Last Saturday, Seton Swimming challenged a pair of top Division I teams (Norfolk Academy and Trinity Episcopal), plus Brentsville High School, and fared better than expected. We also had John Paul the Great, St. Michael the Archangel, and Veritas Christian Academy join us. In spite of the significant graduation and transfer losses we’ve experienced over the past two years, our boys defeated everyone except the two top Division I schools and our girls defeated everyone, except one of the Division I schools. 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 hearing that our kids demonstrated that they were listening in practice where we have been learning how to swim the strokes properly. The other coaches 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:
Norfolk Academy 204 Seton 107
Trinity Episcopal 177 Seton 123
Seton 151 John Paul the Great 135
Seton 170 Brentsville 120
Seton 191 St. Michael 93
Seton 231 Veritas 18
Norfolk Academy 185 Seton 130
Seton 160 Trinity Episcopal 149
Seton 188 Brentsville 119
Seton 212 John Paul the Great 91
Seton 232 Veritas 44
Seton 242 St. Michael 38
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:
- One of three names that readers of my postings are likely to see a lot this season is Senior Vincent “Catfish”Dunn who had two 1st place finishes on Saturday against top level State-caliber talent. Looking at the results, he won 100 Fly handily, but had a real race on his hands in 100 Backstroke. Fortunately, Catfish got the job done and sent the message that he was going to be coming to States ready to play. Coach Lowell told me that Catfish’s backstroke was “the race of the day”. Nice work Catfish.
- One other name you’re going to hear a lot about is senior Cat Rogers who won the 100 Free handily and took 2nd in the 50 Free. Looking at the time, I suspected something was up – apparently she missed her turn – but she still went 25.81! I’m very excited about Cat’s post-season prospects this year.
- When I was speaking with Coach Lowell about how the meet went, the first name he mentioned to me was David Lambrecht. Looking at David’s results, I can see why. David placed 7thoverall in the 500 Free because he lowered his PR by 27.32 seconds! He also cut 7.26 seconds from his 200 IM. I really noticed the way that David is swimming at practice this year. I have a strong feeling that these improvements are just the beginning for him this season.
- Coach Lowell also told me that 8th grader Jillian Ceol had a break out meet on Saturday. Just looking at the times, I can see that she dropped 11.67 seconds from her 200 IM PR and .99 seconds from her 100 Free PR. She’s now the 5thfastest 50 freestyler on the team and appears to be poised to become a real player in our relays this season.
- I sure hope that Claire Kenna’s split was correct on that back end of our medley relay! Claire popped a 26.84. We already know that Alex Doonis and Cat Rogers, who are defending state champions, will be on our 200 Free relay, but we need to pair them up with a couple of the younger girls who are going to need to really step up if we are to make finals at States. Looks like Claire might be ready. And with her .32 second PR in 100 Free, she could also become a player for our 400 Free relay.
- It’s not often that you see an 8th grader place 2ndoverall in a big meet like this, but that is what Emily Heim did in 100 Breaststroke, and even though she a minor surgery just a few weeks ago, she managed to cut 2.11 seconds from her PR in the event. She is already within shot of qualifying for both States and National Catholics this season, and after Cat Rogers graduates, she is well positioned to be one of two swimmers to take over the breaststroke duties for Seton.
- The other swimmer is another 8th grader, Kimberly Rector, who finished 4thin 100 Breaststroke, less than 2/10ths behind Emily. Kimberly’s great time was the result of a 1.62 second PR which put her below 1:20 for the first time. Kimberly is also starting to make her claim as a key relay swimmer for Seton after cutting .80 seconds from her 100 Free PR.
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 much only from improved conditioning. I do my best to mention everyone on the web site at least once during the season, but if you swim a personal record, I will definitely mention it each week. After reading about the 82 PRs below, can you tell that we’ve been working on freestyle and backstroke in practice?
- Stephen Britten had a huge 3 PR meet! First, he cut 6.38 seconds in 50 Back leading off a relay, then he cut his 50 Free PR by .88 seconds and, near the end of the meet, he came back and lowered his 100 Back PR by 2.18 seconds.
- Senior Catie Zadnikcame out for the team this year for the first time, and is taking full advantage of the opportunity. She cut 2.68 seconds from her 50 Free PR and .53 seconds from her 100 Back. Catie really listens in practice so it doesn’t surprise me at all that she is experiencing this level of improvement.
- Carly Byers is back on the team for the first time since 2007, and I happy to report that she’s doing very well in her senior year. She had PRs in all three of her eligible swims include a 5.24 second PR in 200 IM, a 2.12 second PR in 50 Free leading off a relay, and a 1.11 second PR in 100 Free.
