, lowering her previous PR by another .13 seconds.
  • Connor Koehr (8) had a great swim in 100 Breaststroke, cutting 3.43 seconds from his previous best. Connor also cut another .85 seconds from his 100 Free PR.
  • Peter Konstanty (FR) looked better than I’ve ever seen. Coach Dalrymple saw it too, sending me a message that said, “Incredible improvement over last season. He can dive!  Great anchor leg on the 400 Free ‘B’ relay.”  His good-looking swims resulted in a 1.50 second PR.
  • Colette Kramer (7) lowered her 50 Free PR by another 2.33 seconds, and she would have had a 23 second PR in 100 Back had she not been DQ’d. We’ll do that again Colette.
  • Nathan Luevano (SO) was a beast, especially when you consider that he’s only had three (3) practices since mid-December. In spite of that, he swam three (3) PRs including a .74 second drop in 100 Free leading off a relay, a .70 second drop in 100 Back, and a .25 second drop in 50 Free.  His 25.59 in 50 Free is going to force me to look at him when I’m lining up sprint relays.
  • Chris Lynch (FR) cut another .37 seconds from his 50 Free PR.
  • Kateri Mantooth (SO) swam three (3) PRs on Saturday. In 100 Breaststroke she dropped 6.36 seconds, in 50 Free she dropped .46 seconds, and in 50 Free leading off a relay she dropped .18 seconds.
  • Aidan McCardell (7) continues to show great progress, swimming 50 Free 6.20 seconds faster than ever before.
  • Claire McCardell (JR) was great in 100 Breaststroke when she cut 8.28 seconds from her Personal Record. She also cut .73 seconds in 50 Free.
  • Moira McCardell (FR) had a beautiful 100 Backstroke. I remember talking about it on the livestream.  Too bad she had to miss Time Trials because I have no way to tell you how much she improved from the beginning of the season.  I can tell you this with certainty though – it’s been a lot!  I was able to measure her 50 Free PR however, and she cut 1.58 seconds there.
  • Dominic Miller (FR) would have cut 23 seconds from his 100 Breaststroke PR had he not been DQ’d for an extra butterfly kick off of the wall. Boy, he looked good during the swim though.  Dominic also did a nice job in his first-ever 500 Free, swimming the event in less than 7:30.
  • Mary Catherine Munsell (7) lowered her 50 Free PR once again, this time by .20 seconds.
  • Nicholas Nagurny (FR) would have had a big PR in the 500 Free had I had some previous time for him. His 7:07.17 is at least a minute better than he would have swum at the beginning of the season; I promise you.
  • Kevin Norton (7) cut 2.37 seconds from his 100 Breaststroke PR.
  • Jenna Novecosky (SO) looked better than ever during her 1.85 second PR in 50 Free. She also would have dropped more than 20 seconds in 100 Breaststroke had she not been DQ’d.
  • Shannon O’Malley (8) had two (2) big PRs including a 4.79 second drop in 200 Free and a 2.79 second drop in 100 Breaststroke.
  • Emma Reynolds (SO) looked great in 50 Free with her 2.26 second PR. She also had a great swim first-ever swim in 100 Backstroke, but unfortunately, I had no previous time against which to compare it.  I’m quite sure it was a huge drop.
  • William Reynolds (7) also had a big drop in 50 Free – his was 6.23 seconds – and he had the same issue as Emma in 100 Backstroke. It was a great swim that I know was a huge improvement, but I had no previous time against which to measure.
  • Cate Waldron (FR) looked as good as I’ve ever seen in her 100 Breaststroke when she dropped 2.28 seconds.
  • Rose Waldron (8) had two (2) PRs on Saturday. She dropped .72 seconds in 50 Free and .33 seconds in 100 Breaststroke.
  • Evan Wilson (SR) had a great meet with four (4) PRs. I already mentioned his Diving PR, but in addition to that, Evan cut 2.64 seconds in 200 Free, .27 seconds in 50 Back leading off a relay, and .18 seconds in 100 Back.
  • Joe Wilson (SO) lowered his 200 IM PR by 2.06 seconds, but the swim that caught my eye most was his anchor leg of our 400 Free “A” Relay. His walls were a model for what everyone should be doing underwater during 100 Freestyle.
  • Max Wilson (8) is going to be a really fine swimmer for us, especially once he gets some more height. I was so impressed with his 2:46.97 200 IM (a 2.84 second PR), his 1:20.78 100 Fly (a 3.46 second PR), his 30.76 50 Free relay lead-off (a .51 second PR), and his 33.71 50 Backstroke relay lead-off (a .84 second PR).  Nice work Max!

