Last Saturday was a very busy day for Seton Swimming. While of group of five (5) swimmers and two (2) divers ventured up to Loyola University in Baltimore for the National Catholic High School Championships, much of the rest of our team capped off another great season with victories for both the boys and the girls at our annual Junior Varsity Invitational. The performances of our younger swimmers in particular bode very well for the future of Seton Swimming.
On a personal note, the weekend brought back a lot of memories of some of the greatest performances I’ve witnessed over my past 11 years as the Seton coach. I know I wore Coach Ceol out with stories of my son Kevin’s 100 Backstroke National Catholic win in 2005 (Seton’s first ever), Nevin Cook’s come from behind victory in the 200 IM final in 2007, Jameson Hill’s 500 Free that smashed a 30 year old record held by a 1976 Olympian, or Alex Doonis’ victory last year in the 100 Free after just barely missing it the year before.
It was a weekend where I particularly missed Kevin. He was the reason I started coaching at Seton in the first place – I wanted to give him the opportunity to see what he could do – and he definitely did it. Today Kevin is deployed in the Ghanzi province in Eastern Afghanistan as an Army officer with the 10th Mountain Division. Please pray with me that he returns safely for another Seton Homecoming swim meet to bring the joy he’s always brought me whenever I see his powerful strokes in the water.
Well, enough sentimentality.
At the Junior Varsity Invitational, while the number of participating teams was reduced by the weather, we still saw some very fast swimming – especially by the Seton kids. Here’s how the meet scores looked when it was all over:
St. Michael the Archangel 162
Flint Hill 119
Wakefield Country Day 107
Randolph-Macon Academy 20
Flint Hill 310
St. Michael the Archangel 149
The Steward School 8
Another New Team Record!
Our highest placing finisher at National Catholics was Joe Duran who took 7th place overall in diving with what I thought was a new team record score of 187.50 – surpassing what I thought was the old record by 10 points. But as I was updating the record, I went back at looked at previous meets and realized that at NoVa Catholics, he scored an amazing 200.15 points – and that was the new team record!
So congratulations to Joe for his outstanding performance at both of these Catholic high school championship meets. I can’t wait to see what he can do at States!
Top Performers from the Weekend
As I looked through the results and spoke of both of this weekend’s meets, there were a number of swimmers (and divers) who really stood out:
From National Catholics
- I wish I knew what Keziah Higginbottom had for dinner on Friday night, but it whatever it was, it really worked. In the prelims of 100 Fly, Keziah cut an incredible 1.66 seconds from her PR to go 1:10.57! She is now within .66 seconds of the State cut in the event. With some lighter hands out front, I think she can do it. How do I know? Because she tried it a bit in the medley relay and split an amazing 27.75 – that’s faster than her 50 Free splits! Keziah was also the 2nd highest placing Seton competitor with her 9th place overall finish in diving. Talk about versatile!
- Claire Kenna was our high point scorer for the weekend with top 16 finishes in all four (4) of her events. Her best swims came in 100 Free where, in the individual event, she took 12th place overall with a .99 second PR time of 58.26. In the 400 Free Relay, Claire swam the anchor leg during finals in an amazing 57.22! Wow! Claire also took 16th place in 50 Free with a PR time of 26.57. And then on the anchor of the 200 Medley Relay, Claire went an even faster 25.86! That was some fast swimming for a girl who seems destined to be next in the long line of great Seton female sprinters.
- Joining Claire in that great 400 Free Relay were Alex Sinner, Jillian Ceol and Kimberly Rector. They all swam very well, especially Jillian Ceol who’s 1:02.87 preliminary split was a second and a half faster than her PR and Kimberly Rector who’s 1:00.55 split was almost 2 seconds faster than her PR.
- Their swim in finals earned them an 11th place finish overall.
- Alex Sinner is definitely back from her hip injury troubles. Not only did she do a PR 50 Backstroke split leading off the medley relay (by .26 seconds), she took 15th place overall in the 200 IM with a near PR time of 2:26.86.
- Joining Alex on that PR medley relay were Emily Heim, Keziah Higginbottom and Claire Kenna. Together, they dropped their relay PR from 2:03.01 to 2:01.66 – a big drop indeed!
- Their swim in finals was good enough to take 11th place
- Kimberly Rector did not just swim well in the relay, she also had an outstanding performance in 100 Breaststroke where her .31 second PR just missed the consolation finals taking 19th place overall.
