Last Saturday, Seton Swimming challenged a number of DAC conference opponents, and without 5 of our top 6 swimmers present, showed how deep our team has become over the past few years. On the girls side, this was by far the closest the scores have been in recent memory, but with 3 of our 4 top girls out of town, and our powerful 7th graders eligible to score next season, I’m not worried about our trajectory within the conference. We’ve won the conference title the last 16 years in a row, and if Saturday’s meet is any indication, that streak is not likely to be broken any time soon. The final scores for this week turned out like this:
Seton 199 Fredericksburg Christian 64
Seton 212 St. Mary’s Ryken (MD) 46
Seton 208 Wakefield 43
Seton 207 John Paul the Great 38
Seton 223 Middleburg Academy 37
Seton 217 Wakefield Country Day 36
Seton 218 Highland School 30
Seton 167 Fredericksburg Christian 111
Seton 164 John Paul the Great 107
Seton 178 St. Mary’s Ryken (MD) 91
Seton 208 Highland School 53
Seton 200 Wakefield 54
Seton 211 Middleburg Academy 36
Seton 212 Wakefield Country Day 28
Current Members of the Post Season Championship Teams
In anticipation of the championship season, we’re already starting to see who is going to be on our State and National Catholic Teams. Both of these meet required participants to meet a specific qualified times, and there is still plenty of time for our swimmers to reach those times.
Here are the championship teams as they stand right now, not including relays:
|National Catholic Team||State Team|
|· Catfish Dunn|
· David Basinger
· Joe Kenna
· Carolyn Claybrooks
· Lauren Donohoe
· Alex Doonis
· Rachel Lambrecht
· Cat Rogers
· Bridget Wunderly
|· Catfish Dunn|
· David Basinger
· Michael Hill
· Jamie Smith
· Joe Kenna (Relay Anchor)
· Patrick Kenna (Diving – so far!)
· Lauren Donohoe
· Alex Doonis
· Cat Rogers
· Bridget Wunderly
· Rachel Lambrecht
Congratulations to these 11 swimmers! A detailed report detailing the events in which everyone qualified is under Meet & Team Information.
Several other swimmers could break onto the championship teams by hitting individual qualification times or by swimming on relays that hit the qualifying times. This could be particularly true of the 400 Free Relay for boys and girls.
In meets where the scores are so lopsided, it was sometimes hard for our swimmers to have truly breakout performances, but I couldn’t help getting really excited about a few, including:
- I think it is time to give the “Fab 14s” a shout out for the way they are performing for our team. The “Fab 14s” are the top freshman boys, boys in the class of 2014, and they have been a huge part of the reason our boys team is an undefeated 13-0 so far this season:
- Did you see Freshman Jamie Smith in the Manassas Journal Messenger listed as one of five (5) great new faces ready to shine in Prince William County? I think his four (4) first place finishes on Saturday show us why. He won both of his individual events with huge PRs. In the 200 IM, Jamie cut 7.93 seconds to go 2:19.10 and qualify for yet another event at States! Then Jamie cut 4.12 seconds in 100 Fly to go 1:06.24, another great time for a freshman. He completed his great day joining Brendan Koehr, Patrick Kenna and Joe Kenna in the 200 Free Relay and Steven Shaw, Michael Hill and Joe Kenna in the 200 Medley relay.
- And speaking of Freshman Joe Kenna, he just continues to shine. This week I challenged him with the 200 Free and he didn’t let me down. He took first place overall in the event and lowered his PR by 2.58 seconds. He also cut another .54 seconds in 100 Free to go 56.78 and take 2nd place overall, a very fast time for a freshman boy.
- Freshman Joe Kosten has shown really strong improvement since last season, and that improvement resulted in two 3rd place overall finishes on Saturday. His 100 Breaststroke is now down to 1:15.69 after another PR. And he swam 100 Fly for the first time ever at Seton and went an outstanding 1:12.42! These are pretty good times for a freshman boy.
- Because Freshman Patrick Koehr, is such a good all-around swimmer, he can usually be relied upon to score for us in the more difficult events like the 500 Free and the 200 IM – Patrick is one of the few young swimmers who can swim all four (4) strokes well. This past week, I gave him a shot at some of her personal favorite events, and he repaid me with 3 PRs, including a 1.06 second PR in 100 Free, a .86 second PR in 100 Breast, and his biggest PR, a 1.82 second drop in 50 Free. That 50 Free is now the 10th fastest on the team, so I’d expect to see Patrick on some scoring relays at some point this season.
- Freshman Kenneth Cuomo had a wonderful swim in 100 Back, where he cut 12.11 seconds. His backstroke has improved so much, I had to look at the meet sheet to see who was swimming it so well. He has also made a big improvement in his dives from the blocks, which probably helps explain that .61 second in 50 Free leading off a relay. I think I can already see Kenneth moving up in his ability to score with his Fab 14 compatriots.
