Last Saturday, Seton Swimming participated in two meets.  The first was our annual Junior Varsity Invitational, which once again, was an exciting way for our junior varsity swimmers to end their season, and the second was a meet with the Varsity and upperclassmen down with the good folks at Woodberry Forest.  One of the highlights of the whole weekend for me was listening to Rose Remington sing the National Anthem – man, that little girl can sing!

I was also particularly excited to see how our younger swimmers did against competition of similar age in the Junior Varsity Invitational – the future is bright.  We had 15 teams from as far away as Chesapeake and Virginia Beach so we really got see a lot of the best future swimmers in the state.  As you look at these results for the top 4 finishers, it’s worth noting that Flint Hill had some 16 and 17 years olds scoring many of their points:


Collegiate School                     369

Flint Hill                                  274

Seton                                        264

Norfolk Academy           145


Norfolk Academy           384

Seton                              218.5

Greenbrier Christian              177

St. Michael the Archangel      104

Then, later that night, I raced down to Woodberry Forest with Coach Lowell and Mr. Rogers to catch the last half of the Varsity meet. It’s always an honor to swim against a team as great as Woodberry’s.  They’ve won 7 Divison I state championships, and some of the fastest swimmers in the history of Virginia Independent Schools have worn their colors.  Which is why the first thing I looked for when I walked into their pool was to see if those four (4) pool records set by Seton swimmers were still on their record board, and I was excited to see “J. Hill – Seton” and “K. Koehr – Seton” were still holding down some of Woodberry’s all-time pool marks.

Here’s how the scores looked down at Woodberry:


Seton                              114               St. Gertrude                   43

Seton                              99                John Paul the Great      66


Woodberry Forest                   126              Seton                    44

Seton                              93                John Paul the Great      71

Seton                              123              Benedictine                    32

I must say that it is both exciting and a little unnerving to see so much improvement from John Paul the Great over the past few years.  Every time we swim against them, they seem to get a little closer.  I’m actually really pleased to see such good folks getting the benefit of their hard work, but it’s also a good reminder to us that we just need to keep working and improving ourselves.

Top Performers

There were so many great swims on Saturday, it’s going to be hard to mention them all, so I’ll start with some the top swims I saw:

