I think Charles Dickens probably described this weekend’s meet against Battlefield the best when he wrote, “It was the best of times and the worst of times”.
The Best of Times
Once again, we showed another big public school that the size of your school does not matter. The score is still unofficial, but the outcome is not in doubt. Seton won again – by a heathly margin:
Seton 178.5 Battlefield 107.5
Seton 158 Battlefield 120
We set another Seton Record this weekend. Katie Planchak dropped her own 50 Free record by .3 seconds to 26.18, and she did it with a sore back! Who knows how low this record will go before she graduates.
In addition to Katie’s record breaking swim, the victory was spurred on by the following 42 Personal Records:
Nevin Cook – 200 Free, broke 2:00
Billy Corkery – 200 Free, by 3 seconds
Caitlin Harris – 200 Free by 2 seconds and 100 Free on the lead of leg of the 400 Free relay by 2 seconds!
Hailey Moya – 200 Free by 5 seconds!
Amanda Byers – 200 Free by 1.5 seconds
Megan Hoffer – 200 Free
Eileen Corkery – 200 Free, by 4 seconds
John Verry – 200 IM, by 11 seconds!
Connor Cook – 200 IM, by 3 seconds and 500 Free, by 5 seconds!
Kevin Koehr – 200 IM, by 4 seconds. Approaching a 7 year old Seton record
David Harris – 200 IM, by 3 seconds
Lea Mazzoccoli – 200 IM
David Basinger – 50 Free and 100 back by 3.5 seconds!
Joe Ross – 50 Free
Greg Bliss – 50 Free
James Zambrana – 50 Free
Melissa Dunn – 50 Free, broke the 28 second barrier!
Katie Planchak – 50 Free, a blazing 26.18 and 100 Free at a blazing 58.02!
Katie Racine – 50 Free, by 2 seconds, 100 Free, and 50 Free on the lead-off leg of the 200 Free relay!
Tina Economou – 50 Free, after recovering from illness
Teresa Eidem – 50 Free
Lea Mazzoccoli – 100 Fly, dropped to 1:06.48. She is approaching Katie Shipko’s record
Tyler Hood – 100 Free
Sean Koehr – 100 Free
Joe Ross – 100 Free, by 2.5 seconds!
Katie Corkery – 100 Free, by 2 seconds!
Tina Schiavone – 100 Free
Andrew Davis – 50 Free by 2 seconds on the lead-off leg of the 200 Free relay
Ali Van de Voorde – 50 Free on the lead-off leg of the 200 Free relay and 100 Breast by 2 seconds!
Daniel Koehr – 100 back
Mary-Kate Kenna – 100 Breast
John Verry – 100 Free on the lead-off leg of the 400 Free relay, by over 1 second
There were several other great swims that I have to recognize:
- Danielle Smith just discovered that her future may very well be in distance freestyle. Had I known prior the meet, she would not have swum the 200 Free exhibition. Her time would have placed her 4th in the event! She actually did place 4th in 500 free for the team with an excellent time.
- Billy Corkery came up to me before the meet saying that his ankle was hurting him. It was to late to change the meet sheet, so I asked him to simply do what he could. He dropped his 200 Free time by 3 seconds!
- For the first time since I have been coaching, we had an empty scoring lane for the boys. To keep it to only one lane, I had to ask James Zambrana to swim 100 Free in the 400 Free relay and 100 Back – not exactly events with which he is comfortable. James never once told me something like, “but Coach Koehr, I’ve never done that before” or “Coach Koehr, I can’t do it”. He just got in and did the best he could. Way to go James!
- Katie Planchak had her hands full in the 100 Free against a friend of hers. They were even after the first two lengths, but her friend gained a slight lead on the 2nd turn. After the 3rd turn, it didn’t look good for Katie, but in the last lap, Katie started walking her down. I’m not sure where she got the energy, but in the last 5 yards, Katie surged. They touched the pad together. Everyone looked up at the electronic scoreboard and to our amazement, Katie had out touched the girl by .02 seconds. It was a great meet to have electronic timing so that we could do justice to such a great swim!
- Caitlin Harris had one of the best swims I’ve ever seen from her in the lead-off leg of the 400 Free relay. From the pool deck, the coaches could all see the expression on her face each time she breathed – it was an expression of severe determination. 1:02.23 after the start of the race, Caitlin finished, nearly seconds faster than her previous best!
