Although we had a few pretty serious issues with the timing system, I’d say that we had another successful time trial event for Seton Swimming.  This was thanks largely to all of the parents who pitched in to help and all of the swimmers who have been working so hard, both in and out of Seton practices, to improve their stroke technique and conditioning.

During the season, we celebrate Personal Records (PRs).  A PR is your fastest time in an event.  Everyone’s goal for the season is to improve their PR.  You normally don’t expect a lot of PRs at time trial which is after only a few weeks of practice and where the purpose is to establish a baseline against which we can measure progress, but we had 66 of them!  We also had a new team record!

We’ve had some very fast swimmers come through Seton so our team records are very fast.  In fact, nearly all of our team records are faster than the conference championship meet records.  In spite of that fact, Nevin Cook continues to break them.  On Friday, Nevin knocked down Kevin Koehr’s 50 Free record (:22.96) when he cruised to a :22.80.  To my knowledge, that was a PR for Nevin, and I have no doubt that Nevin can swim this event even faster.  I’ll have to break it to Kevin that, from what I saw, his 100 Free record (:48.69) is in serious jeopardy also.

To have a PR, you have to have a previous time to compare against.  That’s what makes 66 PRs even more amazing.  Several of the PRs were in 50 Fly, which is not an event in high school swimming, but we’re going to count them anyway.  Here’s a breakdown:

–          What happened to Vincent “Catfish” Dunn?  He has gotten dramatically faster than last season.  On Friday, he dropped almost 9 seconds in his 100 Free to :58.33 and he dropped over 5 seconds in 100 Back to 1:04.85.  He also cut 2.5 seconds in 50 Free when he went :27.03.  Only an 8th grader, Catfish is suddenly one of our top swimmers!

–          In spite of the genetics that Andrew Minarik received from our beloved CHT, he continues to get faster.  I’m still not sure how it is possible to drop 19.37 seconds in 100 Free, 35.02 seconds in 100 Breast and 3.64 seconds in 50 Free, but Andrew did it.  That high school prep program really did the trick.

–          David Basinger, a former USA swimmer who is practicing with Seton only now, dropped time in all three of events including a 1.23 second drop in 100 Free where he broke 1 minute for the first time.  He also cut nearly 2 seconds from 50 Fly and a half second from his 50 Free.  Continued improvement in his stroke technique is going to yield continued improvement in his times.

–          Christian Vestermark had a big night with 3 PRs.  He improved his 100 Back by over 11 seconds, his 100 free by over 2 seconds, and his 50 Free by 1.20 seconds.

–          David Harris had a great night.  He cut 3.32 seconds in 100 Free, .24 seconds in 100 Back, and .3 seconds in 50 Free.

–          Rocky Kleb really dropped a lot of time over last season.  He cut 5.3 seconds from 100 Free, 7.75 seconds from 100 Breast and 2.07 seconds from 50 Free.

–          Monica Byers dropped 2.2 seconds from her previous PR in 100 Back

–          Carolyn Claybrooks cut 1.38 seconds in 100 Free and nearly 1 second in 50 Fly.

–          Connor Cook, not normally known for his breaststroke (you’ll hear his name a lot as the season progresses) managed to drop over 2 seconds in 100 Breast and record one of the top three times ever at Seton.

–          It’s fun to watch someone who smiles like Maggie Murphy show so much improvement.  She cut over 16 seconds in 100 Back and over 5 seconds in 100 Free.

–          Brendan Koehr dropped huge in 100 Breast, improving by over 10 seconds.  He also lowered his 100 Free by 1.28 seconds.

–          Eileen Corkery lowered her 100 Free time by 1.33

–          Jonathan Rosato improved every time he touched the water.  He cut an incredible 17.85 seconds in 100 Breast, 3.66 seconds in 100 Free, and 3.30 seconds in 50 Free.

–          John Ross somehow managed to improve his 100 Back by nearly 22 seconds!

–          Judith Cummings cut 2.24 seconds from her 100 Free

–          Jonathan Jacobeen lowered his 100 Free by 3.42 seconds and his 100 Back by 4.77 seconds

–          Patrick Kenna is working to take Sean’s place in the Sprint events in the future.  He cut another .13 seconds from his 100 Free and .03 seconds from his 50 Free.

–          Daniel Koehr broke :58 seconds in 100 Free for the first time, and he came very close to breaking :26 seconds in 50 Free.  That new found height, his work ethic in practice, and his careful focus on stroke technique, are paying dividends.

