On Friday, at Coach Dalrymple’s Seton Christmas Party at the beautiful new Sweeney Barn, I saw Joanne Pretz for the first time in many years.  Most of you don’t know her, but she was running the Seton Swim team in the late 1990s with Coach Terry Shipko (see the Seton Record Board in the gym for daughter Katie’s 1999 500 Free record that still stands).   They took over the team from Bill Shaw who founded it with Charles Seltman for Seton Swimming’s inaugural season in ’94-’95.

Much of the structure of today’s swim team originated with Joanne Pretz.  You know that great handbook that we have for Seton Swimming that tells you everything you need to know?  It is really just an edited version of the one Joanne first wrote.

“Joanne, you are not going to believe what your baby has grow into”, I told her.  “That streak of conference championships for the girls that started in 1995 is still alive!  It’s been 24 years, but the streak is in big jeopardy tomorrow night”.

I arrived at the Sweeney Barn straight from a Board meeting in Washington, DC.  Before walking in, I sat in my truck to score the Psych Sheet off my phone onto the back of an old ticket stub I found in the console.  “Uh-oh, I thought” after double checking my math.

The Trinity Christian coach had used two of his top swimmers in three (3) relays.  Trinity already had relays that that were faster than ours, but with the addition of these two girls, I was projecting that could get both 1st and 3rd in all three relays.  Because relays score the top three places 10-5-3, that means they would win each relay 13-5 and all three relays by a combined total of 39-15 – that’s a 24-point advantage for Trinity!

Without those two girls swimming individual events, it looked to me like Seton could win the individual events by a total of 26 points.  So this was shaping up to be a 2-point meet – if everyone swam their seeds.  With nearly 300 total points scored in a high school swimming meet, that was much too close for comfort.

We had a similar meet last year so thought back to last year’s strategy:

  • Try to steal one relay
  • Get Anna Kenna lined up against as many of TCS’ top swimmers (especially Brooke Williams and Annalise Cornett) as possible, and
  • Use Personal Record swims to score as many 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th place finishes as possible.

The third one would still need to be a key to victory, but with Brooke Williams and Haley Silvernail in three relays, I didn’t believe there was any way to steal even one relay this year.  As for the second strategy, Mairead Geiran and Caroline Griffin can both rock, but I didn’t expect them to be able to beat Brooke or Annalise.  We needed another way.

Then I thought back to a Friday afternoon conversation with the CEO of the company for which I had the Board meeting.  We were talking about my challenge to figure out a way to beat the faster girls at Trinity Christian, and he mentioned that when he swam back at William & Mary, they would sometime “split” their relays.  At first, it didn’t sink in, but driving home after the Seton Christmas party, it hit me.

“That’s it!”, I thought.  “If we could turn a strong “A” relay that could get a close 2nd and a weaker “B” relay that couldn’t score at all into two evenly divided relays that could both beat Trinity’s “B” relays, we could limit the potential damage”.

It’s not in my nature to accept a loss, but if we just seeded 1st place to them in all three relays, and if we could take 2nd and 3rd, then they would win each relay 10-8 for a total advantage of only 6 points across the all three relays.

“That’s way better than losing the relays by 24 points” I thought.

As I laid in bed that night, I still had one lingering fear, “But what if we weaken our relays to the point where they get both 1st and 2nd?  That would make things even worse!”  This was going to take some math.

After Connor’s basketball game on Saturday morning, I raced down to my office and went to work.  I already had the times for all the Trinity Christian girls for both USA and High School since 2017, and I had just updated it to the present time to prepare the entries that I submitted earlier in the week.

For six (6) hours on Saturday until right before I had to leave for the meet, I researched TCS relay splits – and Seton relay splits which I don’t normally track closely – and tried to create a combination of Seton relays for each of the three relay events that would ensure that we could beat all three of Trinity’s “B” relays.

