Fabulous! That’s all I can say about the way our swimmers performed on Saturday at the first annual VSIS Division II Invitational Meet. Both our girls and boys won by wide margins, we set 4 new conference records, and we set one new Seton records. Most excitingly, 32 of the 38 swimmers entered in the meet swam at least one personal record time. Now that’s a great performance by our team.
The meet itself was also outstanding. Meet Director Mr. Cook pulled out all of the stops with great warm-up music and pump-up music before the championship heat of every event. The “Voice of Seton Swimming”, Mr. Heisler, once again brought great personality to the job of announcer. Mr. Seltman led a very skilled group of officials, including our starter Mr. Planchak and our head time Mr. Basinger. Mr. Wunderly, Mrs. Dunn, Mrs. Vestermark, and Mrs. Cummings handled the timing, scoring and awards perfectly. And finally, Mrs. Cook, lead a large team of volunteers for some great concessions. Even the Chief made it out to meet to present all of the medals on the bulkhead in the middle of the pool. It was great to have her there.
This meet was the first annual VSIS Division II Invitational meet. It was more than just a conference championship meet, with other schools invited. We hope to grow the meet into a State-wide competition between all of the smaller independent schools. If it works the way we hope, this meet will create relationships between all of the Division II schools, improve the level of competition at our conference championship meet, and facilitate the scheduling of more competitive meets during the regular season. We also hope it becomes a great way for swimmers who do not qualify for States to experience a championship meet atmosphere and a great State Meet tune-up for those swimmers who do qualify. I think we have a great start towards those goals.
In the end, the scoring for the top three teams in this year’s meet looked like this. We won the gold medal in 13 of 22 events, including 5 of the 6 relays:
Fredericksburg Academy 357.50
Fredericksburg Christian 141
Fredericksburg Academy 240
Fredericksburg Christian 181
Record Setting Performances
– Congratulations to Nevin Cook who, by a vote of the coaches, was named the Swimmer of the Meet. Nevin won four (4) gold medals, individually taking the gold medal in both the 100 Fly and 500 Free by very wide margins and leading first place teams in the 200 Medley and 400 Free relays. I think he cemented the Swimmer of the Meet vote in the first event after he smashed the field during his breaststroke leg in the Medley relay. In the 500 Free, his time of 4:50.42 beat his PR by over 8 seconds, his own Seton record by 13 seconds, and the CAAC conference record by more than 26 seconds! He took it out so fast, that he lapped the entire field in just over 300 yards, and his 1:54.34 split at 200 yards nearly broke the conference 200 Free record! Nevin’s 100 Fly time of :55.29 was a little off his best time of :53.96, but was more than good enough to crush the conference record. He won the event by almost 10 seconds. An amazing footnote about Nevin’s performance was that these two events are far from his best. Nevin will swim the 200 IM and 100 Breaststroke for the State Championships in two weeks.
– Junior Jessica Dunn also had a tremendous meet, taking four (4) gold medals and setting two new conference records in the 200 and 500 Free. In the 200, Jessica set a lightning fast pace, going out in :57.94 for the first 100! She ultimately won the event by nearly 15 seconds. In the 500, Jessica established a new PR of 5:25.43 on her way to victory, nearly 45 seconds ahead of second place. Jessica also had good splits to help our girls win the 200 Medley and 200 Free relays. There were only two girl’s conference records broken at the meet, and Jessie broke both of them – in events that are not her best. She was the girls Swimmer of the Meet in my book!
Individual Gold Medalists
– Freshman Connor Cook won three gold medals and a silver medal, establishing two big PRs in the process. Ironically, his best swim of the day earned him the silver medal in the 100 Free. Connor cut 1.18 seconds from his PR go 53.06! It was great that Connor stepped into the sprint freestyle role for our team even though he is relatively faster in the distance events. (Except for his brother, he would have easily won the gold in the 500 Free). Connor’s individual gold medal came in the 200 Free, where he had another PR, lowering his previous best time by .81 seconds to 1:58.46. His two relay gold medals came in the 200 Medley and 400 Free relays. His anchor leg on the 400 relay was very exciting. He was up against the top sprinter from FA in a very close race for first. He was so excited about the race, he forgot to take off his drag suit!
