In the last week, I have heard the word “anxiety” thrown around by some swimmers and parents concerning the events in which they are entered as if having some anxiety is automatically a bad thing.  Of course, anxiety, particularly undue anxiety over things we cannot control, can be a bad thing – but it can also be a powerful force for good.

When we use the word automatically assuming that “anxiety” is something to be avoided at all costs, we are falling prey to the subversion of our language that we are seeing so often these days – where words and phrases are perverted to distort the Truths of natural law.  We see other examples with words like “tolerance” or “justice”.

The people who are most likely to actively promote these concepts are those, many of whom are labeled “experts”,  who believe that our sole purpose on this earth is to increase our comfort and the comfort of others.

I am not one of those people.

I do not think I have ever heard it said any better than when I heard former Seton Swimming Assistant Coach Rich Lowell tell me:

“Avoiding discomfort, either physical or emotional, is the most limiting act I see in myself and others.   It is really easy to see in our children.”

We feel anxiety whenever when we are uncomfortable or “outside our comfort zone”.  Are we saying that we should never get outside our comfort zone?  Framed that way, does anybody believe that anxiety is always bad?

Some do.

Some of us reading this blog grew up always getting a trophy or always seeing the last place team automatically win the sportsmanship award – as if being in last place was worthy of some sort of award so no kid would have their “self-esteem” harmed.

Fortunately for me, my parents were not two (2) of those people.  My parents always threw away the “participation” trophies that were just coming into vogue in the latter part of my formative years.

In my life, the concept of “social distancing” has never been more relevant than when I used to walk into a youth sports awards celebration with my wife and see a table full of participation trophies – because I knew the woman was about to go off!  She would not even let the kids bring them to the car.  I think God knew what he was doing when he gave her nine (9) boys.

The size and significance of an award or recognition should be commensurate with 1) the level of sacrifice involved, and 2) the level of accomplishment, with the largest awards reserved for when both are evident in high degree.  That is because the need for sacrifice is not something to be shunned – it is something to be sought out.

As I stated in the beginning, clearly not all anxiety is good.  That is because there are two kinds of anxiety.  There is anxiety over things we cannot control – like an election result – and there is anxiety over things we can control – like how hard we try to do something we have never done before.

When we get overly anxious about things that we cannot control, that is certainly something to be avoided.  “Worrying”, which is another word for the anxiety we feel over things we cannot control, does nobody any good.  It just reveals our lack of faith that God is in control.  We all fall victim to this because none of has perfect faith.

But anxiety over things we can control can be a powerful motivator if we can turn that emotion toward good.   In fact, I cannot imagine any of us not feeling at least a little anxious any time we put yourself into “the arena” to tackle a challenge, take a risk and dare failure.  The only way not to feel at least somewhat anxious is to not care at all about the result.

I love how Theodore Roosevelt described this in one of his most famous quotes (emphasis added):

It is not the critic who counts. Not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds, who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

That is a description of someone going into a challenging event content with nothing less than their personal best effort, no matter how uncomfortable it gets.

Some of you swimmers might forget that I was a swimmer once myself.  I know what it feels like to get nervous (i.e., “anxious”) before a race.  I will never forget the first time I swam the 500 Free.  I was 10 or 11 years old in a Korean War-era pool on the Quantico Marine base.  I can still picture the transom windows lining the top of the semi-circular roof.  They were painted green with some of the windows propped open in what seemed random fashion.  I got DQ’d for missing one of my flip turns and not going back to touch the wall – so my time did not even count!

I vividly remember in high school, every time before I swam 100 Backstroke, I thought I was gonna throw up because I knew I was about to do a 60 second race where, for the last 15 seconds or so, my arms and legs would be completely numb.  Who would not feel anxious when they know they are about to subject themselves to that sort of pain?

I have a very strong feeling that almost none of you who swam the 500 free yesterday swam it hard enough for your arms and legs to be numb.  I promise you that, in the finals of the State Championship each year, all the swimmers who put themselves in the arena for the 500 Freestyle finish the race with their entire body completely exhausted.

Anxiety is not just a kid thing – it is an adult thing too.   

Try taking a risk and failing somewhere in your professional life?  Try being responsible for 10 or 12 kids for almost a year without an income?  Try risking your house and all your savings on a new company.  I have experienced all those things.

