Earlier last week, I announced the Varsity team that will compete in the post-season for Seton where no more exhibition swimming is allowed. Thirteen 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 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 new Fitch Warrenton Aquatic and Recreation Facility, which was brand new at the time.
The meet continues to attract swimmers from all over the State of Virginia. This year we had 164 swimmers from 14 teams that traveled from as far away as Chesapeake, VA for a fun-filled meet where I do the announcing personally.
For the meet, I told the Captains that they were to act as the Coaches. I was very pleased with the leadership shown by Shane Koehr, Jacob Alsup, Mary Heim, Caroline Griffin and Katie Dealey, and I’ll admit to getting a little chuckle out of what Shane in khaki pants, a pen in his shirt and his meet program folded in thirds stuck in the back of his pants 😉
I also must give a huge shout-out to Bill Dealey and Kimberly Dalrymple. As you know, I’ve literally been all over the world since a week ago Friday when I started my travels in Baltimore for National Catholics, and I simply do not know how we’d pull off a State-wide meet like this without them. If you are a parent of a swimmer on this team, please find the time to thank them for what they do for this team. Trust me when I tell you that Seton would not have the program that we have without them.
The meet got off to a great start when Seton Assistant Coach Patrick Mulhern sang the National Anthem. He was, of course, wonderful, and it set a tone of excellence for the rest of the evening.
The scoring for the top teams at the meet ended up very positive for Seton – here’s an excerpt from the scoring:
The Carmel School 169
Fredericksburg Christian 111
Williamsburg Christian 85
St. Anne’s Belfield 58
Norfolk Academy 49
Walsingham Academy 40
Highland School 38
St. Anne’s Belfield 201
Norfolk Academy 121.5
The Village School 111
The Carmel School 73.5
Highland School 67
Walsingham Academy 30
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 even a new meet record in 100 IM – but our strong core of young swimmers was up to the challenge. Here are the Girls who scored in the top 8 on Saturday:
- Mary Pennefather (8) was a superstar on Saturday, earning three (3) Silver medals. Her most impressive race to me was her 100 Free where she dropped 2.51 seconds. I was also quite pleased with her 50 Fly after a 6.00 second PR. With some more work her butterfly stroke, I predict she can be a State qualifier next season. Mary also had a strong 50 Free.
- Isabelle Luevano (FR) was another superstar on Saturday with a Silver medal and a Bronze medal plus another 6th place finish. Her Silver medal came in the 100 IM where the meet record was broken by the winner. Her 1:12.56 was awesome! Her bronze was in 50 Free and her 6th place was in 50 Fly. Once we get her big kick in the right place for Butterfly, I can only imagine how fast she’ll be able to go.
- Clare Waldron (FR), that was an amazing swim in 50 Breaststroke! Clare surprised everyone with an incredible swim that took the Silver medal! Clare also lowered her 50 Free PR by another 1.33 seconds. Can’t wait to get you back next season Clare!
- Gemma Flook (8) rocked on Saturday taking Bronze medals in both 100 IM and 50 Back. Her underwater in 50 Back got a shout-out from the announcer. Gemma also took 9th in 50 Fly.
- Emily Flynn (FR) scored in the top 8 three times including a Bronze medal in 50 Fly, 4th in 50 Back and 8th in 100 IM. Emily is a good example of the four (4) stroke swimmers we are trying to develop at Seton – how about that 1:17.42 in 100 IM? Her 50 Back was a PR.
- Teresa Bingham (FR) swam three new PRs while taking 4th place twice and 5th In 100 Free, she dropped a huge 3.41 seconds and in 50 Fly, she dropped .95 seconds. Her 5th place finish was in the very competitive 100 IM where she dropped 2.23 seconds from last year’s JV Invitational. Teresa will be swimming with the Varsity team next week.
- Lily Clune (FR) earned 5th place in 50 Breaststroke with a good-looking swim in a good time. I’m really looking forward to more time with her next season on that stroke in particular, because I can see how good she can be at it. Lily also took 11th in 100 Free after a .93 second PR and 13th in 100 IM.
- Catriona Linton (FR) had a very strong .53 second PR in 100 Free that jumped her up to 6th Cat also took 11th place in both 100 IM and 50 Fly, and her 50 Fly was 1.59 second PR. I can’t wait to spend more time next season with Cat on her strokes – I think she can be a really good one for Seton with more time at practice.
- Sophia Zadnik (FR) was simply awesome in 50 Breaststroke, drawing a shout-out from the meet announcer and earning a 4th place finish. Her swim was a 2.17 second PR. Sophie also cut 1.03 seconds from her 50 Free PR and .73 seconds from her 50 Back PR leading off a medley relay.