From the JV Invitational
- Brian Koehr was an animal this weekend with five (5) 1st place finishes! And all of them were by fairly wide margins. His best swim of the day was in 100 IM which he swam 14.70 seconds faster than he did at last year’s invite. His other top finishes came in 50 and 100 Free, the 200 Breaststroke Relay (with a strong team of Jude Van de Voorde, Mark O’Donohue and Tim Costello) and the 200 Medley Relay (with Andrew Quinan, William Arnold and someone else who’s name didn’t get in the results – oops – I’ll bet it was Mark O’Donohue)
- Anna Kenna, only a 7th grader, also showed her prowess in spite of competing against older girls. Anna had two (2) first place finishes, two (2) 2nd place finishes and a 4th place finish. Her 1st place finishes came the 100 IM with a time that so fast, she could have placed 3rd amongst the boys. Her other 1st place finish was in the 100 Backstroke Relay where she was joined by a fast team of Meghan O’Malley, Cecilia Garvey and Dani Flook). Anna’s 2nd place finishes were equally impressive against what had to be one of the top 8th graders in the entire State. Anna’s 50 Fly time was so fast, it would have taken 2nd amongst boys also and her medley relay would have been competitive in our conference meets. And together with Dani Flook, Vivian Zadnik and Meghan O’Malley, our JV Medley relay went a very fast 2:12.48.
- Mark O’Donohue is another swimmer who has had a break-out season this year. Mark not only contributed to two (2) 1st place relay finishes, he took 2nd place in 50 Breaststroke and 4th place in both 100 IM and 100 Free. His 100 IM was 5.91 seconds faster than it was at last year’s JV Invitational which is just another indication of how far Mark has come this season. He’s going to be a key part of our team over the next three years, that is for sure.
- Andrew Quinan showed that he will have a good future with Seton Swimming as a backstroke with his 2nd place finish in 50 Backstroke. Unbelievably, it was a 3.21 second PR for Andrew! Andrew also had PRs leading the medley and backstroke relays and a huge 6.42 second PR in 50 Fly where he took 11th place overall. It was great way for Andrew to wrap up his season!
- Dani Flook really had a great day. Not only did she get a 1st and a 2nd in her relays (above), she took 2nd place in 50 Back. Dani also had two new personal records: In 50 Fly, she cut 3.04 seconds to take 8th place and in 100 IM, she cut 1.81 seconds to take 6th I’m glad Dani is only in 8th grade – that means we have her for another four years!
- Vivian Zadnik, a freshman, showed that she has a big future with Seton Swimming. She was part of two 1st place relay finishes – the medley relay mentioned above and the 200 Breaststroke relay that included Meridyth Rosato, Ashley Cackett and Natalie McIntyre. In 50 Breaststroke, she cut 4.90 seconds to take 2nd place. As further evidence of how much Vivian has improved this year her times for 50 Fly and 100 IM were faster than last year’s JV Invitational by 4.12 seconds and 5.44 seconds respectively. I was very pleased to see her make the Varsity squad for this year’s post-season. Definitely well earned.
- Will Arnold also had two 1st place relay finishes in the Medley relay (mentioned above) and in the 200 Free Relay along with John O’Donohue, James Kosten and Patrick Dealey. But where he really shined was in 50 Fly where he cut 2.08 seconds from his PR to take 3rd place overall. The kid has really developed a nice butterfly this year.
- Meghan O’Malley, always joyful, really let her light shine on Saturday. Besides her participation in two 1st place relays (above), her 1.34 second PR in 50 Back earned her a 3rd place finish and her 2.96 PR in 50 Fly earned her a 5th place finish. Meghan also had an excellent time in 100 IM.
- Tim Costello showed a lot of improvement this season, especially in his favorite stroke, breaststroke. Somehow, Tim managed to cut 6.13 seconds in 50 Breast from last year’s meet – that was good enough for 4th place Tim was also part of that 1st place 200 Breaststroke relay I spoke about above. The meet was definitely a good way for Tim to wrap up the season.
- Dominic Wittlinger seemed to get his named announced more often than most. I was announcer for the meet, and I just kept noticing good things happening when he was in the water. Considering that everyone was seeded by time, he 3 individual PRs probably explain why. How about a 4.08 second PR in 50 Back? Or a 3.56 second PR in 50 Fly? Or a .60 second PR in 50 Free? That 50 Back PR jumped him up to 4th place overall. Great meet Dominic!
- John Paul Kleb was awesome in 50 Fly, lowering his PR by 4.22 seconds, and his great swim in 50 Back took 3rd place That great backstroke of John Paul’s was also in play on the anchor leg of our 2nd place 200 Backstroke relay (above). I look forward to getting John Paul back for his freshman season next year.
- James Kosten did a lot more than swim on that 1st place 200 Free relay (above). He also took 3rd place in 50 Breast and swam to new personal record times. In the 50 Fly, he cut an amazing 6.19 seconds, and in 50 Free, he cut another .03 seconds. I really enjoyed seeing James come so far this season.
Here are the rest of the 48 personal records that I have not already mentioned:
- Ashley Cackett cut .14 seconds from her 50 Back PR and had a very nice first effort at the 100 IM.
- Ben Ceol somehow managed to cut 5.79 seconds from his 50 Back PR, and he showed his versatility with a very good 100 IM time.
- Ian Curley was super in 100 Free, lowering his PR by another 2.13 seconds. He started late with us this season – I hope he comes back for the beginning of next season. He’s a very good athlete who I think could be a very good swimmer.