- Michael Byers is starting to get the hang of it. He improved his 50 Free PR by 2.52
- 8th grader Mary Camarca had a really great swim in 100 Backstroke but got DQ’d on the turn –sorry that we didn’t take the time to work on that in practice Mary. In spite of that, she did get an official PR in 50 Free when she dropped .73 seconds
- Hayden Catalano had a huge drop in 100 Backstroke when she cut 12.59 from her PR. It’s great to have her on the team for the first time.
- I was so pleased to see Teresa Bliss improve in both of the events that she swam. In 50 Free, she cut 1.83 seconds from her PR, and in backstroke, she cut an amazing 16.70 seconds.
- Caitlyn Lightner duplicated Teresa’s 2 PR feat with a 2.83 second PR in 50 Free and a .54 second PR in 100 Back.
- Fiona Miller had two PRs including a 7.78 second improvement in 100 Free and a 1.39 second improvement in 50 Free.
- Tommy Moore showed some tremendous improvement in 100 Backstroke lowering his PR by nearly 9 seconds. He also had a big drop in 50 Free, cutting 1.39 seconds.
- William Arnold, a 8th grader, had a huge drop in 50 Free, improving his PR by 3.80 seconds
- Pierce Baker, a senior swimming for the first time to prepare for the Naval Academy, lowered his backstroke PR by 6.91 seconds.
- Sarah Blanchard, a former swimmer back from a two year hiatus for her junior year, cut 3.77 seconds from her backstroke PR
- Nice work Sarah Brienfor that 1.71 second improvement in your 50 Free
- Michael Collins is making a move to score for our team in the 200 IM this season. He cut 6.50 seconds from his PR –and he’s only been in the water few weeks!
- Welcome back senior Jack Corkery. He had 2 PR effort on Saturday with a 3.80 second PR in 100 Back and a 1.72 second PR in 50 Free.
- 8th grader Patrick Dealey had a nice effort in 50 Free, lowering his PR by 4.26 seconds
- Diver Joe Duran jumped into the 50 Free so we could see what he could do. Well he cut 5.34 seconds from his old PR and may become a player in relays for us this season.
- How about Elizabeth Earls’5.12 second PR in 100 Back and her 1.80 second PR in 50 Free?
- Bryanna Farmer is starting to listen in practice, and it showed with a .65 second PR in 50 Free. Coach Lowell tells me that her butterfly was looking pretty good during the medley relay also. We’re working on Fly this coming week, so I’m anxious to see how much she can improve in that event this season.
- 7th grader Dani Flook is showing me that she has a bright future in Seton Swimming. She lowered her 50 Free PR by 2.14 seconds going 32.17. That’s a pretty fast time for her age.
- And older brother Tommy Flook is also making his new presence on our team known. He cut 1.33 seconds from his 100 Free PR and is approaching the level where he’ll become an important player on our relays.
- Cecilia Garvey swam very well on Saturday in spite of her genetics. She lowered her 50 Free PR by a very substantial 3.67 seconds!
- Therese Gonzalez also had a nice swim in the 50 Free, cutting 1.07 seconds from her PR.
- Senior Captain Michael Hillhad a nice swim in the 200 Free, lowering his PR by more than 50 seconds!
- I’ll bet that Tyler Hoffman’sgrandfather (Mr. Mark Hoffman, coach of Seton’s new county champion Sub Club team) was very pleased with Tyler’s swim in the 50 Free where he dropped 3.20 seconds!
- Julia Irving had a nice backstroke swim leading off a medley relay when she cut .99 seconds from her PR.
- Michael Kenneally is showing tremendous improvement after only a few weeks of practice. On Saturday, he improved his 50 Free PR by 3.04 seconds.
- I was very pleased with young Brian Koehr’s swims. He started the meet with a 4.50 second PR in 50 Back leading off a relay, and then he cut 2.04 seconds from his 50 Free PR. That was a very successful day for him.
- It’s great to have Emily Lowell back on the team after her hiatus last year for surgery, and she’s making the most of it. In the 500 Free, she lowered her PR by 4.11 seconds and in the 200 Free, she lowered her PR by 1.76 seconds.
- Geni Lucas, another member of that 8th grade class, is coming off of her cross country season strong. In the 200 Free, she lowered her PR by 5.95 seconds. That was a really nice swim.
- And 8th graderMichaela Pennefather also swam well when she cut 4.46 seconds in 100 Back and .45 seconds in 50 Free leading off a relay.
- Freshman Sally Marrazzoshowed some big improvement in 50 back leading off a relay when she lowered her PR by 3.75 seconds. She also scored points for us in the 200 and 500 Free. Once she gets a few more practices under her belt and we all get in better shape, I suspect that she will score even better.
