Greetings from lovely Kansas City. (Actually, it is not that lovely. Anyone who tells you business travel is fun, doesn’t travel much for business)
Well anyway, it was quite a weekend from Seton Swimming. We clinched our 12th straight DAC Championship, we broke a Woodberry Forest pool record, we established 6 new team records, and we had 75 new Personal records.
On Friday night, the boys swam Woodberry Forest and the girls swam St. Margaret’s. Woodberry Forest had some trouble with meet manager, so they hand calculated the boys score for SST vs Woodberry Forest:
SST 67 Woodberry 103
This is as close as we’ve ever been, and it was quite a good showing considering that Woodberry is a large boarding school that has won the State Championship 7 of the last 10 years. Our boys won 5 of the 11 total events, including the Boys medley relay. The Woodberry coach told me afterwards that they really wanted to win that race.
I have yet to hear the score for the girls vs. St. Margarets, but I can tell you that we swept every individual and relay event except two. St. Margaret’s got 3rd place in the 50 and 100 Free. Whatever the score was, it is was ugly, so I’m not pushing them to get it to me. Our team is very deep with talented girls, and we are only getting stronger.
On Saturday, we had our final DAC conference meet versus Quantico, Emmanuel Christian, and Highland. This meet was the conclusion of our conference schedule and left us as the conference champions. The final scores:
SST 207 ECS 39
SST 184 Highland 67
SST 203 Quantico 36
SST 220 ECS 50
SST 219 Highland 54
SST 215.5 Quantico 48.5
Over the weekend, we set 6 new team records, with Kevin Koehr and Nevin Cook each setting 4 new records:
– Boys 200 medley relay – Our powerful medley of Kevin Koehr, Nevin Cook, Bryan Morch and Sean Koehr beat Woodberry by over a body length and established a new Seton mark of 1:42.99. Kevin split 24.77 in 50 back and Nevin split 27.99 in 50 breast, Bryan split 26.28 in 50 Fly and Sean split 23.95 in Free. I’m quite sure this group can go even faster at Nationals and States.
– Boys 200 Free Relay – this same group of 4 boys cut another .31 seconds off of the record for the 200 Free relay. Again, there we some great splits including Kevin’s 22.76 and Nevin’s 23.07
– Boys 100 Freestyle – Kevin Koehr swam 100 Free in 49.40, beating his own record.
– Boys 100 Backstroke – Kevin Koehr lowered his own 100 Backstroke record to 51.48. This also broke the Woodberry Forest pool record.
– Boys 500 Free – Nevin Cook knocked Kevin off of the record board with a new standard of 5:03.82. Given Nevin’s age, I cannot imagine this record will not eventually be well under 5:00
– Boys 200 IM – Nevin Cook went under 2:00 in 200 IM for the first time in Seton history when he swam a 1:59.93 and beat the Woodberry guys by a half a length of the pool. The Individual medley, when you swim all 4 strokes, is the ultimate test of the all-around swimmer. Nevin is a great all-around swimmer.
On Saturday, our goal was to have people swim well in events that they do not normally swim. It was great to watch people like Caitlin Harris have fun swimming 100 Breast or Bryan Morch take a crack at 100 Backstroke. In spite of this approach, we had many great scoring swims. Some of the top-three finishes included:
Kimberley Melnyk – 200 Free
Katie Planchak – 200 IM
Meghan Morch – 50 Free
Jessica Dunn – 100 Fly and 500 Free
Lea Mazzoccoli – 100 Free
Mary-Kate Kenna – 100 Breaststroke
Bryan Morch – 200 Free and 100 Back
Nevin Cook – 50 Free and 500 Free
Kevin Koehr – 100 Fly
Melissa Dunn – 200 Free
Mary-Kate Kenna – 100 Free
Katie Planchak – 100 Back
Lea Mazzoccoli – 100 Breaststroke
David Harris – 200 Free
Sean Koehr – 200 IM and 100 Back
Jack Murphy – 100 Fly
Connor Cook – 100 Free
Kevin Koehr – 100 Breaststroke
Stephanie Melnyk – 200 Free
Caitlin Harris – 200 IM
Laura Talbott – 100 Fly and 100 Free
Hailey Moya – 500 Free
Kimberley Melnyk – 100 Back
Bridget Wunderly – 100 Breaststroke
Chris Fletcher – 200 Free
Jack Murphy – 50 Free
David Basinger – 500 Free
It was a great weekend to go faster. We had 75 Personal Records (PRs) this weekend:
– Mary-Kate Kenna – cut 0.14 from her 200 Free time and 1.15 seconds from 100 Free
– Connor Cook – dropped his 200 Free by 3.10 seconds to 2:02.74 and his 50 Free by over half a second. Nevin better set the 500 Free record really low, because I’m not sure it will outlive his brother’s career at Seton. Connor continues to improve in this event – this time he dropped 4.73 seconds in 500 Free down to 5:28.89. I would not surprised to see him go sub-5:00 before he graduates. To complete a great weekend for Connor, he also cut .86 seconds from an already fast 100 Free.
