Last Saturday, January 9th, Seton Swimming finally got to hold a meet without a snow cancellation.  288 Swimmers from 8 teams converged on the Freedom Center and both the Seton Boys and Girls swept all of them.  Among the opponents were Bishop Ireton, Division I team, and Nansemond-Suffolk, a Division II powerhouse that dropped down from Division I with new VISAA classification rules.  Both of these teams had great swimmers, but the difference in the meets, as it is in so many meets, is the strength of our 2nd, 3rd, 4th swimmers in every event.  Seton’s depth wins it again.

The final scores for this week turned out like this:


Seton     164                 Bishop Ireton                       115

Seton     170                 Nansemond-Suffolk           122

Seton     193                   Flint Hill                                  92

Seton     225                   F’burg Christian                      53

Seton     228                   Quantico High School             30

Seton     220                   John Paul the Great                19

Seton     226                   Wakefield Country Day           15


Seton     178                 Bishop Ireton                       123

Seton     188                 Nansemond-Suffolk           120

Seton     203                   Flint Hill                                  90

Seton     241                   F’burg Christian                      61

Seton     244                   Foxcroft                                    39

Seton     246                   Quantico High School             28

Seton     234                   John Paul the Great                56

Seton     238                   Wakefield Country Day           16

One thing to note about the boy’s scores is that our top swimmer, Jameson Hill, was not present for this meet because he was swimming in a senior circuit meet in Georgia.  Just imagine what the scores might have been if we had him! Saturday’s results are just another indication that our team is just that, a team.  We are so much more than a collection of a few good USA swimmers.

Breakout Performances

It seems like, at every meet, there are always some eye-popping performances that get everyone saying “Wow!” – the kind of swims that you are still talking about while you are driving home.  Last Saturday was no different with four performances that simply stood out from all of the others:

  • David Basinger was a beast on Saturday in the 500 Free and the 100 Fly. In the 500, David was dominate, winning by more than 17 seconds after improving his best time from last season by more than 20 seconds.  And that was shortly after he cut 2.46 seconds from his 100 Fly taking second in a race where his seed time would have gotten him 5th.  I can’t say these results surprise me though.  I’ve been watching David pound the sets in practice – I mean he really works hard during the week.  Both of those swims got him the National Catholic qualifying times, so know he’s qualified in 4 different events.  He has also now qualified in every event for States.  David has become an all-around scoring threat and team leader this season, and it sure has been fun to watch!
  • Joseph Kenna, only an 8th grader, was absolutely unbelievable on Saturday. He entered the 100 Free seeded 8th with a previous best time of 1:00.95 and ended up finishing 3rd with a time of 57.32!  Are you kidding?  That was a 3.63 second improvement!  In the 50 Free, he was seeded 14th, but dropped an incredible 1.43 seconds from his PR to go 25.41 and finish 8th  I’ll tell you that not too many 8th graders in this area are swimming that fast – and Joseph is not a USA swimmer.  In fact, Joseph had a slow start to the season after he injured his shoulder in fall football, but now he’s recovered and working very hard in practice on both stroke technique and conditioning.  That hard work is really paying off.  Hey, Joseph, the state cut is 53.56 for 100 Free and the National Catholic cut is 24.50.  Let’s get those cuts!
  • How about Catfish Dunn! Did you see that race in 100 Free?  He cut 1.49 seconds from his PR to go a very fast 51.11.  That is now the 2nd fastest 100 Free time on the team behind only Jamo.  Catfish also went 1:52.40 in the 200 Free, cutting his PR by nearly 5 seconds and he went 24.35 in 50 Free, cutting his PR by .65 seconds.  Catfish has been swimming with Coach Benner most days, and the coach told me to expect big things from Catfish for the last half of this season.  He’s only a sophomore, and I’m getting the feeling that we’ll be seeing really big things before he graduates!
  • Cat Rogers’ start in 100 Breaststroke lived up to her name for its quickness. But the most impressive part of her start was the power underwater.  I was standing next to Coach Lowell when Cat did her first pull-down, and we both said “wow!” at the same time – that is an exact quote.  When she finally surfaced, she was more than half a body length ahead of the field, and the race had just begun.  I haven’t seen anything like that on our team since Nevin Cook.  Her time of 1:14.24 was a 1.10 second improvement, and all of the improvement came underwater, I assure you.  That time is also getting very close to a top-8 state time – and she’s only a sophomore.  I was worried last season when we lost Mary Kate Kenna, but I think we have definitely found her replacement!