- James Mosimann had a nice scoring swim in the 200 IM, lowering his PR by .40 seconds. And Coach Lowell tells me that James’ butterfly was looking pretty good during that medley relay. I can’t wait to work on it with him this coming week.
- Brother Paul Mosimannalso had a nice meet, getting a 2.37 second PR in his 50 Free.
- John O’Donohue swam very well on Saturday, cutting 1.80 seconds from his 100 Free PR
- Mark O’Donohue really had an exceptional meet on Saturday. In 100 Back, he cut 16.02 seconds – wow! And in 50 Free, he cut 1.67 seconds.
- 7th grader Cat Pechie is going to be a good swimmer for us in the years to come. On Saturday, she lowered her 100 Free PR by 4.00 seconds and her 50 Free PR by 2.66 seconds. Those are both very big improvements. I suspect that Cat is going to be a nice addition to our class of 8th grade girls in the years to come.
- Andrew Quinan has some dramatic improvement in 50 Free – he cut 3.36 seconds from his PR in the event.
- I’ll bet Coach Remingtonwas pleased with the swimming of his two daughters on Saturday:
o Sophomore Mary Remingtoncut a huge amount of time from her 100 Back PR – 18.48 seconds! She also cut 2.35 seconds from her 50 PR.
o And 8th grader Rose Remington cut 2.51 seconds from her 50 Free and had a really nice swim in 100 Backstroke. Had she not been DQ’d for the turn that we haven’t worked on yet, she would have had a big PR in that event also. Coach Lowell tells me that her stroke was looking very smooth – “she can swim backstroke!”
- 7th grader MeridythRosato made her mother, Coach Rosato, proud with two big PRs. In 100 Back, she cut 4.63 from her PR and in 50 Free, she cut .65 seconds from her PR – not a bad days work.
- I was very excited to see 8th grader Cris Salas post such good times. In 100 Back, he swam 4.43 seconds faster than his previous PR and in 50 Free, he swam 1.49 seconds faster.
- Jude Van de Voorde also had two very nice swims, with PRs in 50 Back leading off a relay (by 2.38 seconds) and in 100 Back (by 7.05 seconds)
- Nice swim Meggie Vestermark– you cut 1.68 seconds from your 100 Back PR.
- Young John Wunderly had two swims that would have made his oldest sister proud. In the 50 Free, he cut .76 seconds from his PR and again in 50 Free while leading off a relay, he cut 1.47 seconds.
- 8th grader Vivian Zadnik had a nice swim in the 50 Free, dropping .17 seconds.
- Thank you to Alex Sinnerwho made the effort to come swim for Seton, even after finding out that she had made the finals at a big USA meet in Warrenton.
We tried something different this meet – we did the diving first –and, based on the feedback that I’ve received so far, I think I like the idea. Thanks to Coach Maureen Duran Seton has a good diving team that is really making a difference for us. Last year, it was the nudge that put us over the top for the boys state championship – I’m hoping for a similar contribution this year.
Led by Joe Duran, Sarah Zapiain and Keziah Higginbottom, our team also includes Michael Manley, Michael Ostrich, Joe Kosten, Mary Duran, Mikey Wittlinger, Teresa Verry and Caroline Holmes.
Some Real Opportunities to Improve
As excited as I was to hear about the results of the meet, there was one area that concerned me deeply – so deeply that we are going to replace our dryland workout with a team discussion after Monday’s practice. I hope as many of you as possible can plan to be there for a little talk that Coach Irving is going to give on how members of a team behave.
By way of a preview, I’ll tell you that good teammates don’t:
- Sit up in the stands away from the team
- Forget to put on their uniform when they are out of the water
- Change out of their uniform before the meet is over
- Sit off to the side and ignore their friends who are swimming
- Just stand around for the national anthem and fail to show complete respect for our great country
- Start eating pizza before the meet is over
- Skip the post-meet handshake with the other teams
- Leave the meet when they are done swimming
- Wear a swim cap that is not Seton’s
It is all too common in our society for people to think only of themselves and serve only their own needs. That is definitely not the way we operate in Seton Swimming. We are a team. We help each other, we encourage each other, we cheer for each other, and we represent Seton with class – at least that is our goal. I was disappointed to hear from numerous sources that our goal was not achieved on Saturday, and that is something that we are simply going to have to fix.
All that said, I also received plenty of positive feedback about the way our team behaved. Mr. Cook and I received a very gracious message from the St. Michael’s coach for instance, and I heard several examples of individual kids, like Monica Byers, Steven Shaw and Patrick Koehr, who quietly showed examples of what I’m talking about. We’ll talk more about this Monday after practice. Please come prepared to listen and take this seriously.
We are all a part of something very special with Seton Swimming, and we are all going to take our personal responsibility to keep it special very seriously. See you at practice Monday morning at 6:19 a.m.