After the Girls medley relay swam later that evening, I was amazed at how well it was all working.  I had a big smile on face as Coach Dalrymple calmly reminded me that it was too early to start celebrating.  I don’t recall exactly what she said, but what I heard was, “Let’s not get cocky now Jim.  There are still two more relays.”  I couldn’t help it.

The reason I couldn’t help it was because of what I watching our girls do in the water.  As you will see below, a really pumped up teenage girl can do some amazing things while competing with their friends in a high-profile meet – and Saturday night was a great example of that.

Final Scores

Prior to the meet, in my “pre-game” speech, I told the boys, “I love you boys, but I’m not talking much about you now because I’m not worried about you tonight.  Do what you can do, and you will be just fine.”  In the end, they rewarded my confidence.

On Saturday night, there were seven (7) teams plus Bernadette Caron from Holy Family Academy, all competing individually with one another.  In essence, there were 14 simultaneous dual meets going on, and in all 14, Seton outscored our opponents, including the local public schools Fauquier High School and Liberty High School.

Here’s the way the meet scores turned out for us at Seton:

Boys

Seton                       154        Fauquier High School                 116

Seton                      168        Trinity Christian School            100

Seton                       194        Fredericksburg Christian            54

Seton                       205        Fresta Valley Christian                51

Seton                       196        Wakefield School                         44

Seton                       210        Highland School                           21

Seton                       212        Liberty High School                    18

 

Girls

Seton                      156        Trinity Christian School         123

Seton                       188        Highland School                         80

Seton                       210        Liberty High School                   60

Seton                       215        Fresta Valley Christian              52

Seton                       213        Fauquier High School                51

Seton                       215        Fredericksburg Christian          48

Seton                       215        Wakefield School                        36

How Did Our Girls Win?

After adjusting for our new set of “split” girls relays, the Psych Sheet score went from 141-139 in favor of Seton to 150-130 in favor of Seton.  But Psych Sheets don’t swim.

While strategy make the meets fun for us coaches, it isn’t what wins.  On Saturday night, it was no overstatement to say that everyone who swam a scoring race made an important contribution to this victory.   Two things win for Seton:

  • The level of improvement we see from our swimmer’s week to week, and
  • Our depth

I think about some of the swimmers that made a difference on Saturday night who were not always scorers, swimmers like Anne Konstanty, Theresa Dwane, Ceili Koehr, Colette Waldron and Katie Dealey.  The remind me of some of our younger kids, swimmers like Moira Haggerty, Maggie Gibbons and Reagan Rose.  They don’t score today, but one day, will they make the difference in a big meet like this?  I can’t even count the times this story has come true over my past 18 years of coaching at Seton.

Great swimmers have sometimes come to Seton, but in a school of only 240 kids in the high school, improvement and depth are something that we have to manufacturer.

Let me show you what I mean by reviewing our plan for each event and comparing it to what actually happened:

Girls 200 Medley Relay

The meet started off better than I could have imagined.

Our “A” Medley Relay started off as normal with Caroline Griffin and Mary Heim swimming back and breast, but we were going to need Mairead Geiran and Mary Pennefather to even up both of the other freestyle relays, so we enlisted Isabelle Luevano and Teresa Bingham for the back half.   They almost took 1st!

Caroline Griffin led off with an amazing 29.41 Backstroke split.  Her best split this season has been 30.78 and even at State last year she went 30.47, so that was huge PR.  Even with that great swim though, we were behind.

Mary Heim left the blocks after TCS’s top breaststroker had already hit the water.  With a tremendous relay start and underwater pull-out, by the time she surfaced, she was actually ahead!  Her final split was an incredible 33.82!  To put that in perspective, Mary’s fastest split so far this season was 35.65 and her split at States last year was 34.89.  Here is a video of Mary’s breaststroke relay leg – we are 3 lanes from the bottom in lane 3.

The great swimming wasn’t over.  Isabelle Luevano got in with a PR 50 Fly split of 32.18 – and she proceeded to split 30.58!  Then Teresa Bingham anchored with a 50 Free split of 29.14 on a PR of 29.86.