- The meet got off to a great start on the girls side. In the first event, both our A and B medley relay beat Battlefield’s A relay, in the 200 Free, Jessie Dunn, Caitlin Harris and Hailey Moya went 1, 2, 3, and then in the 200 IM, Meg Seale, Lea Mazzoccoli and Meghan Morch went 1, 2, 3 again. Battlefield never recovered.
Once again, the Virginia State Championship is at Hargrave in Chatham, VA near the North Carolina border. Including all meets through this weekend’s, the following people have swum qualifying times for this meet on Feb 18-19:
Gina Garzione, Katie Corkery, Tyler Hood, Jack Murphy are all very close to joining the State team. With some hard work in practice over the next few weeks, let’s look forward to bringing them all with us on the trip.
The following people have swum qualifying times for the Seton National Team. The National Meet is at Villanova University outside of Philadelphia, PA:
One more week to qualify before the entries are due! Let me know if you need one last shot at something.
Before I move on, I would like to recognize Mr. Cook, Mr. Quinan and Mrs. Dunn for their efforts this weekend. We are working very hard to ensure that the scoring for DAC Champs goes smoothly so we used the battlefield meet as an opportunity to learn. I’m glad we did, because, as it turned out, there was more to learn than any of us imagined. They are working very hard to ensure that, when you swim on Feb 5th, your name will be in lights and your time will be correct. Please thank them for all they do for our team.
The Worst of Times
The “best of times were pretty good this past weekend: we won the meet, there were 42 PRs, and we seemed to win most of the close races. So why was I so grumpy during most of the meet? Because this weekend was also the “worst of times”. There is no doubt that I love to win, but there is much more to swimming than just winning.
When I think about Seton swimming, I think about much more than individual and team records. I think about a team where we think of people other than ourselves – a team where everyone cheers for their friends What I saw instead was to many swimmers sitting off to the side talking to there small group of friends.
I think about a very large team that takes full advantage of its size. Instead, I saw a team that was not wearing their team uniform on deck. I saw a team that made no noise. I saw a team that spread out around the pool area. I saw a team that looked no more impressive than the much smaller Battlefield team.
I think about a team that is clearly focused prior to the meet. What I saw was an unacceptable percentage of the team come in late.
I think about a team that is in the water when they hear “we hit the water at 3:00”. I think about a team that actually wants to warm-up because they know it will help them swim faster. Instead, I found myself running around at 3:10 trying to get you in the water.
I think about a team where people don’t want to let their teammates down. Instead, I saw two boys and two girls miss their events.
I think about a team that is friendly to their opponent, but approaches the block with a determination that sends a message to the next lane. Instead, I saw people running up to the blocks at the last second, sometimes without their goggles or the their suits tied.
I was not happy with some of the things I saw this weekend. The captains and the coaches have all talked. This weekend will be different:
- We will all be on the deck at 2:45 ready to stretch
- When the clock strikes 3:00 we will all be in the water in an awesome display of the size of our team.
- When we are on the deck, we will all be wearing our yellow t-shirts and a pair of shorts. I’m looking for a sea of yellow.
- When we have people swimming, we will all be on the side of the pool cheering.
- We will show up at the blocks prepared, focused and ready to excel.
- We will not miss any events.
- We will encourage each other before and after every swim
- Every swimmer will find a coach after their swim so that we can discuss what went well and what can be improved.
- Every swimmer will stay in the team area until the end of the meet so that we can be gracious in victory by lining up to congratulate the other team.
- We will all give our best effort in everything we do: before, during and after the meet.
In short, we will represent Seton the way Seton deserves to be represented.
Does all of this mean that we cannot have any fun at the meets? Well I sure hope not! I just want to make sure that a portion of the fun comes from being truly excellent. Talking and joking around with your friends are not incompatible with what I am trying to say.
The final three regular meets are all DAC conference meets. These last three meets will be about much more than PRs and championship qualification times. As I’ve already described, we have many opportunities to improve ourselves as a team.
I hope the expectations are now clear. When I see you at swim meets the rest of the season, I look forward to seeing a truly excellent swimming TEAM.