What a great meet!  So many good things happened, I’m not sure where to start.  The obvious starting place is the score:


Seton 190        FCS            85

Seton 220        Wakefield    17


Seton 198        FCS                87

Seton 211        Wakefield        46

Seton 219        Word of Life    27

Prior to the meet, we announced our team captains for the year:

Girls: Melissa Dunn, Caitlin Harris, Stephanie Melnyk

Boys: Kevin Koehr, Bryan Morch

Congratuations to these fine young men and women.

They showed what great leaders they are by doing a superb job in implementing our new protocol.  The coaches and I sat back and just watched it work.  It was very impressive, and, believe me, the other teams noticed!  Our stetching and warm-up routine went very well, the cheer in the middle of the pool was great, and boy did we look good lined up for the National Anthem!  I especially liked the cheer from opposite sides of the pool.  I never would have picked black t-shirts, but Mrs. Harris was really onto something.  We really looked good with everyone wearing them!

First among the many Personal Records were 4 new team records.  Two of them were individual records:

  1. Jessica Dunn broke Katie Shipko’s record in 100 backstroke by almost a second.  Her new record is 1:04.00.  I’ve seen Katie Shipko swim.  At one point in her career, Katie was the Most Valuable Swimmer for the entire State.  Breaking one of her records is quite an accomplishment.
  2. Kevin Koehr broke Lawrence Lauderdale’s 1998 record for 500 Free.  His new record is 5:16.57.  Coach Higginbottom used to swim with Lawrence and tells me he was quite a swimmer also.

And two of the new team records were for relays:

  1. Kevin Koehr, Sean Koehr, Bryan Morch and Nevin Cook broke the 2002 record for the 400 Freestyle relay by over 2 seconds.  The former record was held by Pat Rooney, Casey Rafter, Bryan Morch, and Ryan Sweeney.  Everyone swam well, but Sean Koehr swam particularly well compared to his previous best.  His split was a :55.30!
  2. The girls medley relay of Jessica Dunn, Melissa Dunn, Lea Mazzoccoli, and Katie Planchak broke the 2002 record for the 200 Medley relay by almost 2 seconds.  This record was formerly held by Joanie Pretz, Katie Shipko, Lauren Dobak and Meg Seale.  This relay turned out to be a harbinger of things to come when Jessica Dunn touched at the 50 Backstroke the same time as last year’s DAC Most Valuable Swimmer from FCS.  We knew the girls 100 backstroke was going to be quite a race.

As you might expect from the score, we had a tremendous number of top 3 finishes:

1st Places:

Kevin Koehr (2) – 200 Free and 500 Free

Connor Cook – 200 IM with a tremendously improved time!

Nevin Cook (2) – 50 and 100 Free

Bryan Morch – 100 Fly

Lea Mazzoccoli – 100 Fly

Jessica Dunn (2) – 100 Free and 100 Back (more on this later)

Caitlin Harris – 500 Free

2nd Places:

Daniel Koehr – 200 Free

Kimberley Melnyk – 200 Free

Bryan Morch – 200 IM

Sean Koehr (2) – 50 and 100 Free, behind Nevin

Katie Planchak  – 50 Free in a very close race

Caitlin Harris – 100 Fly

Billy Corkery – 500 Free

Bridget Wunderly – 500 Free – and she’s still in middle school!

Jonah Higginbottom – 100 Breaststroke

Melissa Dunn – 100 Breaststroke

3rd Places:

Joe Ross (2) – 200 and 500 Free – great job!

Lea Mazzoccoli – 200 Free

David Basinger – 200 IM

Meghan Morch – 200 IM

Hailey Moya (2) – 50 and 100 Free

Greg Bliss – 100 Fly – he may have a new event!

Connor Cook – 100 Free, completing the sweep of the event

Daniel Koehr – 100 Back

Kimberley Melnyk – 100 Back

Mary-Kate Kenna – 100 Breaststroke

Check out some of the new names on the lists above.  The future state qualifiers from our team will be names like David Basinger, Daniel Koehr, Bridget Wunderly, Greg Bliss, Joe Ross, David Harris, Krista Shaw, and several others who have never qualified for States before.  The future seems very bright.