  • At the Junior Varsity Invitational:
    • We had some championship relays!
      • Well we finally had our chance to swim a girls 200 Breaststroke Relay, and it turned out exactly as I expected: 1st Place! Emily Heim, Claire Kenna, Kimberly Rector, and Alex Sinner actually beat a Flint Hill relay with two 16 year olds and two 17 year olds!
      • How about that boy’s 200 Backstroke Relay! Tommy Flook, Paul Pechie, Cris Salas and Brian Koehr took 1st place overall!
      • And our Boys 200 Breaststroke Relay was just as good. Congratulations to JV Invitational Champions Jude Van de Voorde, Mark O’Donohue, Joseph Zapiain, and Tim Costello.  I was particularly excited to see these guys perform so well because of how much they have improved this season.
    • Our girls 200 Backstroke Relay took 2nd overall with Dani Flook, Jillian Ceol, Michaela Pennefather and Anna Kenna. All of their splits were excellent.
    • Freshman Alex Sinner was the star I expected to see shine, and she didn’t disappoint me. In the Girls 100 IM, she took 2nd place behind that prodigious freshman breaststroker from Collegiate that we saw at our Homecoming meet.  Alex also took 3rd place in 50 Fly with a .46 second PR and 4th place in 100 Free.  Two of the girls that beat her in the 100 Free were 16 and 17 years olds from Flint Hill, so I personally count that as another 2nd place finish.  I’m excited to see Alex get some experience against the big girls over the next 4 weeks.
    • Freshman Tommy Flook has had a tremendous first year swimming at Seton. He took a 6th place in 50 Fly with a 1.61 second PR.  He also had two 7th place finishes with a 1.31 second PR swim 100 Free and first time swim in 100 IM.  Tommy has swum so well, we’re going to get a chance to see him swim against that bigger boys in the post-season.
    • Claire Kenna was one of our top individual finishers yesterday with a 6th place in 50 Free and 9th place finishes in 100 IM and 100 Free. In the 50 Free, three of the girls who finished ahead of her were 16 and 17 year olds from Flint Hill, so in my mind, Claire really finished 3rd behind that same Collegiate girls Alex met.  In the 3 swims, Claire also had 2 PRs: a .12 second PR in 100 Free and a .61 second PR in 100 IM.
    • Kimberly Rector had some outstanding swims in her individual events, particularly 100 IM where she finished 6th place. She also took 10th in 50 Fly and 11th in 100 Free with a .26 second PR.
  • At the Woodberry Forest Meet, we had a number of top 3 finishers score big for us:
    • Senior Captain Cat Rogers dominated, as expected, in the 200 IM and the 100 Free with two 1st place finishes by wide margins
    • Kimberly Rector, after swimming at the WARF, was able to come down to Woodberry and also take 1st place twice. Not only did she win the 200 Free, she also won 100 Breaststroke with a .33 second PR.
    • Alex Sinner and Claire Kenna went back and forth in the 50 and 500 Free. Alex took 1st place in the 500 Free and 2nd in the 50, and Claire took 1st in the 50 and 2nd in the 500.  These girls were swimming so well that their only real competition came from each other!
    • Vincent “Catfish” Dunn got to see the tremendous talent at Woodberry and managed to take a 1st place in 100 Back and a 2nd place in 100 Fly. Catfish is going to get to see these two Woodberry swimmers again in the State finals, I’m sure.
    • Senior Captain Lucy Bennett swam really well last night! She took 2nd place in 100 Fly with a 1.61 second PR and a 3rd place in the 200 IM with 1.14 second PR.  Looks like Lucy is entering her final post-season very strong!
    • Finishing just behind Lucy in 100 Fly was junior Bernadette Wunderly who had a strong swim to take 3rd place
    • Emily Heim took 2nd place in 100 Breaststroke and 3rd place in the 500 Free. Even though she was tired after such stellar swimming in the JV Invitational, she swam the 500 63.71 seconds faster than she’d ever swum it before!  (It continues to amaze me that Coach Lowell can predict these PRs within just a few seconds)
    • Senior Captain Sarah Zapiain did very well in the final regular season meet of her career, taking a 3rd place overall in the 200 Free.
  • Another Member of the Varsity Squad
    • I simply must mention Theresa Verry, who had her best meet of the year. She had a 1.62 second PR in 100 Breaststroke and a 1.63 second PR in 100 Free.  That breaststroke swim was good enough to jump her up the Varsity team for the post season!  I look forward to seeing her work even harder in these last few weeks of practice so she can do even better at the Division II Invitational and the Conference Championships!

Personal Records

Once again, we had a large number of personal records – 58 at the JV Invitational and another 21 at the Woodberry Varsity meet.

I’m sure there would have been even more in the JV Invitational if I a time on everyone for comparison, but with the unusual events in the JV Invitational, there were many kids racing an event for Seton for the very first time:

  • Joseph Zapiain is starting to get focused, and the results showed with a 1.35 second PR in 100 Free. I’m looking forward to seeing Joe reach even more of his potential over the next four weeks
  • Vivian Zadnik lowered her 50 Breaststroke PR by .51 seconds capping a season of great improvement for her.
  • Elizabeth Zadnik cut another .08 seconds from her 50 Free PR. It will be great to have her back next season.
  • John Wunderly was awesome on Saturday! I could not believe how strong he looked in that 100 Free at the JV Invite, but the time confirmed it – a 4.42 second PR!
  • Meggie Vestermark also looked really strong at the JV Invite, especially in 50 Back where she had an unbelievable 5.83 second PR. It’s so much fun watching Meggie get a PR because she’s always so excited – I love it.
  • Jude Van de Voorde rocked with 3 PRs at the JV Invite: he cut 4.56 seconds from his 50 Fly PR, 1.86 seconds from his 50 Breast PR, and .88 seconds from his 50 Back PR leading off a medley relay.
  • Cris Salas is going to be a good one in the future. After this week’s .10 second PR in 50 Free, he finishes the year with a 29.54 in the event – a pretty good time for an 8th
  • Rose Remington didn’t just PR in the National Anthem, she also cut 3.18 seconds from her 50 Back PR.
  • Andrew Quinan made Coach Irving proud with his .31 second PR in 50 Free.
  • Michaela Pennefather once again showed me how much potential she has for the future. Not only did she cut 1.81 seconds in 50 Fly, she cut 1.45 seconds in 100 Free.
  • Patrick Pennefather, a freshman in only his first season, has really improved this year. At the JV Invite, he cut .26 seconds from his 50 Fly PR.
  • Paul Pechie once again showed his versatility with a 2.79 second PR in the 100 IM. He’s only a freshman so I know he’ll be a big contributor for us in the future.
  • Cat Pechie, a 7th grader, had a great first season at Seton. She ended the year with a .68 second PR in 50 Back and a .67 PR in 100 Free.
  • It sure is great to have the O’Donohue family back at Seton. Mark O’Donohue had a great season of improvement this year, including Saturday’s .29 second PR in 50 Free.
  • And John O’Donohue was simply awesome Saturday! He cut 2.78 seconds in 100 Free – what a great way to end the season for John!
  • Geni Lucas’ work ethic in practice continues to pay off. She had two PRs including a .22 second PR in 100 Free and a .11 second PR in 100 IM.
  • Michael Kenneally finished his first season very strong with a 2.10 second PR in 50 Free. Michael’s father Kent was a great example of how much a new swim family can help make our program better – we really appreciated his help as a stroke & turn judge.
  • Thomas Irving was great in that 50 Fly, swimming it 4.82 seconds faster than he ever has before
  • Emily Heim was also great in the 50 Fly, swimming it 5.19 seconds faster than her previous best
  • Therese Gonzalez was just super on Saturday with 3 Personal Records. He cut 5.75 seconds from her 100 Free PR, 3.06 seconds from her 50 Back PR, and 1.25 seconds from her 50 Free PR.
  • Allison Given always makes me smile. Even though she’s new to swimming, she’s always the first one to raise her hand when I ask for a volunteer at practice.  At that spirit has resulted in some tremendous improvement this season.  And to wrap up her season, she had a 3.90 second PR in 50 Free and a 2.04 second PR in the 100 Free.  I know Coach Irving, who was handling the Varsity squad for me, would have been grinning ear-to-ear had he been able to see it in person.
  • Cecilia Garvey got a special shout-out from the announcer (me) during her 50 backstroke, where she swam a 2.50 second PR. Her start and finish were excellent – and they were the difference in the race between her and an older swimmer from Flint Hill who swam right next to her.  Cecilia also had a .11 second PR in 50 Free.
  • Dani Flook, a 7th grader, is going to be a good one for Seton in the future. I was very excited to her swim a 3.66 second PR in 100 Free for her final meet of the year.
  • Bryanna Farmer had a great meet, swimming 3 PRs! She cut 2.36 seconds from her 50 Back PR, 1.55 seconds from her 50 Fly PR, and .32 seconds from her 50 Free PR.  And thank you Mrs. Farmer for stepping up at the last moment to fill in for the runner position.
  • Patrick Dealey wrapped up his season with a .04 second PR in 50 Free.
  • Tim Costello’s breaststroke never looked so good! Not only did his relay take 1st place (see above), when he swam it individually, he cut 1.27 seconds from his personal record!
  • Jillian Ceol was awesome in the 100 IM, cutting 6.18 seconds from her personal record.
  • Mary Camarca really impressed me last week when I was coaching her practice lane for a short time –she was really working the sets like you’re supposed to. That’s why I was so happy to see her cut .58 seconds from her 50 Free PR.
  • Stephen Britten lowered his 50 Back PR by .01 seconds leading off a medley relay.
  • Sarah Brien made the most of her first season on the team, and on Saturday, she lowered her 50 Fly PR by 1.48 seconds.
  • Teresa Bliss got me excited with her huge PR in 50 Back – by 3.86 seconds! She also did very well in backstroke leading off a medley relay.
  • William Arnold had a tremendous 3 PR day. He cut 7.19 seconds in 50 Fly (he really learned the stroke this year!), 1.19 seconds in 50 Back, and 1.01 seconds in 50 Free.

After all of the excitement of the JV Invitational, I really enjoyed being on deck at Woodberry and watching these PRs also:

  • Mikey Wittlinger swam well in 100 Back, cutting .01 seconds from her PR
  • Stephen Shaw was very excited after his 200 IM, and he definitely deserved to be. A 2.07 second PR is something to get excited about!
  • Peter Quinan has been very focused on improvement all year long. He asked me if he could lead off the 400 Free relay because he thought he could improve his 100 Free PR – and he was right!  He cut 1.18 seconds!
  • Paul Pechie, after a strong performance at the JV Invite, came down to Woodberry and added another PR to his list – a 1.42 second drop in 100 Back.
  • James Mosimann has the potential to be really good for us as he goes into his senior season next year. His 100 Fly at Woodberry was great – he lowered his PR by 3.46 seconds to a time that will definitely score in next year’s meets.
  • Sally Marrazzo was all smiles down at Woodberry. When I walked into the pool area, she had just cut 2.09 seconds from her 100 Free PR – no wonder she was so happy!
  • And older brother Luke Marrazzo also had plenty of reason to be happy. He broke 26.00 in 50 Free for the first time with a .76 second PR.  Awesome!
  • David Lambrecht continued to prove the old adage effort = success. At Woodberry, he cut another .80 seconds from his 500 Free PR.  I’m very proud of the way David has performed this year.
  • Joe Kosten just rocked in the 100 Free! How about a :57.15, 1.09 seconds faster than ever before!
  • Julia Irving asked me if I would let her swim the 500, and she repaid the favor with an 8.65 second PR. She also cut .20 seconds from her 50 Back PR leading off a medley relay.
  • Judith Cummings looked like she was having fun, and part of the fun was her 1.28 second PR in 50 back leading off a medley relay.
  • Jillian Ceol came down from the JV Invite and still was able to PR in 100 Breaststroke, by .14 seconds.
  • Hugh Brien really had a nice swim in the 200 Free, lowering his PR by 3.41 seconds. He also cut another .46 seconds from his 100 Fly PR.  Not a bad days work for Hugh.
  • Sarah Blanchard come through again with another PR in 100 Free – this time, she cut 1.12 seconds.

Some Other Noteworthy Swims and Swimmers

  • This was Hayden Catalano’s first year on the team, and she really did well. I’m glad she’s only a freshman, because, with her great attitude, she is going to be a major contributor to our team in the future.
  • It’s been great having another Kleb on the team. 7th grader John Paul Kleb has shown a lot of improvement this season working with Coach Irving.  I look forward to 5 more years with him on the team.
  • Jessica Krynitsky had a great year in her first experience swimming at the high school level.
  • And so did Caitlyn Lightner, who swam well in the 50 Free and better than ever in the 50 Breaststroke
  • Emily Lowell wasn’t feeling well, but that didn’t stop her for giving 100%. I very pleased that she has two more years on the team – who better to demonstrate stroke drills in practice than Emily?  Ans: No one!
  • I think Tommy Moore had a great season. With the continued improvement that he showed this year, I’m excited to get him back for his freshman year next season.
  • Meridyth Rosato had some very nice swims at the JV Invitational. I hope she enjoyed her 7th grade year on the team, because I’m really anxious to get her back next season.
  • It’s not often that a senior comes out for the team for the first time, but that’s what Pierce Baker did this year. He was a great example to all of us.  He decided that he wasn’t as comfortable in the water as he wanted to be, so the way he decided to fix the problem was to get in the water with a bunch of competitive swimmers – and now he’s a competitive swimmer!  How many of us are that willing to take ourselves outside of our comfort zone to get better?
  • Another senior who came out for the team for the first time was Catie Zadnik who learned an awful lot about swimming this year. Catie is a very talented girl, and as a result of her time on our team, I think she’s added another talent to her repertoire.
  • I was so excited on the first day of practice to see Carly Byers back in the water for her senior year after several years off. It was a real joy having her back on the team.
  • Michael Collins has had a great swimming career at Seton, and he concluded his senior season with some good swimming down at Woodberry. Michael really came a long way during his time on our team, and I’m sure his experience on our team will serve him well as he goes off the college.

Post-Season Championship Qualifiers

On Friday after school, we’ll be heading up to Villanova University in Philadelphia for the National Catholic High School Championships.  I have so many fond memories of this meet, especially the multiple National Catholic HS championships won by three of our past Seton male swimmers.  It would be really neat to add a fourth swimmer to that list this year.

The entries I submitted are posted under Meet & Team Information.  When you see this kids in school, please wish them all the best of luck:

National Catholics
·       Cat Rogers

·       Alex Doonis

·       Alex Sinner

·       Claire Kenna

·       Kimberly Rector

·       Jillian Ceol

·       Emily Heim

·       Vincent “Catfish” Dunn

·       Girls 200 Medley Relay (Doonis, Rogers, Sinner and Kenna)

·       Girls 200 Free Relay (Doonis, Kenna, Sinner, and Rogers)

·       Girls 400 Free Relay (Sinner, Ceol, Rector, and Kenna)

I do my first serious draft of the entries for States after the Division II Invitational.  I think most of the entries are pretty well set, 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.


We’re in the final push into the championship season now – 4 weeks of hard practice left for our Varsity swimmers.  Let’s make the most of it – starting tomorrow morning.

See you at practice!

Coach Koehr

Seton Swimming’s G.E.M.S.

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“Who has it better than us? Nobody!”



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