- And don’t count Freshman Michael Manley and Xavier Holl out of the mix. Both of them had PRs in their two individual events. Michael cut 4.29 seconds in 50 Free and 3.21 seconds in 100 Free. Xavier, a first year swimmer, cut an amazing 18.86 seconds in 100 Back and 3.10 seconds in 50 Free. If these two keep improving this much, we’ll be seeing them scoring with their fellow freshman in the future also.
- Claire Kenna, part of our incredible group of 7th grade girls, just continues to stand out, even among a group of standouts. Claire took her first crack at the 500 Free (more about the 500 Free later) and swam it in 6:44.59, a time that would have taken 2nd place overall had she been eligible to score. That is now the 7th fastest time on the girl’s team, and not a swimmer younger than a junior can beat her in this event. Her amazing swimming continued when she cut almost another second from her 100 Breaststroke PR to go 1:24.55, again the 7th fastest time on the team right now. That’s pretty special for a 7th grade girl. I know you are worried that I’m going to keep putting you in this event, but don’t worry, with the 5th fastest 100 Free time on the team, I think you’ll be doing plenty of sprinting during your career at Seton!
- We also had some older kids really shine in this meet, starting with our “A” 200 Medley Relay. Monica Byers, Rachel Lambrecht, Lucy Bennett stepped in for some missing swimmers to join Lauren Donohoe for first place in the event. It was a tough race with a much improved Fredericksburg Christian girl’s team. Monica, Rachel and Lucy all swam well, but at the 150, we were 2 body lengths behind. I was standing on the side of the pool when Lauren and I made eye contact. We both just nodded our heads. Lauren got one body length back on the 1st 25, a half body length on the turn and the race was over before she was halfway home. Man it was fun to watch. Lauren had 4 first place finishes in the meet.
- Senior Captain Brendan Koehr also had 4 first place finishes with some really great swims. His best swim was in 50 Free where he cut .16 seconds to work his way closer to the one of the championship meet cuts. He also won in the 500 and as part of both freestyle relays. Brendan really looked powerful in that 50 Free – his freestyle stroke technique has really become quite excellent. And his turn was as good as I’ve ever seen it. In fact, I’d say he won the 50 on the turn.
- Senior Captain Rachel Lambrecht may have learned that she is more versatile than she thought after she placed 1st in the 500 Free and 3rd overall in the 200 IM. She had big PRs in both events, including a 62.40 second PR in the 500 Free! In the past, we’ve counted on Rachel for Breastroke and the sprints, but now I think I have a new gameplan for her! I haven’t had the time to verify if this is true or not, but I heard that, since 7th grade, Rachel has only missed one practice. If that is even close to true, it is an amazing testament to her desire and perseverance.
- Did you see that smile on Jonathan Rosato’s face on Saturday? I think I’d be smiling too if I just dropped 38.53 seconds in 500 Free, which was good enough for 2nd place overall. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the first time Jonathan swam the 500 Free as a middle schooler. Let’s just say, “you’ve come a long way baby!”. As great as that swim was however, I was the most pleased with that breaststroke. Jonathan dropped 1.03 seconds from an already pretty fast PR to take 2nd place overall. Jonathan scored a lot of points for Seton on Saturday.
- If you ever want to watch someone having fun trying to push themselves to new levels of pain in athletics, you need to come to practice one day and watch Sophomore Steven Shaw. When we sprint, he sprints. When we go long, he sprints. When we go smooth, he sprints. And when he’s racing Joe Kenna, he sprints. He’s even more entertaining during dryland where only Senior Captain Patrick Kenna can hang with him. We’re doing 4 sets of push-ups each day, and we’re adding 1 push per set each week. As a group, the team is up to 4 sets of 12, but everyone has their own personal number. Steven’s number is “2 for 1 plus 5”. The kid’s a freak of nature, and I absolutely love it. And what does all of that work get you? How about three (3) PRs? Steven didn’t just break 28 in 50 Free for the first time, he broke 27. He also broke 1:00 in 100 Free for the first time and lowered his 50 Back PR leading off a medley. In some many things, the formula is as simple as “Effort = Success”, and Steven demonstrates that for us every day at practice.
You didn’t have to qualify for a championship team to have a great swim. For those of you who are new to the team, we really try to celebrate Personal Records or “PRs” since that is really the measure of excellence for a swimmer. If you keep improving your PR, the winning starts to take care of itself. Here are the rest of the 71 personal records established last weekend:
- William Arnold continues to see the fruits of his enthusiasm for the sport with a 10.46 second PR in 100 Back and a .60 second PR in 50 Free
- Steven Britten cut 1.83 seconds from his previous best in 100 Back. He also looked pretty good leading off a medley relay for the first time.
