Last Saturday, Seton Swimming challenged a pair of top Division I teams and more than held our own.  We also had John Paul the Great and Highland join us.  Our boys defeated all 4 opponents and our girls had close losses against the two Division I teams.  I am very pleased with the results – it is always fun to be able to compete at such a high level against teams that are not only talented, but friendly and sportsmanlike.

Our veteran swimmers all swam very well, but it was the middle schoolers on our team that gave me the most reasons to get excited.  The other thing that excited me so much was watching kids demonstrate that they were listening in practice when we were learning how to swim the strokes properly.  I saw a great deal of improvement in this area, which is the first step to going fast.

The final scores for this week turned out like this.  For a complete description of how our swim meets are scored, you can look in Coach Koehr’s corner:


Seton     160                    Norfolk Academy          150

Seton     174                    Trinity Episcopal           132

Seton     219                    John Paul the Great      63

Seton     252                    Highland                        27


Seton     147                    Norfolk Academy          167

Seton     147                    Trinity Episcopal           165

Seton     222                    John Paul the Great      76

Seton     235                    Highland                        54

Top Performances

In swimming, there’s a natural training cycle that works toward maximizing an individual swimmer’s performance at the end of the season, but that didn’t stop us from having several very exciting swims:

  • Did you see Joe Kenna swim on Saturday? The kid’s a freshman, and you certainly would not have guessed that after watching him drop .98 seconds from his 50 Free to go 24.43 to take 3rd overall against top freestylers from two Division I teams.  Joe has been practicing in Coach Lowell’s lanes, and he’s still smiling 😉  I can just see that he wants to get better, and the evidence was on display Saturday, when he was visibly applying all of the things that Coach Lowell has been telling him – the way he was flipping his wrist at the end of every stroke reminded me of past Seton All-America Jameson Hill.  A second in 50 Free is an eternity, so you know that something big has changed.  Now, on our team, only David and Catfish are faster, so that swim on Saturday has earned him the anchor spot on our “A” medley relay.  Joe also cut more than 10 seconds in 100 Back, an event that I’m not so secretly convinced that Joe can be very, very good at.
  • David Basinger was a beast this weekend, taking first place 4 times and giving us the most exciting race of the day.
    • In the 200 Free Relay, David took over the anchor leg more than a body length behind, but he proceeded to walk down the Norfolk Academy anchor leg from behind with a 22.69 50 Free split! Our boys took 1st place by only .4 seconds.
    • David split 24.99 in 50 Fly during the medley relay. Not only is that more than a half second faster than a typical relay split for David from last season, it would be the 4th fastest 50 Free time on our team!
    • David also took first in both of his individual events swimming a 56.51 in 100 Fly and a 2:05.96 in 200 IM, both excellent times for this point in the season.
  • Lauren “the Machine” Donohoe was showing signs of the swimmer we saw win a gold, a silver and two bronzes at States last year with 4 first place swims on Saturday:
    • Against excellent competition, Lauren took first place in both the freestyle sprints with good times for this point in the season. Her turn in the 50 was particularly good – as usual.
    • Lauren also anchored two first place relays, the 200 Medley and the 200 Free relay. I expect both of these relays to do very well at States next February.