– Laura Talbott- cut 1.82 seconds from her 200 IM, over 4 seconds from her 100 Fly, and 1.69 seconds in 100 Free. I think Sean Koehr said it best when he said that “Laura Talbott is really fast.” She also cut 5.42 seconds from her 500 Free. She now goes 6:08.50. Can sub-6:00 be far away?
– Guppy Higginbottom – lowered his 100 IM by 0.89
– Whitney Hood – dropped her 50 Free by 1.62 and 1.94 from her 100 Free. She also cut over 10 seconds from her 200 IM!
– Tony Minarik – cut his 50 Free time by another 0.92 down to 27.58. Wow! He could barely swim at the beginning of the year! Now he one of the faster kids on the team. Where were you 4 years ago?
– Meghan Morch – cut 1.70 from 100 Fly – this is alot given how fast her time was to begin with. She also got her 50 Free time down another .09 seconds.
– Bridget Wunderly – lowered her 100 Fly another 0.32 seconds and her 50 Free by nearly a second. She also lowered her 100 Breast time by over 3.5 seconds. Bridget continues to get more competitive.
– Alex Cummings – dropped 0.12 from her 100 Free
– Kevin Koehr – cut another .13 from his 100 Free. At the speed he goes, it is really hard to improve even 1/10th of second . As previously mentioned, he cut an amazaing .69 seconds off of his 100 backstroke. He cut nearly a second from his 100 Fly, and finally, he dropped his 100 Breaststroke time by almost 2 seconds. Not a bad weekend.
– Sean Koehr – lowered his 100 Free time by .89 seconds to 56.11 – his first time under :57. He’s almost as fast as his mother was 😉 He also broke 1:10 in 100 Breaststroke Sean almost beat his father’s best 200 IM time after dropping over 21 seconds. Gotta be happy with the weekend’s work.
– Chris Fletcher – Mr. Fletcher warmed up Friday night with a .21 second drop in 100 Free to 1:03.20. Then on Saturday, he really hit it hard and lowered his time by another 1.33 seconds, all the way down to 1:01.87, leading off the 400 Free relay. It was quite a performance. As if that wasn’t enough, Chris also dropped for the 1st time after lowering he previous best by 0.22. He cut over 10 seconds from his best 100 backstroke, and, to finish off a great weekend, his 200 Free time by nearly a second.
– Danielle Smith – how about this freshman, lowering her 100 back time by 1.31 seconds down to 1:10.35? She’s now the 2nd fastest backstroker on the team.
– Daniel Koehr – Dan had an amazing weekend, starting Friday night with a .48 reduction in his 100 back time. Next, he cut over a second from his 50 Free. Then on Saturday, he lowered his 100 Free time by 5.50 seconds – wow! He now swims 100 Free among the best on the team.
– Lea Mazzoccoli – cut another 0.60 off of her breaststroke time. She now goes a fast 1:18.68. With no weak strokes, I can’t wait to see how her IM develops!
– Jonah Higginbottom – lowered his previous best time in 100 Breaststroke by over 1 second
– Bryan Morch – he broke 1:00 for the first time this season and lowered his previous best time in 200 Free. Bryan swimming backstroke? It happened and he dropped almost 3 seconds from his previous best.
– Greg Bliss – Cut nearly 8 seconds from he 200 Free and nearly 11 seconds from 100 back
– Kimberley Melnyk – lowered her 200 Free time by 2.77 seconds and her 100 Free time leading off the 400 Free relay by .85 seconds
– Melissa Dunn – cut a huge 14.64 seconds from her 200 Free. Sometimes you don’t realize how good you’ve gotten until you compare times from the previous year, which was the last time Melissa swam this event. She also cut over 2 seconds from her 100 backstroke.
