Last Saturday, January 16th, Seton Swimming hosted another big meet.  This week, we had 278 Swimmers from 11 teams converge on the Freedom Center.  With every team scoring against every other team, this amounted to 55 separate dual meets for both the boys and the girls, or 110 total dual meets!  Competing against 10 other teams, Seton went 19-1 in our 20 dual meets, with our only loss coming in the boys meet against the large Division I diocesan Catholic school, Paul VI, where we only lost by 8 points!  The girls beat the much larger Paul VI handily and both the boys and girls beat Division I Trinity Episcopal handily.

During the meet, our referee, Mr. Charles Seltman, who was one of the founding fathers of Seton Swimming, he told me that, when he and Bill Shaw ran the program in the mid-1990s, they talked about the day when little Seton could compete with teams like Paul VI and Bishop Ireton.  It appears that the day has arrived.  With only 105 boys and 133 girls in our high school, we are now competing successfully with schools that are many times larger.  Definitely, pretty cool.

The final scores for this week turned out like this:


Seton         186             Paul VI                                   122

Seton         200            Trinity Episcopal                96

Seton           233              Fredericksburg Christian        69

Seton           227               John Paul the Great                 67

Seton           239              Notre Dame Academy             52

Seton           238.5          Wakefield                                 42.5

Seton           234              Bishop Ireton (partial team)  31

Seton           243              St. Michael                      30

Seton           236              Wakefield Country Day           25

Seton           245              Richmond Christian                18


Paul VI     160             Seton                                       152

Seton         206            Trinity Episcopal                77

Seton           237              Wakefield                                 33

Seton           231               Fredericksburg Christian        51

Seton           236              Notre Dame Academy             44

Seton           222              Bishop Ireton (partial team)  39

Seton           238              Richmond Christian                34

Seton           240              St. Michael                      32

Seton           240              Wakefield Country Day           14

Seton           240              John Paul the Great                 9

New Team Record

Congratulations to Jameson Hill who broke his own team record in 100 Fly on Saturday, swimming a personal best :51.76.  After cruising to 4 second victory in the 200 Free, Jameson had a tremendous race against Bishop Ireton’s All-America butterflier and came within .04 seconds of an All-America consideration time.  Last season, Jamo was an All-America in the 100, 200 and 500 Free and got All-American consideration honors in 100 Back.  Now he’s very close to a fifth All-America time standard – I don’t know how many swimmers across the nation have shown that kind of versatility, but it can’t be many.

Breakout Performances

  • 8th Grader Jamie Smith had a tremendous swim in the 500 Free, taking 3rd overall after dropping almost 30 seconds from his previous best time. Jamie’s swim came at a crucial time in the meet when we our boys were losing to PVI by 15 points.  Jamie also came within 5.16 seconds of qualifying for States in the 500 Free.  I plan to give Jamie at least one more chance to get on the State team – we’d sure love to have you Jamie!
  • Vincent “Catfish” Dunn has cemented his position as one of Seton’s most talented and versatile swimmers. He cut 7.31 seconds from his 200 IM to go 2:09.37, a National Catholic Championship meet qualifying time and good for 2nd  He also cut another .61 seconds in 100 Back to go 58.03 and win the event outright.  Only a sophomore, Catfish looks like he’s going follow in his sisters footsteps as a Seton Swimming superstar.
  • Junior Captain Bridget Wunderly rocked in her first attempt at the 500 Free this season. Bridget cut 5.56 seconds to take first place overall and qualify in for National Catholics in the event.  Bridget also took first place overall in the 200 IM with a 6.38 second PR.  Those two swims alone were worth 16 points against Paul VI, and helped explain why our margin of victory was so large.
  • Luke Marrazzo missed time trials, so I was a little slow realizing his full potential, but watching him in practice, I had an inkling that this freshman could become a scorer for us in 200 and 500 Free – and I was definitely right! Luke’s first ever 200 Free was pretty good, but what really impressed me was that 500.  He swam it in6:48.33, a time that would have placed 6th  And judging by his 37.26 split on the last 50, I’d say he could actually pace himself much faster.  Luke currently has the 10th fastest 500 Free time on the team, so depending on how we line-up the 9 swimmers faster, it is possible that Luke could be Varsity for the post-season – in his first year on the team!