One of the highlights of the meet for me was watching Jessica Dunn and Katie Planchak swim against the two Jones sisters from FCS who, last year, were the top two swimmers in the DAC.  In fact, they were first and second in the voting last year for DAC Most Valuable Swimmer.  Jessica beat them both in their best events!  In 100 Free, Jessie went a very fast 57.31 and in 100 backstroke, Jessica beat her best time from last year by over 12 seconds!  Katie Planchak was just barely out-touched by one of the sisters in the 50 Free after an excellent swim.  As Mrs. Jones told me in an e-mail after the meet, “I think my girls will be working harder in practice this week”.  Jessica and Katie will see the Jones sisters again on January 7th.  Should be fun.

Personal Records:

I always like to highlight Personal Records.  Sit back with a cup of coffee as you read, because there were a 53 of them!

– Daniel Koehr dropped his 200 Free time by 3.34 seconds, good enough to place second behind his brother Kevin.  He also dropped his 100 backstroke time by almost 8 seconds to 1:14.  That will score alot of points this year.

– Joe Ross dropped his 200 Free time by 4.11 seconds and took 3rd in that event.  He also dropped almost 15 seconds in the 500, again taking 3rd.  Thats 12 points toward a letter!

– Connor Cook dropped his 200 IM time by 17.17 seconds and jumped up to first place in the event.  He also cut time from his 100 Free and nearly broke 1 minute.

– Melissa Dunn lowered her 200 IM time a second.

– Nevin Cook swam 50 Free nearly as fast as Ray Bennett used to.  He dropped his time .74 seconds.  He really showed up for the 100 Free where he lowered his previous Seton best by almost 4 seconds to 53.34.

– Sean Koehr broke 25 seconds in the 50 Free for the first time by cutting .57 seconds off of his previous best.  He also swam a new PR of 57.00 in the 100 Free.  That time will score alot of points for us this year.

– Tony Minarik was absolutely amazing in the 50 Free.  He followed that up by cutting over 10 seconds off his 100 Free time (from last week!).  He came to our team this year with no experience swimming.  On Friday, he swam 50 Free in less than 30 seconds!  His elbows were bent and his hand entry was nearly perfect.  It is amazing what can happen when a person who really wants to learn meets a person who wants to teach.  Our newest Coach, “Coach Sam” Higginbottom, has been doing some really great work with our beginning swimmers.  I think Tony is now moving past “beginner”.

– Almost all of our beginning competitive swimmers dropped a great deal of time.  Great work by them and Coach Sam:

– Sam Quinan was also using some of the coaching he’s receiving.  He dropped almost 3 seconds in 50 Free

– Michael O’Donohue cut 2.68 seconds from his 50 Free and 12.32 seconds from his 100 Free!

– Alex Crawford dropped 2.88 seconds in 50 Free

– Jonathon Rosato had a PR in 50 Free

– Daniel Wheeler lowered his 50 Free time by 2.45 seconds

– Celia Gossin swam a PR in 50 Free

– Melyssa Harbour dropped nearly a second in 50 Free, and she dropped 1.54 seconds in 100 Free

– Tina Schiavone swam 50 Free nearly one second faster than ever before and she swam 100 Free 2.33 seconds faster

– Mary-Kate Kenna broke 29 seconds in 50 Free for the first time

– Eileen Corkery looked very good in 50 Free, cutting more than 1.5 seconds from her previous best.  She also cut nearly 1.5 seconds in 100 back.

– Greg Bliss had quite a meet.  He cut 3.04 seconds off of his 100 Fly and 3.47 seconds off his 100 Breast.  He scored more points than he’s ever scored in his life of Seton Swimming.

– David Harris is showing signs of major improvement.  He lowered his 100 Fly time by almost 10 seconds!  He also dropped his 100 Back time by nearly a second.

– Jonah Higginbottom has a bright future with Seton.  He cut 1.75 seconds from his 100 Free and 2.44 seconds from his 100 Breast.

– Hailey Moya lowered her 100 Free time to 1:03.00

– Alex Cummings cut over 5 seconds from her 100 Free

– Ann Duran has been impressive for a new swimmer.  She dropped 2.49 in 100 Free and 7 seconds from 100 Breast.

– Kevin Koehr’s 500 Free was 15.79 seconds faster than his previous best in a Seton meet.

– It’s been a while for Chris Fletcher, but he swam the 500 Free for us, dropped 11.57 seconds, and scored 5 points toward a letter in that one event alone.

