On Saturday afternoon (and evening!), we took the bus down to our first ever Junior Varsity Swimming meet versus the Norfolk Academy JV and the Greenbrier Christian Varsity at Norfolk Academy. We had many great swims resulting in victory for both the boys and girls over the Greenbrier Christian Varsity and a win for the girls over Norfolk Academy’s JV team. It was a really fun way to end the JV season.
The scores looked like this:
Norfolk Academy – JV 151
Norfolk Academy – JV 188
Not only was the meet a lot of fun, it was a real learning experience. For instance, we learned that:
– the radio on the bus is no match for Betsy Mooney
– it takes nearly 2 hours for 16 divers to each complete 6 dives
– everyone on the team who has tried, can finish the 500 Free
– you cannot make it thru the Hampton Roads tunnel without taking a breath, but Hannah Lowell proved it can be done with one breath
– you should never park a clean white truck under the tree behind Corpus Christi, even in the wintertime
– it is possible to drive 60 miles per hour on Route 95 and live
– you should not eat cake that has been left on your kitchen counter for a week, even if it still looks good. The exponential growth model y=ae^(bt) applies to bacteria on frosting too.
– there are high school facilities nicer than Woodberry Forest
Of course, we also learned that we have some great kids with a lot of heart on our JV squad.
One thing we did differently for this meet was appoint separate captains. Amanda Byers one of the captains I appointed, and she did a truly fine job leading the team. It took a bit longer than I expected to get down to Norfolk at 58 miles per hour so Amanda led stretching while we were still on the bus. Somehow she managed to make it all work. Then she did a great job of helping me get everyone going for warm-up and in uniform back in the team area afterwards. Watching her swim was a bit of an emotional experience for me (and for her I think) because we both knew that this was the last meet of her long Seton swimming career. I have times for her back to her freshman year. She led off our “A” medley relay with a good backstroke leg, and then she swam the 50 Free. Amanda doesn’t always get to swim the 50 Free. She is one of those swimmers who works hard at practice, never complains about where you put her, and always does her best. You should have seen her anchor our “A” 200 Free relay. She was in a very close race with a swimmer from Norfolk Academy, and somehow, I just knew she’d win. She did. Before her final race, the 100 Backstroke, I met her behind the blocks and told her to have some fun. I think she did – she even scored 5 points for our team in the process. I’m so glad that Amanda was able to swim during her years at Seton. I will miss her.
Joe Ross was one of the selections, but unfortunately, he was out with walking pneumonia. I know he would have done a great job also. He should be good-to-go for this weekend again.
Some of the swimmers who had PRs for their final meet of the season were:
– Andrew Minarik has improved quite a bit this season. This time he cut almost a second off of his 50 Free. He also completed the 500 Free for the first time. He showed that “slow and steady wins the race”. You could tell that he was really concentrating on getting long as he swam. I even overheard Mr. Hoffer say that he had a “nice, smooth rhythm”. He finished the 500 with flurry of hard kicking to complete a great swim. Right after he was done with the 500, he jumped in with a 200 Free relay and swam again. Great job Andrew.
– Maggie Murphy smiled her way through 100 Free .23 seconds faster than ever before. That was good enough to get her 3rd place in her heat.
– Michael O’Donohue had a great meet with 2 big PRs. He cut nearly 3 seconds from his 100 Breaststroke and 2.62 seconds from his 200 Free.
– Liz Rogers dropped a whole second from her 50 Free. Her stroke looked as strong as I’ve seen it all year. She used that stroke to have a great swim in the 500 Free, finishing it for the first time ever. Liz also used our new relay start in the 200 Free relay.
– I handed John Ross my cell phone after his swim in 100 Breast. I just knew that his mother would want to hear about a 31.63 second improvement! He also swam the entire first 50 of 100 Free without doing a single scissors kick.
– Krista Shaw tackled the two most difficult events in the meet, the 200 IM and the 500 Free. Her 500 was particularly good – she improved by almost 6 seconds. During that race, she just seemed to get stronger. A look at her splits showed that she maintained a very even pace in the middle of the race with the splits on her last 150 even faster! After the race, she ran up to me and said, “That was fun! I want to do that again!” For the 200 IM, she ended up in the fast heat (Norfolk Academy and Collegiate had their varsity teams there and the heats were seeded by time). She did very well, particularly on the backstroke leg. Her kick on the freestyle leg was also excellent.