  • Alex Doonis, still a junior, had 3 first place finishes and a second place finish with several good swims:
    • Alex may have found another option for the championship season with that victory in 200 Free. She cut 2.12 seconds from her best time at Seton, and she tells me that she can go at least 4 seconds faster than she did on Saturday.  A sub-2:00 200 Free could be All-State this year.
    • Alex did a nice job in the relays, particularly her lead-off in the 200 Free relay when she split 25.17, a very good time for her at this point in the season.
  • Vincent “Catfish” Dunn, is also still a junior, he also had 3 first place finishes and a second place finish”
    • I thought his 200 Free was his best swim of the day. After practicing in the morning, he was within .01 second of his PR and took first in a well contested race with John Paul the Great’s top swimmer.  I had a good feeling that Catfish would hold him off when the kid was taking 4 strokes for every 3, or even 2, of Catfish’s
    • His other swim that really stood out to me was his lead-off leg in the 200 Free relay where he split 23.61 – .32 second PR. He really doesn’t look like he’s moving that fast, does he?
  • I could not have been much more pleased with the way Senior Captain Bridget Wunderly swam on Saturday. Her three 1st place finishes and one 2nd place finish were outstanding.
    • Believe it or not, I think her one 2nd place finish, in the 500 Free, was her best swim of the night. Bridget went 5:30.43, which was faster than her time during finals at States last year, after a hard practice that morning.  Her splits were remarkably consistent, holding around 33-mid for all but the first 100 and last 50 of the race.
    • How about that 1:02.32 100 Fly? Looks to me like she might have a :59 in her at States?
    • And Bridget, I just looked up Laura Talbott’s split in the gold medal 200 Free relay at States last year – 25.78 in finals and 26.34 in prelims. No pressure 😉
  • I think I’m watching Jamie Smith slowly work his way into the upper echelons of boys swimming at Seton. His 9.58 second PR in the 500 resulted in a 5:36.34 – a time that qualified the freshman for States!  Big Jamie, make the room reservation!  That 500 Free took 2nd place overall, which was 1st place against 3 of our 4 opponents.  Jamie also swam a 2:05.11 in the 200 Free, a time that 4.17 seconds than he’s done before.
  • Man I had fun watching Cat Rogers
    • In her 200 IM, she swam a great race, lowering her PR by 31.45 seconds. That is an incredible amount for a swimmer at her level.  The only problem was that she got second, and surprisingly enough to all of us, she got beaten on the breaststroke leg.
    • I told her not get discouraged by being so tired for that 3rd 50 because she swam the race exactly how she’ll have to in order to be competitive with other top girls – you just have to push all 4 50s. As the season progresses, and she races on a day where she hasn’t already had swimming practice, I told her she’ll get her revenge – but Cat wasn’t going to wait for that.
    • She got her chance to see this Trinity Episcopal girl again in 100 Breaststroke, and Cat sent the message. The race was literally over when she surfaced after the first pull down off the start.  Cat had a body length lead, extended it by significant amounts off of every wall, and finished 4 seconds ahead to take first by a wide margin.  Cat is a competitor!
    • Hey Cat, the Seton record for Girls 100 Breast, in case you’re keeping track, is 1:09.57 set in February of 1998 by Katie Shipko.
  • Freshman Joe Kosten made his presence known with four (4) Personal Records that resulted in very competitive times in the meet’s most difficult events. Joe cut half an hour (OK, 78.85 seconds) from his PR in 500 Free going 6:22.22, a very good time for a freshman.  He also cut 17.70 seconds in the 200 IM with his 2:31.19, another really good freshman time.  And then leading off two freestyle relays, he went 27.27 in 50 Free and 59.71 in 100 Free, both PRs and the first time he’s broken 1:00 in 100 Free.