–          It was fun to watch Sarah Zapiain improve in both 100 Free and 100 Back, by 2.73 and .76 seconds, respectively.

–          Michael O’Donohue had a big weekend.  Not only did he tear up the lacrosse field, he had three swimming PRs: 7.62 seconds off of 100 Free, 3.63 seconds off of 100 Breast and 1.72 seconds off of 50 Free.

–          Nicki Smith had three PRs also, lowering her 100 Free by 4.25 seconds, her 100 Back by 7.33 seconds and her 50 Free by .49 seconds.

–          Patrick Koehr, a 6th grader who has been swimming with us unofficially, dropped nearly 9 seconds in his 100 Free.

–          Sarah Locke’s 100 Free is starting to get competitive after a 8.15 second improvement.

–          Hannah Lowell had two PRs – she improved 2 seconds in 100 Free and 2.46 seconds in 100 Back.

–          I think that Lea Mazzoccoli is going to have a good year.  She has been one of our top swimmers.  She dropped her 100 Free time by .26 seconds and her 100 Back time by 1.49 seconds.

–          Krista Shaw lowered her 100 Free by .71 seconds and her 50 Free by .75 seconds.

–          Meghan Morch looks like another one headed for a great season.  Another one of our top swimmers, Meghan cut 1.11 seconds from her 100 Free and over 5 seconds from her 100 Breast.  I can’t wait to give her a crack at IM.

–          Sam Quinan is making a play for a big senior year.  He had a nice start with a 9.79 second improvement in 100 Free.

–          Daniela Sinner managed to overcome some shoulder issues to improve .19 seconds in 50 Free.

–          It is great to have Cat Rogers back on the team.  She improved her previous best 100 Free by nearly 19 seconds!  She also cut 2.62 seconds from her 100 Breast and 3.09 seconds from her 50 Free.

–          Sister Lizzie Rogers also had a nice meet, lowering her 100 Back time by over 2 seconds.

The difficulties with the timing system distracted me from several other great swims, but a few of the ones I saw:

–          Ever heard of Lauren Donohoe?  I know she turned my head when she swam 100 Free in :57.83!  Not bad for a freshman!

–          Peter Mooney was showed how coachable he is when I watched him swim 100 Backstroke.  I could really see him trying to apply what we’ve been learning in practice.

–          Keeley Cook is going to be one to watch in the future.

–          Wasn’t it great to watch Michael O’Donnell push himself to finish 100 Free and 100 Back for the first time ever!  One of the highlights of the meet was the number of kids that tackled their fears and did things that they never thought they could.  Michael Collins, Alex Harrill, Kate Kosten, Emma Mooney, Peter Quinan and so many others are learning that they can do more than they think.

With all of the successes we had during the meet, we also had several areas where we need to improve:

–          Trouble with the scoreboard is no reason to miss an event, especially in a small meet.  I should not have to do any more than have Betsy post a meet sheet on the wall and expect you to be behind the blocks on time.  Do not rely on the scoreboard.  If you wait for your name to show up, it’s too late.  Go over to your lane a few heats in advance, and if you are unsure if your heat is up next, ask a timer.  They will know what heat we are on.

–          We had a number of people miss the meet completely without notifying me in advance.  A meet sheet is like the solution to a huge, 6 hour, multi-variable math problem, especially the relays.  It takes careful thought in the quiet of my office.  If the meet starts and you are not there, it is no simple matter to even determine the full implications, much less resolve them.  If you cannot make a meet, I need to know it before I publish the meet sheet.

–          At a swim meet, I’d like to see all of you stay in our team area and cheer for your fellow teammates.

–          We use dive over starts at our meets.  That means that the next heat starts over the top of you before you get out of the water.  Not only does this help speed the meet, it is also more polite.  Even if we are not using dive over starts, you should never get out of the water until the last swimmer in the heat touches.  Imagine you were the last to finish and do what you would want the other swimmers to do.

–          Timers, please remember that, if we have two plungers attached to the CTS, we need both of them pressed at the end of every race.  I know that one was a little confusing on Friday.

Our first regular season meet is on Saturday, December 1st against North Stafford and Trinity Episcopal at the Freedom Center.  Please plan to arrive by 12:30 so we can stretch and hit the water for first warm-ups at 1:00.  Hopefully we’ll be done by 4:00.  Because of the large number of swimmers on our team, everyone will not be able to swim in every meet, but in this meet, there will be room for everyone.  I’m looking forward to a great one.

Coach Koehr

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