- Madelyn Zadnik (7) swam a beautiful and long 50 Breaststroke to score in 6th place with a 6.14 second PR – wow! Madelyn also had huge PRs in 100 Free (by 5.59 seconds) and 50 Fly (by 4.37 seconds).
- Ceili Koehr (FR) finished in the top-8 twice with some outstanding swimming. In 50 Breaststroke she finished 7th and in 50 Backstroke she finished 8th. Her lead-off 50 Back in the medley relay was a .31 second PR for her. Ceili also took 14th in 50 Free.
- Lily Byers (FR) took 7th place in 50 Fly after a 4.22 second PR. She also took 9th in 100 IM and 10th in 50 Free. I was very pleased with her 100 IM time of 1:20.25 because it shows me that she’s learned to swim all four (4) strokes.
- Ava Hudson (7) swam beautifully in 50 Back to take 7th She also swam a 1.53 second PR in 50 Fly for 13th place, and her very fast 1:20.35 in 100 IM scored in 10th place.
- Mary O’Malley (FR) looked as good as I’ve ever seen her during her 3.00 second PR 50 Fly which scored in 8th Mary took 9th place twice in 50 and 100 Free, and she swam a huge 4.15 second PR in 50 Back leading off a medley relay.
Here are the Boys who scored in the top 8 on Saturday – lots of really good-looking young swimmers on this list:
- Nathan Luevano (8) just crushed it on Saturday with two (2) Silver medals and one Bronze medal. One of his Silver medals as after a blazing 1:10.69 100 IM. Had I had a previous time, I’m sure that would have been a huge PR. For three (3) of his other swims though, I did have a previous time, and he beat all three of them. Leading off a medley relay, he swam a 3.45 second PR in 50 Back, taking a Silver medal he swam a 2.84 second PR in 50 Fly and taking a Bronze medal he swam a .39 second PR in 100 Free. Nathan will be a key part of our Varsity team over the next two (2) weeks.
- David Hudson (7) had three (3) top-8 finishes including a Silver medal in 50 Back with a very fast 35.08. David also took 5th place in both 50 Free and 100 IM. That 1:17.48 was very quick for a 7th
- Joey Dealey (8) was a beast on Saturday with three (3) top-8 swims and three PRs. In 50 Fly, Joey finished 4th after a 3.70 second PR, in 100 IM, Joey finished 7th after an 11.37 second PR and in 50 Free, he finished 8th after a .44 second PR. Boy did Joey look strong in the water. Coach Mulhern noticed too.
- Connor Koehr (6) was entered as a homeschooler and showed me why I can’t wait to get him on the team when he comes to Seton for 8th He took 4th in 50 Back , 7th in 100 Free and 9th in 100 IM. His 100 IM was 6.85 seconds than it was at last year’s meet – Connor can swim all four (4) strokes very proficiently now.
- Mick Fioramonti (7) showed that he’s going to be one of the good ones in the future with two (2) top-8 finishes and two (2) PRs. In 50 Back, Mick cut .51 seconds for 5th place, and leading off the medley relay, his 50 Back was .65 seconds faster than his previous PR. Mick took 8th place in his first attempt at 100 IM, and he took 12th in 50 Free. I was particularly pleased with his 1:23.33 100 IM.
- Peter Konstanty (7) had an excellent 50 Breaststroke that took 8th Peter also took 13th in 50 Free with a 1.16 second PR.
57 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 amazing to see that we have a total of 57 Personal Records for the meet.
I looked back at past Blogs for the JV Invitational and I don’t think we’ve ever seen a number that high. The highest I saw was 56 in 2016, back when 8th grader Marcie Van de Voorde (8) had a really big 8.43 second PR in 50 Back.
Here are the PRs that I haven’t already mentioned:
- Patrick Hartung (8) was the team leader in PRs with four (4) – and all of them were huge drops! Coach Mulhern was sitting next to me during most of the meet, and we both noticed how much stronger Patrick looks in the water than he did at the beginning of the season. How about his 8.19 second PR in 50 Back leading off a medley, his 9.35 second PR in 50 Breast, his 2.73 second PR in 50 Free and his 5.16 second PR again in 50 Back? Great swimming Patrick!
- Emma Catabui (8) was awesome in 50 Back, lowering her PR by an unbelievable 47.53 seconds! She also looked better than I’ve ever seen in 50 Breaststroke. CA-TAB-BOO-E!
- Julia Atkinson (7) made the most of her last chance in the pool this season with Seton. How about a 7.75 second PR in 100 Free and a .10 second PR in 50 Free. She also had a great swim in her first timed attempt at 50 Breaststroke from a flat start.
- Catherine Griffin (8) had a great meet on Saturday with three (3) new Personal Records. Her best swim was in 50 Breaststroke where she dropped 3.88 seconds! She also dropped 1.36 seconds in 50 Back and .42 seconds in 50 Free.