Try treading water in Mirror Lake, early on a cool July morning in Lake Placid, NY, surrounded by 1,000 of the best athletes in the country – and you.  Imagine knowing that, in a few seconds, you are going to start a 2.4-mile open water swim, followed immediately by a 112-mile bike race in the mountains, followed immediately by a 26.2-mile marathon run.  Feeling anxious at all?  I was scared to death.

I finished though.  It took me 15 hours and 20 minutes.  They closed the course at 16 hours so that meant I was one of the very last people to finish.  The winners of the 2002 Lake Placid Ironman Triathlon finished in a little over eight (8) hours and 20 minutes, which means they finished almost seven (7) hours ahead of me!

Was I embarrassed about being in last place?  Heck no I was not embarrassed.  I finished!

Try being the coach of a high school swimming team during a time when everyone is freaking out about a “global pandemic”.

Imagine what it might feel like to show up at the first practice at the Freedom Center, knowing that if you do not have it totally organized and together, the season could get shut down as soon as the aquatic center Management or the Health Department see the chaos of 106 kids showing up all at once.  And imagine what it might feel like sitting in the parking lot thinking about how you have never even met 50 or more of the 106 kids you are expecting.

What happens if we get shut down?  What happens if this first practice is so unorganized that parents do not feel comfortable sending their kids, that kids do not want to swim anymore, that the nine (9) volunteer assistant coaches stop believing it is worth their time to help anymore, that kids cannot get to school on time without access to the locker room, or, worst of all, that I am embarrassed because people start to think I am a bad coach.

I did not sleep at all the night before that practice. I knew how many people were counting on us – and not just from Seton School community.  The only other school in the DAC that has traditionally hosted swim meets bailed out before the season could even get started.  If there was going to be a season, we could not fail.

That morning, I think I might have been tempted to think that swimming the 500 Free, even without having worked out in the water for several years, would have been preferrable.  You see, I am not immune to anxiety either.

We are fortunate in our Catholic faith that we have a place to seek help when we are dealing with anxiety.  When it is anxiety over things we cannot control, maybe we just need a little more faith that it is all in God’s plan.  As my mother always says, “Everything happens for a reason”.

And when we are experiencing anxiety over things we can control, maybe we just need to remember that this is an opportunity for us to turn our sacrifice toward good, to offer it up.  That is what we mean by the “S” in our GEMS value system:

Sacrifice – We Offer it Up, We love all our Teammates.

Let tell you a little secret that even my wife or my son Fr. Sean Koehr do not know.  On that morning of our first practice, and every morning since, before I walk into the pool, I sit in my truck, silent in the darkness, and say this little prayer:

O my God, for Thy greater glory, and to imitate as closely as possible the generous Heart of Jesus, my Redeemer, and also to testify my devotion to the Blessed Virgin, my Mother, who is also the Mother of the Souls in Purgatory, I place in her hands all my satisfactory works, as well as the fruit of all those which may be offered for my intention after my death, that she may apply them to the Souls in Purgatory according to her wisdom and good pleasure. Amen.

It is my own way of living the S in our GEMS, and it gives me the strength to give you all my best personal effort, five (5) mornings plus Saturday and Sunday each week.

So, I want you all to remember this: Anxiety over things that you can control is only bad when you allow it to limit how hard you try; when you allow it to make you afraid to do your best.

Never allow that happen to you, because one day, when you see the face of God, you want him to say:

Well done my good and faithful servant. Matthew 25:23

Meet Goals and Results

As I discussed in the opening of the livestream broadcast, this past weekend is usually the weekend where I have all our top swimmers at the National Catholic High School Championship at Villanova University in Philadelphia or Loyola University in Baltimore.  So, we created the meet for with a focus on the swimmers that were not making that trip.

Even though National Catholics was canceled this year, I decided that the goals of this meet were important enough that we should continue it this year:

  1. Get as many kids as possible who have not previously experienced the 500 Free, 200 Free, 100 Butterfly or 200 IM to overcome their fears and experience those events, and
  2. Ensure that as many kids as possible have experienced all eight (8) individual events this season.

