Our Virginia Christian Athletic Conference (VCAC) is only finishing its third year of existence, but the fireworks we’ve seen over that short time between Seton and Trinity Christian have been explosive and bright – and we’ve all become better competitors as a result.

Let’s review some of the ridiculously close scores we had over the past three (3) seasons.  If it’s not the boys, then it is the girls, or if it is not the girls, then it is the boys:

  • 2021-2022 Season
    • Trinity Christian’s boys beat our boys by 1-point (153-152) for the regular season championship
    • Seton’s boys avenge the loss at the Conference Championship meet, winning by 43-points (408-365)
    • Girls win both the regular season and the Conference Meet by comfortable margins
  • 2022-2023 Season
    • Trinity Christian’s girls beat our girls by only 5-points (158.5-153.5) for the regular season championship
    • Seton’s girls avenge the loss at the Conference Championship meet, winning by only 24-points (364-340)
    • Seton’s boys win both the regular season and the Conference Meet by wide margins.
  • 2023-2024 Season
    • After it appeared that our Seton girls had won the regular season championship by only 1-point, a disqualification came through on the last relay resulting in a Trinity Christian victory by 5-points (160-155).
    • This time, our girls were not able to avenge the loss in the Conference Championship Meet, losing it to Trinity Christian by a mere 1-point on over 600-points scored (310-309)
    • The Boys repeated as champions of both the regular season and the Conference Meet by even wider margins.

When I was a kid, there was a show on TV called ABC’s Wide World of Sports.  I can still transport myself back to the early 1970s, sitting in front of our first color TV, watching those still famous sports clips while Jim McKay narrated the iconic opening lines:

“Spanning the globe to bring you the constant variety of sport.  The thrill of victory….and the agony of defeat.  The human drama of athletic competition.  This is ABC’s Wide World of Sports.”

Who could forget the clips of boxer Joe Frazier being carried off by the celebrating crowd after he beat Muhammad Ali or of Slovenian sky jumper Vinko Bogataj falling off of the end of sky jump and bouncing off the snow, or of Pele’ scoring a world cup soccer goal.

I know that our Girls 200 Free Relay winning an absolute must-have race on Saturday was not quite up to that level, but at the time, it sure felt like it to me.

(For those of you alive during the 1970’s, let me save you the trip to that google thing.  Here’s the clip.)

Our 2024 VCAC Conference Championship Meet had it all for anyone who is a partisan of Seton Swimming and Diving:

  • A Boys Diving team so dominate that it took the gold, silver, and bronze medals – plus 4th place too!
  • A Boys Swimming team that is so deep it could win by more than 100-points while winning only a single event outright.
  • A Girls championship that came down to the very last relay – again.
  • Numerous consequential races that were decided by less than 0.10 seconds.
  • 50 new Personal Records, including by swimmers who had been sick all week.
  • A senior girl from Seton swimming in her last meet who jumped up to 12th place and almost saved the Meet for Seton.
  • An incredible display of fast swimming from some of the best competitors in the VISAA who broke eleven (11) of 24 Meet Records.
  • And even Olympic Gold medalist Jeremy Linn autographing swim caps.

Meet Results

Congratulations to the Seton Boys and Trinity Christian Girls who ended the night as Champions of the 2024 VCAC Conference Championship Meet.

Congratulations to this year’s Swimmers of the Meet:

  • Allie Witdoeckt (SR), Trinity Christian School
    • Four (4) Gold medals in 200 Free, 100 Back, 200 Medley Relay, and 400 Free Relay
    • Three (3) new Meet Records
      • Girls 200 Free, 1:51.09
      • As part of the 200 Medley and 400 Free Relays
    • Joshua Wolf (SR), Immanuel Christian School
      • Three (3) Gold medals in 100 Free, 100 Back, and the 200 Medley Relay
      • Silver medal in the 400 Free Relay.
      • Three (3) new Meet Records
        • Boys 100 Free, 47.48
        • Boys 100 Back, 52.51
        • As part of the 200 Medley Relay