I projected that the fastest these girls would go was 2:08.47, but instead, they went 2:02.95!

A quick story about Isabelle:  We’ve been working on relay starts at practice.  Years ago, I learned a very aggressive relay start from Kevin and Nevin’s coach at QDD (now at NCAP), Olympic gold medalist Jeremy Linn.  It involves literally running down the block with a big arm swing to build huge momentum out over the water.  It’s how the big boys do it.  Done right, it makes a huge difference.

Isabelle was nervous about maybe slipping though.  This was a big meet, the start was new to her, and the blocks at the WARF are more slippery than they are at the Freedom Center.

I just looked down at Isabelle and said, “You just go for it girl.”  She smiled, she said she would, and she did.  I’m sure that huge PR split had something to do with how she cut loose on that relay start.

Our “B” Relay of Gemma Flook, Anne Konstanty, Emily Flynn and Katharine Rowzie also swam four (4) Personal Record splits.  I projected that they would go between 2:10.14 and 2:12.70, but they went 2:08.08!

Gemma split 33.15 on backstroke PR of 34.22, Anne split 35.97 on a breaststroke split PR of 36.31, Emily split 30.28 on a fly split PR of 31.48 and Katharine split 29.68 on a freestyle PR for this season of 29.05.

With the Trinity “A” relay going 1:59.57 and their “B” relay going 2:17.07, the final result was just as planned.  We held both 2nd and 3rd.

 ProjectedActual
 SetonTCSSetonTCS
Event Score810810
Meet Score810810

Girls 200 Freestyle

On the Psych Sheet, we were projected to get 1st, 2nd, 6th, and 7th, which would win the event overall, and that is largely how it turned out.

I had hoped that Annalise Cornett of Trinity was going to be in this event, but without her, Mairead Geiran took 1st place by half an hour

The big race would be between Anne Konstanty, seeded 2nd, and TCS’s Jenna Phillips.  Jenna swam well, but with Anne’s 1.07 second PR, Anne was not going to be denied.

Ceili Koehr had an amazing 7.13 second PR to hold 6th place to end our scoring because of a DQ.  After a dominant swim by Mairead and two (2) more PRs, I was feeling pretty good.

 ProjectedActual
 SetonTCSSetonTCS
Event Score17121612
Meet Score25222422

Girls 200 IM

From an overall meet perspective, this was one of the most interesting races in the entire meet because all of the top girls in the DAC seemed to all be entered in one race.  Besides our own Caroline Griffin, there was Annalise Cornett (TCS), Claire Thompson (Wakefield), Brooke Patten (FVCS), and Corrin Ford (FCS).

From a Seton vs. Trinity perspective, this event was uneventful.  Annalise Cornett was Trinity’s only entry, and she won relatively easily.  So in spite of some good swimming from Caroline Griffin, Gemma Flook, Teresa Bingham, and Katharine Rowzie, they were going to take 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th anyway.

 ProjectedActual
 SetonTCSSetonTCS
Event Score188188
Meet Score43304230

Girls 50 Free

This was an event in which I expected us to do quite well, and quite well we did.  With 16 girls under :32, 9 girls under :30, and 4 girls under :28, Seton can always field a strong set of entries for the 50 Free.

Mary Pennefather’s .09 second PR and Isabelle Luevano’s strong swim took 1st and 2nd, as expected.  Colette Waldron and Lily Clune both swim well to take 5th and 6th, and we won the event.

One of the races we discussed prior to the meet was Lily Clune’s race with TCS’s Amy Phillips.  We knew if would be tough for Lily to hold her seed, and she got the job done for Seton.

 ProjectedActual
 SetonTCSSetonTCS
Event Score2091910
Meet Score63396140

Girls 100 Butterfly

I was betting that Brooke Williams was going to swim 100 Fly, but the TCS coach entered her in three relays instead, so that left this one pretty much wide open with only one Trinity swimmer entered.   This would be the last event where we would have such fortune, and I knew that we needed to take advantage of it.