Personal Records

Saturday was also a great day for Personal Records with 55 swimmers setting 85 new PRs:

  • Thomas Kosten, did you really cut 25.61 seconds in the 500 Free? Your time was good enough for 7th place overall, which means you got 2nd or 3rd in the scoring against almost all of our opponents!  TK also cut 2.43 seconds in the 200 Free.  Great job!
  • Lucy Bennett has been working on her butterfly in Connor Cook’s practice lanes, so I was very pleased to see her drop an incredible 7.35 seconds in 100 Fly! That is a really big improvement.  She also cut 1.19 seconds from her 200 Free PR.
  • Peter Rohan, nice work on that 100 Back – a 15.50 second drop? Way to go!  You also dropped 3.41 seconds in 50 Free?  You had quite a meet!
  • Patrick Kenna almost forgot to notice that he cut more than 1 second from his 100 Free PR. That is hard to do when you’ve swum the event as often as Patrick and when you time is as fast as his.
  • Steven Shaw had 3 personal records including a 1.37 second PR in 100 Back, a .50 second PR in 100 Fly and a 1.58 second PR in 50 Back leading off the medley relay. He’s only a freshman, but that 1:10.39 in 100 Back will score a lot of points in a high school swim meet.
  • James Mosimann, another freshman, had a great meet with 3 swimming PRs. James improved his 50 Free time twice, by a total of .84 seconds after swimming in the individual event and then leading off a 200 Free relay.  He also cut .11 seconds from his 100 Backstroke PR.
  • 8th grader Julia Irving has the potential to be a really good swimmer for us as she continues to improve. Julia cut time in 3 events, lowering her 200 Free PR by 3.80 seconds, her 100 Back PR by 2.17 seconds, and her 50 Back PR leading off a relay by 1.24 seconds.
  • Jack Corkery lowered 3 PRs on Saturday. His biggest PR was a 5.81 second drop in 100 Back.  He also cut 1.13 seconds in 50 Back leading off the Medley relay and .26 seconds in 50 Free.  I enjoy helping Jack get into the water to start practice each morning.  Fortunately, he’s still light 😉
  • Kevin Bliss, a sophomore, is starting to show a maturity in the way he approaches swimming and life, and it is showing up in his times. Kevin lowered his 500 Free PR by 18.36 seconds!  He also cut .19 seconds in 50 Free.  Kevin is my partner most mornings for dryland training where is new found strength is always pushing me with those tubes!
  • Lizzie Rogers can swim butterfly now! And she proved it with a 5.74 second improvement.
  • Kenneth Cuomo just continues to get better. He lowered his 50 Free PR by 3.19 seconds and his 100 Free PR by 1.86 seconds.  His strokes are starting to look much better now.
  • After his 100 Fly, I told Matthew Verry that I have never seen him swim better in my life. After lots of work with Coach Lowell on his technique, he cut 3.68 seconds from PR!  The most impressive thing was that he kept his form throughout the race, even at the end when his arms were completely numb.  He also cut 1.49 seconds from his 200 IM PR, most of which probably came from the butterfly leg.  Matthew is scoring a lot of points for us when he swims in these difficult events.
  • 8th grader Patrick Koehr is going to be a real player for us in the future. He’s already scoring big points with competitive times.  Patrick dropped 4.84 seconds from his backstroke PR and another .48 seconds from his 100 Free PR.  His backstroke race was particularly enjoyable as we watched him beat a guy who was a least a foot taller!
  • Bernadette Wunderly has a very good swim in the difficult 200 IM when she lowered her PR by 4.69 seconds.
  • Joseph Kosten, a member of the Fab-14s, is really doing well in practice and that extended to his 100 Backstroke on Saturday where he cut 11.48 seconds from his PR!
  • Mikey Wittlinger had some great swims! She dropped 3.67 seconds from her 100 Breaststroke PR and 2.23 seconds from her 50 Free PR.
  • Theresa Verry really seems to be enjoying the season, and she celebrated with a .81 second PR in 100 Breaststroke. Her glide each stroke was just beautiful.
  • Coach Smith was beaming on Saturday watching the kids in his practice lanes do so well. Like Jude Vander Voorde for instance who cut 6.14 seconds from his 100 Free PR and .07 seconds from his 50 Free PR.
  • Jamie Smith, another top 8th grader, continues to excel in the pool. He cut another 1.54 seconds from his 200 Free PR to go 2:09.28, a very fast time for an 8th  He also cut another .41 seconds from his 50 Free PR.