Personal Records

Saturday was also a great day for Personal Records with 52 swimmers setting 74 new PRs:

  • I hope you all enjoy watching David Basinger swim as much as I do. By now, I shouldn’t have been amazed when I watched him get off the blocks so fast on that 50 Free and 100 Free, but I continue to be.  Maybe it is because I remember him as a middle schooler.  David dropped another .34 seconds in 100 Free to go :51.95 and he dropped another .12 seconds in 50 Free to go :23.56.   These are very fast times for a kid who primarily practices with his high school.  And those times were good enough for 1st and 2nd
  • Lucy Bennett continues to improve with another 2 PRs this week. Lucy cut 2.51 seconds in the 500 Free and another 2.05 seconds in 100 Fly.  Her 100 Fly time of 1:14.67 is starting to get pretty competitive in high school swimming.
  • Kevin Bliss dropped another .76 seconds in 50 Free and .57 seconds in 100 Free. Only a sophomore, Kevin is one of the swimmers we are looking to in the future.
  • Monica Byers showed her versatility with a great swim in the 200 IM, dropping 4.00 seconds from her previous best
  • Senior captain Carolyn Claybrooks won the 200 Free with a .38 second PR time of 2:08.71. She also took 3rd overall in 100 Fly with a .37 second PR.  I’m looking forward to watching Carolyn in the post season
  • Michael Collins has shown a lot of improvement this season, so I thought I’d give him another shot at the difficult 200 IM. He did a really nice job with it, cutting his time by 16.61 seconds.  He also had a 2.67 second PR in 100 Free.
  • Keeley Cook is having a good year. On Saturday, she had another PR, this time in 100 Back, by 2.15 seconds.
  • Jack Corkery is also having a really good year. He had 2 PRs, including a 14.50 second PR in 100 Breast and a 7.09 second PR in 100 Free.  Those are big drops!
  • Judith Cummings took on the 500 Free and beat it with a 12.78 second PR
  • 8th grader Kenneth Cuomo was just a beginner at the start of the season, but he has made amazing progress with Coach Smith. He cut 13.19 seconds in 100 Free.  I suspect we’re going to see Kenneth scoring points with the Varsity before too many more years.
  • Alex Doonis, usually one of our sprinters or backstrokers, did a nice job with 100 Fly, cutting her PR by 2.66 seconds and giving her the 2nd fast 100 Fly time on the team.
  • Sophia Fusco’s natural competitiveness was on display Saturday as show lowered her 50 Free PR by 4.18 seconds.
  • Freshman Jack Geiran lowered his 100 Breaststroke PR by 4.10 seconds and his 50 Free PR by .24 seconds. This is Jack’s first year swimming, and he’s really showing great improvement.
  • Junior Patrick Hall decided to try swimming for the first time this year. I glad I listened to him when he asked to swim breaststroke because he cut 13.82 seconds from his PR in the event.
  • Sarah Heim lowered her 50 Free PR by .45 seconds. She also had a nice hard swim in 100 Breaststroke where I expect she’ll be scoring points for us next season.
  • Beginning swimmer Patrick Hilleary lowered his 100 Free PR by another 4.62 seconds to break 2:00 for the first time. Nice work Patrick!
  • Michael Hill has been working on his freestyle with Coach Lowell, and the work paid off. Michael cut .53 seconds from his 50 Free PR leading off a relay.
  • I think that 7th grader Joe Irving is going to be a good one for us in the future. He lowered his 100 Free PR by 8.72 seconds to 1:11.98, a very fast time for a 7th  He also did a nice job swimming the 200 IM for the first time.
  • 8th grader Julia Irving is also going to be a good one for Seton. Julia dropped 5.12 seconds from her 200 IM PR, .03 seconds from her 50 Free PR leading off a relay, and .50 seconds from her 100 Back PR.
  • Eagle Scout Jonathan Jacobeen was back in the pool. He made the most of it with a 1.96 second PR in 50 Free, breaking :30 seconds for the first time.
  • Joseph Kenna, another 8th grader, showed that he can do more than sprint. Joseph cut 9.81 seconds from his best 200 Free time to go 2:15.26, an excellent time for a high school swimmer his age.  To put Joe’s improvement this season in perspective, he started the season with a 100 Free PR of almost 1:01.  In the 200 on Saturday, his 100 split was 1:03!  Joe is really starting to take advantage of that long body.  I can only imagine what he’s capable of in the 50 and 100 Free when he finishes growing.