In the end, it ended up just as expected.  Isabelle Luevano and Emily Flynn took 1st and 2nd and Teresa Bingham and Mary O’Malley took 4th and 5th.

This was the last event where we would have the good fortune of just a few entries from TCS.  From here on out, the TCS line up would get more formidable.

 ProjectedActual
 SetonTCSSetonTCS
Event Score215215
Meet Score84448245

Girls 100 Freestyle

Beside the medley relay, 100 Free was the first event that we were projected to lose.  We were projected on the Psych Sheet to get 2nd, 3rd, 6th and 7th, but with some great swimming from Theresa Dwane and Colette Waldron, we instead got 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 6th!

At the top of the ticket was Trinity’s best swimmer, Brooke Williams, and Seton’s best swimmer, Mairead Geiran, going head to head.  Mairead was technically seeded 1st, but that was only because the TCS coach entered Brooke at a 57.12.  I knew that wasn’t going to happen.  This season at a USA meet, Brooke has going 54.65 and last year at States she swam her PR of 53.37.

Mairead on the other hand doesn’t normally swim 100 Free, but the best time I had for her was 56.39 leading off a 400 Free Relay at States in 2017.

In the end, these two girls had a great race that ended up just where I expected.  Mairead’s lifetime PR of 55.95 was not enough to hold off Brooke’s 55.03.

Mary Heim took 3rd, as expected, but she did it with an unexpected 1:01.06, 2.18 seconds faster than her previous PR.  Mary was red hot, so I started to get excited about her upcoming breaststroke showdown with two of TCS’s best swimmers later in the meet.

The real excitement in the event came at the bottom of the card.  Colette Waldron was seeded 6th with a 1:10.27 behind a TCS girl seeded at 1:09.86.  In her best swim of the season so far, Colette cut 1.35 seconds from her PR and beat her!

Then Theresa Dwane came through with what had to be one of the top 5 swims of the entire meet for Seton.  Seeded 7th at 1:12.11, she swam a 4.08 second PR to jump all the way up to 4th!

So thanks to Theresa and Colette, instead of losing this event 14-15, we actually won it 17-12!

 ProjectedActual
 SetonTCSSetonTCS
Event Score14151712
Meet Score98599957

Girls 500 Freestyle

This was an event where the Psych Sheet showed us getting beat badly 11-18, but with some courageous swimming, we actually ended up actually winning it!  I had a feeling.

The long shot was 2nd seed Anne Konstanty versus top seed senior Becca Klanderman from Trinity.  I figured Becca would go about 6:12, which she did, but I also figured that Anne would go much faster than her seed time of 6:23.50 because the last time she swam this event was last season.

Anne did not disappoint.  She was actually ahead for much of the race, ending up with a 6.30 second PR 6:17.20 – an really great swim the held 2nd place.

Seeded between Anne and Seton’s 5th and 6th seeded swimmers Emily Flynn and Mary O’Malley were two TCS swimmers.  Then after another TCS swimmer, Lily Byers was seeded 8th.

Emily Flynn was pushing herself well into 3rd place right up the very end.  After giving everything she had, she ended up improving from her seed to take 4th place with a season best time by 3.43 seconds.

Then Lily Byers came from the 8th seed to take 5th with a huge 20.83 second PR.  It was so great watching her use her new efficient freestyle technique to get “long and strong” with every stroke.

Finally, Mary O’Malley unexpectedly displaced a higher seeded TCS girl with her own 5.61 second PR.

Four huge PRs were just more than Trinity could match.  An event we were supposed to lose badly turned out to be another win for Seton.