  • When Mikey Wittlinger hit the water at the first practice this year, she had improved so much that I barely recognized her. Her work in the off-season has really showed results, like a 30.32 second PR in 500 Free!  It made for a great race with Seton veteran Bernadette Wunderly.
  • Hugh Brien, a junior who is new to the team this season, really got me excited with his swimming Saturday. The improvement in his stroke technique is remarkable, and it showed, not only in his 2.44 second PR in 100 Free, but with his excellent first attempt at 200 Free.  As his conditioning improves, so will his turnover, and in turn, so will his times.  I wish we would have had Hugh a few years ago!
  • Our 7th Grade Girls really left an impression on Saturday. We have fourteen (14) on the team, and all of them have great potential to contribute in the future, but five (5) of them have already left their mark:
    • Claire Kenna, Emily Heim, Nicolette Smith and Jillian Ceol put together a 200 Free Relay, that, had it been official, would have gotten 6th overall and would have beaten the “A” relays from both John Paul the Great and Highland!
    • We missed Claire Kenna at time trials, but she was absolutely impossible to miss on Saturday, unless you figured that she must be in high school. Can you believe that Claire already has the 5th fastest 100 Free time on the team?  Her 100 Free on Saturday would have placed 6th overall and 1st among swimmers from John Paul the Great or Highland.  Claire also has 6th fastest time in 100 Free, the 8th fastest time in 100 Breast, and 14th fastest time in 100 Back.   One funny thing I’ll tell you all:  I had Claire’s times from this past summer and fall from her Mom and put them in my Team Manager database.  They were so fast, that I put a reminder for myself in Outlook to check to make sure that they were real after I had the chance to watch her swim this weekend.  Well I think it is obvious that they were real!
    • Jillian Ceol lowered her 100 Free PR by .51 seconds down to 1:08.35, which is now the 12th fastest time on the entire team. Jillian also has the 13th fastest time on the team in 100 Breaststroke – and I expect that to improve as she learns to get her head all the way down with each stroke.  I can really see in practice how much she wants to improve, which means that she almost certainly will!
    • Emily Heim’s breaststroke continues to standout among, not just the 7th graders, but the entire team. Had she been official, she would have placed 11th overall on Saturday – after her googles had fallen off – , and her best time is currently the 7th fastest on our entire team.  And Emily’s 1:10 in 100 Free is already the 15th fastest on the team.
    • Nicolette Smith had another PR in 100 Free and swam so well in 100 Breast, that her time is now the 14th fastest on the entire team. She’s also in the top half of the team in nearly every other event.  She may be little, but that doesn’t mean she’s slow!
    • How about Geni Lucas’ 50 Free? She cut an amazing 1.58 seconds and continues to improve.
    • To fill out 3 competitive relays, it takes 6, 7 or 8 top swimmers depending the mix of strokes they do well. Once we add other 7th grade girls like Bryanna Farmer, Meghan O’Malley, Michaela Pennefather, Meggie Vestermark, Rose Remington, Vivian Zadnik, Caitlyn Lightner, Therese Gonzalez and Fiona Miller to the 5 kids above, I expect that we’ll be able to at least duplicate the feat last year’s girl’s team accomplished when they got 1st, 3rd and 5th overall in the three relays at States – and that doesn’t count some strong 8th grade girls like Sally Marrazzo, Ann Pennefather and Fiona Geiran.  I also hear tell of another 7 grade girl at Seton who might want to join the fun with this very special group of swimmers.

