What a great meet that was last Friday! It was a great venue with the Colorado Timing System and the big display board. It was great sportsmanship between three great teams. It was great pizza, cake and fellowship after the meet. It was great to see diving at a Seton meet for the first time……..
………….. and it was very, very fast. How often do we have regular season meets where there are 3 guys under 5:00 in the 500 Free, 2 guys under 1:00 in 100 Breast, and someone under :50 seconds in 100 Free? I’m happy to say that two of those swimmers wore Seton caps.
The results were about what I expected when I scheduled two teams that contend every year for the Division I State Championship (and we are Division II):
Seton 131 Trinity Episcopal 178
Seton 106 Collegiate 208
Seton 129 Trinity Episcopal 165
Seton 113 Collegiate 196
We were missing a couple key boys. Looking thru the results, I don’t think their presence would have been enough to get us a victory, but the Seton vs TES boys meet would have probably been within 20 points.
Competition at this level gives our top swimmers an opportunity to excel. While we didn’t win the meet, we did have several key victories that were excellent harbingers for States:
– Our boys medley relay beat both Trinity and Collegiate by a comfortable margin. I expect at least a top 3 finish from Kevin Koehr, Nevin Cook, Bryan Morch and Sean Koehr
– The same gang of four won the 200 Free relay over both TES and COOL. I was standing next to the COOL coach when Nevin took the lead on the 3rd leg and then Kevin just crushed his anchor swimmer. Because the COOL coach has become a pretty good friend, he allowed me to enjoy it.
– Our girls medley relay beat Collegiate with Jessica Dunn, Melissa Dunn, Lea Mazzoccoli and Katie Planchak. Our girls had their hands full when Katie Planchak got into the water for the anchor leg. She pulled it out against a very strong Collegiate freestyler.
– With a last minute substitution of Meghan Morch for Lea, these same girls beat a very fast Trinity 200 Free relay also.
– The Girls 200 Free was a pretty good event for us. Jessica Dunn, Mary-Kate Kenna and Caitlin Harris pulled 2nd, 3rd and 4th against both TES and COOL. That means we actually won that event overall.
– Nevin Cook beat two excellent swimmers from TES in the 200 IM and 100 Breast. In the process, he broke two Seton records! Nevin broke Kevin Koehr’s 200 IM record with a new standard of 2:03.16 and he broke his own 100 Breast record with a 59.57. This is the first time a Seton Swimmer has been under 1:00 in Breaststroke. Believe it or not, I’ve seen him go faster in both events at a USA Swimming meet, so look for those records to drop again.
– We also got a preview of the Championship finals at States between Nevin and a COOL swimmer for the 200 IM and 100 Breaststroke title. They will probably go 1 and 2 in these events. I’m betting on Nevin!
– Katie Planchak broke through in 100 Free and beat an the top Trinity freestyler with her new PR of 57.23. With some emphasis on her first 50, I can see her breaking :57 before the end of the season.
– Kevin Koehr destroyed the field in 100 Free and 100 Back. In the process he set a new Seton record for 100 Free with a 49.60 – the first time anyone at Seton has ever broken :50 seconds in 100 Free. Like Nevin, I’ve witnessed him go faster than this in a USA meet, so this record could be :48 by season end.
– Jessica Dunn beat the top Collegiate backstroker and met her upcoming competition at States from Trinity. I’m really looking forward to that race.
Thanks to Coach Sam Higginbottom and some daring new divers, we had diving for the first time ever at a Seton meet. It was really fun to watch Kevin Rafter and Guppy Higginbottom get up the boards with the TES and COOL divers, in front of a large crowd, and perform some pretty difficult dives. They both scored points for the team! I hoping to have a small diving team at States to score a few points and improve the chances for our first State Championship.
I can see that our stroke work in practice continues to pay dividends. We had another 38 PRs, including:
– Daniel Koehr cut 2.31 seconds in 200 Free and .55 seconds in 100 Back.
– Chris Fletcher duplicated the feat with a drop of 2.08 seconds in the 200 Free. It was great to see Chris step up in events other than his usual sprint freestyle. He also stepped it up in 100 Free. He dropped almost 5 seconds! He should now be in a position to score some serious points at DAC Champs.
– Jessica Dunn massacred her previous best in 200 Free by almost 5 seconds. She swam a very fast 2:05.48, easily the fastest on the team
– Incredibly, Mary-Kate Kenna lowered her 200 Free time by 18.53 seconds! She was fairly fast to begin with, so this is a real testament to her hard work in practice with Seton and her USA team.
– We already talked about how Nevin cut 2.53 seconds from his 200 IM and almost 3 seconds from his 100 Breast. Recall that Nevin was top 8 in the State last year in 200 IM and won the State Championship in 100 Breast. You don’t often see this type of improvement from swimmers of this caliber.
– Megan Hoffer took a crack at 200 IM and cut 6.81 seconds from her previous best
– Kelsey Kleb joined Megan and dropped 5.81 seconds.
– Joe Ross had a breakthru in the 50 Free, lowering his time by .90 seconds to 26.52, an excellent time. Joe Ross stepped up in the 500 Free and cut over 12 seconds from his previous best. I guess Joe felt ready to shine while Geoff and the rest of his family was hanging out with future West Point cadets and Congressmen.
