Earlier last week, I announced the Varsity team that will compete in the post-season for Seton where no more exhibition swimming is allowed. Ten years ago, after having the season for nearly half the team end abruptly at this point, we hatched the idea of a fun, season-ending meet for all of the members of Seton’s Junior Varsity team.
The Junior Varsity Invitational was the result of that plan. We had just started the State Championship meet at that point – how hard could this one be? So we set out on a journey to create an annual event at the beautiful Fitch Warrenton Aquatic and Recreation Facility, which was brand new at the time.
The meet continues to grow. On Saturday, we had 194 swimmers from 12 teams that traveled from as far away as Chesapeake, VA for a fun-filled meet where I do all of the announcing personally. Fortunately, there was no overlapping National Catholic meet this year so I didn’t have to do the trip back to Warrenton during the middle of that meet.
The meet got off to a great start when Seton Managers Katie Moore and Kaela Catabui sang the National Anthem in beautiful harmony. They were wonderful! And the fun continued, even through the early challenges with the CTS system. When you get girls Irish Dancing to the Drop Kick Murphys, you know people are having fun.
The scoring for the meet ended up very positive for Seton:
Norfolk Academy 210
Fredericksburg Christian 203
Collegiate School 175
Randolph-Macon Academy 112
North Cross 69
The Carmel School 19
Collegiate School 286
North Cross 162
Fredericksburg Christian 149
Norfolk Academy 113.5
Williamsburg Christian 53
The Covenant School 13
Chelsea Academy 7
Randolph-Macon Academy 6
The Carmel School 2
One thing you will notice in the results is that Chelsea Academy in Front Royal appears for the first time ever. Like we did with Holy Family Academy, we have worked out an arrangement with the good folks at Chelsea to provide them with a swimming program.
Chelsea’s first swimmer is 8th grader Janey Olohan, who lives near me in Warrenton. Janey’s old man, Tom, also went to Notre Dame for law school so we’ve taken them in as own 😉 I’m expecting several other Chelsea swimmers to join us next year which should be a lot of fun, especially if we can get enough to have some relays.
Janey had an excellent first meet swimming two personal records as compared to her previous USA times. In 50 Fly, she cut 1.24 seconds and in 100 Free, she cut .63 seconds. Looking at her times, which are quite good for an 8th grader who has been out of the water for awhile, makes me wish she were swimming for Seton 😉
I was very excited for the future of Seton Swimming while I watched so many young swimmers swim so well. The future of Seton Swimming sure does look bright!
Medal Winners for Seton
Thanks to Mrs. Carole Pechie, we actually had individual medal winners for the first time. Here are the Seton Swimmers who earned medals:
- Mairead Geiran (7) won three (3) gold medals, one in each of her three (3) individual events, and in both of the events for which she had previous times, she swam strong PRs. In 50 Fly, she cut a huge .81 seconds to break :30 for the first time, and in 50 Back she cut a huge .75 seconds. She also swam a very fast 1:08.84 in 100 IM – a time that wouldn’t be bad at all for a 7th grader swimming 100 Free! Mairead also was part of the 1st place medley relay and the 2nd place backstroke relay.
- David Flook (8) also had a very strong meet winning and individual Gold and an individual Bronze medal. In 50 Back, David cut .14 seconds to go 30.29 and win gold by more than 1.5 seconds! David also cut an incredible 2.08 seconds in 50 Fly to break :30 seconds and take Bronze. David scored in 4th place for the 100 IM, 1st place in the Backstroke Relay and 4th place in Freestyle Relay.
- Caroline Griffin (8) shined brightly in her three individual events and two relays. She won a Bronze medal in 50 Back after a .27 second PR. Caroline also scored 7th in 100 IM (with a 1.73 second PR), 8th in 100 Free (with a .67 second PR), 1st in the Medley Relay and 2nd in the Backstroke Relay.
Lots of Scoring!
This meet was scored as a Championship meet so everyone was scored together with the top 12 finishers earning points for their team. I was very excited to see the number of different swimmers we had in the top 12. Depth as always been a strength of Seton Swimming and it was no different on Saturday:
- Mary Heim (FR) made us proud with three (3) scoring finishes and three (3) PRs. Mary took 5th place in 100 IM with a 4.45 second PR, 7th place in 50 Back with a .10 second PR and 8th place in 50 Fly with a 4.19 second PR. I was very pleased with those big drops for Mary!