- Jo Hartung (7) was so much fun to watch. Few swimmers try as hard as Jo, so I was soooo pleased to she her cut 11.43 seconds from her 100 Free PR and 5.85 seconds from her 50 Free PR.
- Maggie Gibbons (7) was all smiles after her huge 6.76 second PR in 50 Fly. She also had strong swims in 50 Free and 50 Back.
- Addie-Quinn Kammerdeiner (8) drew the attention of the meet announcer during her 100 Free. She dropped 4.47 seconds from her PR in that swim!
- Reagan Rose (FR) saw her hard work in practice pay off with a 4.20 second PR in 50 Back and a 1.57 second PR in 50 Free.
- Anna Allen (7) finished her first season with a big 4.01 second PR in 50 Free.
- Elizabeth Dwane (FR) sure looked good during her 3.17 second PR in 50 Fly. I also enjoyed her 50 Breaststroke which I bet would have been a PR had I had a time against which to compare it.
- Jack Champney (7) brought a big smile to my face as I watched him swim 50 Free 2.23 seconds faster than ever before. I also had fun watching his much improved 50 Backstroke.
- Delaney Farmer (8) looked very good in 50 Back and 50 Free with a 1.98 second PR and a .76 second PR, respectively.
- Aaron Bishop (7) has shown unbelievable improvement this season, concluding with a .49 second PR in 50 Free. That came within .13 seconds of breaking :40 for the his first time ever. Aaron also showed that he’s learned to swim Backstroke and Breaststroke with good swims in both.
- Joey Munsell (7) has improved so much this year, including his .21 second PR in 50 Free. Joey also had great first-time swims in 50 Back and 50 Breast.
- Finbar Clune was entered as a homeschooler, and I was very pleased to see how strong he looked in his 50 Free where he cut .21 seconds from a time I got for him earlier in the season.
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 these swimmers, because I know that almost all of them would have shown big improvement:
- Anabel Clune (7) has come a long way this year. Her swims in 50 Back and 50 Breast were the best I’ve seen from her. I can’t wait to get her back next year!
- Ella Gaulden (7) was part of a very joyful group of 7th grade girls that made me smile every time I saw them goofing around together this season. I also enjoyed watching her display what she’s learned about Freestyle, Backstroke and Breaststroke this year.
- Tiffany Gutierrez (FR) showed a lot of heart this season, and that heart translated into a lot of improvement. Her freestyle and backstroke have improved so much since the beginning of the season, it is almost hard to believe. Coach Zadnik was beaming while she was swimming.
- Moira Haggerty (8) has never swum 100 IM before so there was not way to actually measure her improvement, but believe me when I say the improvement was massive. She went 1:29.14, a time that I would not have believed would be possible at the beginning of the season (well, actually I’d believe it but only because I’ve witnessed the rate of Moira’s improvement over the past two seasons)
- Amelie Halisky (8) makes me smile – what a joyful girl. Her 100 IM, 50 Back and 50 Breast on Saturday also brought a big smile to my face.
- Chris Lynch (7) showed how much he’s improved when I watched him swim on Saturday. He even took 12th place and scored 1 point for Seton in his first timed attempt at 50 Breaststroke on Saturday.
- Anya Murray (7) was wonderful on Saturday in 50 Free, 50 Back and 50 Breaststroke. Boy has Anya improved this year.
- Joey Allen (7) has come a long way this season, and he showed me that with his swims in 50 Free, 50 Back and 50 Breaststroke.
And finally, we had a few swimmers who were unable to swim with us for their last meet of the season on Saturday. We missed them all:
- Ellie Flook (SO) has been fighting a shoulder injury all season, but she’s recently been adding a lot of value to the team as an Assistant Coach. Thank you Ellie!
- Maddie Given (FR) has really had a great season, highlighted by her amazing performance at the Cystic-Fibrosis Swim-a-thon.
- Ryan Beltran (7) has been fighting a neck injury all season that kept him out of the meet on Saturday. I can’t wait to get Ryan back in the water with us next season!
- Bernadette Caron (7) was the sole representative from Holy Family Academy. She’s going to be a great swimmer, hopefully for Seton one day 😉
- Bethany Johnson (JR) joined the team for the first time even though she’s in 11th The magnitude of her improvement under Coach Zadnik was nearly unbelievable!
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 2rd at the Freedom Center.
- The DAC Conference Championship – Saturday, February 9th at the Fitch WARF
- The VISAA State Swimming and Diving Championship – Friday and Saturday, February 15-16th 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 finalize the conference winner . Basically, I think if we beat Fredericksburg Academy in the dual meet scoring, we will officially win the conference championship for both boys and girls.
For next weekend’s VISAA Division II Invitational, 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 really 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.
Girls, I promise you that Trinity Christian is working hard.
See you at practice!
Coach Jim Koehr