Last Saturday, we hosted our first meet of the season, returning to our home from the 2000’s, the Freedom Aquatic and Fitness Center.
Congratulations to Trinity Christian’s girls, who beat our Seton girls in a tight meet. Their fastest girls were faster than our fastest girls, but we are deeper, with a number of rising stars that are swimming competitive times. Of course, both the TCS Coach and I are still trying to figure out how much our swimmers are improving in different events so we were both swimming kids in an unusual variety of events. In my case, I wasn’t even looking at what TCS might do when I created our entries – I just wanted our kids to swim in different events than they swam last week. Based on the TCS entries, I think their new coach was doing the same thing.
A much-improved Trinity Christian boys team also showed some strength that I wasn’t expecting. Fortunately, some great swimming on the part of boys kept the final score in our favor.
This year, the Athletic Directors decided that our January 5th meet at the WARF is the one that will count in determining the Conference Championship. I’d say we have a chance to defend our girl’s streak of 24 straight DAC Conference Championships, but it is going to take some excellent swimming on our part. I know the very strong Trinity girls are going to do everything they can to end that streak though, so we’re going to need to keep working hard between now and then. And we are going to need to be healthy!
Except for John Paul the Great, there were no VISAA Division I teams in this week’s meet, so we were swimming a group of school’s our size. Except for our close loss with Trinity Christian, we faired quite well:
Here’s the way the meet scores turned out for us at Seton:
Trinity Christian 147 Seton 137
Seton 161 John Paul the Great 109
Seton 187 Highland 80
Seton 188 Christchurch 76
Seton 216 Wakefield 16
Seton 221 TC Williams 25
Seton 151 Trinity Christian 123
Seton 139 John Paul the Great 117
Seton 171 Christchurch 92
Seton 189 Wakefield 52
Seton 200 TC Williams 20
Seton 199 St. Michael the Archangel 18
Seton 203 Highland 8
Our Girls Closed the Gap and Almost Got There
Prior to the meet, I “scored the Psych Sheet”. For those of new you to high school swimming, a “Psych Sheet” is a list of entered swimmers for each event, sorted by their seed (i.e. entry) times. By my score, we were supposed to lose this meet to Trinity Christian by 20 points.
During our stretching, we talked through each race where we had a chance to make up those 20 points. Trinity Christian has some truly outstanding swimmers like Brook Williams, Annalise Cornett, Becca Klanderman, Hailey Silvernail, and Jenna Phillips, but getting first place in each was not going to be the key. With events scored 8-6-5-4-3-2-1 for 1st through 7th place, they key was do get as many kids as possible to finish in that 2nd through 5th range.
In the end, we got halfway there, only losing by 10 points thanks to some outstanding swimming by our girls. Here are some of the races that I highlighted during warm-up that helped close the gap:
- In the first event, our girls 200 Medley Relay of Caroline Griffin, Mary Heim, Mairead Geiran and Mary Pennefather took 1st place behind Mary Pennefather’s anchor split of 26.10 – her current PR is 26.97. On the Psych Sheet, we were supposed to get 2nd.
- In the girls 200 Free, Caroline Griffin was the star. Her 3.54 second PR jumped her up to 2nd in the meet versus TCS and ahead of TCS’s Jenna Phillips (the star of last year’s meet) who was seeded ahead of her. Isabelle Luevano and Mary O’Malley both had PRs in this event, with Mary beating her previous best by 16.10 seconds!
- In the 200 IM, Mairead Geiran beat all of the TCS girls as expected, but it was Gemma Flook that made the biggest difference. She swam a 2:40.80, far exceeding my expectations to beat TCS’s Kayla Shelkey. Then Katie Dealey and Theresa Dwane exceeded expectations by both beating TCS’s Ella Moon.
- At this point, the Psych Sheet score was supposed to be 38-38, but in the real score, we were winning 46-30.
- In the 50 Free, Teresa Bingham beat a higher seeded Lucy Sicks from TCS with a great swim. Ceili Koehr also had a 2.02 second PR to score big for Seton.
- In 100 Fly, Emily Flynn swam close to her PR to beat Teresa Klanderman who was seeded ahead of her. Anne Konstanty, Mary Heim and Mary Pennefather also had great swims to score big points for us – Anne’s was a PR by 5.76 seconds, Mary Heim’s was a PR by .81 seconds and Mary Pennefather’s was her first attempt at the event for Seton.
- In 100 Free, Caroline Griffin was back, once again jumping ahead of a higher seeded TCS girl to take 2nd. In this case, she beat one of TCS’s top girls, Haley Silvernail.
