Earlier last week, I announced the Varsity team that will compete in the post-season for Seton where no more exhibition swimming is allowed. Seventeen 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. Our little Seton School 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 245 swimmers from 14 teams that traveled from as far away as Chesapeake, VA for a fun-filled meet where I join the Voice of Seton Swimming, Mr. John Kleb, on the microphone to add color commentary to the assembled crowd on the pool deck.
One of the many aspects of the meet that pleased me was how I saw the students really start to take-over the Seton Sports Network broadcast. Gabe Hambleton, Gabe Orellana, and the newest member of the team, Joe Benin. Mr. Paul Fifield and Haley Fifield help lead the effort to get things set up, and then these young students take it from there. I love hearing the students give me instructions into my earpiece.
I must also give a huge shout-out to Bill Dealey, Hank Konstanty, Richard Borneman, Pat Haggerty, Chris Condon, Kimberly Dalrymple, and Anne Judge. They were not the only parents that made a swim meet of this scale possible, of course, but with all that has been going on in my life outside of swimming these days, please just 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 with a quartet of Seton Students sang the National Anthem. Daniel Sokban, Kyleigh Fifield, and Rachel Baughman while Jane Judge provided a beautiful accompaniment on the violin. It was, of course, wonderful, and it set a tone of excellence for the rest of the afternoon.
I get many kind messages from the other teams that participate in our Seton meets. Here is one example from the Immanuel Christian Coach Katie Kim Wolf:
Thank you so much, Jim! We all had a great time yesterday, and I got feedback from many of our parents that it was a fun meet to watch, too. We participated in a meet hosted by another team on Friday night, and that really made Scott and I, our swimmers, and their families appreciate the excellent meets that you and the whole Seton team host throughout the season, year after year. I’d been telling them that Seton spoils us, and now they believe it! Thank you again for including us. Our JV boys can’t wait to show off their trophy at school tomorrow.
The scoring for the top teams at the meet ended up very positive for Seton – even though we were missing three (3) of our top middle school athletes.
Congratulations to Oakcrest for repeating as the Girl’s champion and to Immanuel Christian who took the Boy’s championship for the first time:
Immanuel Christian 342.5
Fredericksburg Christian 161
Williamsburg Christian 100.5
Hargrave Military Academy 99
Fork Union Military Academy 91
Oakcrest School 381
Fredericksburg Christian 191
Immanuel Christian 128
Fresta Valley Christian 77
Williamsburg Christian 76
Norfolk Academy 71
Congratulations to our two (2) Swimmers of the Meet:
Our Swimmers of the Meet were:
- Moses Wolf, Immanuel Christian School
- Five (5) Gold medals in 100 IM, 50 Butterfly, 50 Breaststroke, the 200 Breaststroke Relay and the 200 Free Relay.
- Anchored the 200 Breaststroke Relay that set a new meet record.
- Elizabeth Bryan, Oakcrest School
- Four (4) Gold medals in 100 IM, 50 Butterfly, 50 Breaststroke, and the 200 Free Relay – plus a Bronze medal in the 200 Medley Relay.
- Set new meet records in 100 IM and 50 Breaststroke.
An indication of the level of competition was the three (3) new Meet Records set on Saturday:
- Girls 100 IM, Elizabeth Bryan, Oakcrest, 59.68
- That beat the former record by almost 3 seconds!
- Girls 50 Breaststroke, Elizabeth Bryan, Oakcrest, 31.76
- That beat the former record, held by Seton’s Angie Testani, but .12 seconds.
- Boys 200 Breaststroke Relay, 2:16.98, Immanuel Christian, Caleb Morillo, Micha Lam, Caleb Fiala, Moses Wolf
- Believe it or not, that swim beat the previous record more than 13 seconds!
Top Scorers for Seton
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!
Saturday’s meet was very fast, but our strong core of young swimmers was up to the challenge. Here are the Girls who scored in the top 12 on Saturday:
- Anastasia Garvey (FR) was our highest individual scorer for the girls. Her Silver medal in 50 Back, Bronze medal in 50 Fly and 5th place in 100 IM scored a total of 35 points! He 50 Fly and 100 IM were particularly good with .58 second and .83 second PRs, respectively.