  • Tommy Shaw, a 7th grader, is already showing great potential. He improved his 100 Breaststroke time by 1.37 seconds, and he successfully competed in 100 Fly for the first time.  I think Tommy has a good future in Seton Swimming.
  • Joe Scheetz was smiling Saturday with his two PRs. He lowered his 100 Free time by 1.99 seconds and his 50 time by .14 seconds.  It’s amazing what happens when you go to the bathroom sometime other than swim practice 😉
  • And Ali Salas was all smiles too. I was behind the blocks when she got out after dropping more than 7 seconds in 100 back.  Nice work Ali.
  • 8th grader Connor Kleb is working to make his mark on our team in the 100 Fly where he continues to improve. He lowered his PR in the event by another 4.91 seconds.  He also cut 2.61 seconds in 100 Breaststroke.
  • Judith Cummings cut 1.76 seconds from her 100 Free PR. I think she’ll be scoring for us in the future.
  • Jonathan Rosato got a PR after swimming 100 Fly on short notice (subtle, huh Jonathan?). In spite the short notice, he managed to drop another .21 seconds from his PR.
  • Sarah McGurk cut another .03 seconds in 50 Free
  • Sally Marrazzo lowered her 50 Free PR by .51 seconds.
  • Luke Marrazzo had a good meet with 2 PRs. He cut 3.00 seconds in 100 Back and 2.20 seconds in 100 Free.
  • Michael Manley is showing some dramatic improvement working with Coach Smith. How about a 36 second drop in 100 Breaststroke?  Or a 6.97 second drop in 50 Free?  Great job Michael!
  • I can always count on Hannah Lowell to swim that hard events like 100 Fly. On Saturday, I cut her a break and had her swimming 100 Back.  She rewarded me with a 2.89 second PR.  I guess I’ll have to go easy on her again sometime soon?
  • Peter Quinan is starting to get the hang of things. A 3.10 second PR in 100 Breast and a 2.08 second PR in 50 Free proves it!
  • Ann Pennefather is certainly going to score more points this summer based on her improvement at Seton. Ann dropped another 2.39 seconds in 50 Free and another 1.72 seconds in 100 Back.  I think Ann told me that her 50 meter free time last summer was a :39.  Her 50 yard time on Saturday converts to a :36.18 for 50 meters!
  • I enjoyed challenging Timmy Murphy by entering him in the 200 Free. Nice work Timmy, you cut 1.51 seconds.
  • Maggie Murphy also cut time in the 200 Free – she cut 3.85 seconds
  • Paul Mosimann lowered his 100 Free time by a big 4.48 seconds.
  • 8th grader Emily Lowell showed that she’ll always do her best no matter what event I put her in. Nice work with a 7.44 second PR in the 200 Free.
  • As we graduate several seniors later this year, we’ll be looking for swimmers like Rachel Lambrecht to step up and score in the more difficult events. That was why I was so happy to see her continue to improve in her 200 IM.
  • Freshman David Lambrecht really seems to be focused on getting better this year. He had a really big 5.14 second PR in 100 Free.  He also cut another .53 seconds in 50 Free.
  • Rocky Kleb cut 1.57 seconds from his 50 Back PR leading off a relay, and he cut another .24 seconds from his 50 Free PR.
  • Shannon Kerns is a great ambassador for Seton Swimming wither her positive attitude – and her .21 second PR in the 50 Free
  • Joseph Irving, a 7th grader, continues to improve. He improved his PR in 50 Free by 1.48 seconds.
  • Michael Hill lowered his 50 Free PR by .04 seconds leading off a relay
  • Pat Hilleary is new to both the team and to swimming, but you can see him improving. He lowered his previous best time on Saturday by 3.50 seconds.  I know that Coach Smith was very pleased.
  • Patrick Hall, where did those times come from? You cut 8.95 seconds in your 50 Free and 7.14 seconds in your 100 Free.
  • Jack Geiran established a new PR, by .07 seconds, in the 50 Free
  • Fiona Geiran cut 3.11 seconds from her 100 Free PR. She’s only in 7th grade, but already I can see that she has some real potential to be a big scorer in the future.
  • Michael Collins seems to be approaching this season with a sense of purpose, which is probably why he was able to cut another .57 seconds from his 50 Free PR.
  • Michael Manley won the boys diving! That was 8 points for our team.
  • On the girls side of diving, Ann Duran took 2nd overall and Sarah Zapiain took 4th Keziah Higginbottom and Shannon Bartnick also scored.  That meant that our girls beat Bishop Ireton in diving 15-14!