– Daniella Sinner (her parents were smart enough to spend the night down there!) had two excellent swims including a 2.02 second PR in 100 Free and a .56 second PR in the 50 Free while leading off a relay. At the end of her 100 Free, she pulled up on four other swimmers to take third in her heat. It was a great swim.
– Nicki Smith was tremendous in the 200 Free. She cut nearly 20 seconds from her previous PR. She has really been listening well in practice. After her race, it was so much fun for me to see the look on her face. Excellence can be a lot of fun. She seemed to have even more fun in the 500. After the race, she had a big grin on her face, and told me “I like that!”
– It was great to see Matthew Verry do so well. He dropped his 100 Free time bv over 2.5 seconds and his 100 Breaststroke time by over 3.54 seconds
– Leslie Zapiain did a nice job in cutting .23 seconds from her 50 Free and almost 2 seconds from her 100 Fly. You can already see that she will be a future leader of this team. Not only was she very helpful on the bus, I really appreciated the fact that she was one of swimmers who was bold enough to try that new relay start we learned last week.
– Sarah Zapiain also did very well. She cut 2.07 from her 100 Free. Sarah has some of the best turns on the team – already. Watching her swim 100 Free, I remember thinking “this little girl is going to be good!”
– Lucy Bennett is starting to get the hang of butterfly. She cut 3.61 seconds from her 100 Fly. What a great way to end the season! She also took a crack at 100 Breaststroke for the first time and did a nice job.
– Carly Byers somehow managed to lower her 100 Breaststroke time by 12.53 seconds. That swim was good enough for her to win her heat! Great job! Here butterfly in the medley relay is starting to look pretty good also.
– Catfish Dunn was living up to his nickname when he swam two PRs. He cut nearly 1 second from his 50 Back lead-off leg and he cut a quarter second from his 50 Free. He had a really nice finish to his backstroke in the relay. Watching his freestyle start reminds me of his sister when she was his age – they are definitely related.
– Megan Hoffer finished the season in style with a 4.05 second PR in 100 Free and a half second PR in 100 Back. In the 100 Free, she blew away her heat. It looked like a lot of fun.
– Jonathan Jacobeen recovered nicely from a pectoral muscle strain and pulled (pun intended) a .68 second PR in 100 Free.
– Brendan Koehr had a 2 PR meet. He cut 2 seconds from his 50 Free and 7.19 seconds from his 100 Back! He smiled all the way.
– Rachel Lambrecht proved that she can become a butterflier for us next season. She cut 8.92 seconds from her previous best and swam an excellent time.
Other Good Swims
– Hannah Lowell has made a lot of improvement in her strokes this season. She now has a very nice roll in her freestyle and backstroke. That freestyle will come in handy the next time she does an open water triathlon with her old man. Beat him Hannah!
– Paul Laudiero had a really strong anchor leg on our medley relay. He also showed a lot of heart swimming the 500 Free. This was his first time competing in that event.
– Rocky Kleb seemed unphased by the fact that I had him swim the butterfly leg on a relay. I don’t think he’s ever swum fly in a meet before. He also did very well in the 100 Free, where he did flip turns on every wall and almost caught a Norfolk Academy swimmer right at the end of the race. Great job Rocky.
– Monica Byers swam the 200 IM and found herself in a great race with a girl from Norfolk Academy. It was close all the way until the last 25 when Monica just blew her away! It was really fun to watch.
– Matthew Verry had a great finish in the 100 Free.
– Judith Cummings tried the 200 Free for the first time and had an excellent swim. I entered her with a time that I thought was faster than she could do – but she beat it anyway. Nice work.
– 6th grader Keziah Higginbottom brought her own cheering section to watch her compete on the high school level in 4 events. I’m looking forward to having her back on the team next year.
I’d like to give a special thinks to Mrs. Minarik, Mrs. Zapiain and Mrs. Bennett. Mrs. Minarik made us a delicious pasta lunch for the bus ride down. I especially liked the version with the pepperoni’s and sun-dried tomatoes. I had more than my fair share of her delicious cookies. Mrs. Zapiain and Mrs. Bennett braved the bus ride down and back with me and were a huge help, especially as the time passed 1:00 a.m. They seemed less phased by the singing than I was! I know that Mrs. Bennett was really happy that she rode the bus at 1:00 in the morning rather than staying down in Norfolk with her daughter.
It has been a great season for these swimmers – I really enjoyed coaching them. I hope to see all of them back next year!