Personal Records

For those of you who are new to the team, we really try to celebrate Personal Records or “PRs” since that is really the measure of excellence for a swimmer.  If you keep improving your PR, the winning starts to take care of itself.  And many of these PRs are by such wide margins, that it could only be the result of stroke technique – you simply can’t improve that fast from improved conditioning.  After reading about the 94 PRs below, can you tell that we’ve been working on breaststroke in practice?

  • William Arnold, a 7th grader, had personal records in both of his events. He lowered his 100 Free PR by 4.87 seconds and his 50 Free PR by 2.19 seconds.  I had to laugh when William was running to the correct block, after waiting in the wrong place.  He jumped up just in time for the start, and got off faster than anyone else in the heat!
  • Stephen Britten, another 7th grader, also had two big personal records. He cut 4.80 seconds from his 100 Free PR and 3.30 seconds from his 50 Free PR.  His finish in 100 Free was great.
  • Lucy Bennett showed her versatility with a 7.11 second PR in the 200 IM, an event where I think she can score a lot of points for us this season. And as her conditioning improves, Lucy is going to be exciting for us in 100 Fly.
  • Michael Collins PR’d in both of his individual events, including a 4.53 second PR in 100 Breaststroke and a 2.01 second PR in 50 Free. Those are very large improvements for an experienced swimmer like Michael.
  • Kenneth Cuomo didn’t let any pre-meet difficulties stop him from swimming very well – 3 PRs! Kenneth’s work in practice on breaststroke paid off with a 13.48 second PR.  He also cut 5.58 seconds from his 50 Back PR leading off a medley relay and 1.16 seconds from his 50 Free PR to break :30 seconds for the first time!
  • Bryanna Farmer, a 7th grader, continues to improve.  She cut another 2.86 seconds from her 50 Free PR.
  • Josefa Gonzalez, a freshman who is swimming for the first time, is showing a lot of improvement under the tutelage of Coach Pete Van de Voorde. She cut 24.62 seconds from her 100 Breast PR and another 4.30 seconds from her 50 Free PR.  She is really learning quickly.
  • And Josefa’s sister, 7th grader Therese Gonzalez, also showed amazing progress with a 23.12 second PR in 100 Free and a 11.77 PR in 50 Free.
  • 7th grader Patrick Hall, lowered his best time in 50 Free by 1.29 seconds. He also did a nice job in his first attempt at 100 Backstroke.
  • 7th grader Patrick Hassan, smiled his way to a 4.61 second PR in 100 Breast and a 2.77 second PR in 50 Free.
  • Sarah Heim, a freshman, has the potential to be a standout for Seton, particularly in the breaststroke, but not only there. On Saturday, she managed to cut another .48 seconds from her 100 Breaststroke PR, and she did a great job in her debut this season in the 200 Free, cutting 1.29 seconds from her PR to place 13th  On the 200 Free, I could clearly see her flipping her wrist at the end of each stroke, just like you should.
  • Keziah Higginbottom is back on the swim team after a couple year hiatus (she’s been on the diving team only – now she’s on both), and she is clearly more focused than ever. She had 3 PRs on Saturday!  Her PRs included a 9.11 second improvement in 50 back leading off a relay, a .31 second PR in 50 Free leading off another relay and a 1.00 PR in 100 Back.
  • I don’t think I’ve ever seen Patrick Hilleary swim so well! He continues to improve in freestyle with another 1.95 second drop in 50 Free.
  • Hadley Huff is seeing the payoff for her work in practice. She had big PRs in 100 Free, by 18.52 seconds, and in 50 Free, by 9.54 seconds.
  • Connor Kleb cut 1.65 seconds from his 50 Free PR and 1.25 seconds from his 100 Free PR in two nice swims.
  • Senior Captain Christian “Rocky” Kleb reminded me of Jason Lezak the way he swam like a wave through the water each stroke. And it resulted in a PR in 50 Free by .28 seconds. (Just typing the name Jason Lezak led to a 15 minute diversion in my writing since I simply had to go see his anchor leg for the American’s in last Olympics.  It wasn’t the Seton boys medley relay at States 2006 or the Seton girls 200 Free relay at States 2010, but it was truly incredible – you can see it here)