– Peter Duran lowered his 50 Free time again, this time by .34 seconds
– Daniel Quinan shows improvement every meet. He cut his 50 free time by another .41 seconds
– Michael O’Donohue is seeing the benefits of his hard work with Coach Sam. He cut nearly 1.5 seconds from his 50 Free and nearly 3.5 seconds in 100 Free.
– Jonathan Rosato dropped almost 2 seconds in his 50 Free and over 7 seconds in his 100 Free!
– Hailey Moya broke 28.00 seconds in 50 Free for the first time and probably cemented her place on Seton’s team for National Catholics. For the second week in a row, Hailey Moya also lowered her 100 Free time. This time is was by .67 seconds to 1:02.33.
– Jack Murphy is finding a new home in 100 Fly. He dropped over 4 seconds! We’ve been working on Fly this week, so I look for more improvements in the future.
– David Harris has a similar story. He dropped almost 2.5 seconds in his 100 Fly, and it was looking even better in practice this week. Coach Mulhern told me that David could be pretty good at Fly. David also cut 1.27 seconds in 100 backstroke.
– Kristin Rafter dropped another 1.30 seconds from her 100 Fly
– Amanda Byers 100 Fly improved by almost half a second, and she improved her 100 Breast time by 5.63 seconds! I’ve been watching her in practice – look for improvement at the next meet.
– Kevin Koehr cut more than a second off of his previous best 100 Free time
– Katie Planchak improved her time from States last year in the 100 Free.
– Alyssa Shaw cut almost 6 seconds from her 100 Free. She also improved her 100 Breaststroke time.
– Connor Cook continues to show he’s an up and coming leader for Seton Swimming. He lowered his 500 Free time another 1.44 seconds to 5:39.68. This is a superior time for an 8th grader.
– Laura Talbott continues to shine. This time, she cut almost 20 seconds from her 500 Free and hit the State qualifying time.
– Danielle Smith also dropped her 500 Free time, by 2.72 seconds. She is within range of a State time.
– Guppy Higginbottom lowered his 100 back time by 5.49 seconds!
– Megan Hoffer cut 2.33 seconds from her 100 back time
– Sam Quinan really got alot out of breaststroke work in practice last week. He cut 12 and a half seconds from his 100 Breast.
– Melissa Dunn dropped her 100 Breast time again! This time she improved by an amazinb 1.71 seconds, a huge drop for someone who swims at her level.
– It was great to see Whitney Hood cut over 3 seconds off of her previous best breaststroke time
In addition the PRs, there were several other races that I enjoyed watching:
– In the girls 50 Free, Katie Planchak was losing to the COOL swimmer at the flags, but touched her out with a tremendous finish. Recall that Katie also touched her out in the 200 Medley. That COOL girl must have been having a bad day after Katie out-touched her twice!
– Lea Mazzoccoli swam the 200 IM while she was sick and gutted it out to score 4 points against both TES and COOL. She nearly swam her best time until her sickness overcame her on the last lap of this grueling race. Great job Lea – we hope you get better soon.
– Sean Koehr had the fastest start in the field for the 50 Free, where fast starts really make a difference.
– Dan Quinan’s freestyle stroke has greatly improved this year.
– Bryan Morch and Coach Mulhern have been working very hard in practice. Last Friday, Bryan had his best 100 Fly of the season. I can see him ramping up toward that all-important State meet.
– Greg Bliss has really improved this season. His butterfly is starting to look very good.
– Whitney Hood showed alot of heart when she was feeling sick, but gutted out a solid 100 Fly
– We’ve added another future Seton swimmer to our exhibition roster. This time, Sarah Zapiain joined us as a 6th grader and got 4th in her heat for the 100 Free. She beat one girl from TES and two girls from COOL!
– Celia Gossin did a great job in the 500 Free, which she swam for the first time. She was stretching out her stroke very well. I particularly enjoyed watching her sprint to the finish. That’s how we should finish every race, no matter how long.
– We also had several other people swim their first-ever timed 500 Freestyles, including Christian Vestermark, Patrick Kenna, Peter Duran, Sam Quinan, Leslie Zapiain, Krista Shaw, Monica Byers, and Alex Hetrick.
And finally, I would like to thank a few of our parent volunteers. First, thank you to Lynn Dunn, Patt Morch and Diane Racine for their hard work in planning an executing the pizza party after the meet. I know several other parents helped to serve including Julie Mazzoccoli. Secondly, I’d like to thank Phil Quinan, Chris Cook, John Wunderly and Mario Rosato for handling the timing and scoring systems. With a meet this big, running these systems can be a bit stressful. They did a great job.
Our next meet is against Paul VI on Friday night, January 6th at Dale City Rec Center. I’m looking to make a good showing at this meet. At States last year, our boys beat their boys medley relay by just a few 10ths of a second. The rematch will occur in the very first event of the meet (with the same result or better I trust!). Our girls relays need to bring their “A” game also.
Then we have a DAC conference meet at Freedom the next afternoon. To make the weekend even busier, our top relays were invited to participate in a relay carnival against all of the public schools in the area, also at the Freedom Center. That occurs the morning of the 7th. I’ll contact those involved separately. In between the two Saturday meets, is the Seton Building dedication. Sounds like a fun and busy weekend.
See you at practice Thursday morning, and after that, I hope you have a Merry and Holy Christmas.