- Monica Byers had a very nice swim in the 200 Free, taking 6th place overall after lowering her PR by 2.60 seconds
- Nice work Michael Collins! That was 16.17 seconds you cut from your 200 Free PR with a much longer stroke than I’ve seen in the past. You also cut 1.58 seconds from your 100 Free PR.
- Bryanna Farmer’s freestyle continues to get better. On Saturday, she cut 1.97 seconds from her 100 Free PR. She also had a nice swim leading off a medley relay for the first time.
- I was so pleased with Josefa Gonzalez after her swim in 100 Back. And I know that Coach Van de Voorde was even more pleased to see he cut her PR by 10.94 seconds!
- And Therese Gonzalez also swam well, lowering her 50 Free PR by 4.07 seconds.
- Patrick Hall looked great in that 100 Free. He dropped 10.67 seconds from his previous best. And then, later in the meet, he dropped 4.12 seconds from his previous best in 100 Breaststroke.
- Patrick Hassan sure looked good cutting his 100 Free PR by 3.00 seconds.
- I’ve never seen Patrick Hilleary look as good as he did on Saturday, especially in his 100 Free where he cut 11.04 seconds from his PR.
- Keeping those elbows higher underwater seemed to help Michael Hill lower his 200 IM PR by 6.31 seconds.
- Xavier Holl had two very nice individual swims when he cut 18.86 seconds from his 100 Back PR and 3.10 seconds from his 50 Free PR. Those are big drops!
- And Hadley Huff dropped even more time than that when she cut 29.11 seconds from her 100 Back PR and 5.57 seconds from her 50 Free PR.
- David Lambrecht had a very big meet with two PRs that were good for 6th and 7th places finishes overall. David lowered his 500 Free PR by an incredible 23.48 seconds, and he cut his 200 Free PR by 7.41 seconds. That’s a lot of scoring for the sophomore this past weekend.
- Caitlin Lightner had a very nice swim in the 100 Free when she dropped 1.08 seconds.
- 8th grader Sally Marrazzo’s freestyle is really starting to get good, and it showed on Saturday with another PR in 100 Free, this time by 4.67 seconds. I was standing next to Grace Van de Voorde during Sally’s race, and Grace said, “she’s so long!” That’s exactly what you want to hear. Keep listening in practice Sally – it’s working!
- 7th grader Fiona Miller continues to improve, lowering her 50 Free PR by 4.53 seconds. Keep it up Fiona!
- Tommy Moore (as someone who makes a good portion of his living in sales, it’s everything I can do not to call him “Tommy Boy” after the famous movie about a sales rep who saves the day) saved the day with 2 huge PRs – one in 100 Back, by 15.06 seconds, and the other in 50 Free, by 3.93 seconds.
- Sophomore James Mosimann tackled 100 Fly and cut his PR by 4.54 seconds. I can’t wait to see how he does after we finish working on it this week and next.
- And little brother Paul Mosimann had a 5.19 second PR in 100 Back and a .70 second PR in 100 Free. I can see Paul scoring for us in the future.
- How about 7th grader Meghan O’Malley’s 2 Personal Records. Meghan cut 1.11 second from her PR in 100 Free and .27 seconds from her PR in 50 Free. And her backstroke leading off the medley relay was simply beautiful.
- I think 8th grader Paul Pechie wants to be an honorary member of the Fab 14s the way he’s been swimming. Paul cut 13.53 seconds from his 200 IM PR, .63 seconds from his 100 Back PR, and .43 seconds from his 50 Free PR while leading off a relay. That’s a good day’s work! Next thing you know, he’ll develop the power to get the trains to move the next time I’m stuck behind one in Old Town Manassas.
- Our breaststroke work in practice has been helping Ann Pennefather who cut .76 seconds from her 100 Breast PR. She was also right on her PR in 50 Free. I’m anxious to see her learn butterfly.
- I’m really enjoying 7th grader Rose Remington and how much she’s improving. How about a 6.82 second PR in 100 Free and a 1.84 second PR in 100 Back?
- 7th grader Cris Salas lowered his 100 Breast PR by another 1.59 seconds. His finish in that race was particularly good. And his 100 Free time of 1:16.65, is pretty good for a 7th I think he has potential to be a real player for us.
- Freshman Fiona Seoh has one of the prettiest freestyles on the team right now. And she used it to cut 4.83 seconds from her 100 Free PR and 3.13 seconds from her 50 Free PR leading off a relay. I think all of that grace might be genetic – she gets it from her father 😉
- Nice work Jude Van de Voorde. You cut another 2.11 seconds from your 100 Back PR.
- Senior Matthew Verry got a rare chance to swim an event that was less than 200 yards on Saturday and PR’d both times, once in 50 Free and then again in 100 Breaststroke. Hey Matt, don’t think this means you’re off the hook for the 500 and 200 IM! 😉
- Sister Theresa Verry took on the 500 for Matt and made him proud when she lowered her PR by 34.59 seconds.