- Philomena Kay (8) scored 25 points individually with the Bronze medal in 50 Free, a 6th place in 100 IM, and an 8th place in 100 Free. Her 100 IM time was a very fast 1:13.97.
- Meghan Condon (7) finished 50 Breaststroke in only 37.64 which took the Silver medal! Meghan also cut 5.64 seconds in 50 Fly and .98 seconds in 50 Free.
- Maggie Schroer (7) had a strong swim in 50 Breast where she broke :40 and scored in 7th Maggie also dropped 1.65 seconds in 50 Fly to score in 10th place.
- Avila Mantooth (7) scored in 8th place in 50 Free with a .37 second PR. She also cut a huge 6.56 seconds in 50 Fly and swam an excellent flat-start 50 Breaststroke for the first time.
- Mariana Bingham (8) dropped 3.10 seconds in 50 Fly to score in 9th Mariana also dropped 3.67 seconds in 100 Free and completed the 100 IM for the first time in 1:20.56.
- Gabriella Russo (8) swam a 3.06 second PR in 50 Back and jumped up to a 10th place finish! She also cut .77 seconds in 50 Breaststroke leading off a relay.
- Betsy Arnold (7) scored in 10th place in 50 Free. She also had two (2) big PRs beating her previous best in 50 Fly by 2.23 seconds and 3.07 seconds in 50 Back.
- Kenneth Nguyen (8) scored in 11th place in 50 Back. He also cut 3.87 seconds in 50 Fly, crushing the :40 second barrier with a good-looking stroke.
- Mary Claire Osilka (FR) wrapped up her season with a .30 second PR in 50 Back, a swim that scored 12th in 50 Back. Mary Claire’s 50 Fly was particularly good when she dropped 2.33 seconds in her swim.
- Lily Waldron (7) emerged as a future Seton scorer with her 1.21 second PR in 50 Free to score in 12th Lily had PRs in her other two (2) events also including a 1.83 second PR in 100 Free and a 1.21 second PR in 50 Back.
Here are the Boys who scored in the top 12 on Saturday – lots of really good-looking young swimmers on this list:
- Patrick Kay (7) had a great meet! His highest scoring swim was in 50 Back where he took the Silver medal with a 1.78 second PR. Patrick also cut .13 seconds in 50 Free to score in 9th
- Daniel Sokban (8) was our highest individual scorer on the Boy’s side with a total of 28 individual points. He scored with the Bronze medal in 50 Free with a .56 second PR that broke :26 for the first time! 94! Daniel’s 3.41 second PR in 100 Free scored in 4th and nearly broke the 1:00 barrier. His strong first-time swim in 50 Breaststroke took 8th place, and he even had a .06 second PR in 50 Back leading off a medley relay.
- Michael Zahorchak (8) had a very fast swim in 50 Breaststroke, going 35.90 to score in 4th Michael also took 12th in 50 Fly and 100 IM, including a .88 second PR in 50 Fly.
- Greg Bauer (FR) had a big day on Saturday with a 5th in 50 Breaststroke, a 6th in 100 Free, and a 7th in 100 IM. All of those swims were huge new Personal Records by 4.56 seconds, 1.22 seconds, and 15.27 seconds, respectively.
- Josh Fioramonti (FR) looked as strong as I’ve seen him on Saturday, and it showed in his 6th place finish in 50 Free, his 8th place finish in 50 Back, and his 10th place finish in 100 Free.
- Dominic Judge (8) had a big drop in 50 Fly, by 4.33 seconds, to take 7th He also took 8th in 100 IM and 14th in 100 Free after a .40 second PR in 100 Free.
Gold Medal Relays
In a championship meet, with Relays scoring double points, it is very important to perform well in those events. We had two (2) relays take Gold medals:
- Our Boys 200 Medley Relay of Patrick Kay (7), Michael Zahorchak (8), Dominic Judge (8), and Josh Fioramonti (FR) won the Gold medal over Immanuel Christian by nearly two (2) seconds. Patrick Kay’s lead-off 32.67 shows me that he may be leading off our “A” medley relay one day. And how about Josh Fioramonti’s anchor split of 25.98?