The meet featured a very high level of competition, and as a result, we saw eleven (11) VCAC records broken:

  • Boys 200 Medley Relay, 1:38.85, Immanuel Christian School, Joshua Wolf, Moses Wolf, Caleb Wolf, and Caleb Fiala
  • Girls 200 Medley Relay, 1:49.53, Trinity Christian School, Allie Witdoeckt, Liz Klanderman, Allie Wiggins, Kristen Womack
  • Girls 200 Free, 1:51.09, Allie Witdoeckt (SR), Trinity Christian School
  • Girls 200 IM, 2:07.21, Elizabeth Bryan (SO), Oakcrest School
  • Girls Diving, 11-Dives, 301.70, Norah Kissinger (SR), Trinity Christian School
  • Boys 100 Free, 47.48, Joshua Wolf (SR), Immanuel Christian School
  • Boys 100 Back, 52.51, Joshua Wolf (SR), Immanuel Christian School
  • Boys 100 Breaststroke, 1:00.04, Eric Koler (SO), Saint John Paul the Great
  • Girls 100 Breaststroke, 1:06.19, Elizabeth Bryan (FR), Oakcrest School
  • Boys 400 Free Relay, 3:18.86, Trinity Christian, Noah Yun, Jo Witdoeckt, Justin Kim, Tyler Phillips
  • Girls 400 Free Relay, 3:45.40, Trinity Christian, Allie Wiggins, Mary Bailey, Audrey Schlieter, Allie Witdoeckt

Meet Scores

Here are how the final scores turned out:


Seton School                                  414

Trinity Christian School                299

Immanuel Christian School         245

John Paul the Great                         99

Fredericksburg Christian               77


Trinity Christian School           310

Seton School                               309

Oakcrest School                          229

John Paul the Great                    160

Fredericksburg Christian          154

Immanuel Christian School       77

Going into the meet, I knew that our boys were likely to dominate, despite that fact that we were seeded to win only one (1) swimming event.  The reasons were 1) our great depth on the boys’ side, and 2) Coach Ashley Keapproth’s boys’ diving team.

The girls were going to be a different story all together.  I knew the Meet would be close on our best day but throw in the stomach virus that has hit so many of our girls and a couple key injuries, and it meant that the stars were all going to have to align perfectly.  One of those stars would once again be Coach Keapproth’s diving team, but that was not quite enough.  As Maxwell Smart might say from another show I used to watch as a kid, “Missed it by that much.”

All-Conference Honors

One of the unique features of the VCAC Conference Championship Meet is the path it provides to recognition as “All-Conference”.  Anyone who finishes in the top-3 in an individual event is designated “All-Conference”.

We had eleven (11) athletes who earned All-Conference honors a total of 16 times.  Let’s start with the Individual VCAC Champions:

  • Lionel Martinez (FR) owned the 200 IM for the 2nd week in a row over his close rival from Trinity Christian School, earning him the title of Conference Champion in 200 IM. This time he broke the 2:00 barrier to go 1:59.46, a PR by .89 seconds.  Lionel also took the silver medal in 500 Free with a 2.73 second PR.
  • Connor Koehr (JR) is a 2X All-Conference performer for the 4th year in a row. He is the Conference Champion in Diving for the 3rd time with a new team record of 389.90.  Connor also won the bronze medal in 100 Backstroke, and swam a .16 second PR in 50 Backstroke leading off our bronze medal 200 Medley Relay.