- In the 500 Free, Mairead Geiran was feeling a bit light-headed, so we talked about just swimming the race smoothly and stopping if there was any sign of trouble. Well smooth for Mairead turned out to be a State qualifying time of 5:52.13, behind only TCS star Annalise Cornett. And I was so pleased with Isabelle Luevano’s swim. She was seeded well behind TCS’s Jenna Phillips, but her outstanding early season time jumped her up in the final standings. The two of them were 6 lanes apart so I’m not sure if Isabelle could see Jenna, but I’m sure she could see me running excitedly up and down the side of the pool next to her!
- At this point, the Psych Sheet score showed TCS pulling away with a score of 101-92, but we still had the lead 97-94.
- In 100 Back, Emily Flynn swam a near PR time, which is outstanding for her given that last year at this time she was swimming on a USA team. Ceili Koehr was the 2nd highest scoring Seton backstroker with another bit 3.19 second PR in the event.
- The next big surprise came in 100 Breaststroke where Anne Konstanty was seeded 3rd behind two of TCS’s top swimmers, Haley Silvernail and Teresa Klanderman. Anne’s .53 second PR swim was enough for her to jump past both of them and take 1st place in the meet between Seton and TCS! Her finish was spectacular! I didn’t even know that Anne could swim breaststroke until I saw her in practice and had to ask who it was 😉 Mary Pennefather and Katharine Rowzie also had big PRs in this event. Mary’s was by 4.92 seconds and Katharine’s was by 2.17 seconds.
- It looked at this point like the meet was going to come down to the final event because we were losing by 2 points, 134-132 (which was great in itself because the Psych Sheet score had us losing 145-123).
- In the 400 Free Relay, once I saw that they had Jenna Phillips, Annalise Cornett, Haley Silvernail, and Brook Williams, I knew it would be a long shot, but our relay of Mairead Geiran, Caroline Griffin, Isabelle Luevano and Emily Flynn did a nice job of keeping it close. In fact, on Isabelle’s 3rd leg, she actually took the lead, but State Finalist Brook Williams was not going to be denied.
Great Seton Performances from the Boys too!
I’ve highlighted the girls first because I was the most nervous about the potential outcome, but there were a lot of very fine swims on Saturday from scoring boy swimmers also. Their great swimming was enough to beat the surprisingly strong Trinity Christian boys.
Here are some of the boys who had the biggest impact for Seton. It was great to see that our younger swimmers are already having a big impact – you’ll see three eighth graders in the list below:
- Shane Koehr (JR) took our team’s lone first place overall finish with his very strong 100 Backstroke. Shane also cut an amazing 1.52 seconds 50 Free to go 25.80 – and it did it all while fighting through sickness. I was very pleased with Shane’s performance on Saturday. Interesting that we won every one of the boys meets, and only had one first place overall finish, huh?
- Jerry Dalrymple (SO) had a great 200 IM where his .85 second PR was good enough for 2nd place overall. Then in 100 Fly, Jerry had a strong early season swim that was good enough for 4th
- Jacob Alsup (JR) took 2nd overall in the 500 Free and 5th place overall in the 50 Free. His 50 Free was a .07 PR 25.72.
- Jack Santschi (SO) is our fastest sprinter and showed it with his 3rd place overall finish in 100 Free. I also wanted to see what he could outside the sprints, so I put him in the 200 IM. Jack showed that he can swim all four (4) strokes with his 4th place overall finish in the event.
- Nathan Luevano (8) is still young, but he’s moving the needle for Seton. He was just super in the 500 Free, finishing 3rd overall after a 16.97 second PR. Then in 100 Fly, he cut 15.56 seconds to go 6:31.91, an amazing time for an 8th
- Justin Fioramonti (JR) rocked two (2) big PRs on Saturday night, placing 4th overall with both swims. In the 200 Free, he cut 4.66 seconds and in 100 Back, he cut 3.64 seconds. In Backstroke, Justin beat all of the TCS competitors showing the heart that we all have come to expect from a Fioramonti boy.
- Liam Kellogg (SO) is back in the water after a small medical procedure, and he didn’t appear to miss a beat. His most impressive swim was his .58 second PR in 50 Free where he finished 4th overall in 25.70. He also had a great .37 second PR in 100 Breaststroke finishing 6th.
- Evan Wilson (SO) is showed his versatility on Saturday with a 4th place overall finish in his first attempt at the 500 Free for Seton. Evan also took 8th place overall in 100 Breaststroke.
- Joey Dealey (8) is scoring for his first season because of his tremendous improvement. In the 200 Free, Joey cut an amazing 30.02 second to go 2:37.82 and take 6th place overall. Then, in 100 Fly, Joey cut 5.42 seconds to take 9th place overall.
- Joseph Rowzie (8) is another young swimmer making a difference. I loved his 8.70 second PR in 200 IM that was good enough for 7th I also enjoyed that 11.23 second PR in 500 Free that took 8th place overall. Notice the events where Joseph was competing – if you are young and want to make a big difference, swim events like those.