With the novelty of a virtual State Championship meet this year came a third goal:

  1. Position ourselves to submit the fastest possible Relay times to the VISAA State Championship meet so we can make a run at a 9th and 10th VISAA Division II State Championship.

I would say that we were wildly successful in the first two goals and reasonably successful in the third.

Winning the meet is always a goal, but as with many things in life, trade-offs must be made sometimes.  Trinity Christian is so good, that if we want to beat them, the only way it is possible is for us to make it our primary goal – and even then, victory is far from assured as we saw with our very close meet on January 9th.

Congratulations to the girls of Trinity Christian School who won the girls competition fairly handily.  I’ll pass along a compliment that I received about you.

Our normal announcer for our meets over the past few seasons, John Kleb, was unable to make it on Saturday, so I pulled the former “Voice of Seton Swimming”, Tom Minarik, out of retirement.  Thank you so much for coming back for a reprise Mr. Minarik!

Mr. Minarik was our Announcer during the height of the success of Seton Swimming when our Girls won four (4) D-II State Championships in a row and our Boys won their 2nd, 3rd and 4th, all in a row.

Mr. Minarik asked me, “Where did Trinity Christian come from?  They are really good.  They reminded me of the Seton girls back in the day!

Yes Mr. Minarik, they are really good, and it showed in these final scores:

Girls

Trinity Christian School             166.0           Seton Swimming              134.0

Seton Swimming                       223.0           Highland Hawks                32.0

Boys

Seton Swimming                       184.0           Trinity Christian School   103.0

It is worth noting that Highland only had two swimmers in the meet, and both dominated their two individual events, scoring eight (8) points in each one.  More on that in a bit.

Swimmers Who Welcomed Discomfort for the First Time

I was beyond pleased with how you all faced your fears and made events that you previously believed were beyond your reach look so easy.

Here are the swimmers who took a huge step toward getting more “comfortable with discomfort” by conquering their fears over one of these difficult events for the very first time either on Saturday or at practice on the previous Thursday or Friday:

  • Jed Albin (FR) – 500 Free
  • Greg Bauer (7) – 200 Free, 500 Free
  • Molly Bauer (8) – 200 Free, 500 Free
  • Mariana Bingham – 500 Free
  • Meg Blanchette (8) – 500 Free
  • Nora Blanchette (7) – 200 Free, 500 Free
  • Emma Brox (JR) – 500 Free
  • Theresa Byers (JR) – 200 Free, 500 Free
  • Rebekah DeWolf (JR) – 200 Free, 500 Free
  • Josh Fioramonti (7) – 200 IM, 100 Fly
  • Elizabeth Francis (8) – 100 Fly, 500 Free
  • Christian Ghering (8) – 200 Free, 500 Free
  • Jacinta Gonzalez (JR) – 200 Free, 500 Free
  • Max Gonzalez (8) – 200 Free, 500 Free
  • Orla Haggerty (8) – 200 IM
  • Sophia Halisky – 200 Free, 500 Free
  • Gabe Hambleton (7) – 200 Free, 500 Free
  • Monica Hartung (7) – 200 Free, 500 Free
  • Peter Hartung (8) – 200 Free, 500 Free
  • Daniel Hurley (7) – 200 Free, 500 Free
  • Mary Catherine Hurley (8) – 200 IM, 500 Free
  • Sophia Kanazeh (JR) – 200 Free, 500 Free
  • Seth Kellogg (8) – 100 Fly
  • Kieran Kelly (8) – 200 Free, 500 Free
  • Colette Kramer (7) – 200 Free, 500 Free
  • Kateri Mantooth (SO) – 100 Fly
  • Aidan McCardell (7) – 100 Free, 500 Free
  • Claire McCardell (JR) – 200 Free, 500 Free
  • Moira McCardell (FR) – 200 Free, 500 Free
  • Dominic Miller (FR) – 200 Free
  • Anthony Morales (7) – 200 Free, 500 Free
  • Teresa Mosimann (SR) – 200 Free
  • Kevin Norton (7) – 200 Free, 500 Free
  • Jenna Novecosky (SO) – 200 Free, 500 Free
  • Kevin Orellana (JR) – 200 Free, 500 Free
  • Ben Osilka (SO) – 500 Free
  • Mary Claire Osilka (7) – 500 Free
  • Lucy Pennefather (8) – 100 Fly, 500 Free
  • Emma Reynolds (SO) – 200 Free, 500 Free
  • William Reynolds (7) – 200 Free, 500 Free
  • Olivia Sayani (SO) – 500 Free
  • JoJo Vander Woude (8) – 500 Free
  • Christina Witter (7) – 200 Free, 500 Free
  • Clare Witter (JR) – 200 Free, 500 Free

Swimmers Who Swam Big Events Once Again

We also had a number of swimmers who experienced the joy that comes from victory over fear previously, but that doesn’t mean they still weren’t feel some anxiety about their ability take on these big events.