  • Nice work Patrick Koehr for lowering your PR in 200 IM by 2.17 seconds and for scoring for Seton in another tough event, the 500 Free. We really need versatile swimmers like Patrick to score in events that some others are nervous about even trying.
  • David Lambrecht, I’ve never seen your freestyle look better than it did on Saturday. Dropping .84 seconds in 50 Free is very good.  Nice work!
  • Senior Captain Rachel Lambrecht also had a big drop in 50 Free, cutting .64 seconds from her PR.
  • Caitlyn Lightner, one of the 7th grade girls with so much potential, dropped nearly a second (.78 seconds actually) in 50 Free.
  • Michael Manley cut .76 seconds from his 100 Breaststroke PR
  • I can see that we will be able to count on sophomore Luke Marrazzo in the future. His improvement has been excellent so far this season, including this week’s 16.18 second PR in 200 Free and 1.16 second PR in 500 Free.
  • Sally Marrazzo is starting to shine, and is showing that she will be one of the team leaders to lead those 7th grade girls in the future. Her 2.59 second PR in 50 Free and 5.42 second PR in 100 Breast were both outstanding swims.
  • Nice work Tommy Moore! 12 seconds off of your 100 Free PR?  And 5.19 seconds off of your 50 Free PR?  Coach Van de Voorde is very pleased.
  • Sophomore James Mosimann is now within .01 seconds of breaking 30 seconds in 50 Free after he took a 2.12 second chunk out of his 50 Free PR. He also dropped 2.05 seconds in 100 Breast.
  • 8th grader Paul Mosimann cut .16 seconds from his 50 Free PR, and he looked very strong in 100 Breaststroke.
  • 7th grader Meghan O’Malley is making dramatic improvements, maybe because she sees how much fun it will be to swim with her classmates in the future? How about a 3.70 second PR in 50 Breast and a 5.33 second PR in 100 Breast?  Great stuff!
  • I can see that Paul Pechie, only an 8th grader, is going to be a real player for us in the future if he keeps improving the way he did on Saturday. Paul cut another .53 seconds from his 50 Free PR and 1.06 seconds from his 50 Back PR leading off a relay.
  • Ryan Pugh dropped .86 seconds in 50 Free and tried 100 Back for the first, probably ever!
  • Sophomore Peter Quinan had a great meet with 3 PRs. Peter lowered his 100 Breast PR by 3.23 seconds, his 50 Free PR by 1.79 seconds and his 50 Back PR leading off a relay by 17.30 seconds!
  • Great job Rose Remington! You broke 40 seconds in 50 Free and cut 1.69 seconds from your PR.  Keep it up!
  • Senior Jonathan Rosato had 3 PRs, including a 2.35 second drop in 100 Free, a 1.49 second drop in 50 Free and a .34 second drop in 100 Breast. Jonathan’s 100 Breast time is getting pretty good and will score a lot of points – this week, it was good enough for 7th place overall.
  • Fiona Seoh lowered her best time in 100 Breast by another .77 seconds.
  • Sophomore Steven Shaw is going to be a go-to guy for us in the future, and he showed why on Saturday. He lowered his 100 Fly PR by 2.86 seconds and his 50 Back PR leading off a relay by .69 seconds.  His 100 Fly took 5th overall and his 100 Back took 8th
  • 8th grader Tommy Shaw had a huge PR in 100 Breast, cutting 3.90 seconds. He also cut 1.05 seconds from his 50 Free PR.
  • Jude Van de Voorde dropped 1.20 seconds in 50 Free and 2.09 seconds in 100 Breast. Very nice work Jude.
  • Senior Matthew Verry bounced back nicely from a sore neck during the week to lower his 50 Free PR by .41 seconds.
  • Theresa Verry also had a good meet with a 2.33 second PR in 100 Breast and a .72 second PR in 50 Free.
  • Another 7th grader who is showing me that she wants to get better is Meggie Vestermark. Her work ethic in practice is paying dividends, like a 3.74 PR in 50 Free and a 3.41 second PR in 100 Breast.
  • Meggie Vestermark, another one of those 7th graders with the bright futures, really did well with a 3.74 second PR in 50 Free and a 3.41 second PR in 100 Breast. I particularly liked watching her reach way out in front on each freestyle stroke.
  • Bernadette Wunderly scored a lot of points for us with two 8th place finishes overall in the difficult events of 100 Fly and 500 Free. And her 500 was a 2.83 second PR.
  • Vivian Zadnik, another one of our 7th grade girls sure had a nice swim in 50 Free where she dropped 6.12 seconds to break 40 seconds for the first time.
  • I was very pleased to see Senior Captain Leslie Zapiain get a PR in 200 Free so early in the season. Leslie also scored in 6th place overall in the 500 Free.