- Drew Dalrymple (8) showed what a big future he has at Seton with three (3) scoring finishes and three (3) PRs. In 50 Free he cut .02 seconds to take 5th place, in 50 Fly he cut 6.62 seconds to take 10th place and in 100 IM he cut 9.32 seconds to take 12th place. Those times show some really dramatic improvement this season. Can’t wait to get Drew back next year!
- Katie Albin (8) scored in 5th place in 50 Breast after a big 1.12 second PR. She also had three other PRs including a 2.20 second PR in 100 IM, a 2.09 second PR in 50 Fly and a .08 second PR in 50 Back leading off the medley relay.
- Jack Santschi (7) looks he could be a really good one in the future. His 1.29 second PR in 100 Free got him down to 1:02 which was good enough to score in 6th place. Jack also dropped a huge 3.95 second PR in 50 Fly to take 8th place. I know Jack is only in 7th grade, but he certainly doesn’t look that young in the water!
- Jerry Dalrymple (7) was awesome on Saturday with three (3) scoring swims. In 100 Free, he took 7th place, in 50 Fly he took 9th place and in 50 Back he took 12th place. That backstroke swim was a 1.71 second PR – and later in the meet while leading off a Backstroke relay, he hit a 2.97 second PR!
- Elizabeth Caron (7) scored twice, including 8th place in 50 Back and 12th place in 100 IM. Both times were very good and would have certainly been PRs had we had a previous time against which to compare them.
- Shane Koehr (8) had a tremendous swim in the 50 Backstroke after he got going. After the start, he was nearly a body length behind, but then he just starting walking down the field with a great looking stroke that reminded me a bit of his older brothers. In the end, he hit a .12 second PR and scored in 8th place for 50 Back. Shane also dropped 8.02 seconds in 100 IM.
- David Catabui (SO) looked very strong, with three (3) really dramatic PRs. David took 8th place in 50 Breaststroke with a 7.03 second PR! He also had a 24.24 second PR in 100 IM and a 3.32 second PR in 100 Free – those are huge drops!
- Therese Pechie (FR) swam a 5.78 second PR in 100 IM and jumped up to 9th place. She also got 10th place in 50 Free and 14th place in 100 Free.
- Ben Dealey (SO) had a great day that included a 2.42 second PR in 50 Breast with a 9th place Ben also cut 1.95 seconds in 100 Free to end the season with a bang.
- RJ Kenna (8) looked as good as I’ve seen him all year on his leg of the backstroke relay – very strong. Individually, RJ’s .27 second PR in 50 Free got him the 10th place points for us. RJ also had a big 1.42 second PR in 50 Fly.
- Maria Tozzi (7) was awesome in 50 Fly where she cut 2.43 seconds scored in 10th place. Her 2.43 second drop in the event was the difference between scoring for Seton and not scoring at all.
- Kathleen O’Malley (8) had a great swim in 100 Free that scored in 12th place. Kathleen also had good swims in the 100 IM and the 50 Fly – in Fly she swam a big 1.43 second PR!
56 New Personal Records for only 38 Swimmers!
Amazingly, with only 38 swimmers, we had 56 Personal Records – that’s just under 1.5 PRs per swimmer! Here are the other swimmers that wrapped up their season with Personal Records. Remember, there are probably a lot of swims not mentioned here because, to get a PR, you have to have a previous time, and we don’t normally swim some of these events:
- Marcie Van de Voorde (8) was had a really big 8.43 second PR in 50 Back.
- Leo Santschi (SR) swam for the first time in this, his senior, year and boy did he improve. He started the season at 1:12 in 100 Free, and on Saturday, after another 1.93 second PR, he went 1:05.82! I was announcing the meet and there were numerous times when I felt the need to single Leo out for how strong he looked in the water.
- Katharine Rowzie (8) had a great swim in 100 IM where she cut 2.52 seconds.
- Patrick Murray (SO) wrapped up his season in style with three (3) really big PRs. How about a 3.34 second PR in 100 Free, a 2.79 second PR in 50 Back and a 2.00 second PR in 50 Free? Nice job Patrick!
- Anne Konstanty (8) looked as strong as I’ve seen her all season during her .63 second PR in 100 Free. She also swam very well in the 100 IM during her first attempt at the event.