– Another Freshman, Daniel Koehr, had three (3) gold medals and a bronze for the day. I am just sick that I had my video camera hanging off my shoulder during his 200 IM, because it was simply a fabulous swim. He entered the meet just .16 seconds from the State cut, but he ended up crushing the qualifying time after going 2:20.54, a 4.86 second improvement! When I saw his lead-off butterfly split of 29.63, I knew he was going to have a great race. Dan set a second PR leading off the Gold medal winning 200 Medley relay. He cut another quarter second from his 50 backstroke. Dan’s final gold medal came in the 400 Free relay where he had a great split of :58.89, and his bronze medal came in 100 backstroke.
– Junior Lea Mazzoccoli earned three (3) golds and a bronze too. Like so many other swimmers on Saturday, her best swim did not earn the highest medal. In the 100 Breaststroke, Lea cut 1.24 seconds from her previous PR to swim a fast 1:17.44 to take the bronze. As expected, she had little difficulty winning gold with her text-book perfect butterfly, and she was part of the gold medal winning 200 Medley and 200 Free relays. Part of the reason those relays won gold was because of Lea’s greatly improved relay starts.
– Junior Sean Koehr fought through a phase I separated shoulder to earn two (2) gold medals and a bronze. During warm-up, Sean’s shoulder was really hurting, but he decided to try to swim anyway. After anchoring the medley, Sean challenged a fast field in the 50 Free. In spite of the pain, Sean swam a PR of 24.05 and took the bronze medal. After the 50, Sean iced he shoulder and I replaced him in the 200 Free relay. By the time breaststroke came around, he was itching to try to swim again. I know he was glad he did. He took the race out in only 30.56 seconds, eventually running away with the gold medal by over 5 seconds.
Individual Silver Medalists
– 7th Grader Alex Doonis continues to shine. This weekend, she earned two (2) individual silvers in the 50 and 100 Free and two (2) relay gold medals anchoring the 200 Medley and 100 Free relays. She hit her new PR for 50 Free with a :26.27 and she swam a sub-:26 relay split for the 4th time this season when she went :25.78 at the end of the medley relay. I’m looking forward to getting her to states next year when she is eligible for the first time.
– Mary-Kate Kenna also had a great meet with two (2) individual silvers in the 100 Fly and 100 Breast plus two (2) relay gold medals in the 200 Medley and 200 Free relays. I know it was fun for her to swim 100 Breaststroke again.
– Kimberley Melnyk had a great day, winning an individual silver medal in the 200 Free and an individual bronze in 500 Free. Kim also won gold in the 400 Free relay and Silver in a 200 Medley relay. Her best swim was a 1.28 second PR in the 200 Free. She really gave 100% effort – she took the 200 out in only 28.09.
– 8th Grader David Basinger showed why he is part of Seton Swimming’s bright future with two individual silvers in the 200 IM and 500 Free. He was also part of the gold medal 400 Free relay. His 200 IM was a really fine effort. David lowered his previous PR by 2.37 seconds, and his last 50 free was excellent.
– Freshman Carolyn Claybrooks had another great meet with two (2) PRs and two (2) silver medals in the 500 Free and 200 Free relay. Carolyn cut over a second from her 500 Free .07 seconds from her 50 Free. Carolyn is now only .02 seconds from breaking :28 seconds in the 50. It is funny that Carolyn always seems to go fast in the 500 when Sarah Locke is her counter.
– Freshman Laura Talbott earned three silver medals, one individually in the 200 IM and two collectively in the 200 Medley and 200 Free relays. Her 200 IM was a great swim. She lowered her PR in the event over 2.5 seconds and gave the eventual Swimmer of the Meet a really good race – her backstroke leg was particularly good. Her leg in the 200 Free relay was also outstanding. Her best 50 Free time is 27.86 – her relay split was 26.87!