 ProjectedActual
 SetonTCSSetonTCS
Event Score11181514
Meet Score1097711471

Girls 200 Freestyle Relay

I looked at Coach Dalrymple feeling very confident.  At every turn, our girls had over performed.  I had no doubt whatsoever that our two “split” relays would beat the Trinity “B” Relay, and it happened just that way with lots of room to spare.  Having Mairead Geiran and Mary Pennefather anchoring the two relays certainly gave me even more comfort.

I projected our “A” Relay of Isabelle Luevano, Teresa Bingham, Colette Waldron and Mairead Geiran would go faster than 1:56.32 and they ended up going 1:54.96.  The biggest differences were from a reinvigorated Colette Waldron who split 30.33 on a previous season best 31.05 and Mairead Geiran who split 25.98 on a previous season best 26.39.

I projected that our “B” Relay of Mary Heim, Emily Flynn, Katharine Rowzie and Mary Pennefather would go faster than 1:54.30.  They ended up going 1:54.29, beating the “A” Relay.  All swam well, but particularly Emily Flynn who swam more a second faster than her season best.  Katharine and Mary must have also had very good splits for us to that time, but unfortunately the timing system missed them.

The TCS “B” Relay ended up going 2:03.14 with our relays comfortably ahead wire to wire.

 ProjectedActual
 SetonTCSSetonTCS
Event Score810810
Meet Score1178712281

Girls 100 Backstroke

In this event, we were seeded 2nd, 5th, 6th and 8th which would not be a particularly positive result for us – but that is exactly the way it turned out.

The top seeds were Seton’s Caroline Griffin versus one of TCS’s top two swimmers Annalise Cornett.  Annalise was seeded at 1:04.00, but I knew she has gone 1:00.92 already this season at a USA meet.

Caroline swam really well, going 1:04.07 to beat her PR by .62 seconds, but it wasn’t enough to beat Annalise’s 1:00.68.

Gemma Flook swam a .26 second PR to hold her seed.  Katherine Rowzie and Ceili Koehr also swam well and held their seeds.

We were now 11 points ahead of plan, with the race of the day up next.

 ProjectedActual
 SetonTCSSetonTCS
Event Score11181118
Meet Score12810513399

Girls 100 Breaststroke

As I thought about the possible outcomes of this meet on Friday night, my mind kept coming back to this race.  It was going to be like a rematch of old friends:  Seton’s Mary Heim was going to face Trinity’s Teresa Klanderman and Haley Silvernail once again.

At various times over the past year and half, they have faced each other several times with a seemingly different outcome each time.

Looking at their lifetime PRs, you’d see one picture:  Teresa was 1:15.80, Haley was 1:15.86 and Mary was 1:16.11.  But that wasn’t the picture I was looking at because none of them have swum near their PRs yet this season.

Looking at times from just this season, the picture was exactly the opposite:  Mary was 1:20.64, Haley was 1:21.87 and Teresa was 1:22.54.

In the seedings Mary was seeded 1st ahead of the two TCS girls, but anyone looking at those times can see why I was worried.  It was easily conceivable that Mary could get 1st, 2nd or 3rd – and 3rd would make a huge difference in the scoring.

By the time we got to this point in the meet, I was no longer worried.  Mary was hot, Mary was due, and Mary delivered.  She had her normal tremendous start, broke out into the lead and left nothing in doubt for the rest of the race.  She ended up going 1:18.71, 1.93 seconds faster than her best time this season to take first by nearly 3 seconds.

The wildcard in this race with Mary Pennefather who I just recently discovered can swim breaststroke.  Mary was seeded 4th and ended up taking 4th, but not until after putting a real scare into the Trinity swimmers with her 1.31 second PR 1:22.87.

Theresa Dwane held her 6th seed with a .08 second PR, and Lily Clune jumped up for the 8th seed to score in 7th place swimming her exact PR.  Lily’s victory over TCS’s 4th swimmer flipped the event to our favor.

 ProjectedActual
 SetonTCSSetonTCS
Event Score14151514
Meet Score142120148113

Girls 400 Free Relay

After Mary’s race, I knew the game was over.  Even if both of our final relay’s got DQ’d, we’d win.