  • Patrick Kenna rocked in the 50 Free leading off our 200 Free relay when he cut .21 seconds to go 25.15. Patrick also cut his 50 Back PR by .62 seconds leading off a medley relay.  His backstroke is definitely looking better this season, and with Connor Cook graduating, we’re likely to need it.
  • Shannon Kerns lowered her 50 Back PR by 2.28 seconds leading off a medley relay.
  • Senior Captain Daniel Koehr made 100 Fly look easy after he cut 16.55 seconds from his previous best time in an event that he doesn’t often get to swim. Daniel is one of those special swimmers on our team who can swim all four strokes well.
  • Patrick Koehr, another 8th grader with great promise, cut another .12 seconds from his 50 Free PR.
  • Yet another 8th grader, Joseph Kosten, had another really big PR in 100 Breast, cutting 10.33 seconds from his previous best.
  • Rachel Lambrecht lowered her 50 Free PR twice, the largest drop being when she led off the 200 Free relay. She cut a total of .63 seconds and broke :30 for the first time ever.
  • Emily Lowell is part of that strong group of middle school swimmers we have at Seton. She continues to improve in the distance events, this time dropping 10.44 seconds from her 500 Free.  She also cut her 50 Free time twice, with the largest drop being 1.82 seconds.
  • Hannah Lowell also had a great swim in the 500 Free, lowering her PR by 7.63 seconds. Hannah is senior, and she really seems to be enjoying her final season.
  • Michael Manley cut another 1.00 seconds from his 50 Free PR. Michael also took 5th overall in diving, and 4th against PVI.  That means that Michael scored 4 points towards our meet with them, helping to make it as close as it was.
  • Sally Marrazzo lowered her 50 Free PR by 3.53 seconds leading off a relay. Sally has really showed a lot of improvement this year.
  • Sarah McGurk is approaching that :30 second barrier in 50 Free. On Saturday, she lowered her PR by another .02 seconds.
  • Andrew Minarik, a senior, did a great job in 100 Fly, lowering his PR by almost 3 seconds to score a point for Seton against PVI. In an 8 point meet, every point counts!
  • James Mosimann lowered his 100 Free PR by 1.93 seconds, another big drop for him.
  • Paul Mosimann also had PR. Paul’s was in 100 Breaststroke where he dropped 4.75 seconds.
  • Cat Rogers took first overall in 100 Breaststroke, using her powerful pull-down to lower her PR by another .39 seconds. She also cut 1.34 seconds in 100 Free to go 58.22 and take 2nd place overall.  Cat now has the 3rd fastest 100 Free time on the team.
  • Jonathan Rosato was simply awesome in 100 Breaststroke when he cut .82 seconds at a crucial time in our meet with PVI. It’s hard to cut that much time in your best event because you swim it so often, but Jonathan did.  I think a lot of the credit goes to his work on his pull-down.  He also cut another .09 seconds from his 100 Fly PR.
  • Joseph Scheetz was getting Coach Smith excited when he cut 1.58 seconds in 50 Free leading off a relay. Joe also cut .67 seconds in 100 Back.
  • Steven Shaw showed his versatility when he lowered his 50 Free PR by .51 seconds leading off a relay and his 200 Free PR by .65 seconds. Steven is only a freshman – it is going to be fun watching him develop as a swimmer.
  • 7th grader Tommy Shaw lowered his 50 Free PR by 1.22 seconds and his 100 Free PR by .97 seconds. Tommy’s times are very good for a 7th grader, and with his work ethic, I can see they are going to get much better.
  • Jude Vander Voorde dropped 1.82 seconds from his 100 Free PR. This is Jude 1st year with us, and he has shown tremendous improvement.
  • Matthew Verry, where did that 100 Free come from? You dropped 12.62 seconds from your PR!  Sometimes swimming an event that you don’t swim that often is the best way to see how much you’ve really improved over time.
  • Freshman Mikey Wittlinger is going to be a good swimmer for Seton in the future. She lowered her 100 Back PR by 2.55 seconds and swam very competitively on Saturday.
  • Coach Lowell was very pleased with Bernadette Wunderly’s 200 and 500 Free where she cut 6.56 and 9.17 seconds, respectively.
  • Coach Lowell also had reason to be pleased with Leslie Zapiain’s performance in the 200 and 500 Free. Leslie dropped 5.38 seconds in the 500 and 1.31 seconds in the 200 to take 4th and 5th against PVI.  That’s 8 points!  It is great to know that I can go to Leslie for any event in which I need a swimmer with heart.