- Our Girls 200 Breaststroke Relay of Maggie Schroer (7), Elizabeth Hurley (7), Meghan Condon (7), and Anastasia Garvey (FR) took the Gold medal from Fredericksburg Christian by only .22 seconds. Meghan’s 37.81 split and Anastasia’s 36.65 anchor split were particularly strong.
96 New Personal Records – Over 1,000 for the Season!
With 96 Personal Records swum by Seton swimmers on Saturday, we have now passed 1,000 total PRs for the season – we just hit 1,002 Personal Records for the season!
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 many Personal Records for the meet.
Here are the PRs that I haven’t already mentioned:
- Jonas Wilson (7) had a big drop in 50 Fly, beating his previous PR by 4.70 seconds.
- Cate Waldron (JR) had four (4) PRs on Saturday. She cut 2.64 seconds in 100 Free, 1.42 seconds in 50 Back leading off a relay, .51 seconds in 50 Free, and .27 seconds in 50 Breast.
- Noah Vaughan (8) lowered his 50 Back PR by another .49 seconds.
- Briana Shillingburg (SO) had two massive Personal Records cutting 9.25 seconds in 50 Back and 8.80 seconds 50 Breaststroke.
- Emma Reynolds (SR) wrapped up her swimming career with a big 2.40 second PR in 50 Breaststroke.
- Helena O’Keefe (FR) had a great final meet with three (3) Personal Records. She cut 2.16 seconds in 50 Breaststroke leading off a medley relay, 1.09 seconds in 50 Free, and .74 seconds in 50 Breaststroke.
- Bella Nguyen (7) came within .16 seconds of breaking the :40 barrier in 50 Free after a .16 second PR. She also had great swims in her first try at a flat-start 50 Back and 50 Breast.
- Joseph Minarik (JR) cut .48 seconds from his 50 Back PR. He also completed a legal 50 Breaststroke for the first time!
- Aidan McCardell (FR) dropped 7.25 seconds in 50 Back and 6.02 seconds in 50 Breaststroke. Those are big drops for Aidan!
- Joey Lynch (7) had a huge 5.93 second PR in 50 Breaststroke. He also dropped 1.75 seconds in 50 Fly.
- Cora Kramer (8) used the flip turn she learned this year to beat her previous PR in 50 Free by 1.00 seconds.
- Daniel Kohlhaas (6) crushed his previous PRs in both 50 Back and 50 Free, lowering them by 4.00 seconds and 2.50 seconds, respectively. He also had a great swim in his first attempt at 50 Breaststroke. Did you see Daniel in the Arlington Catholic Herald? You can see the article under In the News on this website.
- Jane Judge (7) cut .27 seconds in 50 Back leading off a medley relay.
- Monica Irving (7) swam a PR in every one of her individual swims. She cut 6.42 seconds in 50 Back, 4.57 seconds in 50 Breaststroke, and .17 seconds in 50 Free.
- Elizabeth Hurley (7) dropped another .65 seconds in 50 Back on the strength of her walls.
- Victor Henry (FR) completed his first year on the team with a .60 second PR in 50 Free.
- Dominic Henry (7) completed his first year with some massive Personal Records. How about a 16.30 second PR in 50 Back and a 2.60 second PR in 50 Free?
- Maddie Heiny (FR) had a amazing swim in 50 Fly, beating her previous best by 12.06 seconds! She also dropped .71 seconds in 50 Free.
- Clare Heiny (7) looked good in her 50 Free, cutting .40 seconds from her previous PR.
- Orla Haggerty (SO) dropped 4.41 seconds in 50 Breaststroke leading off a relay.
- Aoife Haggerty (8) had a huge drop in 50 Breaststroke, beating her previous PR by 7.87 seconds.
- Veronica Gonzalez (7) dropped 5.05 seconds in 50 Breaststroke.
- Amelia Geary (JR) finished her season with a .08 second PR in 50 Free.
- Kyleigh Fifield (8) cut .32 seconds in 50 Back.
- Ben Ellis (8) had his best swim of the season in 50 Fly, lowering his PR by 4.72 seconds.
- Joseph Dwane (JR) swam a massive 15.18 second PR in 50 Back. Joseph also cut 5.83 seconds in 50 Breast and 1.09 seconds in 50 Free.