Here were the other nine (9) All-Conference Designees for Seton:

  • Michael Brox (JR) smoked the 50 Free in 22.30 to take the silver medal and come within .12 of beating the top Trinity Christian swimmer in the meet. To put that is a bit of perspective, Michael’s .27 second PR swim is now seeded 8th at States!  Michael also crushed the 50-second barrier in 100 Free with a 1.22 second PR 49.54, a swim that was good enough for another silver medal behind only the eventual Swimmer of the Meet.
  • Ariana Aldeguer (8) is a 2X All-Conference swimmer. Despite being sick all week and still feeling the lingering effects, she was able to push herself to a 59.53 in 100 Fly, cut .20 seconds from her PR, and take the silver medal behind John Paul the Great’s top swimmer. Then in 100 Back, against the eventual Swimmer of the Meet, she secured the silver medal in a close race with a top Oakcrest girl.  Ariana is just one of the special girls who can perform on the biggest stages, even under non-ideal conditions.
  • Elodie Brox (JR) dropped another .09 seconds in 50 Free and came within .02 seconds of taking the silver medal from one of the top Trinity Christian girls. Elodie’s bronze medal in 50 Free was accompanied by a 4th place finish in 100 Free where she also cut time (.59 seconds).
  • Drew Nguyen (JR) held off two (2) Trinity Christian swimmers in 100 Breaststroke with a .18 second PR to take the bronze medal. He earned All-Conference honors for a second time with his bronze medal 200 Free which was also a PR by .14 seconds.
  • Mick Fioramonti (SR) won the silver medal in Diving with a score that was within 2.80-points of his Personal Record.
  • Rose Waldron (JR) came into the Meet seeded 3rd in Diving, but her 8.45-point PR was good enough to move her up to the silver medal. That extra point would later prove to be very valuable!
  • Stella Paradise (SR) has found a home in the middle-distance events this season, and that earned her All-Conference recognition on Saturday. Her season-best time by almost 7-seconds earned her the bronze medal.  Stella also dropped 8.85 seconds from her lifetime-best 500 Free time to score in 4th
  • Jacob Oswald (JR) completed the sweep by winning the bronze medal in Diving. Jacob was also very close to his PR score.
  • Thiago Martinez (8) is only in 8th grade, but against some of the fastest competition in the VISAA, he was still able to secure a bronze medal in 100 Fly. It took a massive 3.58 second PR to jump him from his 4th seed onto the medal stand over his much older teammate.  He also scored in 5th in the 500 Free after a .24 second PR, and lowered his 50 Back PR by .23 seconds leading off a relay.

Diving Is Making a Huge Competitive Difference

Coach Ashley Keapproth’s diving team is tearing things up in our Conference on both the boys’ and girls’ sides.   At the Conference Championship Meet, our boys took all four (4) of the top spots, and our girls placed 2nd, 4th, 6th, and 8th.

Here is Coach Keapproth’s update to the Diving team:

  • Congratulations to our Varsity Team on a fantastic performance yesterday:
    • The whole team has stepped up their game, and I feel really good about where we are a week before states.
      • Our boys swept 1-4 in a field of 10 divers, with scoring a bit stricter than the week prior.
    • For the boys:
      • Connor Koehr for placing 1st with 389.90 points, setting a new personal and Seton 11-dive record.
      • Mick Fioramonti for placing 2nd with 328.95 less than three points away from a PR.
      • Jacob Oswold for placing 3rd with 286.20 just 3 points away from a PR.
      • Max Gonzalez for placing 4th with 272.55 points, setting a new 11-Dive PR.
    • On the girls’ side:
      • Rose Waldronfor placing 2rd of 13 divers with 263.75 points, setting a new 11-dive PR.  Rose also broke the 2022 6-dive record held by her sister Mary Clare Waldron.
      • Meghan Condonfor placing 4th with 253.55 points, setting a new PR by over 10 points.
      • Maria Miller(who set a new VCAC record last week!!) placed 6th with 239.65 points.
      • Elizabeth Francisfor having the 7th highest score with 218.80 points.
      • Anna Russo for placing 8th with 207.205 points.