There Were So Many Other Personal Record Swims
I’ve already mentioned numerous Personal Records, but here are the rest of the 70 PRs that I have not yet had an opportunity to highlight:
- Sophia Zadnik (FR) had what I considered to be a breakout performance on Saturday, particularly with her 11.49 second PR in 100 Fly. Her stroke has really improved. She also had a PR in 100 Back by 2.92 seconds and a PR in 50 Back leading off a medley by 1.82 seconds.
- Jack Champney (7) was unbelievable on Saturday. How about a 58.46 second PR in 100 Back and a 25.89 second PR in 50 Free! I’m so excited watching how quickly Jack is improving.
- Moira Haggerty (8) had a big three (3) PR night. She dropped 4.78 seconds in 50 Back leading off the medley relay, 3.25 seconds in 100 Back, and 3.04 seconds in 200 Free. Great night Moira!
- Amelie Halisky (8) dropped 15.68 seconds in 200 Free and 3.12 seconds in 50 Back leading off the medley relay. Nice work!
- Nate Remington (JR) is a first-year swimmer for Seton, but he is catching up fast with more massive improvement. In 100 Back, Nate lowered his PR by 9.39 seconds and in 50 Free, he lowered his PR by 5.86 seconds. Those are huge drops!
- Mick Fioramonti (7) had a huge 20.74 second PR in 200 Free, a 4.14 second PR in 100 Back and a 1.53 second PR in 50 Back leading off a medley relay. That was a great night for young Mick!
- Tiffany Gutierrez (8) dropped an amazing 9.99 seconds in the 50 Free. Wow!
- Peter Konstanty (7) continues to improve. On Saturday, he dropped another 7.50 seconds in 100 Back.
- Cormac Clune (SO) is starting to get fast. You don’t have to cut 5.71 seconds in 100 Back and 1.32 seconds in 50 Free many times before you start to get some pretty good times. Cormac also cut .04 seconds in 100 Free.
- Mary O’Malley (FR) was amazing in her 200 Free, lowering her PR by 16.10 seconds.
- Ceili Koehr (8) really had a great night on Saturday. In 100 Back, Ceili lowered her PR by a huge 3.19 seconds and in 50 Free, she lowered her PR by 2.02 seconds.
- Chris Lynch (7) had a massive 25.63 second drop in 100 Backstroke.
- David Hudson (7) is going to be a great swimmer for Seton one day soon, and it showed in his 5.25 second PR in 100 Back. 1:23.08 is a pretty good time for a 7th
- Colette Waldron (SR) had a great swim in the 200 FR, lowering her PR by 18.27 seconds.
- Anya Murray (7) had two big PRs on Saturday. In 50 Free, she dropped 7.28 seconds, and in 100 Back, she dropped 9.13 seconds!
- Jo Hartung (7) lowered her 100 Back PR by 2.48 seconds.
- Catherine Griffin (8) dropped a big 2.93 seconds from her 100 Back PR
- Julia Atkinson (7) continues to show tremendous improvement. In 100 Back, she dropped 4.63 seconds and in 50 Free, she dropped .76 seconds.
- Elizabeth Dwane (FR) had a huge drop in 100 Back, lowering her PR by 11.47 seconds!
- Bethany Johnson (JR) is a first year swimmer at Seton, and her improvement has been stunning. In 100 Back, she cut 5.35 seconds and in 50 Free, she cut .18 seconds.
- Madelyn Zadnik’s (7) prowess as my demonstrator of the stroke drills in practice converted to a excellence in the meet on Saturday with her 5.21 second PR in 100 Back.
- Mary Clare Waldron (FR) had a great swim in 100 Back, cutting 2.66 seconds from her PR.
- Maggie Gibbons (7) swam incredibly well in the 50 Free, lowering her PR by a whopping 2.01 seconds.
- Maddie Given (FR) also had a great 50 Free, cutting 1.23 seconds from her PR.
- Joey Munsell (7) continued to show improvement in the 50 Free with his 1.72 second PR on Saturday.
- Gemma Flook (8) had a great lead-off in our 200 “B” medley relay, cutting .33 seconds from her 50 Back PR.
- Katie Dealey (JR) fought through shoulder pain to drop 1.04 seconds in 100 Free.
- Timothy Kelly (SO) looked very strong swimming freestyle in the 100, and he also had a nice swim in 100 Breaststroke, lowering his PR by .43 seconds
- Theresa Dwane (JR) cut another .40 seconds from her 100 Free PR.
- Delaney Farmer (8) showed her athleticism with another .40 second PR in 50 Free.
- Lily Clune (FR) keeps improving, this time cutting another .12 seconds from her 100 Back PR.