Coach Jim Koehr
Practice Lane Assignments
Coach Lowell, using data that he and the other coaches collected during practice last week, has developed practice lane assignments that are based on everyone’s expected interval for 100 yard repeats. I’ve posted those assignments under Meet & Team Information. You can see the assignments by clicking here.
I really like this idea for a number of reasons, but mostly because it will allow us to make one large team into several smaller sub-teams where personalized attention can be maximized. So get to know your coach and they will get to know you.
New Coach, Dan Flook
There’s probably only a few of you who have been around Seton long enough to remember that our newest Coach, Dan Flook, is actually former Coach Dan Flook. Coach Flook used to be a teacher at Seton and was an assistant coach when we I first joined the coaching staff in 2001. He took a hiatus from Seton to move his family to Ohio to pursue a nursing degree. I’m happy to report that, last week, Coach Flook passed his boards and joined the coaching staff for Seton Swimming once again.
I remember that Coach Flook would often bring his little boy with him to the meets. Well that boy is not so little anymore, and it is great to have Tommy Flook on deck with Seton Swimming once again – this time as a swimmer.
Coach Zadnik’s Comments
I thought I’d share a collection of comments I received from Coach Zadnik about the what he saw from our swimmers on Saturday
- David Lambrecht swim cap was coming off, but he kept going.
- William Arnold has a great looking butterfly. He has a lot of potential for Seton swimming as he gets older, bigger, and even stronger.
- Tommy Flook had a great looking backstroke. We’re glad to have him bring his swimming experience to the team.
- Pat Pennefather slipped when he grabbed the wall on the breastroke turn, but he was doing a great job working hard to make up time.
- Kevin Bliss (freestyle) didn’t even breathe the last 12 or 13 yards, but he just pushing all the way to the wall.
- Lizzy Zadnik was pounding out butterfly with two fractured toes. Way to stick with it!
- Vivian Zadnik was picking up time on the other teams during breastroke. That’s the way to pull your team along!
- Mary Remington was really sticking with it during her freestyle. Way to bring it home.
- Sally Marrazzo was reaching far above her head in backstroke. Those efficient strokes will take her a long way.
- Dani Flook had a great backstroke start, showing what a 7th grader can do in a pool full of high schoolers.
- By the time Meghan O’Malley finished the freestyle leg, she was way out in front of the surrounding lanes. Good teamwork for Dani, Michaela, Bryanna and Meghan!
- A lively kick and long arm reach helped Sarah Blanchard anchor her relay with a good sprint at the end for a 2:12.23, 6th place finish.
- Monica Byers had a great backstroke, even though she lost a little time on her turn.
- Cat Rogers blasted through the breaststroke for Alex Sinner to show off a beautiful, fluid butterfly and Claire Kenna brought home the freestyle with a 2:05.25 finish!
- Paul Pechie had a beautiful dive, landing way out over the water and giving him a good start.
- Peter Quinan was cool and even in his breathing which helped him loose nearly 5 seconds off his best time!
- Luke Marrazzo took an extra breath after 150 yards, only to quickly realize he had one more lap. He is learning that long, strong, deliberate strokes with his head in the water get him down the pool the fastest.
- Alex Sinner showed her stamina and style in the pool with a 3rd place finish.
- Sally Marrazzo started out breathing every 4th stroke and checked the wall a couple of times before her flip turn, but she was able to finish with a 2:37.79
- Emily Lowell must have been practicing her cheating catch-up drills because that is what she used to keep herself going during the 200 free. Good job on a long-arm pull through, body position and glide. Like a speed skater.
- Michael Collins had a good butterfly, but dipped his head way back to see the wall a few times before his backstroke turn, but still had energy for an vigorous freestyle finish.
- Judith Cummings really picked up some time during her backstroke.
- Even though Carly Byers hiccupped on her backstroke turn at the end, she really picked up the pace the last 25 yards for nearly 6 seconds off her personal best time!
- Brian Koehr must have heard Coach Lowell’s instructions this past week on finishing strong because he finished so hard, it was a wonder he didn’t hit his head on the wall.
- Chris Salas kept his head down during his breathing for the 50 freestyle and broke the 30 second barrier for the first time and a new personal best!
- Noelle Hickey has a very nice freestyle finishing at 36.48
- Hayden Catalano showed us her strong, consistent stroke during her 50 freestyle with a 31.10 finish!
- Vivian Zadnik swims with a nice long arm stroke
- Theresa Bliss lost two seconds off her seed time. Good job! Keeping her head in the water will help take more time off her 50 free.
- Bryanna Farmer really kicked it up at the end of her 50 free
- Julia Irving has a good strong pull during her 50 free.
- Sarah Blanchard swam well during her 50 free kicking up a lot of energy at the finish.