– Kelsey Kleb – cut over 6 seconds from her 200 Free
– Amanda Byers – all of her hard work in practice showed when she dropped 14.41 seconds in 200 Free and .72 seconds in 100 Breast
– Joe Ross – showed some versatility by swimming 200 IM 6.56 seconds than ever before. He also lowered his 100 Free time another .76 seconds. Joe is going to be a key part of the future of Seton’s boys team.
– Hailey Moya – lowered her 200 IM by almost 7 seconds and her 500 Free by almost 9 seconds. Incredible.
– Nevin Cook – rocked in 50 Free with a 23.05, 0.7 seconds faster than his previous best. For that event at that speed, 0.7 seconds is an eternity. Its been awhile since he swam 500 Free. How about that 38 second improvement for a new team record?
– David Basinger – lowered his 50 Free by .16 seconds and his 500 Free time by 21.24 seconds!
– Daniel Quinan – Broke :30 in 50 Free for the first time by lowering his previous best by .34 seconds. He also cut 1.69 seconds from his 100 Breast
– Christian Vestermark – his streak of improvements continue. This time he cut almost another second from his 50 Free and almost 19 seconds from his 500 Free.
– Jonathan Rosato – swam a great 50 Free and improved by 2.14 seconds. He also improved his 100 Free by .37 seconds.
– Daniel Wheeler – improved 3.78 seconds in his 50 Free – that’s alot!
– Ann Duran – lowered her 50 Free by nearly a second, and she did it with a big smile
– Jack Murphy – his improvement in 100 Fly continues – this time he lowered his time by another 1.38 seconds.
– Katie Corkery – lowered her 100 Fly time by 1.45 seconds
– Mary Dobak – lowered her 100 Fly time by 1.5 seconds
– Patrick Kenna – cut 1.29 seconds from his 100 Free and 1.73 seconds from 100 backstroke
– Geoff Ross – always gives his best effort – this time he cut 12.52 seconds from his 500 Free
– Jessica Dunn – cut nearly 22 seconds from her previous best Seton time in the 500. That gives you an idea of how much she’s improved.
– Brittany Rosato – she cut over 48 seconds from her 500 Free. I remember when she was terrified to swim this event – now she is thriving in it.
– Alyssa Shaw – cut another 23.76 seconds from her 500 Free. She’s improved alot this season.
– Katie Planchak – improved her 100 back by .35 seconds
– David Harris – lowered his 100 Breaststroke time by 2.74 seconds. Not many people are good at both back and breast.
– Michael O’Donohue – cut almost 6.5 seconds from his 100 Breast
– Katie Racine – lowered her 100 Breast time by almost 15 seconds!
– Eileen Corkery – cut a half a second from her 100 Breast
We had several new qualifiers for States. While entries are due for States next week, the VSIS will accept late entries for swimmers who qualify at conference championship meets. That means that there is one more chance for everyone to qualify. Here are the swimmers who qualified for the first time in some individual event this past weekend:
Melissa Dunn – 200 Free
Katie Planchak – 100 Back (and joins Kevin and Nevin in a the group that has qualified for every single event)
Danielle Smith – 100 Back (qualified for the 1st time – congratulations – get that hotel room!)
Laura Talbott – 100 Fly and 100 Free
Sean Koehr – 100 Free
Because we had some tremendous swims this weekend in the 100 Free, the 400 Free “A” relay for States has been thown up in the air again. As you all know, the fastest times always swim. Good healthy competition is what swimming is all about and that is what we got this weekend – especially from Chris Fletcher and Daniel Koehr. Daniel cut 5.5 seconds from his 100 Free (that’s almost unbelievable!) and Chris cut his 100 Free time by over 1.5 seconds. The race between them leading off the 400 Free relay was amazing. Both of them dropped over a second while giving there all – Daniel dropped 3 seconds! I put my hand on Chris’s chest after the race while I was congratulating him from such an outstanding swim, and I thought his heart was going to jump out of his chest! I couldn’t have been more proud of both of them.
Since I can change relay entries up the morning of the meet, we have one more opportunity each of these swimmers to earn a spot on the “A” relay. With Connor Cook basically a lock (because of his very fast time), DAC Champs should be very exciting as Billy Corkery, Jack Murphy, Chris Fletcher and Daniel Koehr battle it out for the final three slots. Fortunately, because Jack and Chris are seniors, they get to go to States no matter what – but I know they really want to earn a spot on the “A” relay. Good luck to all of them. The fastest times will be in.
