Earlier last week, I announced the Varsity team that will compete in the post-season for Seton where no more exhibition swimming is allowed. Twelve years ago, after having the season for nearly half the team end abruptly at this point, we hatched the idea of a fun, season-ending meet for all of the members of Seton’s Junior Varsity team.
The Junior Varsity Invitational was the result of that plan. We had just started hosting the State Championship meet at that point – how hard could this one be? So we set out on a journey to create an annual event at the beautiful Fitch Warrenton Aquatic and Recreation Facility, which was brand new at the time.
The meet continues to grow. Saturday’s meet was the large JV Invitational yet. We had 185 swimmers from 18 teams that traveled from as far away as Chesapeake, VA for a fun-filled meet where I do all of the announcing personally. Fortunately, there was no overlapping National Catholic meet this year so I didn’t have to do the trip back to Warrenton during the middle of that meet.
For the meet, I told the Captains that they were to act as the Coaches. I was very pleased with the leadership that they showed, particularly Ashley Cackett, Kalli Dalrymple and Alex Ceol. That meant that the Captains had to appoint Captains in their place. The Captains they appointed for the Junior Varsity team were Jack Santschi, Liam Kellogg, Katie Dealey and Emily Flynn.
The meet got off to a great start when Seton Swimmers Catherine Griffin and Victoria Baker sang the National Anthem. They were wonderful!
The scoring for the top teams at the meet ended up very positive for Seton. Our girls won a relatively close meet over Division I schools St. Anne’s Belfield in Charlottesville and Norfolk Academy. Our boys won with a much larger margin over our closest competitor, Fredericksburg Christian. Here were the scores from the top teams:
Fredericksburg Christian 187.5
St. Anne’s Belfied 124
Norfolk Academy 65
St. Anne’s Belfield 192
Norfolk Academy 179
Fredericksburg Christian 154
The Carmel School 113
I was very excited for the future of Seton Swimming while I watched so many young swimmers swim so well. The future of Seton Swimming sure does look bright!
Top Scorers for Seton
Saturday’s meet was very fast – there was 2 new meet records – but our strong core of young swimmers were up to the challenge. Here are the swimmers who scored in the top 8 on Saturday:
- Jack Santschi (FR) was our highest individual scorer with a Gold and two Silver medals. Jack’s 100 Free was his best swim of the season – he cut .44 seconds from his PR to go 55.88! That is the 2nd fastest 100 Free swum by anyone on our team so far this season. In the 50 Free, Jack took the Silver at 25.21 and in 50 Fly, Jack took Silver with a .96 second PR 29.77.
- Mary Pennefather (8) took Gold in the 50 Free in her first year on the Seton team. She also took 9th place in 100 Free.
- Liam Kellogg (8) had a great meet with two Silver medals and a Bronze medal. His silver medals came in 50 Back (a .46 second PR) and 50 Breast. His bronze was in a superfast heat of 50 Free. I was most impressed with the way Liam looked in 50 Back.
- Isabelle Luevano (8) took the Silver in 50 Free, just behind Mary Pennefather, with her .29 second PR 27.99. That meant that Seton went 1-2 in the event. Isabelle also had a great swim in 100 IM where she beat lowered her PR by 2.14 seconds to take 7th place and in 100 Free where she took 6th place.
- Emily Flynn (8) took two Bronze medals in 50 Fly and 100 Free. She swam 50 Fly in 32.16, 1.63 seconds faster than her PR in the event. Emily also took 8th in 100 IM with a 1.68 second PR that resulted from her greatly improved Breaststroke.
- Simon Seoh (8) finished in the top 8 three times, including a Bronze medal in 50 Back, a 5th place in 50 Breast and a 7th place in 50 Free. He didn’t have a previous times in 50 Back or Breast, but I’m quite sure after watching his strokes that both of those swims would have been huge Personal Records.
- Nathan Luevano (7) had another great weekend, this time finishing 5th, 7th and 9th in 50 Back, 50 Fly and 50 Breast, respectively. His 50 Back was a big PR for Nathan, by .78 seconds.
- Ceili Koehr (8) took 5th place in 50 Breaststroke where she took full advantage of her strong kick and long underwater glides. She also swam 50 Back and 100 IM. With no previous time in any of those events, I am unable to determine how much she has improved, but I can assure you from just watching her in the water, that her improvement has been dramatic this year!
- Teresa Bingham (8) rocked all three of her events with two (2) top 8 finishes and three (3) PRs. Her biggest PR was in 100 IM where her improved technique in all four (4) strokes resulted in a 6.89 second PR. Teresa also cut 5.06 seconds in 50 Fly (5th place) and another .11 seconds in 50 Free (7th place).
- Sophia Zadnik (8) looked great in 50 Breaststroke where she took 7th place after a .12 second PR. She also cut .15 seconds from her 50 Back PR leading off a relay. But her most impressive swim was in 50 Fly. Sophia has been gaining confidence in this event, and it really showed with her 8.80 second PR!
- Joey Dealey (7) broke :40 in 50 Fly for the first time with a 4.17 second PR 39.67 which was good enough for 8th place! Joe also had great swims in 100 IM and 50 Back, but with no previous time, he could get the PR he almost certainly deserved.