I recall our meet with TCS back on December 8th when the meet came down to this event and ended in TCS’s favor by 10 points after they took both 1st and 3rd in this relay.  At least I knew that wasn’t going to happen again – and it didn’t.

By this time, our girls were totally jacked up about how they were swimming, and it just carried through here, particularly with our “A” Relay of Anne Konstanty, Gemma Flook, Katie Dealey and Mairead Geiran.  My projection for this relay was that they would go faster than 4:26.81 – they ended up going 4:16.73!

Anne led off with a .57 second PR 1:02.77 followed by Gemma’s 1:07.62.  Gemma’s flat start PR is 1:12.33 so that was like a 4.71 second PR.  Then Katie duplicated the feat with a split that was 2.29 seconds faster than her flat start PR.  Finally, Mairead brought it comfortably home in 56.42.  That was an amazing set of swims.

Our “B” Relay of Mary Pennefather, Colette Waldron, Mary O’Malley and Caroline Griffin also over-achieved beating my projection of 4:26.17 by almost 3 seconds.   Much of this positive variance came from Mary O’Malley who split 1:08.77 on a flat start PR of 1:11.38 and Caroline Griffin who split 1:00.14 on a flat start PR of 1:01.46.

 ProjectedActual
 SetonTCSSetonTCS
Event Score810810
Meet Score150130156123

So we were able to extend a projected victory by 20 points to an actual victory by 33 points, winning 7 of the 8 individual events.

Looking back at the meet, our strategy worked perfectly:

  • We limited the damage from the very fast Trinity relays to only 6 points.
  • We swam 32 Lifetime Personal Records, Season PRs, or PR Relay Splits that got us loads of 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th or 7th place finishes so that, even if we didn’t get first place, we could win the event.

This was the story of victory over a very strong and well-coached Trinity Christian team: Breakout performances by our leaders and personal records by the rest of the team made the difference.   In the end, even if Trinity took 1st and 3rd in every relay, our girls swam so well that we would have won anyway.   It’s been fun to talk about strategy, but you girls won it with your swimming.

I’ve always said that if we swim Personal Records, the winning will take care of itself.  This past weekend was just another great example of that.

Congratulations to the Seton Girls!

There Were So Many Other Personal Record Swims

I’ve already mentioned numerous Personal Records, but here are the rest of the 65 PRs that I have not yet had an opportunity to highlight.  Check out how many younger swimmers we have improving on our team:

  • Julia Atkinson (7) cut an amazing 6.01 seconds from 100 Breaststroke PR
  • Ryan Beltran (7) dropped 1.68 seconds in 100 Back
  • Aaron Bishop (7) lowered his 100 Back PR by a huge 4.26 seconds
  • Emma Catabui (FR) had a great swim in the 50 Free, lowering her PR by another 1.42 seconds
  • Christian Ceol (JR) was awesome in 100 Fly, dropping 11.35 seconds. Technique matters.  He also cut .09 seconds from his 50 Back PR leading off a relay
  • Jack Champney (7) continues to improve. He broke 1:00 on 50 Free after a 4.54 second PR!  Jack also cut 12.99 seconds from his 100 Free PR.
  • Cormac Clune (SO) rocked his 100 Free, cutting another .43 seconds from his PR.
  • Joey Dealey (8) had three big PRs. In 500 Free, he cut 15.40 seconds, in 200 Free, he cut 8.70 seconds and in 50 Back leading off a medley, he cut 1.17 seconds.
  • Katie Dealey (JR) lowered her 50 Back PR leading off a medley by .56 seconds.
  • Justin Fioramonti (JR) lowered his 50 Free PR by another .57 seconds
  • Mick Fioramonti (7) had three PRs. In 50 Back leading off a medley, he cut .81 seconds, in 100 Free he cut 3.02 seconds, and in 100 Breast he cut .26 seconds.
  • Ella Gaulden (7) lowered her 50 Free PR by 8.13 seconds.
  • Maggie Gibbons (7) smiled her way to a 1.22 second PR in 50 Back leading off a medley relay
  • Maddie Given (FR) was awesome in 100 Back, dropping 7.43 seconds
  • Catherine Griffin (8) had a 2.92 second PR in 100 Breast and a .33 second PR in 50 Free
  • Tiffany Gutierrez (FR) cut an amazing 21.70 seconds in 100 Free.
  • Moira Haggerty (8) had an absolutely amazing meet with a 14.40 second PR in 100 Breast and a 6.70 second PR in 100 Free.
  • Jo Hartung (7) dropped 2.96 seconds in 50 Free
  • Ava Hudson (7) had a big 2.45 second drop in 50 Back leading off a medley followed by a 1.45 second drop in 50 Free
  • David Hudson (7) lowered his 100 Breast PR by 6.56 seconds!
  • Bethany Johnson (JR) cut another .40 seconds from her 50 Free PR
  • Liam Kellogg (SO) is back from foot surgery with three PRs on Saturday: In 100 Free leading off a relay he cut 2.65 seconds, in 100 Breast immediately before that swim he cut 2.22 seconds, and in 50 Free he cut .21 seconds
  • Timothy Kelly (SO) dropped a huge 6.44 seconds from his 200 Free PR
  • Ceili Koehr (FR) dropped .12 seconds in 50 Free leading off a relay
  • Peter Konstanty (7) lowered his 50 Free PR by .20 seconds
  • Nathan Luevano (8) was awesome in the two big events. In the 200 IM, he cut 3.44 seconds and in the 500 Free he cut 6.18 seconds.  Nathan now goes 6:25.73 in 500 Free, an excellent time for an 8th  He also cut 1.35 seconds from his 50 Free PR leading off a relay – he broke :30 for the first time.
  • Anya Murray (7) had an amazing 100 Free, dropping 24.23 seconds. He also cut .24 seconds in 50 Free.
  • Nate Remington (JR) continues to improve during his first year on the team. How about that 8.60 second PR in 100 Breaststroke!
  • Joseph Rowzie (8) cut a huge 4.12 seconds in 100 Back and 1.37 seconds in 200 IM
  • Clare Waldron (FR) had a beautiful swim in 100 Free where she lowered her PR by 4.55 seconds. She also cut 1.85 seconds from her 50 Free PR.

One Other Great Swims I Saw on Saturday

I have no other place to put this, so I’ll put this here.  How about Shane Koehr’s 100 Backstroke finish!  He took first place overall against Trinity Christian’s top new male swimmer.  He was 1.4 seconds behind at the 50 split, still behind at the 75, and still behind at the 90.  Then in the last 10 yards, Shane started to surge.

Inside the flags, he was still behind.  He took two strokes and reached back with those long arms.  The TCS boy took one more stroke, and Shane snuck in for the win – by .02 seconds!

In a night where the girls absorbed all of the oxygen in the building, Shane stole the show for this one moment in time.

Other than Mairead Geiran’s 200 Free and Isabelle Luevano’s 100 Fly, Shane overall victory was our only other first place finish in any event on Saturday night.

I should also mention Ryan Beltran, a 7th grader who I had a feeling could swim 100 Fly.  Well my feeling was right.  In his first ever attempt at the event, he went 1:28.02.  I’m looking forward to see what he can do as he gets older.

State and National Catholic Qualifiers

We have two championship meets where, in order to be eligible to participate, you must meet a qualifying time standard during the current season.

The VISAA State Championship is February 15-16, 2019 at the Jeff Rouse Swim and Sports Center in Stafford, VA.  It should be a great time for everyone eligible to participate.