– Bridget Wunderly dropped almost 20 seconds from her 500 Free and placed 2nd behind only Caitlin Harris.

– Whitney Hood lowered her best 500 Free time by almost 6 seconds.

– I was glad to see Patrick Kenna come out for the team this year.  He is already showing great improvement.  He lowered his 100 Back time by 2.5 seconds and he swam the 200 Free for the first time ever.

– Pat Gott took over 7 seconds off his best time in 100 back

– Monica Byers shows great promise for the future.  She swam a solid 100 back and dropped 2 seconds.

– Amanda Byers continues to improve.  This time she cut 1.33 seconds in 100 back.

– For the second week in a row, Melissa Dunn lowered her best 100 Breaststroke time.  She’s now under 1:16.

– Kristin Rafter did a great job in 100 Breast, improving by over 5 seconds

– Leslie Zapiain had another good week.  This time, she dropped 3.14 seconds from her 100 Breast time

– Brittany Rosato cut 1.25 seconds in 100 Breast

– Alyssa Shaw is back on the team and lowered her 100 Breast time by almost 9 seconds.

Other Great Swims:

There were so many great individual efforts, that it is hard to point them all out, but here are a few of them:

– Kevin Hughes and Kelsey Kleb both swam their first 500 Free races in competition and both of them did an outstanding job, improving on their times from practice.  I really enjoyed watching Geoff Ross and Kevin Hughes go at it during the final 50 yards!  Geoff pulled it out by a second.  Kevin also swam the 200 Free.

– Our girls 400 Free relay (Kimberley Melnyk, Gina Garzione, Hailey Moya and Caitlin Harris) had an outstanding swim!  They beat the FCS relay that contained both Jones sisters.  Caitlin held off the senior Jones sister with a 1:02.73 split to secure the victory.

– Lea Mazzoccoli showed where good flip turns can get you in the 200 Free.

– When Katie Corkery was swimming the 200 Free, I actually pulled a couple of our better boy freestylers up to see how she pulls all the way through with each stroke.

– David Basinger had a great 200 IM, catching the FCS guy on the last 25 yards.

– Guppy Higginbottom and Peter Duran both completed the 200 IM for the first time in competition.  Versatility is the way to score points for the team in the future and they are both developing it.

– Krista Shaw looked very good in the 200 IM.  She has nice strokes that are only getting better.

– Geoff Ross has really improved his freestyle

– Bridgett Wunderly showed us how you are supposed to streamline off of every wall.  It made a big difference in her 500 Free.

– We worked on backstroke all of last week and several people showed greatly improved strokes including: David Harris, Daniel Koehr, Joe Ross, Sam Quinan, Pat Gott, Christian Vestermark, Dan Quinan, Monica Byers, Eileen Corkery and even Jessica Dunn.

– Jonah Higginbottom had a very close race in breaststroke, beating an FCS swimmer right at the end.  We kept Nevin and Sean out of breaststroke so they could focus on the 400 Free relay, and Jonah made sure we didn’t lose points for that decision.

– I don’t know what Greg Bliss has been eating, but he had a really fine meet.  His breaststroke and fly are starting to look very good.

– Kristin Rafter’s breaststroke is improving.  She has a very good body position.  We are focusing on Breast and Fly in practice between now and Christmas so I foresee it getting even better.

– Ann Duran showed me some real potential in breaststroke also.  These next few weeks of practice will really help her.


And finally, I would like to mention how well our parents represented Seton.  This was the first time FCS had ever hosted a meet and it showed.  They really worked hard, but hosting a meet is a difficult thing to do.  They were most appreciative of the scoring help from Chris Cook, Lynn Dunn and Susan Cummings, who basically ended up scoring the meet for them.  I know they also appreciated that Ray Kenna came down to serve as referee (and Ray appreciated S.L. Higginbottom’s experience at a few points in the meet).  We always have many parents step up to time and stroke & turn.  It’s how we get this done.  If everyone takes a turn, it is not to much for any one person.

Thanks again for a great meet.  Our next meet is against North Stafford at Freedom Center.  Our warm-up starts at 1:30 p.m. so plan on being on deck by 1:10 p.m. ready to stretch.  We will be missing many of our USA swimmers, so this is a real opportunity for other swimmers to step up.

Coach Koehr

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