- Jeremy Kleb (8) was great during his 50 Free where he dropped .59 seconds to go 30.68. He also looked very strong on the anchor leg of the 1st place Backstroke relay.
- Tom Irving (JR) swam incredibly well in 100 Free where he somehow managed to drop 1.69 seconds. He also showed me his significant potential as a swimmer with that 1:18.58 in the 100 IM. I really hope I get to see him at practice next year – he can be good at this sport!
- Julianna Holmes (JR) showed how much she’s learned this season, particularly after I saw her 1.27 second PR in 50 Back and her .08 second PR in 50 Free.
- Ryan Hall (SO) had his best butterfly ever – in both the 50 Fly and the 100 IM he hit significant PRs. In 50 Fly, he cut 6.85 seconds and in 100 IM (where fly is the 1st 25 yards) he cut 8.63 seconds! Great way to end the season Ryan!
- Rosie Hall (SO) really came on strong in the last half of the season as evidenced by her 4.96 second PR in 50 Back and her 2.55 second PR in 50 Breaststroke.
- Justin Fioramonti (8) is going to have a good next four (4) years swimming with Seton. That’s why I was so excited to see him cut 4.28 seconds in 50 Breast and 3.33 seconds in 50 Back. I was really pleased with the way his strokes looked in the water on Saturday.
- Katie Dealey (8) had a great day of swimming, particularly in 50 Back where she lowered her PR by .80 seconds.
- Joe Arnold (8) finished his season in style with a big 3.61 second PR in 100 Free. I was quite excited to see his 1:11.65 on the scoreboard.
And here were some other great swims from the meet:
- MacKenzie Farmer (SO) had some of her best swims of the season on Saturday. And I’ll always remember how well she did in her one shot at diving at NoVa Catholics where she placed 3rd. That was one of the highlights of the season for me!
- Ruthie Hartung (SO) looked like she was having some fun on Saturday. I was really pleased to see the improvement she’s shown in her stroke technique this season.
- Virginia Hartung (7) swam with Coach Paul Pechie during her first season with swimming, and the consistent improvement all season was obvious. Looking forward to having Virginia back next year!
- Katya Konstanty (SO) had a great swim in her first attempt at the 100 IM. It showed me that she has learned to swim all four (4) strokes this season, which was her first season on the team.
- Anton Murray (8) traded in his soccer cleats for a winter of swimming and he made the most of it! I know that Coach Pechie was really proud of how he progressed during his first season on the team.
- John Pennefather (FR) looks to me like he can be a significant scorer for Seton Swimming. He didn’t really have a chance to hit any PRs because he hadn’t swum any of his events before Saturday, but I’ve been watching him all season with Coach Dalrymple, and I promise you, he has really improved this year!
- Peter Tozzi (8) made his mark on the team this year – and on Saturday. In his first attempt at 100 IM, he went 1:15.77 which is a really good time for a first year swimmer. Peter is going to be a good one in the future – I can’t wait to see him next year!
The Remainder of the Championship Season
This National Catholic High School Championship would have been the first of four (4) championship meets for us this season. The remaining three (3) meets are over the next three (3) weekends, including:
- The VISAA Division II Invitational Championship – Saturday, February 6th at the Freedom Center.
- The DAC Conference Championship – Saturday, February 13th at St. Michael the Archangel
- The VISAA State Swimming and Diving Championship – Friday and Saturday, February 19-20th at the Christiansburg Aquatic Center near Virginia Tech.
Entries and information are posted for the Division II Invitational on Monday. Because we missed our second meet with Fredericksburg Christian, this meet will determine the conference championship. The meet will be scored as a championship meet, but we will re-score it as a series of dual meets and use those scores to determine the conference winner. We’ll be missing some key boys for the Blue Crab Bowl, so we’re really going to need everyone else to swim well if we want to get the boys championship back from FCS!
All Varsity swimmers should be on deck ready to stretch by 12:39 p.m. at Freedom. Non-varsity swimmers are of course welcomed to join the team on deck – but wear your uniform.
We are really pushing hard in practice during the month of January – do everything you can not to miss practice so we can all be ready for the last three (3) championship meets starting with our VISAA Division II Invitational this Saturday.
See you at practice!
Coach Jim Koehr