Other Great Performances

  • Lauren “the Machine” Donohoe had 4 first place finishes on Saturday, including wins in the 50 and 100 Free. She also anchored the first place 200 and 400 Free relays.  I seldom worry when the relay is close and I know the Machine has the anchor.
  • Alex Doonis also scored very well with 3 firsts and a second. Her 2nd place finish was in 100 Fly, an event that she doesn’t normally swim.   She showed me enough in that event, that I think her performance may give me future flexibility to use Bridget Wunderly in events like the 200 IM and the 500 Free, where she good first both times.  Bridget is really proving her versatility this season.
  • Senior Captain Connor Cook took 2nd overall in the 500 Free and 3rd overall in the 200 IM. I think I could put Connor in any event and expect him to score big points for us.
  • Senior Captain Daniel Koehr was awesome in 100 Breaststroke, taking first place overall. He also got us a pretty good lead in the 200 Medley over both PVI and Trinity Episcopal.  He might be the only one on the team to do a pull-down better than Cat Rogers – and he’s a senior boy.
  • Senior Captain Laura Talbott had two 2nd place finishes in 100 Back and 50 Free. She also got our girls 200 Medley Relay a big lead
  • Our boys may have lost to PVI by 8 points, but we won all three relays! Connor Cook, Daniel Koehr, David Basinger, Jameson Hill, Catfish Dunn, Patrick Kenna, and Joseph Kenna (8th grade!) combined to get the job done.  There’s a lot of reason to be excited about our relays, but I’m particularly excited about our boys 400 Free relay of Jamo, Connor, Catfish and David who have a chance to average under :50 seconds for the 4 legs and break 3:20.00.  That would be very fast!
  • To give you an idea of our depth, our Boys “B” 200 Medley Relay of Patrick Kenna, Michael Hill, Jamie Smith and Joseph Kenna swam faster than the State qualifying time! Unfortunately, “B” relays at States can only be made up of swimmers who have qualified individually.  This doesn’t mean they are out of the meet though – depending on where I use Jamo, David, Connor, Catfish and David, at least some of these swimmers will almost certainly be swimming in a relay at the State Championships.
  • Our girls also won all three relays outright. Lauren Donohoe, Alex Doonis, Cat Rogers, Carolyn Claybrooks, Laura Talbott, Bridget Wunderly and Sarah Zapiain were the swimmers who accomplished this feat on the girl’s side.  The relay to watch for the girls is our 200 Free Relay that placed 3rd overall at States last year!
  • We had a number of swimmers attempt the 200 Free for the first time including Fiona Geiran, Ann Pennefather, Emilia Fusco, Sally Marrazzo and Mikey Wittlinger. Sally Marrazzo and Ann Pennefather also did very well swimming the 500 for the first time.
  • I really enjoyed watching Hannah Lowell swim so strong in the 200 Free. I remember when she was just a beginner on the team, trying to learn how to do the strokes better.  Well now there is no doubt that Hannah can do Freestyle properly!  I know Hannah enjoys doing Triathlons with her old man – I just hope he can keep up with her on the swim.
  • Theresa Verry had one tough turn that got her DQ’d, and that cost her a 43 second PR in the 500 Free. Don’t worry Theresa, you’ll get another chance!
  • All of you new swimmers should watch Carolyn Claybrooks as she swims freestyle. Only Jameson Hill pulls all the way through each stroke better than Carolyn.  Carolyn not only pulls all the way through on each stroke, she flips her wrist at the end to get every bit of power out of each pull.  It’s the way it should be done.  Fortunately, Carolyn also pulls all the way through in butterfly because it allowed her to pass one of PVI’s top swimmers in the last 3 yards!
  • Catfish Dunn had quite a breaststroke in that 200 IM. I didn’t even know he could swim breaststroke!  And his leg of the 200 Free relay was awesome – he split :23.61!  In that same relay Daniel Koehr split :23.38!
  • Watch out for Joe Irving, Joe Kosten and Peter Quinan who challenged the 200 IM for the first time and conquered it!
  • All of the coaches really enjoyed watching Joe Scheetz go half the length of the pool on his backstroke start. Then, once he surfaced, he was rolling his shoulders nicely and swimming quite well.  I think Joe has also enjoyed his senior season.
  • Julia Irving’s backstroke has improved greatly this season. She was particularly good underwater off the start and the first turn.