Other Great Performances

There were a lot of other great swims this past weekend also:

  • Paul Pechie hurt his foot over break, but with some creative physical therapy from Dad and a big heart, Paul came to the meet on Saturday ready to roll. He did a great job as a 7th grader in his first ever 200 Freestyle.  I’m looking forward to having Paul on the team for another 5 and a half years!
  • Daniel Koehr owned the entire field on the breaststroke leg of the Medley Relay. That domination helped set the tone for the rest of the boys meet.  With Connor Cook, David Basinger, and Catfish Dunn filling the anchor, our boys medley relay took first place overall and told everyone there that we came to win this one.
  • Some of the other coaches and I were watching 7th grader Ann Pennefather swim the anchor leg of one of our medley relays, and we all agreed that we were dealing with an athlete here. Ann has a very powerful stroke that will really get fast as she gets older and stronger.
  • Joseph Kosten’s 200 IM finish was just tremendous! Sometimes, when you get tired, it is easy to shorten your stroke, but Joseph did not succumb to that – his stroke seemed to get longer.  And his finish was just like we learned in practice.  It was fun to watch him beat the swimmer from Quantico with heart – and good technique.
  • Laura Talbott showed a lot of heart in the 200 IM.
  • Clare Duda was just super in her first ever swim meet, competing in both the 50 and 100 Free. It was also fun watching Bridget Wunderly and the Zapiain sisters cheer her on.
  • Shannon Kerns did a great job with her first ever attempt to compete in 100 Fly. We always need swimmers who can score in 100 Fly, 200 IM and 500 Free.  If you’re having trouble breaking into the Varsity line up in the sprint events, there are often opportunities to excel in these events.
  • Lauren “the Machine” Donohoe owned 100 Free – again.
  • Wasn’t that Girls 200 Free Relay exciting. Alex Doonis, Cat Rogers, Laura Talbott and Lauren Donohoe held off a powerful Nansemond-Suffolk relay by only .14 seconds.   Right before the race, I was up with the scorers, and the NSA coach came to get me – we both knew that the race was going to be close.  I’m really glad we won, because I really don’t like to lose 😉
  • The other coaches and I got a kick out of watching Connor Cook win the 100 Backstroke. His 3rd turn and underwater was tremendous and he pulled away on the 4th  It was as if he said to himself, “enough of these guys already” and won going away.
  • Did you notice the number of mentions I’ve had about our 7th and 8th grade swimmers?
  • Speaking of 8th graders, how about Sarah Heim’s breaststroke? She’s going to score a lot of points for Seton in the future!

