Last Saturday, Seton Swimming hosted our annual VISAA Division II Invitational Championship at the Freedom Center as an opportunity for all of the top Division II teams in the State to face off against each other in anticipation of the actual State Championship Meet. We had some really excellent competition from Nansemond-Suffolk Academy (NSA), but our Seton girls emerged victorious! This is, of course, no reason for us to get cocky though. Only the top 16 finishers in each individual event score at States, so our depth won’t be as big of an advantage – plus, Hampton Roads Academy, another Division powerhouse, wasn’t at the meet. All that said, I’m still very encouraged about how we’re swimming heading into States.
I was once again very excited to see how our younger swimmers did while swimming against some of the best competition in the state. I know you’ve read this nearly every week, but these young girls just continue to improve. Here’s how the final scores shook out for the top scoring teams:
Seton School 322
Nansemond-Suffolk Academy 278
Fredericksburg Academy 120
Pope John Paul the Great 113
Nansemond-Suffolk Academy 222
Roanoke Catholic School 189
Pope John Paul the Great 187
Seton School 167
Check out how John Paul the Great did! There young team has really come a long since they started their program just a few short years ago.
Girls 200 Free Relay Wins Gold and Breaks DAC Conference Record
Our girls 200 Free Relay of Alex Doonis, Claire Kenna, Alexandra Sinner and Cat Rogers swam their best time of the season with a 1:43.64, took the gold medal and established a new DAC Record! The old record was set back in 2008 by Jessica Dunn, Alex Doonis, Lauren Donohoe and Meghan Morch. That time also beat NSA’s relay by .58 seconds – and that NSA relay, with the same four swimmers, took 4th place overall at States last season. Looking at the splits, I was especially pleased with the way that 8th grader Claire Kenna and 9th grader Alex Sinner swam – 26.47 and 26.90 respectfully. I know our seniors, will deliver strong swims at States and now my confidence is very high that these two younger swimmers can compete at the highest levels also.
Those same four girls also took the gold medal in the 200 Medley Relay by more than 8 seconds.
We definitely took home our share of the hardware on Saturday. Other than our 200 Free Relay’s gold medal, here are the several other top performers, some of whom are from our group of younger female swimmers:
- Cat Rogers, a senior captain, was absolutely dominate on Saturday, taking home two individual Gold medals in 50 Free and 100 Breaststroke. Cat won the 50 by over a second and she won breaststroke by more than 4 seconds. With her relay medals, Cat won a total of 4 Gold medals at the meet. I think Cat is ready to roll for States in two weeks!
- Alex Doonis, another senior captain, took home a silver medal in 100 Free and a bronze medal in 100 Back against some good you competition from Highland. Coming off her great performance at National Catholics, I know Alex will be ready to shine at our upcoming State Championship. I also predict that she will not leave Seton without at least two new team records.
- Our Girls 400 Free Relay of Alexandra Sinner, Jillian Ceol, Monica Byers, and Claire Kenna won the silver medal behind a stacked NSA relay that featured the state record holder in 100 Free. All of the splits were excellent, but Claire’s really stood out – an 8th grade girl splitting 59.29? Wow!
- Our Boys 200 Medley Relay also took a silver medal with Vincent “Catfish” Dunn, Michael Hill, Hugh Brien, and Joseph Kosten. All of the splits were good, but Joe Kosten’s was particularly good at the anchor with his 24.38 and Hugh Brien was very strong with his 28.56.
- Vincent “Catfish” Dunn took home two bronze medals in 100 Fly and 100 Backstroke. Catfish has been practicing very, very hard over the past week in anticipation of a little rest prior to States, so I am very optimistic about how he’ll swim in two weeks.
- Our Boys 200 Free Relay won the bronze medal in their best time of the season. Catfish Dunn, Patrick Koehr, Tommy Flook, and Joseph Kosten all swam tremendous splits: Patrick, Tommy and Joe all swam lifetime best times going 25.37, 25.90 and 03 respectively. Joe’s split was even better than his anchor split from the medley and, of course, Catfish rolled with his normal :23 split.
- Claire Kenna, an 8th grader, swam a PR 27.17 second 50 Free and took the bronze medal just ahead of Mary Camarca’s cousin from St. Michael the Archangel. I’m getting quite accustomed to seeing Claire compete at this level. Combined with her three relay medals, Alex also took 2 Gold medals, a silver medal and a bronze medal home from the meet.
- I’m also getting used to seeing freshman Alexandra Sinner score well in these big meets. On Saturday, Alex took the bronze medal in the 200 Free Relay. Combined with her three relay medals, Alex also took 2 Gold medals, a silver medal and a bronze medal home from the meet.
- Another 8th grader who has come into her own this season is Emily Heim who won a bronze medal in 100 Breaststroke. She has improved so much, that she actually has a chance to be one of the very few 8th graders who make the consolation finals at States in a couple weeks.
When I was in class down at UVa’s Darden school, I kept trying to sneak a peek at my cell phone for updates from Coach Lowell. (None of you better do that in class at Seton!). Coach Lowell is not normally as excitable as I am so I was really excited to get a text from him that said something like “this meet is a PR-Palooza!” I think I’ll have to steal that one from him:
- Lucy Bennett had a great meet on Saturday. In her single individual event, she cut 3.26 seconds from her 200 Free PR and took 6th place overall. She also had a great split as part of our 400 Free Relay.
- Kevin Bliss was awesome in his two individual events, swimming PRs in both 50 Free and 100 Free. In the 50, he cut .67 seconds and in the 100, he cut .74 seconds. Those are big drops for this point in the season, particularly in the 50.