Despite that, even I was amazed at the size of some of these Personal Records – some of them are almost mind-boggling.  So many of the drops are so large that my vocabulary does not include enough different adjectives.

I think this vindicates, once again, our philosophy at Seton Swimming that “the fastest way to get faster is to do the stroke right”.

  • Amelia Geary (FR) had the biggest drops of the entire meet. How about a 103.40 second drop in the 500 Free?  That’s almost two (2) minutes!  And how about a 60.19 second drop in the 200 Free?  That’s over a minute!  Those are just insane drops.  Coach Kimberly Dalrymple sent me note that said, “If it existed, we could give a Young Swimmer of the Meet award to Miss Amelia Geary. My goodness, the girl was rocking!
  • Peter Hartung (8) was on fire too. Peter cut a nearly unbelievable 86.11 seconds from his 500 Free PR.
  • Orla Haggerty (8) didn’t want to be left out of the party. How about a 72.23 second drop in 500 Free?  That is more than a minute too!
  • Cate Waldron (FR) was yet another swimmer with a drop of around a minute. I was so pleased to see her cut 58.50 seconds from her 500 Free PR.  She also cut another .31 seconds in 50 Free.
  • Rose Waldron (8) was a lot of fun to watch as she took 41.42 seconds off of her 500 Free PR.
  • Elodie Brox (8) cut a huge 41.10 seconds from her 500 Free PR and 18.09 seconds from her 200 IM PR.
  • Moira Haggerty (SO) had two wonderful swims, especially in the 500 Free where she dropped 39.54 seconds. Moira also cut 6.91 seconds from her 200 IM PR.
  • Amelie Halisky (SO) beat her previous best in the 500 Free by almost 40 seconds (39.07 seconds to be exact).
  • Seth Kellogg (8) lowered his 500 Free PR by 35.68 seconds.
  • Lucia Bingham (8) dropped 32.33 seconds in 500 Free and 3.57 seconds in the 200 IM.
  • Chris Lynch (FR) was awesome Saturday with his 29.96 second PR in 500 Free and his 11.80 second PR in 200 Free.
  • Kyle Da Re (SR) had a great swim in the 200 Free, lowering his PR by 29.36 seconds.
  • Emma Catabui (JR) had a great meet in more than just Diving (see below). She also beat her PR in 200 Free by 24.59 seconds.
  • Mary Catherine Hurley (8) smashed the 8:00 barrier in the 500 Free with a 23.69 second Personal Record.
  • JJ Brox (SO) saw big drops in both the 500 Free (by 15.96 seconds) and the 100 Fly (by 9.75 seconds). His 6:51 in the 500 is a pretty competitive time in our Conference.
  • Nicholas Nagurny (FR) has started to figure out how to use his size and strength better, and it showed with a 13.36 second PR in 200 Free.
  • Maggie Gibbons (FR) crushed her 200 Free PR by 12.28 seconds swimming a very fast 2:26.76.
  • Ava Hudson (FR) is going to score a ton of points for Seton over the next 3.5 years. Her 1:20.12 in 100 Fly (a 14.57 second PR) and her 6:49.95 in 500 Free (a 15.18 second PR) are very competitive times for  our Conference.
  • Mick Fioramonti (FR) lowered his 200 IM by PR by another 10.99 seconds.
  • Meg Blanchette (8) cut 10.13 seconds from her 200 Free PR. She also dropped 2.03 seconds in 50 Back leading off a medley relay.
  • Mary O’Malley (JR) had no fear, but I’ll mention her here because her drops were so huge in the 500 Free (by 10.83 seconds) and in 100 Fly (by 1.83 seconds). Mary also smoked the 100 Free Time Trial, beating her previous best by 1.11 seconds.
  • Jacqueline Oswald (SO) really swam well in her 200 Free, dropping 9.58 seconds to go 2:33. She also cut a huge 4.19 seconds from her 100 Breaststroke PR.
  • Peter Konstanty (FR) didn’t let me down after I moved him into the 200 Free at the last minute. He repaid me with a 9.53 second PR, and added a tip with a big 1.42 second PR in 50 Free.
  • Mary Clare Waldron (JR) stretched herself in the 200 IM, and that effort resulted in a 8.66 second Personal Record.
  • Connor Koehr (8) will score in nearly any DAC meet with his 2:47 in 200 IM, a 6.73 second drop. Connor also took off another 1.67 seconds in 100 Breaststroke.
  • Haley Fifield (8) had two great swims. She cut 5.08 seconds in 200 Free and 3.95 seconds in 100 Fly with two strong times.
  • David Hudson (FR) took 3rd in the 200 IM with a 2:36.15. That was a 5.02 second PR and resulted in a time that will score in any DAC meet.  He also dropped 2.26 seconds in 100 Breast to go 1:22.78.
  • Lucy Cunningham (8) is getting pretty fast in 200 Free after another 3.27 second drop.
  • Madelyn Zadnik (FR) had a wonderful swim in the 200 IM, cutting another 3.22 seconds from her PR.
  • Joey Dealey (SO) is down to 2:22 in the 200 Free after another 4.50 second drop. He also cut another 1.27 seconds from his 100 Free PR by taking advantage of some effective freestyle technique.
  • Max Wilson (8) is already quite comfortable pushing himself in any of the eight (8) competitive events in a swim meet so it didn’t surprise me when he pushed himself to a 1.16 second PR in the 200 IM. His time was very fast for an 8th grader – 2:45.81.