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.   I’m trying to keep track of who is close to a qualifying time so that I can make sure they get to swim in that event again, but you are welcome to help me by sending me an e-mail to remind me that you are close to a cut.

Here are the championship teams as they stand right now:

National Catholic TeamState Team
·        Jameson Hill

·        Connor Cook

·        Catfish Dunn

·        David Basinger

·        Daniel Koehr

·        Carolyn Claybrooks

·        Lauren Donohoe

·        Alex Doonis

·        Rachel Lambrecht

·        Cat Rogers

·        Laura Talbott

·        Bridget Wunderly

·        Jameson Hill

·        Connor Cook

·        Catfish Dunn

·        David Basinger

·        Daniel Koehr

·        Michael Hill

·        Carolyn Claybrooks

·        Lauren Donohoe

·        Alex Doonis

·        Rachel Lambrecht

·        Cat Rogers

·        Laura Talbott

·        Bridget Wunderly

·        Patrick Kenna (Diving – so far!)

·        Ann Duran – Diving

·        Sarah Zapiain – Diving

Congratulations to these 16 swimmers and divers!  A detailed report detailing the events in which everyone qualified is under Meet & Team Information.

Notes on our Parent Volunteers

How many schools do you think could pull off a regular season meet with 288 swimmers?  We don’t even have that many kids in our entire high school.  And we were able to do it without a single paid person.  I have to tell you that I was very proud of the way the meet went down:

  • From the warm-up, which was completely run by Coach Lowell and the other assistants,
  • To the scoring, which now uses so much automation that we forget that, only 6 or 7 years ago, we were doing this with cards and excel spreadsheets,
  • To the officiating, which was run extremely professionally by Charles Seltman, Ed Rogers, Ray Kenna, and all of our stroke and turn officials.
  • To the timing, where Brad Basinger did such a nice job managing the largest volunteer area for the meet and where we supplied the majority of the volunteers
  • To the music, which Chris Cook has down to a science with a several hundred watt amp and 4 PA speakers spread around the pool
  • To the announcing, which was professionally transferred from our beloved HTR (Tom Minarik’s last swimmer is graduating this year) to the Announcer-no-longer-in-training, John Kleb.

It turned out to be very good practice for us because we are queued up to host several more big meets:

  • Next week’s regular season meet where we’ve added Paul VI and Trinity Episcopal to the normal meet
  • The JV Invitational at the WARF on Jan 23rd where we need many of our normal volunteers, even if your kid is not in meet
  • The Seton Invitational on Feb 6th at Freedom, which will include concessions – thanks Mrs. Heim and Mrs. Mosimann!
  • The VSIS State Championship on Feb 19-20, where our main responsibility will be concessions – thanks Carol Doonis!

Besides registration fees and voluntary donations, these post season meets are the main way we raise money for the team, so we look forward to having everyone participate in some way, particularly with the concessions at States.  Please don’t wait for the e-mail or phone call.

One More Note for Swimmers

The high school swimming rules prohibit jewelry while swimmers are on the blocks or in the pool.  One official, who will probably be working at States, told me that he issued 45 jewelry warnings.  Fortunately, he didn’t DQ anyone, which would have been his right within the rules.  So let’s know push it.

Remember, next week’s meet has been changed to the Freedom Center.  The swimming portion of the meet will be on the exact same schedule as last Saturday, so please be on deck ready to stretch by 12:44 p.m.  And then let’s go show a couple big Division I teams what Seton Swimming can do.

See you all at practice on Monday, and let’s get ready for a great meet on Saturday!

Coach Koehr

Seton Swimming’s G.E.M.S.

What makes Seton Swimming special?



“Who has it better than us? Nobody!”



We focus on better. Good takes care of itself.



We help our opponents over the bar that we raised by winning



We offer it up. We love all of our teammates.

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