The Tradition of Excellence continued last Friday night as Seton swept Emmanuel Christian and Fauquier High School.  Both the boys and girls won solidly.  You may not realize it, but Fauquier High School has 1600 students and a USA team within their school boundaries.  Look out North Stafford!

Here were the final results:


SST    194    ECS    59

SST    160    FHS    118


SST    221    ECS    31

SST    167    FHS    116

Just prior to the meet, we announced this year’s captains.  They are:

Boys                            Girls

Casey Rafter                Jen Planchak

Ray Bennett                Meg Seale

I’ve seen some real leadership potential out of these swimmers, and I hope see more of it realized throughout the season.  I already saw it in evidence on Friday.  I was particularly impressed with the way Jen Planchak was helping out the younger swimmers.

For those of you who are new to the team, we keep close track of Personal Records (PRs).  Improving yourself is what swimming is all about, so that is our definition of Excellence.  Fortunately, swimming provides an easy way to measure it.

I was amazed at the number of PRs we had considering that we’ve only been in the water 3 weeks.  The following people had PRs Friday night:

Kevin Koehr          200 Free        2:08.23  by over 5 seconds

Chris Fletcher        200 Free        dropped 22 seconds!  He will be moving over a few lanes in practice

Sean Koehr            200 Free        dropped 17 seconds!

Gina Garzione       200 IM        4 seconds faster

Jeremy Krug                       50 Free        and I know he can go even faster

Jen Planchak        50 Free        27.59    that’s fast!

Jessica Dunn        50 Free        27.26    that’s fast!

Melissa Dunn        50 Free        28.43    We have no shortage of good sprinters, do we.

Megan Hoffer        50 Free        by over 3 seconds

Bryan Morch        100 Fly        1:01.16    I think he can go under a minute

Dan Quinan        100 Free        great swim!

Jeremy Krug        500 Free    dropped half an hour.  I hope he likes this event – he can be really good at it

Kimberley Melnyk    500 Free    6:29.59

Chris Fletcher        100 back        His second PR

Sean Koehr        100 Breast        His second PR also – dropped 6 seconds

Melissa Dunn        100 Breast     Second PR – her time is getting very fast

Katie Hoffer        100 Breast        Excellent swim!

We will be having a great season if the list is this long every week.

Last year, we brought a large squad to States.  We already have an excellent start on this year’s list of qualifiers.  For those new to the team, to attend the State Championships in Newport News, you must be in 8th grade or above and beat a qualifying time.  The following swimmers have met these criteria after the first meet:


Ray Bennett                        50 and 100 Free

Kevin Koehr                       100 Back and 200 Free

Bryan Morch                      100 Fly

Casey Rafter                      50 Free and 100 Breast

Nevin Cook                        200 IM


Jessica Dunn                       50 and 500 Free        What a combination!

Melissa Dunn                     50 Free and 100 Breast

Caitlin Harris                      200 IM and 100 Fly

Kimberley Melnyk             200 and 500 Free

Jen Planchak                       50 and 100 Free

Katie Planchak                   200 IM and 100 Free

Meg Seale                           200 Free and 100 Breast    (also qualified in 150 free 😉

There are several other swimmers who are close to the qualifying times including Haley Moya, Mary-Kate Kenna (7th grade!), and Candace Wall.  Effort in practice will lead to success for these and others.

Caitlyn Harris told me she wants to qualify in every single event.  I’ll make sure she gets the chance.  I just love that type of attitude.

For the first time this year, we plan to attend the National Catholic Meet at Villanova University in Philadelphia (Mrs. Morch, can we get some hotels?).  The qualifying times are very fast, but I expect to take 8 or 10 swimmers up with me.  So far, we’ve qualified in the following events:

Girls 200 Medley Relay

Girls 400 Free Relay

Kevin Koehr        100 Back

Ray Bennett         50 Free

Caitlin Harris       100 Fly

Jessica Dunn        50 Free

Melissa Dunn       50 Free

Jen Planchak        50 Free

I’m looking forward to increasing the size of our National Team.  Katie Planchak was just .32 off the 200 IM time and that isn’t even her best event.  Meg is close in 100 Breast – her best time crushes the cut.  The relays that go will be set based solely on who has the fastest times.  That will be determined just before we go.

While I enjoy watching fast times, I enjoy watching people who show lots of heart even more.  It is impossible to mention all of the great swims, but here are a few other swims that impressed me:

  • Have you ever seen someone swim 50 Free with more heart than Mark Manley?  Pat Gott came close.
  • Billy and Katie Corkery are great additions to Seton and to our team.  Billy really showed me alot in 200 IM and his leg of the 200 Free relay.  Katie came out of no where to claim 5th in 100 Free.
  • Had I any idea how fast Haley Moya could swim, she would have been official and placed 5th in a very competitive 50 Free event.  Haley, you’ve been promoted to the lane with Jessica Dunn, Kimberley Melnyk and the gang.
  • Erin Mulhern told me she couldn’t swim.  I guess we found out differently, huh Erin?
  • Soibhain Campbell’s 100 backstroke really caught my eye.  Not only could I see she was trying to do some of the things we had talked about in practice, she clearly gave the race her best effort.  With some more work on her stroke, I can see great times in her future.
  • Stephanie Melnyk made up a half a body length in the last 10 yards and lost a super close race by .01 seconds.  That is how you finish!  Those of you who swim in her lane, know that this is how she swims every day.
  • Megan Morch sure was impressive.  She was hanging with Caitlin Harris in 100 Fly, and Caitlin was last year’s DAC champ.  I’m not sure Megan has a weak stroke.  I can’t wait to try her in 200 IM.
  • It’s going to be fun watching Kristin Rafter improve.  I saw some promising things.
  • Chris Fletcher – consider yourself discovered.  You have some talent for this sport.  See you in the middle lanes for practice this coming week – you’ve been promoted – and I’ll be running your practice personally.
  • Ray under :51, Kevin under :57, Bryan under 1:00 and Casey under 1:09.  All possible with serious effort in practice.  See you Monday men – be ready.  Coach Mulhern will be waiting – and so will I.

Our next meet is Saturday, December 6th against North Stafford at the Freedom Center.  So that we don’t have to ask the other team to take the first warm-up at the last minute, please plan to arrive by 1:45.

Friday was a great way to start the season.  Swimming isn’t really about swimming.  It is about pushing yourself to excellence – it is about getting the most out of God’s gifts.  As I’ve said many times before, Excellence is not merely compatible with Catholicism, it is REQUIRED by Catholicism.  I was very pleased with what I saw.

Coach Koehr


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