The Status of our State Championship Relays

Our Relays for the virtual State Championship are starting to come into focus.  We have two challenges still:

  1. To finalize the line-ups for the VISAA Division II Invitational Championship and DAC Champs, and
  2. Use those Meets to get the best possible times.

I’ve posted our best splits for the Season under the Meet Results for this Meet (Seton Winter Invitational).

As you can see, there are still some opportunities, but the biggest questions remaining are:

  • Who is swimming breaststroke for the Boys “A” Medley Relay? Nathan Luevano has Liam Kellogg by .01 seconds.
  • Who is swimming Butterfly for the Boys “A” Medley Relay? Joe Wilson has Jerry Dalrymple by .27 seconds
  • Are Angie Testani and Clara Condon swimming Breast/Fly or Fly/Breast for the Girls “A” Medley Relay. Right now, it looks like the fastest combo is with Angie swimming Breaststroke and Clara swimming Butterfly.

As for the Freestyle Relays, the times are close enough, that there is still a chance for the top four (4) swimmers to change in all four (4) Relays.

As for the second challenge, for the two 200-yard relays, I think our best chance is to nail them on February 6th and February 11th.   We’ll have two chances.

For the 400 Free Relay, my strategy has been to string together our four (4) best flat-start times, but Jerry Dalrymple and Liam Kellogg had an idea to run a Time Trial at the beginning of the JV Invitational.

I like that idea and will try to get it implemented this week.

Diving

Congratulations to our Diving Team for a great performance on Saturday.  We are rapidly moving to a place where we should score some significant points for Seton in the virtual State Championship Meet.

To do so, a Diver must be able to complete 11 Dives across four (4) different categories.  We have four (4) Divers who have reached that threshold:

  • Connor Koehr (8)
  • Mary Clare Waldron (JR)
  • Mick Fioramonti (FR)
  • Evan Wilson (SR)

We have two more Divers who are getting close, so they will continue to practice with the Varsity team through the rest of the season.  Those Divers are:

  • Emma Catabui (JR)
  • Dominic Miller (FR)

Practices will continue on Wednesday /Friday morning through Wednesday, February 10th for those six (6) Divers.  In addition, we have secured additional pool time on Saturday, January 30 from 1-2 to allow us to get an extra practice in.

Coach Keapproth and Coach Seamus Koehr are going to focus on this smaller group, a group that we have designated as “Varsity”, to get our team in the best possible place to compete successfully for another Boys and Girls VISAA Division II State Championship.