- Matt Fioramonti had a very nice swim in 50 Fly, lowering his PR by .05 seconds. He also had a nice swim in his first attempt at the 100 IM.
- Cecilia Garvey showed how much she has improved this season with her 3.53 second PR in 50 Fly, a big improvement since time trials! Cecilia also took 6th place overall in 50 Back.
- Alison Given, our star in the last edition of the Arlington Catholic Herald, was also a star on Saturday with her 9.19 second PR in 50 Back!
- Xavier Holl sure looked good in that 50 Fly when he dropped 4.55 seconds from his previous best.
- Georgine Irving also looked great on Saturday. In 50 Back, she lowered her PR by .74 seconds.
- John Paul Kenneally had three PRs on Saturday. In 50 Fly, he cut 3.18 seconds, in 50 Back, he cut 1.47 seconds and in 50 Free, he cut .30 seconds. I’ve really enjoyed having John Paul on the team this year!
- Michael Kenneally is going to be a good one for Seton. Only in 8th grade, he is swimming some pretty good times, particularly in 50 Fly where he lowered his PR by .36 seconds.
- Collette Kosten had a great swim in 50 Back where she lowered her PR by 5.53 seconds.
- Geni Lucas gave the 100 IM another shot and lowered her PR in the event by .71 seconds.
- Fiona Miller swam three personal records on Saturday. In 50 Back leading off a medley relay, she cut 2.47 seconds, in 50 Free she cut 1.92 seconds and in 50 Breast she cut 1.39 seconds. Not a bad way to wrap up the season!
- Tommy Moore had an exciting 50 Fly – somehow he cut 6.95 seconds! That hard work is paying off Tommy!
- Cat Pechie deserved to be excited after her 3.34 second PR in 50 Fly and her .30 second PR in 50 Back.
- Martin Quinan concluded his season with a .68 second PR in 50 Free.
- Rose Remington had a 1.08 second PR in 50 back leading of a backstroke relay.
- Meridyth Rosato not only helped her team take 1st in the 200 Breaststroke relay, she also cut her 50 Breast PR by 3.21 seconds!
- Julia Rowzie dropped .37 seconds in 50 Free with a very nice swim.
- Jude Van de Voorde did a lot more than take 1st place as part of the 200 Breaststroke relay. When I challenged him to swim 100 IM and 50 Fly, he responded with .33 and .60 second PRs, respectively.
- Lizzy Zadnik closed out her season with a tremendous swim in 100 Free, beating her previous best by 2.87 seconds!
Other Great Swims
As the announcer, I was paying unusually close attention to what was happening in the water and really got see some good stuff beyond just the numbers:
- Maria Zambrana just had to be pleased with her 50 Free, 50 Back and 50 Breast. She has come so far this season.
- John O’Donohue really did a fine job with his 100 IM. He can now swim all four strokes.
- Catherine Moore seemed to be having fun, especially in her 50 Free and 50 Breast.
- Natalie McIntrye had a great 7th grade season. I was really pleased with her level of improvement this year, and I enjoyed watching her swim Saturday, particularly that 50 Free.
- Seamus Koehr is v9.0 of the Koehr kids and he will be swimming with us next year when he comes to Seton for 8th His potential was really on display Saturday when he filled in for all of Mark Fioramonti’s events, including the 100 IM.
- Nina Francis had some very nice swims in 50 Free, 50 Back and 50 Breast. I’m looking forward to having her back for her freshman year.
- Joe Fioramonti is going to be a good one as he gets older, I could tell from watching him swim this season. He had some nice swims this past Saturday too, particularly that 50 Back.
- Patrick Dealey had a great freshman season, ending it with some really good swims on Saturday – particularly that 100 IM. I can see that Patrick has the potential to be a real leader on our team in the future.
- Ben Dealey also had a great season, ending it with great swims on Saturday in 50 Back and 50 Breast
- Kalli Dalrymple really brought joy to her swimming and it resulted in an awful lot of improvement for her this season. Her strokes have gotten dramatically better, particularly her fly and breaststroke.
- Alex Ceol came back to Seton Swimming after a brief hiatus, and I’m so glad he did. He’s going to be a really good swimmer for Seton.
- David Catabui was on doctor’s orders not to swim Saturday, but I was really pleased that he cared enough to come and cheer for his teammates. It’s fun for me to have David on the team. Tell your Aunt Bridget to come visit us at a meet! She was fun to watch also!
Next Weekend’s VISAA Division II Championship Invitational
Next weekend’s meet is at the Freedom Center. It is our big annual Division II Championship invitational where we invite all of the small schools from around the State to compete with each other without any of the big schools we’ll all see at States. Our warm-up will be at 1:00 p.m. so please plan on being on deck stretching with the Captains by 12:39 p.m.
If you are in this meet, it means that you have made the Varsity team – congratulations!
Nice work this past weekend. See you at practice,
Coach Jim Koehr