35 New Personal Records!
In a meet where many swimmers were swimming events for the very first time at a high school meet (therefore no PR is possible), it was great to see that we have a total of 35 Personal Records for the meet. Here are the PRs that I haven’t already mentioned:
- Moira Haggerty (7) was stunning on Saturday, with her incredible improvement this season stunningly obvious. How do you cut 11.25 seconds from your 100 Free PR? Or 7.62 seconds from your 50 Back PR? Those are just huge drops. And her strokes looked great! I guess one leads to the other, doesn’t it?
- Addie-Quinn Kammerdeiner (7) was another swimmer who drew so much of my attention of the announcer stand. What a great meet she had! Her 100 Free has never looked better, including her flip turns, and the result was a 8.05 second PR. She also looked better than I’ve ever seen.
- Timothy Kelly (FR) is one of our hardest workers in practice, which is definitely something to which I pay attention. His stroke technique has improved dramatically since last year, and it showed with his 2.50 second PR in 50 Breaststroke, his .81 second PR in 50 Back leading off a relay, and his .36 second PR in 50 Free.
- Caroline Pechie (8) took advantage of her second try at 50 Fly with a huge 1.91 second PR Caroline also cut .45 seconds in 50 Free to go 32.42, and she went 1:28.08 in 100 IM – both great times for an 8th
- Mary Pechie (7) has really shown tremendous improvement in her first year on the team. I was so pleased to see her 1.59 second PR in 50 Back and her 1.29 second PR in 50 Fly.
- Virginia Hartung (FR) smiled to a massive 9.09 second PR in 50 Breaststroke! She also cut another .01 seconds from her 50 Free PR.
- Dominic Hartung (SO) showed how much he has improved in Butterfly after he lowered his 50 Fly PR by 3.26 seconds!
- Patrick Hartung (7) had a huge drop in 50 Back, cutting 5.89 seconds from his PR. He also showed great improvement in 50 Breaststroke where he was able to finish the stroke legally for the first time.
- Katie Dealey (SO) made me proud with her great swim in 100 IM. She beat her previous PR by 1.80 seconds.
- Brian Geiran (7) was super in 50 Breast with a 1.51 second PR. He also had a great time for a 7th grader (1:26.05) in the 100 IM.
- Connor Koehr (5) was one of the members of the Seton Family Homeschool team that had a chance to swim for the first time since Time Trials. (We have a few of these kids practicing with us, but only the kids of coaches or significant volunteers. I can’t let it get out of hand). Connor is only in 5th grade, but he went 33.56 in 50 Free or 3.16 seconds faster than Time Trials. Connor’s oldest brother Kevin went 22.96 in the 50 Free and 48.69 in the 100 Free when he was at Seton – are some family records in jeopardy in the future? Connor also went a very fast 1:30.65 in 100 IM and 44.43 in 50 Fly.
- Peter Konstanty (6) was another member of the Homeschool team that did incredibly well. How about a 5.80 second PR in 50 Fly!
- Madelyn Zadnik (6) was the final member of the Homeschool team that got a chance to swim at this meet. She also showed that she learned how to swim Butterfly this season with her 3.70 second PR in 50 Fly.
Other Strong Swimming
With so many swims where PRs were not possible, let me highlight some of the other great swims that I saw. I wish I had some previous times for this swimmers, because I know that almost all of them would have shown big improvement:
- Theresa Dwane (SO) has shown tremendous improvement this season, and her 1:27.48 100 IM showed that she has learned to swim all four (4) strokes now.
- Victoria Baker (FR) tried 50 Back and 50 Breaststroke for the first time.
- Maddie Given (8) had a great season with Coach Zadnik and Coach Dalrymple. I had fun watching her swim on Saturday.
- Catherine Griffin (7) did a very fine job in her first attempts at 50 Back and 50 Breaststroke.
- Ethiana Hasch (8), from our sister school Renaissance Montessori, had a great swim in 100 IM. She went an outstanding 1:25.26.
- Joseph Rowzie (8) also had a tremendous 100 IM, finishing in 1:24.03.
- Samantha Wong (SR), from our sister school Renaissance Montessori, has improved so much this year. Last year, swimming 100 Free was a big accomplishment for her. This year, she swam it in 1:35.43 with no problem at all. Confidence is a wonderful thing.
The Remainder of the Championship Season
This National Catholic High School Championship was the first of four (4) championship meets for us this season. The remaining three (3) meets are over the next three (3) weekends, including:
- The VISAA Division II Invitational Championship – Saturday, February 3rd at the Freedom Center.
- The DAC Conference Championship – Saturday, February 10th at the Fitch WARF
- The VISAA State Swimming and Diving Championship – Friday and Saturday, February 16-17th at the new Jeff Rouse Swim & Sport in Stafford, VA.
Entries and information will be posted for the Division II Invitational before Monday. The meet will be scored as a championship meet, but we will re-score it as a series of dual meets and use those scores between teams that have not yet met to determine the conference winner . Basically, I think if we beat Fredericksburg Academy in the dual meet scoring, we will win the conference championship.
All Varsity swimmers should be on deck ready to stretch by 12:39 p.m. at Freedom. Non-varsity swimmers are of course welcomed to join the team on deck – but wear your uniform. (I must say that it is getting a little old asking people to wear their uniform).
We are really pushing hard in practice during the month of January – do everything you can not to miss practice so we can all be ready for the last three (3) championship meets starting with our VISAA Division II Invitational this Saturday.
See you at practice!
Coach Jim Koehr