– Bridget Wunderly has had a break-out season this year. On Saturday, Bridget earned two (2) PRs, three (3) silvers in the 100 Back, 200 Medley relay and 400 Free relay, and a bronze medal in the 200 IM. Her PRs came in the 50 back medley relay lead-off (by .78 seconds) and the 100 back (by another .47 seconds). In 100 back, I enjoyed seeing how much she has improved underwater. No doubt that those were great races, but not as good as her anchor leg on our “B” 400 Free relay. Her best 100 Free time is a 1:03.71, but she knew that was not going to get the job done in this case. Bridget went 1:02.15 to out-touch a girl from Stonebridge to preserve the silver behind only the Seton “A” relay. Bridget’s split was so fast, that only one swimmer on the “A” went faster!
– Danielle Smith had a great relay leg to help our “B” 200 Free relay take a silver medal. Her 50 Free PR is 28.60. In the relay, she split 28.19. She hit the water behind the FCS relay, but with that great swim, she caught up and positioned Laura Talbott to lock down the victory.
Individual Bronze Medalists
– I sure enjoyed watching David Harris on Saturday. He earned two (2) individual bronze medals in the difficult 200 IM and 100 Fly events and a relay bronze anchoring the “B” 200 Free relay. His best swim of the day was his anchor leg in the relay, a race he was even supposed to swim until we had to scratch Sean Koehr from the “A” relay. David definitely made the most of the opportunity. His PR in 50 Free is 29.25 – his split in the relay, 27.47! Wow!
– 7th grader Vincent “Catfish” Dunn just continues to get faster. This time, he lowered his 200 Free PR by over 6.5 seconds and earned a bronze medal. Catfish also had a 2.33 second PR in 100 back and a .52 second PR in 100 Free. His 100 Back time is down to 1:10.24 – that is about the same time Kevin Koehr had in 7th grade. He may have quite a future in Seton Swimming.
– Meghan Morch broke :27 seconds in a 50 Free relay split at National Catholics last weekend, but she had never done it from a standing start – until this weekend. Meghan earned a bronze medal in the 50 Free when she went 26.97 – a new PR! Meghan also had a relay gold medal in the 200 Free relay and PR in 100 Back by 1.51 seconds. Her 100 back time is now a 1:11.39, very close to State qualifying time.
– How about Sam Quinan! He has really worked hard this season, and, on Saturday, the work paid off. Sam cut another half second from her PR in 100 Breaststroke to earn the bronze medal in the event. He also cut 1.20 seconds from his PR in 200 IM.
– Catherine Nuar helped the team take gold in the 400 Free relay and a silver in the 200 Medley relay. Her lead-off leg in the 400 Free relay was a 100 Free PR. She has also emerged as a butterfly specialist for us and that was the leg she swam so well in the medley.
– 8th grader Patrick Kenna helped our 200 Free relay take the bronze with a great 50 Free leg. His PR in 50 Free is a 27.10, but his 50 split in the relay was only 26.40. While that didn’t count as a PR, two other swims did. Patrick managed a 26.41 in the 50 Free individual event and looked very strong – I think he can become really great at the 50 Free. He also had an incredible 2.46 second PR in 100 Backstroke. Patrick cut his 100 back time down to 1:08.89 – an superior time for a swimmer his age.
– Does it surprise us any more that Sean Bartnick did a great job leading off our silver medal “B” 200 Free relay and established two (2) more PRs? Individually, Sean swam the 200 Free just under 2 seconds faster than his previous best, and he swam the 100 Free another .11 seconds faster than ever before. He also had a great anchor leg for our “B” 200 Medley relay, out-touching the FCS “A” relay by .19 seconds. Sean is now just .38 seconds from breaking 1:00 in 100 Free for the first time – not bad for a first year swimmer.
– I was happy to see Joe Ross earn a bronze medal in the 200 Free relay. I’m looking forward to working with him on his new events of Fly and Breast next season. He had a nice 50 Fly split in the medley.