We have two very important Dive meets remaining.  In both of them, we will be doing the full 11-Dive program, and we will be recording it for submittal to the VISAA Diving judges at the virtual State Championship Meet:

  • Saturday, February 6 – VISAA Division II Invitational Championship,
  • Thursday February 11 – DAC Conference Championships

Highland Girls

It sure was fun watching our two super-star girls from Highland swim yesterday.

I am lucky enough to standing in as the Highland coach this season.   We put together a set of goals for the season, and I am pleased to report that these girls are well on their way to achieving them.

They each swam two (2) events, and they dominated in all of them:

Paris Thornburg (SR) won 50 Free by over 1.5 seconds with a 25.41, but it was her 100 Breaststroke that was the most impressive.  Paris won that event, against some very strong competition by more than 3 seconds.

To put Paris’ 1:07.26 during a non-championship meet in some perspective, the Seton team record is 1:07.70 set by Cat Rogers in 2012.  I can also tell you that it is the fastest 100 Breaststroke swum in all the VISAA so far this season – by over a second!

Paris’ 50 Free is the 2nd fastest time laid down in the State so far too.

One of Madisyn Carter’s (FR) goals was to break the Highland team record in the 500 Free.  Check.  In fact, she crushed it by more than 15 seconds with a blazing fast 5:34.29.  Her walls were absolutely textbook perfect.  The 500 Free is not one of Madisyn’s focus events for States, but it were, she’d have the 4th fastest time in the VISAA right now.

Madisyn also crushed the field in 200 IM with a Personal Record 2:13.99.  This event is one of Madisyn’s focus events, and she is currently sitting atop the VISAA leader board.

We’ll see Madisyn in the JV Invitational and our two Championship Meets and we’ll see Paris in our two Championship Meets.

Let’s all be sure to cheer them on!

Personal Records

Even though a big percentage of our kids were attempting events for the first time, we still managed to tally a total of 105 Personal Records.  Wow!

Here are the PRs that I have not already mentioned:

  • Molly Bauer (8) dropped .46 seconds in 50 Free.
  • Mariana Bingham broke 2:00 in 100 Breaststroke for the first, cutting 5.15 seconds from her PR.
  • Emma Brox (JR) looked really strong in her 50 Free, so it did not surprise me to see it result in a .74 second PR.
  • Michael Brox (8) was just killing it every time he hit the water. How do you swim a 4.77 second PR in 50 Free when you are already swimming it under :35?  His 6.58 second drop in 100 Breaststroke was equally impressive.
  • Lily Byers (JR) really impressed me this week. I was most impressed with how she stepped up for the Fly leg in our “A” Medley Relay and split a 30.93, a time nearly a second faster than her previous fastest split.  Then she went on to swim four (4) PRs in the rest of the meet including a 1.24 second drop in 50 Free, a 1.25 second drop in 100 Back, a .38 second drop in 100 Free leading off a relay, and a .12 second drop in 50 Fly during a Time Trial.  Not a bad afternoon’s work for our Junior Captain.
  • Rebekah DeWolf (JR) swam her faster ever 50 Backstroke leading off a Medley Relay, beating her previous best by 1.29 seconds.
  • Emily Flynn (JR) had a strong swim in the 50 Fly Time Trial, lowering her PR by .40 seconds.
  • Anastasia Garvey (7) went a pretty incredible 1:09 in 100 Freestyle after dropping another 1.09 seconds. That is very fast for a 7th grade girl.
  • Jacinta Gonzalez (JR) had some energy left in the tank after her great swim in the 200 Free – enough to lower her 50 Free PR by 1.82 seconds.
  • Monica Hartung (7) made me proud with 23.98 second PR in 100 Free. With that swim, she broke 2:00 for the first time.
  • Patrick Hartung (SO) had a great lead-off in the Medley Relay, dropping 2.33 seconds from his PR in 50 Backstroke.
  • Virginia Hartung (SR) swam the best 100 Free of her life, beating her previous PR by 2.59 seconds.
  • Daniel Hurley (7) was wonderful in 100 Free, dropping another 11.01 seconds.
  • Liam Kellogg (SR) is hungry, and it showed in that 100 Free. I was so pleased to see him drop 2.04 seconds to go 54.87.  That is an amazing drop for someone at Liam’s competitive level.
  • Isabelle Luevano (JR) is working her way back into form rapidly. It showed the most in 100 Breaststroke where she beat her PR by 2.12 seconds.
  • Nathan Luevano (SO) smoked his 50 Breaststroke Time Trial going 32.26 from a flat start (a .13 second PR). His relay split of 31.13 was also the fastest ever for him – and currently the fastest on the team by just .01 seconds.
  • Claire McCardell (JR) dropped 1.07 seconds in 50 Free.
  • Dominic Miller (FR) had a strong swim in 100 Backstroke, lowering his PR by 4.03 seconds.
  • Zach Moore (FR) is back after a short hiatus and made the most of it with an 11.47 second PR in 50 Free and a 1.40 second PR in 100 Free.
  • Anthony Morales (7) is down to 1:31 in 100 Free after another big drop, this time by 7.87 seconds.
  • Jenna Novecosky (SO) was all smiles after her 1.75 second PR in 50 Free.
  • Shannon O’Malley (8) had a 3-PR meet including a 6.07 second drop in 100 Free, a 1.71 second drop in 100 Back and a .35 second drop in 50 Free leading off a relay.
  • William Reynolds (7) showed major improvement in 50 Free with a 4.77 second drop.
  • Jack Santschi (SR) further cemented his spot as our team’s premier sprinter with another .32 second drop in 100 Free. Jack is now down to 52.60!
  • Olivia Sayani (SO) dropped .60 seconds in 50 Free and .20 seconds in 50 Back leading off a relay.
  • Angie Testani (8) didn’t stop after breaking the 1:00 barrier in 100 Free last week. This week, she lowered that PR by another .15 seconds.
  • JoJo Vander Woude (8) had a great lead-off leg on one of our Medley Relays, lowering her 50 Back PR by .98 seconds.
  • Evan Wilson (SR) had his best ever lead-off 50 Backstroke for our “A” Medley Relay, cutting .18 seconds from his 50 Back PR.
  • Joe Wilson (SO) laid down a great 100 Fly time after a 1.50 second PR. He also cut another .65 seconds from his 500 Free PR.
  • Christina Witter (7) looked very good in 50 Free, swimming it 2.61 seconds faster than ever before.
  • Clare Witter (JR) also had a PR in 50 Free, cutting another .05 seconds.

Kudos

A few final thoughts before I close:

  • I was very pleased with how well you handled our COVID protocols this weekend. Good compliance ensures that we can continue to swim at the Freedom Center.  I was particularly pleased with the way you lined up for the National Anthem and how diligent you were about your masks.

Right now, the Freedom Center management has nothing but compliments for the way you all are handling things.  Keep it up!

  • During the livestream, I was starting to tell you all how we “hit the jackpot” with our Team Managers, but I was interrupted and never finished the thought. I have to tell you, I’m incredibly pleased with how proactive Wystan Byers, Sofie Harangozo, and Ellie Moore have been.

Examples are how Wystan just took over the difficult task of changing our relays on the fly when kids didn’t show up or get sick or how Sofie jumped in at the beginning of the season to help with the Clerk of the Course or how Ellie has taken over the duties for Group 5 and always jumps in to score Diving.

Any leader would be proud to have them around to make the difficult job of running a swim meet so much easier.  Thank you Wystan, Sofie and Ellie!

This is the last week of practice for the Junior Varsity Team.  I will publish the names of the Varsity team later this week.  Basically, the “Varsity” team will be those swimmers entered into the VISAA Division II Invitational Championship where I get four (4) swimmers per event and two (2) relays per relay event.

Because there is no exhibition in these Championship meets, the rest of you will end your season on a high note at the Junior Varsity Invitational at the Freedom Center on January 30th.

See you at practice on tomorrow morning!

Coach Jim Koehr

Seton Swimming’s G.E.M.S.

What makes Seton Swimming special?

N

Gratitude

“Who has it better than us? Nobody!”

N

Excellence

We focus on better. Good takes care of itself.

N

Meekness

We help our opponents over the bar that we raised by winning

N

Sacrifice

We offer it up. We love all of our teammates.

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