Highland Swimming

Yes, you read that right.

I am so excited to let you all know that I will be serving as the Highland Swim Coach once the Highland School administration gives the “all-clear” for their kids to compete in winter sports.  I expect that to happen for the January 23rd meet, but nothing has been finalized yet.

I live in Warrenton and know many of their kids already.  This is not as unusual as it might sound on first blush – I’ve done the same thing for Wakefield Country Day, Chelsea Academy, Holy Family Academy and Renaissance Montessori School in the past.

The Highland team will have two superstar girls who we saw shine at last year’s DAC Championships – Paris Thornburg and Madisyn Carter.  We see Madisyn in the water each morning before our practice as she practices with NCAP.

Hopefully, we can get them into the water soon to get entry times for States because both have a legitimate shot at All-State honors this year!

Welcome Paris and Madisyn!

Also, on January 23rd, DAC teams Fredericksburg Christian and Randolph-Macon Academy will join us for their first meets of the season.  I just heard last Friday that Fredericksburg Christian, who had to cancel out of the last two meets, has been cleared to swim.

The Rest of the Season

Hopefully both Trinity Christian and Seton can move on to bigger things – like the State Championship where both teams have a legitimate shot, particularly Trinity with the big points that will likely be scored by Annalise Cornett.

I have posted the Meet Announcement for this year’s virtual VISAA State Swimming and Diving Championship.  It is going to require both Seton and Trinity to focus our remaining few opportunities to swim on getting the best possible times for each swimmer in their most competitive events at the State level.

That is hard to do if we have to line up our teams to win another dual meet since the goals of 1) beating an individual team or 2) winning States are in conflict, leading to very different strategies for both coaches.

We have had three dual meets with Trinity, and Seton won them all.  If we are forced to have a 4th, then it will open up opportunities for Williamsburg Christian and the Steward School to beat both of us at States because they will be able to focus on getting times in their State events, and we won’t.

I used the word “hopefully” at the beginning because the DAC Athletic Directors are meeting Wednesday, January 13th, to decide if we are going to have an official DAC season at all and, if we do, what it looks like.  Since the Athletic Directors and Coaches from both Trinity Christian and Seton had previously agreed that yesterday’s meet was the one that counted for the regular season, let’s hope that the agreement between our two schools (which doesn’t impact any other schools at all) will be allowed to be honored on Wednesday.

On Thursday night, February 11th, Seton will be hosting a meet that is intended to be the DAC Championship.  If the meet is not approved as the official Conference Championship, we will still host it under a different name and give the DAC schools participating in swimming one last chance to get fast times to submit for States.

Thank you to Mr. Vander Woude and Mr. Saunders, the Seton and Trinity Christian ADs, for working to ensure that our teams have the best possible shot to compete favorably for Conference regular season and Conference Championship Meet titles, as well as at States.

Seton Swim-Dad Bob Seale

This past week, we lost a great man.

You may know him as Lucy Cunningham’s Grandfather.

I know him as a friend, as the father of my daughter’s good friend Meg (Seale) Davis who was also a former Captain of the Seton Swim Team, and as a generous soul who was instrumental in the formation and support of New Eve Ministries.  New Eve runs a house for single mothers so they can have a safe place to have their babies.

Please keep Bob Seale, his wife Joanne, his daughter Meg, and Lucy and her mother in your prayers this week.

Bob Seale will be missed by all.

Final Notes

There has been so much to say, but let us  wrap it up with some final notes:

  • Next weekend is the 11th annual Northern Virginia Catholic High School Swim and Dive Championship Invitational at the Freedom Center that we host each year.
    • It’s always fun to get all of the Catholic schools together.
    • The Meet Announcement is posted.
    • Unfortunately, because of the number of swimmers involved, only Seton’s group 1, 2, 3 and 4 swimmers will be able to compete.
  • Our final fundraising tally was $10,663 for the Cystic Fibrosis Swim-a-thon!
    • Team Lily (Byers) led the way with $1,975 thank large to her teammembers Emma, JJ, Elodie and Michael Bros who raised $1,525.
    • Great work Seton Swimming!

It was a great weekend.  Let’s come to practice next week ready for the big push toward the Championship season!

Coach Jim 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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