  • Diving has added a new element to our meets this season, including some pre-meet excitement. Shannon Bartnick hit the board during warm-up and earned a trip to the emergency room as a result.  Her Dad was probably thinking she should have stuck with the play, but I personally am glad to see her out there mixing it up.
  • Joe Duran has the look of a diver that can score at States. He took 2nd overall and 1st against Paul VI with a score of 144.5.  That score would have been good for 17th at States last year, and we score 16 places.  Because Joe is still young, I think we can count on some points at States over the next few years
  • 8th grader Michael Manley got 5th overall and 4th against PVI to score 4 points for Seton!
  • Ann Duran got 3rd overall with a score of 129.75. Last year at States, Ann scored 204.75 points and took 8th place, scoring 11 points for us.  I’m sure Ann will be helping us win the State Championship again this year.
  • And it looks like Sarah Zapiain might be joining Ann as a scorer at States. Sarah’s 120.40 would have been good for 14th last year.  Sarah is also an excellent swimmer, so there may be a time in the future where she can both swim and dive at States
  • Former swimmer Keziah Higginbottom has now transitioned to diving full-time. She placed 5th overall on Saturday, followed very closely by Mary Duran, who placed 6th  Both of these girls scored for Seton.
  • Two new divers, Carolyn Holmes and Kristie Ostrich, are starting to show potential also. It looks like Coach Duran’s diving team, still a new sport at Seton, is really starting to take shape.

Current Members of the Post Season Championship Teams

In anticipation of the championship season, we’re already starting to see who is going to be on our State and National Catholic Teams.  Both of these meet required participants to meet a specific qualified times, and there is still plenty of time for our swimmers to reach those times.   I’m trying to keep track of who is close to a qualifying time so that I can make sure they get to swim in that event again, but you are welcome to help me by sending me an e-mail to remind me that you are close to a cut.

Here are the championship teams as they stand right now:

National Catholic Team State Team
·        Jameson Hill

·        Connor Cook

·        Catfish Dunn

·        David Basinger

·        Daniel Koehr

·        Carolyn Claybrooks

·        Lauren Donohoe

·        Alex Doonis

·        Rachel Lambrecht

·        Cat Rogers

·        Laura Talbott

·        Bridget Wunderly

·        Jameson Hill

·        Connor Cook

·        Catfish Dunn

·        David Basinger

·        Daniel Koehr

·        Michael Hill

·        Carolyn Claybrooks

·        Lauren Donohoe

·        Alex Doonis

·        Rachel Lambrecht

·        Cat Rogers

·        Laura Talbott

·        Bridget Wunderly

·        Patrick Kenna (Diving – so far!)

·        Ann Duran – Diving

·        Sarah Zapiain – Diving

Congratulations to these 16 swimmers and divers!  A detailed report detailing the events in which everyone qualified is under Meet & Team Information.

Notes on our Volunteers

Our volunteers continue to shine, generating numerous compliments from the other teams.  We have so many great volunteers, but this week, I’d like to highlight:

  • Our team Managers, Grace Vander Voorde and Diana Pechie have done a tremendous job all season. I was standing next to another coach when grace told me that one of our swimmers was a no show.  After giving her very limited instructions, she was off to adjust some of the exhibition relays, tell the swimmers involved and make sure that the scorers adjusted the entries.  The other coach just looked at me – all I could say was, “she’s good”.  And Diana just joined us this season as Grace’s assistant.  Diana has proven that she’ll do whatever is required.  This week, she took on the challenging job of running for our meet referee Mr. Seltman, where she had to make sure that each coach scattered around the deck knew about every DQ.  Great job Diana.
  • Tom Minarik is graduating from Seton Swimming with his son Andrew. We all know Tom as the creator of the “Head Timer Recruiter” volunteer position on our team, but he really shines as the announcer.  I received numerous compliments on his work this weekend from the other coaches.  And not that this is difficult, but he really seems to have a talent for spinning up Mrs. Zapiain 😉

Planning for the Rest of the Year

This is the last week for probably half of our team.  To figure out exactly which half, I need to do the individual entries for 3 different meets.  I’m working on it as diligently as I can, but I have a make or break week with one of my businesses so please be patient.  I know that you all need to know.

See you all at practice tomorrow!

Coach Koehr

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