- Mikey Wittlinger continues to show how much she has improved since last year. This week, she cut 14.57 seconds from her 200 IM PR.
- Sophomore Bernadette Wunderly just quietly gets it done. She cut .58 seconds from her 50 Free PR and .19 seconds from her 100 Free PR. Now she can go back to the more difficult events 😉
- Vivian Zadnik sure was excited after her 12.55 second PR in 100 Back and her .58 second PR in the 50 Free. Her shoulder roll in backstroke was particulary good.
- I don’t think there’s an event that Senior Captain Leslie Zapiain can’t do. This week, she went away from her normal events and rewarded me with a .85 second PR in 100 Fly.
Other Great Performances
There were a lot of other great swims this past weekend also:
- New swimmer, freshman Luke Marrazzo, had to miss time trials, so I really didn’t know what he could do. That is no longer a problem, because he really showed me a lot on Saturday. I was very excited to see his head remain mostly quiet (coach-speak for “still”) and to see his 100 Free time display on the big board – 1:05.00. Because I didn’t have a baseline time, I can’t count it as a PR, but I guarantee that Luke is much faster than he was 4 weeks ago! Luke also had a nice swim in 100 Back
- I lined up a couple relays with only 7th grade girls, and the results were really fun to watch:
- With Claire Kenna, Emily Heim, Nicolette Smith, and Jillian Ceol in an exhibition 200 Medley Relay, they swam a time that would have placed 6th
- Then our newest 7th grader, Kimberly Rector joined Nicolette Smith, Jillian Ceol and Claire Kenna in the 200 Free relay and swam a time that would have scored in 7th place overall.
- Now we just need to get some (not all) members of our special 7th grade group a little more focused on completing the dryland exercises. The jump to high school swimming has been pretty smooth for these girls so far, but if we want to achieve our full potential with this group, I think some of us are going to have to learn to work like we want to be the best we can be. I think on Thursday, we’ll have a special dryland group where they have to keep up with an overweight, 47-year old swimming coach – I plan to let the girl captains tell me who belongs in my group.
- And while I’m talking about the 7th grade girls, I may as well talk about another striking performance they had in the 500 Free in a heat that I set up almost exclusively for them. There was a lot of nervousness, and even a few tears, before the race, but I think we all learned that we can do a lot more than we think we can. Finishing this event for the first time along with Claire were Nicolette Smith, Jillian Ceol, Geni Lucas, Emily Heim, Michaela Pennefather, and Meggie Vestermark
- It looks like Kimberly Rector, a 7th grader who just joined our team this week, is going to be a pretty good addition. She already fit in pretty well with one of our relays, and she did very well in her first attempts at individual events with Seton. Her 1:10.10 in 100 Free is already the 17th fastest time on the entire team, and we hadn’t even had a chance to work on her stroke technique. If she listens in practice to the things she needs to do to improve her strokes, I don’t think anyone knows how good she can be.
- I think we’ve learned that Junior Hugh Brien can swim Butterfly. In his first attempt at 100 Fly, he placed 2nd overall! And in the medley relay, he split 29.08, more than 2 seconds faster than his 50 Fly at time trials! Of the current members of team, only David Basinger, Catfish Dunn and Patrick Kenna have swum faster Fly relay spits. He also tried the 500 for the first time and placed 5th We’re working on Fly this week and next, so I’m starting to get excited about what he can do in this event.
- I think 7th grader Geni Lucas is going to be a pretty good butterflier too!
- Keziah Higginbottom has really impressed me this season. Her work ethic in practice is something that every swimmer on the team could emulate. I knew that her practice habits would make her first attempts at the 200 and 500 Free winners, and I was right – they resulted in 9th and 6th place finishes overall, which means that she scored a lot of points for us this past weekend. And her backstroke leading off the medley relay was really fast. Too bad the timing system failed on her heat because I would have loved to have seen her split.
- Judith Cummings scored in the difficult 200 IM and 500 Free events with two 7th place overall finishes. Thanks for showing the younger swimmers how to be a team player Judith.
- 8th grader and first year swimmer Tim Costello showed a lot of improvement in his freestyle stroke technique.
- I’m really looking forward to teaching Michaela Pennefather to swim a better butterfly. I think she can be very good at it.
- Nice body dolphin and glide in that breaststroke Theresa Verry!
Upcoming Homecoming Meet
This coming Saturday is our annual Homecoming Meet. Last year’s was snowed out so I want to make this one extra special. I’m close to lining up some all-star alumni relays to race our current relays. That should be a blast. So if you have older siblings or kids or friends that are alumni of Seton Swimming, make sure they get the word about the meet. I hope to see lots of old faces there.
See you all at practice, and let’s get ready for a great meet on Saturday!