And finally, let me highlight some other things that caught my eye:
– I always love it how Betsy Mooney steps up to get things done without my asking. She sang the National Anthem for us Friday night, and then on Saturday, when her throat was sore, she arranged for it to be done (thank you Katie Hoffer) – all without being asked. She was on top of letting the coaches know who was missing so we could jump through hoops to make the last minute changes to relays. And she was the last one cheering for the 400 Free relays down at Woodberry. I remember telling Beth Van de Voorde that I never realized I needed a manager until she took the job and showed how helpful she could be. Now I can’t live without one. With Beth graduating, I’m very happy to know that I will not have to live without a good manager next year. Thanks Betsy!
– Many thanks to Coach Sam for handling the difficult task of changing relays at the last minute during Saturday’s meet. We had 4 swimmers miss the meet without any notice. I was personally very thankful that Sam was there fill the breach. (For future reference, it is highly uncool to do that to me.)
– Connor Cook had a great finish in the 200 Free at Woodberry. He seemed to get stronger with every stroke as he walked down one of the Woodberry guys and almost caught the top Woodberry swimmer to take 2nd. Remember, Connor is in 8th grade, and he can hang with the big boys.
– I just love to watch Stephanie Melnyk swim. She really gives it 100 % every time. You should have seen her attack that 200 Free!
– Bryan Morch is starting to peak in 100 Fly. He broke 1:00 for the first time this season. I think a :58 will score at States, and I know he can do it.
– Guppy Higginbottom and Jonathan Rosato did a great job stepping in at the last minute to replace sick swimmers down at Woodberry. Guppy even handled the 500 Free for us
– It was easy to see how deep we are in fast girls by watching the girls 200 Free relay. Our “B” relay, made up of Laura Talbott, Mary-Kate Kenna, Meghan Morch and Hailey Moya gave our “A” relay a race – and it wasn’t because our “A” relay didn’t do well. I expect our girls to make a good showing at States this year, and a great showing next year.
– Daniel Wheeler swam 100 backstroke for the first time ever on Saturday. This is Daniel’s first year of swimming, so Coach Higginbottom worked with him on it at practice. Daniel really came through. Great job!
– On Saturday, Katie Planchak had quite a race in the 200 IM – she pulled it out on the last 50 Freestyle. In the same race, Caitlin Harris really came on strong also.
– Kimberley Melnyk and Melissa Dunn ended up going head-to-head in the 200 Free, pushing each other to PRs. I really enjoyed watching a great finish.
– Amanda Byers did a great job in the 200 Free. Coach Mulhern noticed that she was alternate breathing in her freestyle – that really helps you even out your stroke. If you don’t alternate breath in practice, make sure you start.
– Daniel Koehr has developed some excellent turns – they are the part of the difference in his freestyle races. His turns are nearly as good at Katie Planchak’s.
– The third time’s a charm for Kelsey Kleb. She was determined to conquer 100 Fly and she did it on Saturday. I was really proud of her for not giving up.
– Bryan Morch had a great 100 backstroke. It is an event that he almost never swims. His butterfly talents really showed on his underwater body dolphin off the walls.
– Some of the no-show swimmers almost caused us to scratch some relays and deny other swimmers the opportunity to swim. That was until Coach Sam had the idea to use Patrick Koehr (age 10) in our exhibition relays. After finding a swim suit for him, Patrick lead off one of our exhibition 400 Free relays with a 1:23 in 100 Free. Watch out Kevin, Sean and Daniel! People ask me all the time how Seton always has such good sports. I always tell them that the key is big families. We don’t need to recruit – we have younger brothers and sisters!
Well, that was a great way to wrap up the regular season. All that remains are the championship meets: National Catholics this weekend, DAC Champs on Feb 4th and States on Feb 17-18. After that we will schedule our annual awards – expect information on that soon. I hope everyone can make it out to DAC Champs. We need lots of people wearing their black t-shirts and sweatshirts – even if you are not swimming. Bring your friends from school, and celebrate with us after the meet.
Next week, I’ll report to you how we did at National Catholics. Ill also publish the meet sheet for DAC Champs. There’s no exhibition at DAC Champs, and the fastest times will swim – I just have to figure out who that is.
See you at practice Thursday morning.