- Anna Allen (7) did a great job with her 1.65 second PR in 50 Free. She also did wonderfully in her first attempt at 100 Backstroke.
- Emma Catabui (7) is looking like she can be a pretty good swimmer if she chooses to be. On Saturday, she cut another 2.58 seconds from her 50 Free PR.
Other Great Things I Saw on Saturday
Not every good swim is a PR, in part because it is so early in the season and in part because sometimes, we don’t have a previous time against which to compare. Here are some of the other swims that caught my eye on Saturday:
- Gemma Flook (8), Lily Clune (FR) and Theresa Dwane (JR) both gave 200 IM a try for the first time, and both swam times that will score for us in our conference meets. It is fun to watch them get better and challenge themselves to swim the harder events.
- David and Ava Hudson (7) are twin future superstars for Seton, so I wanted to see what they could do in the harder events. In Ava’s case, I gave her a shot at the 100 Fly and in David’s case, I gave him a shot at the 200 IM. In both cases, their times were really quite good for swimmers their age. Now we have a time against which we can measure improvement, and big improvement is what I am anticipating.
- Peter Konstanty (7) is quickly learning to swim all four (4) strokes so I wanted to see what he could do in the 200 IM. I was very pleased with the result, where he got close to breaking 3:00.
- Madelyn Zadnik (7) can swim butterfly, and her great time in her first-ever attempt proved it.
State and National Catholic Qualifiers
We have two championship meets where, in order to be eligible to participate, you must meet a qualifying time standard during the current season.
The VISAA State Championship is February 15-16, 2019 at the Jeff Rouse Swim and Sports Center in Stafford, VA. It should be a great time for everyone eligible to participate.
Here are the individual State Meet qualifiers after this weekend:
- Mairead Geiran – 200 IM, 100 Free, 500 Free
- Mary Pennefather –50 Free
Here are the relays that have hit the cut:
- Boys “A” 200 Medley Relay
- Boys “A” 200 Free Relay
- Boys “A” 400 Free Relay
- Girls “A” 200 Medley Relay
- Girls “B” 200 Medley Relay
- Girls “A” 200 Free Relay
- Girls “A” 400 Free Relay
I will not list names for these relays because it is impossible to tell who will actually swim. You are eligible for me to enter you on a relay at States if you have swum on that relay during the season when it hit the cut, but that doesn’t mean I will be able to actual enter you to swim. We go to States to try to bring home a State Championship or State Runner-up. If I feel like we have a legitimate shot at one of those titles, it would not be unusual for me to use some of our top swimmers in 3 relays and only one individual event because relays score so many points. Time – and your times – will clarify this situation for all of us.
The National Catholic High School Championship is at Loyola University in Baltimore on January 19th-20th with prelims in the morning on January 19th and finals on Sunday, January 20th. We also have a meet that afternoon, so depending on how many girls qualify, we’ll have to discuss later how we are going to handle that.
Here’s who has qualified for National Catholics so far:
- Mairead Geiran – 200 IM, 100 Free
- Mary Heim – 50 Free
- Mary Pennefather –50 Free
And here are the relays that have hit the National Catholic cut. Once again, I will not attempt to project the line-ups for these relays yet:
- Girls “A” 200 Medley Relay
- Girls “A” 400 Free Relay
An eligibility report for both meets is posted under Meet & Team Information.
There’s been so much to say, but let’s wrap it up with some final notes:
- I was very pleased with how the entire team was on deck and in uniform at the beginning of the 400 Free Relay. Nice work. I was also very pleased with how we lined up for the National Anthem – you looked great!
- On Monday, we are going to finish Butterfly and start Breaststroke. By Christmas break, I hope to build each of those stokes from scratch plus the related turns.
- We had a number of disqualifications in Backstroke on Saturday. Remember that, unless you are doing a proper backstroke flip turn, you must stay on your back until you touch the wall. That is also true on the finish, where many of the DQs occurred.
- We haven’t gotten to the turns for Breaststroke and Butterfly yet, but we also had some DQs on that. Remember that you must touch the wall on your turn and finish with both hands at the same time.
- On New Year’s Eve, December 31st, we’ll have our annual Cystic-Fibrosis swim-a-thon. Thanks again to the Given family for running it again. I’ll pass on more information shortly.
- Our next meet is on Saturday, December 15th at the University of Virginia.
- Our warm-up is probably at 2:25 p.m. and the meet actually starts at 3:30 p.m. It is a very large meet. I haven’t seen a timeline yet, but it would surprise me if it lasted until 7:30 p.m.
- The busses will be leaving from Seton at 11:50 a.m. so swimmers, please plan on being at Seton at 11:39 a.m.
- We’ll be eating at Golden Corral in Charlottesville on the way home, so please bring some money for that.
See you Monday morning,
Coach Jim Koehr