The Boys Dominance Came from Our Depth

To give you an idea of the depth of our Boys’ team, let me highlight the large number of other boys who scored for Seton on Saturday – remarkably, every boy entered in the Meet found their way into the scoring top-12 at least once:

  • Joe Borneman (JR) had two (2) great PR swims, scoring in 4th place both times. In the 200 Free Joe cut 2.44 seconds, and in the 100 Fly Joe cut .73 seconds.  Joe is now just .40 seconds away from breaking a the 1:00 barrier in 100 Fly.
  • Max Wilson (JR) also scored in 4th place twice, in the 200 IM and 100 Back. His 200 IM time was a 1.05 second PR.
  • Liam Halisky (JR) took 4th in 50 Free swimming exactly his PR time to the hundredth of a second. He also scored in 7th in 100 Free.
  • Max Gonzalez (JR) continues to show big improvement in diving, and his huge hurdles that get him so high in the air have been a key factor in his success this year. For his 4th place finish, he broke 270-points on Saturday.  I’d love to see him break 300 at States.
  • Daniel Sokban (FR) has turned into one of Seton’s top male swimmers this season as a freshman. His scoring certainly reflected that with points scored in 5th place for 200 Free and in 8th place for the very competitive 100 Free.
  • Luke Partridge (FR) showed massive improvement under Coach DD Ross this season. It showed the most on Saturday in 100 Back where he cut another 1.00 seconds and scored in 5th
  • Luke Mantooth (SR) swam 100 Fly and 100 Breaststroke for the final time in his Seton swim career, finishing in 6th and 7th place respectively. His 1:09.99 100 Breaststroke was a .06 second PR and a nice milestone break for his final swim.
  • Dominic Judge (FR) is perhaps one of the best examples of our depth. Dominic is only a freshman, but scored in both 6th place and 7th place with two (2) PR swims.  In 500 Free he cut 6.60 seconds, and in 100 Back he cut .05 seconds.
  • Patrick Kay (8) is another great example of our depth. He’s even younger than Dominic yet he scored in 6th and 7th places in 200 IM and 500 Free, respectively.  In 200 IM he dropped 1.47 seconds, and in 500 Free he dropped 9.85 seconds.
  • Michael Zahorchak (FR) made the most of his one chance to score with Seton with a 2.56 second PR in 100 Free that placed 6th.
  • Greg Bauer (JR) has really come on strong at the end of the season. His big PRs in 200 IM and 100 Breaststroke, by 1.63 seconds and 3.63 seconds, respectively, led to two scoring finishes.  In 200 IM he scored in 7th, and in 100 Breaststroke he scored in 10th.  Greg also dropped a whopping 3.52 seconds leading off a 400 Free Relay – that time broke 1:00 for the 1st time – by a lot!  How about 57.85!
  • William Sokban (JR) also scored in 7th and 10th place in back-to-back events – 100 Fly and then 100 Free. In 100 Fly, he dropped .71 seconds, and then, with no rest, he was right on his PR for the 100 Free.
  • Peter Konstanty (SR) concluded his Seton swimming career by finishing 10th in the 50 Free and 13th in 100 Breaststroke. I’m very pleased to be able to take Peter to States with us this week.  It was great having him on the team.

Did you notice all those scoring freshman and 8th graders?  Our future relays are going to be in very safe hands.

The Most Consequential Swims by the Girls

In a meet where the difference is only 1-point on more than 600-points scored, there are countless swims and dives that you could justifiably say “won the meet”.  I spent a little (OK, a lot) of time looking at the final results versus the Psych Sheet, and you can quickly see the kids – from both Seton and Trinity Christian – who made the biggest difference.

From Seton:

  • Our Girls 200 Medley Relay of Ariana Aldeguer (FR), Clara Condon (JR), Stella Paradise (SR), and Elodie Brox (JR) came into the meet seeded 3rd, but ended up beating the 2nd seed Oakcrest to add two (2) addition points to our total. Both Stella and Elodie swam PR splits to help put Seton over the top.
  • Stella Paradise (SR) came into the meet seeded 4th in the 200 Free at 2:13.19, but she came out of the meet in 3rd at 2:06.28!
  • Lucy Cunningham (JR) cut 3.65 seconds from her 200 Free PR to move from the 10th seed to an 8th place finish. That added two (2) points to the Seton ledger.
  • Rose Waldron (JR) was a huge difference maker on Saturday. Coming into the meet seeded 4th in Diving, she dove an 8.45-point PR to jump up the silver medal, adding 2-points for Seton.
  • Meghan Condon (8) also had her best diving meet of the year. Her 11.15-point PR moved her from the 6th seed to 4th place, adding 2-points to Seton’s total.
  • Our Girls 200 Free Relay of Stella Paradise (SR), Maggie Schroer (8), Maggie Gibbons (SR), and Elodie Brox (JR) almost saved the meet for Seton. As some of you heard on the livestream, I knew that we were in big trouble if we couldn’t flip the gold medal on this relay from Trinity Christian to Seton – and they did it!  It took PR splits from Maggie Schroer (by .27 seconds), Maggie Gibbons (by .59 seconds), and by Elodie Brox (by .47 seconds) to get the job done, but that resulted in a huge 12-point swing back towards Seton.  That was huge at the time!
  • Ariana Aldeguer (FR), like several other Seton girls, was swimming after the better part of week fighting a stomach virus, but that didn’t stop her from getting the job done in 100 Fly and 100 Back. Her most impressive effort was in 100 Back where she had to power through to hold off an outstanding 8th grader from Oakcrest to keep her 2nd
  • Kyleigh Fifield (FR) probably did not come to the pool thinking her performance would matter all that much, but as I said in my pre-meet talk, “everyone matters”. By 100 Backstroke, my concern for the outcome of the meet was becoming acute, so I was so pleased to see Kyleigh pick that swim to drop almost 6-seconds and score in 12th from her 14th
  • Sophia Halisky (8) tried her best to save the Seton victory in 100 Breaststroke by adding 2-points to our total when she jumped from the 8th seed to 7th place after a .67 second PR.
  • Madelyn Zadnik (SR), swimming in the final race of her career, came very close to winning the meet for us. She came into the meet seeded 15th in 100 Breaststroke, but she somehow dropped 4.73 seconds to get us 1-point that we did not expect.  That was almost the difference.
  • Our Girls 400 Free Relay of Ariana Aldeguer (FR), Anastasia Garvey (SO), Haley Fifield (JR), and Maggie Schroer (8) was our final hope, but it was an impossible task. Despite that, they came close.  I was particularly pleased with what I saw from our 8th grader on the anchor leg.  I’ve always suspected that Maggie was the kind of girl you’d give the ball to if it were 4th down on the goal line, and she proved it with a 1.42 second PR 100 Free split that broke the 1:00 barrier for the first time in her life.

From Trinity Christian:

  • Maggie Hsieh (FR) was a name I first encountered when she made such a difference at the VCAC Regular Season Championship, and on Saturday, she continued being a difference maker. In the 200 Free, Maggie dropped almost 5-seconds to flip one spot with Seton.  That was a difference of 2-points total.  Then at the most crucial point in the meet, 100 Breaststroke when the stakes were highest, Maggie swam .88 seconds better than her previous best and added 3-points to Trinity’s total by moving from the 7th seed to 5th  I have my eye on you from now on Maggie!
  • Liz Klanderman (JR) surprised exactly no one by being a difference-maker on Saturday. In the 200 IM she cut 3.25 seconds from her PR to move from the 3rd seed to the silver medal which added one (1) extra point to Trinity’s score.
  • Allie Myers (8) is young, but that didn’t matter in the 200 IM where she jumped from the 10th seed all the way up to 7th with a huge 6.91 second PR. That added 4-points to Trinity’s total.
  • Kristen Womack (SR) “Swam Like A Champion” (Go Irish!) on Saturday. She was the 2nd seed, just .02 seconds ahead of Seton’s top sprinter Elodie Brox (JR).  When Elodie cut .09 seconds from her PR, Kristen matched her and held on to second by that same .02 seconds.  She performed well again in 100 Backstroke where her .84 second PR moved her from the 6th seed to 5th place, adding another 1-point for Trinity.
  • Laela Yu (SR) was a diver who could complete 6-dives during regular season competition, but like many divers who are relatively new to the sport, learning dives and somersaults in the reverse category can be quite daunting.  Because Laela showed the courage to learn the two (2) dives required in the reverse category, she was able to score 4-points in 9th place.
  • Mary Bailey (SR) certainly made the most out of her final VCAC Conference meet with a bit 1.98 second PR in 100 Free that took her from the 8th seed up to 5th Because the scoring jumps by 2-points instead of just 1-point between 6th and 8th place, Mary added a crucial 5-points to Trinity’s total.
  • Eloise Schlieter (FR), another young Trinity swimmer, dropped 7.01 seconds to flip the 6th and 7th spots with a strong Seton swimmer who also did her best time. Because the scoring between 6th and 7th place is a difference of 2-points, that turned into a 4-point swing towards Trinity Christian.   Eloise also added another point to Trinity’s total when her 3.07 second PR in 100 Backstroke moved her up from the 10th seed to 9th
  • Holly Bailey (SO) negated a lot of the great swimming from two (2) Seton girls in 100 Breaststroke when she cut 4.78 seconds from her PR move up from the 13th seed to 10th Those 3-points were 2-points more than enough to break us.