- Hugh Brien is bringing his senior season to a close in style. His improvement has been great this season, and on Saturday, he lowered his 200 IM PR by 1.66 seconds.
- I’m really looking forward to having Seth Catalano back for his senior season next year – he’s just so comfortable in the water. He is starting to figure out how to work in practice and he’s starting to get the results you’d expect from that work. Seth cut a big 2.20 seconds from his 100 Back PR on Saturday.
- Jillian Ceol was wonderful in the 200 IM establishing a 5.38 second personal record! I wish I could have seen a swim like that!
- Tommy Flook, a freshman, has established himself as one of the future leaders of the team. He just continues to get faster. On Saturday, he cut his 100 Back PR by a whopping 2.23 seconds. He also cut his 50 Free PR by another .01 seconds.
- Emily Heim not only took the bronze in 100 Breast, she lowered her 50 Free PR by another .46 seconds.
- Julia Irving wanted another crack at the 500 Free, and I’m very happy I gave her the shot because she cut her PR by 2.90 seconds and almost broke 7:00 minutes in the event.
- Brian Koehr has really come into his own, especially over the past several weeks. He cut 6.22 seconds from his 200 IM PR and broke 3:00 minutes for the first time ever. Not too bad for an 8th grader!
- Patrick Koehr has been simply awesome since he returned from his Opus Dei trip to Ecuador in January. He was outstanding in the 100 Free where he cut .96 seconds and went 58.77. Just for the record, that’s faster than brother Brendan at this point in his career, and Brendan was ultimately the fastest Koehr other than Kevin. Patrick also broke :26 in the 50 for the first time with his .36 second PR.
- Is anyone surprised the David Lambrecht had another two PRs? And they were big PRs too! How about that 12.78 second drop in 500 Free and that 4.82 second drop in 200 Free!
- Geni Lucas was simply super on Saturday with two big PRs. Geni lowered her 500 Free PR by 5.82 seconds and she lowered her 200 Free PR by 1.36 seconds.
- Luke Marrazzo now has the 2nd fastest 100 Free time on the team with his :57.06, a 1.52 second PR! He’s learned how to push himself at practice this year, and the huge improvements are proof that that is what’s required to be great.
- Maggie Murphy had a big PR in the 200 IM where she cut 1.38 seconds from her previous best time.
- Paul Pechie had two more PRs. In 100 Back, he lowered his previous best time by 2.06 seconds and in the 200 IM, he lowered his time by 1.20 seconds. That 200 IM swim was the first time Paul had ever broken 3:00!
- Patrick Pennefather has had a great first season with Seton Swimming, showing his ability in a number of events. One of the events is the 100 Fly where he’s shown great improvement, including another .96 second drop on Saturday.
- Peter Quinan, a junior, has lead by his example all year long. He just quietly works in practice and always asks me for more opportunities to swim the most difficult events. Well I gave him another chance in the 200 and 500 Free, and he repaid me with two big PRs, swimming 200 Free 4.09 seconds faster than ever before and swimming the 500 Free 6.43 seconds faster than ever before. Peter also
- Steven Shaw had a nice lead-off leg in the 200 Medley, cutting his 50 Back PR by .28 seconds.
- Jude Van de Voorde has been making the most of his first experience on the Varsity team. He’s been enduring much harder practices than he’s ever experienced before without a hint of complaint – and that is probably why he cut an amazing 3.39 seconds from his 100 Breast PR on Saturday!
- Theresa Verry is having a similar experience. She is being pushed the like the Varsity swimmer she became and is seeing the results of her hard work. She lowered her 100 Fly PR by 6.04 seconds and her 100 Breast PR by another 1.69 seconds. In the last two meets, Theresa has dropped a total of 3.31 seconds!
- And finally Joseph Zapiain came on deck with a dramatic flair – crutches and all. I even heard he took his crutches up to the blocks and started from the side of the pool. While in spite of all of that, he still managed to cut .43 seconds from his 200 Free PR!
Post-Season Championship Qualifiers
We added another relay for the State Championship meet! Our Girls 200 Medley “B” Relay of Monica Byers, Emily Heim, Lucy Bennett, and Sarah Zapiain will being joining us for our run at another State title. Somehow our Boys 200 Medley “B” Relay was DQ’d, but I still believe that they can get it done. I also think we have a chance to get a “B” relay into States for the Girls 400 Free Relay, and we have a couple of individuals on the cusp of qualifying including Joe Kosten and Patrick Pennefather. Next Saturday, at DAC Champs at St. Michael the Archangel, is the last chance for us to get some more qualifiers into States, so we have to take maximum advantage. If you are in a relay at DAC Champs, check out that qualifying time and swim like participation at States was at stake!
Here’s the current state of our State Team:
|State Championship Qualifiers|
|· Cat Rogers|
· Alex Doonis
· Alex Sinner
· Claire Kenna
· Kimberly Rector
· Emily Heim
· Vincent “Catfish” Dunn
· Michael Hill
· Girls 200 Medley Relay
· Girls 200 Medley “B” Relay (M. Byers, E. Heim, L. Bennett, S. Zapiain)
· Girls 200 Free Relay
· Girls 400 Free Relay
· Boys 200 Medley Relay
· Boys 200 Free Relay
· Boys 400 Free Relay
I will do my first serious draft of the entries for States at the same time as I do our entries for DAC Champs – that way I will know who needs that last opportunity to get in. I think most of the entries are pretty well set now, but the boy’s relays are still in flux. To set those relays, I’ll look at every available combination and determine which line-ups have the potential score the most points for our team. If you are in the hunt for one of these slots, then control the things that you can control – swim a PR next weekend!
Just DAC Champs and States are left – let’s make the most of it – starting tomorrow morning.
See you at practice!