Here are the individual State Meet qualifiers after this weekend:

  • Mairead Geiran – 200 IM, 100, 200 and 500 Free, 100 Fly
  • Caroline Griffin – 200 IM and 100 Back
  • Mary Pennefather –50 Free

Here are the relays that have hit the cut:

  • Boys “A” 200 Medley Relay
  • Boys “A” 200 Free Relay
  • Boys “A” 400 Free Relay
  • Girls “A” 200 Medley Relay
  • Girls “B” 200 Medley Relay
  • Girls “A” 200 Free Relay
  • Girls “B” 200 Free Relay
  • Girls “A” 400 Free Relay
  • Girls “B” 400 Free Relay

I will not list names for these relays because it is impossible to tell who will actually swim.  You are eligible for me to enter you on a relay at States if you have swum on that relay during the season when it hit the cut, but that doesn’t mean I will be able to actual enter you to swim.  We go to States to try to bring home a State Championship or State Runner-up.  If I feel like we have a legitimate shot at one of those titles, it would not be unusual for me to use some of our top swimmers in 3 relays and only one individual event because relays score so many points.  Time – and your times – will clarify this situation for all of us.

The competition on the Boys side for Relay spots is starting to heat up, so I’ve started tracking it more closely.  Here’s where the times stand so far this season for the 200 Free Relay:

NameFastest Flat StartFastest Split
Jack Santschi:24.88:24.38
Jacob Alsup:25.72:24.79
Jerry Dalrymple:24.90:24.90
Shane Koehr:25.80:25.17
Liam Kellogg:25.49:25.47
Christian Ceol:26.19:25.79
Cormac Clune:26.48:26.48
Evan Wilson:26.77:26.77
Justin Fioramonti:27.15:26.89

And here’s where the times stand so far this season for the 400 Free Relay:

NameFastest Flat StartFastest Split
Jack Santschi:54.98:54.98
Jerry Dalrymple:56.25:56.09
Jacob Alsup:57.77:57.20
Liam Kellogg:58.17:58.17
Shane Koehr:59.02:59.02
Christian Ceol1:00.921:00.32
Evan Wilson1:00.581:00.58
Cormac Clune1:01.771:01.03
Justin Fioramonti1:03.091:01.03
Jeremy Kleb1:04.361:04.36

The National Catholic High School Championship is at Loyola University in Baltimore on January 19th-20th with prelims in the morning on January 19th and finals on Sunday, January 20th.  We also have a meet that afternoon, so depending on how many girls qualify, we’ll have to discuss later how we are going to handle that.

Here’s who has qualified for National Catholics.  This is the final list:

  • Mairead Geiran – 200 IM, 50, 100 and 200 Free, 100 Fly, 100 Breast, 100 Back, Relays
  • Caroline Griffin – 200 IM, 100 Back, 100 Fly, 50 and 100 Free, and Relays
  • Isabelle Luevano – 50 Free and Relays
  • Mary Heim – 50 and 100 Free, 100 Breast, and Relays
  • Mary Pennefather –50 Free and Relays
  • Anne Konstanty – Relays

And here are the relays that have hit the National Catholic cut.  Once again, I will not attempt to project the line-ups for these relays yet:

  • Girls “A” 200 Medley Relay
  • Girls “A” 400 Free Relay

An eligibility report for both meets is posted under Meet & Team Information.

Entries are due this week, so I will post them shortly.  I’ve also got a beautiful house in the Federal Hill area of Baltimore to house the girls and Moms on the team.  It should be a great weekend for these six (6) qualifiers.  Congratulations!

Final Notes

There’s been so much to say, but let’s wrap it up with some final notes:

  • Next weekend is the NoVa Catholic High School Swim and Dive Championship Invitational at the Freedom Center that we host each year.
    • It’s always fun to get all of the Catholic schools together.
    • The Meet Announcement is posted.
      • More information on this shortly.
    • We’re up to $8,822 for the Cystic Fibrosis Swim-a-thon.
      • I’m anxious to see the Captains get us over $10,000 before we shut the site down on January 15th

It was a great weekend.  Do well on mid-terms.

See you Monday 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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