- Annie Dusek (7) had a big drop in 50 Fly, beating his PR by 4.62 seconds. He also dropped .52 seconds in 50 Free.
- JJ Cooley (FR) swam really well in 50 Free with a 1.26 second PR.
- Tim Blanchette (SR) cut .03 seconds in 50 Free, and he had a great swim in his first flat-start 50 Breaststroke. Did you see Tim in the Arlington Catholic Herald? You can see the article under In the News on this website.
- Nora Blanchette (FR) dropped a huge 6.09 seconds in 100 Free. She also dropped 1.98 seconds in 50 Breaststroke and .88 seconds in 50 Free.
- Meg Blanchette (SO) swam a PR every time she hit the water on Saturday. She cut 2.82 seconds in 50 Back, 1.64 seconds in 50 Breast, and .23 seconds in 50 Free.
- Aaron Bishop (JR) crushed his PR in 100 IM by 5.80 seconds. He also beat his PR in 50 Fly by .49 seconds.
- Veronica Bingham (6) had her best swim of the season in 50 Free where she beat her previous best by .72 seconds.
- Ryan Beltran (JR) was super in 100 IM where he cut 4.72 seconds from his previous best. He also cut 1.14 seconds in 50 Fly.
- Ryan Baughman (FR) beat his previous best in 100 Free by a whopping 4.65 seconds. He beat his best 50 Free time by .39 seconds.
- Julia Atkinson (JR) cut 1.88 seconds in 50 Fly, a big drop for her.
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:
- Noemi Rodriguez (8) had a great swim in her-ever attempt at 100 IM. Her 1:30.81 is excellent for only a 2nd year swimmer.
- Camila Quispe (6) looked better than ever in her first attempt at 50 Backstroke.
- Colin Nguyen (SR) was a great addition to the team. It was his first year swimming on the team even though he is a senior. I love it when seniors come out for the team for the first time.
- Ava Hudson (JR) had to leave early, but that still left her enough time to have strong swims in 100 IM and 50 Back.
- Jack Gregory (JR) finished his season strong with another good swim in Breaststroke.
- Charlie Dusek (FR) swam well in his first attempts at a flat-start 50 Back and 50 Breaststroke. Had he had a previous time, I’m quite sure those swims would have been big PRs.
- Kit Blanchette (7) swam well, especially during her first attempt at a flat-start 50 Breaststroke.
- Rachel Baughman (7) looked great in her first attempt at a flat-start 50 Breaststroke.
- Molly Bauer (SO) made the most of her first try at 100 IM where she swam a 1.37.37.
- Katie Bauer (7) had great swims in 50 Fly and 50 Breaststroke, breaking :50 in both during her first attempts at those events.
The Remainder of the Championship Season
The 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 4th at the Freedom Center.
- The VCAC Conference Championship – Saturday, February 11th at the Fitch WARF with Diving the night before at the Freedom Center
- The VISAA State Swimming and Diving Championship – Friday and Saturday, February 17-18th at the Liberty University Natatorium in Lynchburg, VA.
Entries and information will be posted for the VISAA Division II Invitational after the entry deadline on Tuesday night. All Varsity swimmers should be on deck ready to stretch by 12:39 p.m. at Freedom.
It is championship season, so we are trying to win all these meets. That means team considerations will trump individual considerations. For some of you who are the bubble for making the State Team or getting on a “A” Relay at States, I’m doing what I can, consistent with the team’s needs, to make sure you have at least one (1) more chance to earn your spot.
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.
I promise you that Trinity Christian is working hard.
Save the Date for the Seton Swimming Awards Banquet: Sunday, March 5, 2023, at 2:00 p.m. at Renaissance Montessori School
A Quick Update on Ariana Aldeguer
This past weekend, Ariana missed our meet so that she could participate in the USA Swimming IMX Extreme Games at the University of Maryland.
She competed against 200 13-14 year-old girls in 6 events – 500 Free, 200 Back, 200 Fly, 200 Breast, 200 IM, and 400 IM. Based on the combined total of her scores, Ariana was declared the IMX Champion for 13-year-old Girls!
See you at practice!
Coach Jim Koehr