– Kelsey Kleb jumped into the meet, replacing a sick Casey Flanagan, at the last minute when her retreat was cancelled. I’m glad she was able to swim, because she certainly made the most of it. Kelsey had a hat-trick, with PRs in the 100, 200 and 500 Freestyles. She cut nearly 2 seconds in the 100, over 5.5 seconds in the 200 and 1.62 seconds in the 500. Her PR in the 100 was on the front-end of our silver medal winning “B” 400 Free relay. It was fortunate that she did so well, because Bridget Wunderly would not have had the opportunity to win the close race otherwise.
Other Personal Records
– What was up with Greg Bliss on Saturday? He cut over 46 seconds from his 500 Free and over 21 seconds from his 200 Free. Both of those swims were good enough for 6th place. Greg scored 26 points in this meet!
– Alex Cummings broke :30 seconds in 50 Free with a .82 second PR in 50 Free.
– Kelsey Kleb jumped into the meet, replacing a sick Casey Flanagan, at the last minute when her retreat was cancelled. I’m glad she was able to swim, because she certainly made the most of it. Kelsey had a hat-trick, with PRs in the 100, 200 and 500 Freestyles. She cut nearly 2 seconds in the 100, over 5.5 seconds in the 200 and 1.62 seconds in the 500. Good work.
– Brendan Koehr had two PRs. He cut 6.52 seconds from his 100 Free, and he cut .76 seconds from his 100 back.
– John Ross had a PR in the 50 Free and scored two points with his 10th place finish in 100 Breaststroke.
– Sarah Locke cut 2.28 seconds from her 200 IM. She was tied for 2nd after an excellent first 50 butterfly. I’m looking forward to having her back next season.
– Krista Shaw has been working very hard on her butterfly in practice. The work paid off. She dropped nearly 3.91 seconds from her previous PR!
– Leslie Zapiain had a PR in 100 Breaststroke and scored 7 points with a 7th place finish.
– Sarah Zapiain cut 1.31 seconds from 100 Free to take 11th place.
– Christian Vestermark had a nice swim in 100 Fly, cutting 1.2 seconds from his PR. Watch Christian swim, I can see that he is on the cusp of a big breakthrough in butterfly. I doesn’t quite have the rhythm yet, but he will eventually get and then we can all watch out!
New State Meet Qualifiers
We had four new State qualifying times on Saturday:
– Daniel Koehr got his second cut for 200 IM
– David Basinger joined Daniel with his 2nd cut in the 200 IM
– Lea Mazzoccoli got her 6th cut with a 1:17.44 in 100 Breaststroke
– Meghan Morch got her first cut in the 50 Free so she gets to take her Mom to Hargrave!
The State team is now set:
– Nevin Cook
– Sean Koehr
– Connor Cook
– Billy Corkery
– Daniel Koehr
– David Basinger
– Carolyn Claybrooks
– Jessica Dunn
– Mary-Kate Kenna
– Lea Mazzoccoli
– Kimberley Melnyk
– Meghan Morch
– Catherine Nuar
– Katie Planchak
– Danielle Smith
– Laura Talbott
– Bridget Wunderly
Alex Doonis also qualified in 6 events, but as a 7th grader, she is ineligible.
For the last two weeks of the season, only the State team needs to participate in practice.
Before I close, I need to thank the team of mothers that ran our concessions for the meet. Led by Mrs. Cook, they did tremendous work with a very difficult job. In addition to Mrs. Cook, I’d like to thank Mrs. Talbott, Mrs. Rice (Flanagan), Mrs. Doonis, Mrs. Wunderly, Mrs. Nuar and Broghan Cook. Anna Laudiero, Ann Duran and Bridget Vanderwoude also helped out. The food was great! I’d also like to thank Patrick Koehr who did a great job running the time cards – smiling the whole afternoon.
Thank you again for a great meet and a great season. I’ll let you know about our annual Swimming awards as soon Mr. Cook and I set the date and time. I’ll see the state swimmers at practice tomorrow morning.