Other Great Performances

There were a lot of other great swims this past weekend also:

  • Senior Captains Patrick Kenna and Brendan Koehr swam very strong in the sprint freestyle events, taking 6th and 7th overall, and 7th and 6th overall, respectively. They both looked very strong in the water and should continue to get faster as the season progresses.
  • 8th grader and 1st year swimmer Tim Costello had to miss time trials, which was ashame, because I simply can’t tell you how much he’s improved already this season, especially in breaststroke. Tim tried 100 Free and 100 Breaststroke for the first time in his life, and I was really pleased with how well he did.
  • I just love Emily Lowell’s She’s bouncing back from foot surgery, and I can already see progress in her swimming.  It’s just a matter of time for her now.
  • Freshman Mary Remington tried 100 Free and 100 Breaststroke for the 1st time and did very well. It’s great to see how well she’s listening in practice.


Our boys diving team actually beat both Norfolk Academy and Trinity Episcopal, two teams with two of the most respected diving coaches in the State.  And the girls beat Trinity Episcopal.  This was particularly cool because, after the conclusion of the swimming competition, the combined boys and girls scores for Seton and Trinity Episcopal were identical – our victory in diving, gave Seton the victory in the combined score!  Looks like Coach Maureen Duran really has something going on here!

  • Joe Duran had his best 6 dive score by more than 30 points to take 2nd place overall. Two of the divers that he beat placed 2nd and 3rd overall at States last year!  Let’s hope Joe can get 11 dives done was well as he got 6.
  • Joey Rubin took 5th overall with his 6 dives, so, if he can nail 11, it looks like he could be joining Joe Duran at States.
  • Michael Manley also took 6th overall, on the boys side
  • Junior swimmer Sarah Zapiain was a highest placing girl diving, finishing 4th overall
  • Another swimmer, Keziah Higginbottom, contributed in diving also with her 5th place overall finish
  • Mary Duran took 6th place overall with a score very close to her 6 dive PR
  • Mikey Wittlinger is not just a good swimmer, I think she’ll be scoring points in diving in the future also.

Parent Volunteers

As always, Seton shined in the parent volunteer category.  Every team was supposed to supply at least 5 timers, but how many do you think came from Seton?  Thanks to Head Timer Recruiter Laraine Bennett, we were loaded.  And every team was supposed to supply at least one stroke & turn judge, but how many were from Seton?  Well, thanks to Ed Rogers, our new officials coordinator, we were able to supply almost all of them.  Thanks to this year’s crew of stroke and turn judges, including returning judges S.L. Higginbottom, Chris Collins, Mike Byers and John Murphy and new-comers, Matt Marrazzo, Ted Pechie and Mark Remington.  That’s quite a crew for Stroke & Turn!  Add that to our old pro referee (and Godfather of Seton Swimming) Charles Seltman, veteran head timer Brad Basinger and our “dry-deck” officials, Team President Chris Cook, Mario Rosato, John Wunderly, Lynn Dunn, Susan Cummings, John Kleb and Art Bennett, and we have a crew that is the envy of the entire state – and that is not hyperbole – I hear it all the time from other coaches.  They are even jealous that we have a designated “Pizza Mom” (Cathy Lowell).

And wasn’t it cool looking at the team in their new apparel?  We can all thank Carol Doonis for that.  I particularly like the new coach’s shirts because it makes it so clear to other teams how many volunteer coaches we have helping our team.  We actually run 6 separate practices each morning thanks to coaches Lea Mazzoccoli (and player coach Lauren Donohoe), Richard Lowell, Barbara Claybrooks, Tom Kosten, Jamie Smith and Pete Van de Voorde.

So thank you Seton parents for making everything we do at Seton Swimming possible.

Another Chance to Order a Limited Variety of Apparel Items

Speaking of apparel, enough families have asked Mrs. Doonis if there will be another opportunity to order apparel that she has graciously offered to do another round of orders.  But here’s the deal:

  • Orders must be submitted through the On-Line Store on by Thursday evening at 6:00 p.m.
  • Embroidered items can be ordered with logos (e.g. warm-up suits and polo shirts)
  • Swim Suits can be ordered but will be delivered without a logo
  • Another other items that require screen-printing will not be available (e.g. sweat pants, hoodie sweatshirts)

The more parents who order the parent polo shirt the better!

See you all at practice on Monday, and let’s get ready for another great meet next Saturday!

Coach Koehr

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