Other Personal Records and Great Swims

As I have already highlighted so thoroughly, we came so close to victory because of our 52 Personal Records on Saturday.  Incredibly, that brings our season total to 1,192 Personal Records!

I’ve mentioned the vast majority of them already, but here are the ones that I have not yet highlighted:

  • Haley Fifield (JR) cut .21 seconds from her 100 Back PR.
  • Kyleigh Fifield (FR) didn’t just swim a crucial PR in 100 Back, she also dropped 5.87 seconds in the 500 Free.
  • Sophia Halisky (8) added a 1.68 second PR in 100 Free to her great PR swim in 100 Breaststroke.
  • Elizabeth Hurley (8) cut .05 seconds from her 50 Free PR despite not feeling well.
  • Philomena Kay (FR) had a great swim in the 500 Free, beating her previous PR by 1.59 seconds.
  • Avila Mantooth (8) had a great day on Saturday with two (2) new PRs. In 100 Free she dropped 1.57 seconds, and in 50 Free she dropped .43 seconds.
  • Thiago Martinez (8) cut .23 seconds from his 50 Back relay leading off a relay.
  • Maggie Schroer (8) showed her freestyle prowess with another 1.32 second PR in 200 Free to add to her big PR split in the 400 Free Relay.

Let’s Move on to States

All that is left is the VISAA State Swimming and Diving Championship at the Christiansburg Aquatic Center this weekend.

For our Girls, it will be a chance to try to win their 7th VISAA Division II State Championships.  Based on our results at the VISAA Division II Invitational and the VISAA times posted on SwimCloud, I think we have a reasonable chance.  Our biggest competition will be Cape Henry Collegiate through – they did not attend the Division II Invitational.

And, believe it or not, I think our Boys may also have an outside chance at their 5th VISAA Division II State Championship.  If we win, it will be on the strength of Coach Ashley Keapproth’s Divers who are trying to get four (4) Divers in the top-8.  Combined with some over-achieving by our Boy’s relays and Michael Brox’s new sprinting prowess, and it could happen!  The competition is very familiar though – Trinity Christian and Immanuel Christian – and the format favors the top swimmers who can score high in the top-16.

The Psych Sheet is posted under Meet Information.

Let’s swim loose, have some fun, race with some abandon, and see what happens.

I’ll see the State Team at breakfast at IHOP on Thursday morning to start the big weekend.  I hope you have already placed your order on-line!

And finally, save the date for Sunday, March 3rd for the Swimming and Diving Awards starting at 2:00 p.m. at Renaissance Montessori School.   I’ll put out some more information on this shortly.

For now, rest during the day, sleep well at night, and very importantly, eat and drink well.  It’s time to race!

Coach Jim Koehr

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