Last Saturday, we out to the beautiful Fitch WARF in Warrenton, VA for the annual Delaney Athletic Conference championship meet, and once again, it was a very competitive meet for both our boys and our girls.
For the first time, the meet was hosted by Trinity Christian School, who certainly ran the best Conference Championship meet that I have been a part of – and I’ve been a part of DAC Swimming since 2001. It turned out to be a great team effort with Seton and WCDS for many aspects of the meet, but with the great parent volunteers that we have at Seton, the TCS/Seton/WCDS team was unbeatable in the meet-running department. I was so pleased to watch Charles Seltman, Bill Dealey, Hank Konstanty, John Kleb, Robin Given, Therese Griffin, Alex DuMez (WCDS) Chris Caron and Carole Pechie step up to help wherever it was necessary. It was also great to have Mr. Westhoff on deck supporting the effort!
Last year, our boys lost to Fredericksburg Christian by only four (4) points, but this year, we were able to avenge the lost with a 72 point victory. The reverse happened for our Girls – last year, our girls beat the very strong new-comer, Trinity Christian School, by 51 points. This year, Trinity Christian come back with an even stronger team and beat us by 42 points. That doesn’t mean that Seton didn’t swim well though. Prior to the meet, I scored the psych sheet and we were looking at a 64 point loss. So we outswam our seeds to the tune of 22 points – pretty strong.
For our girls, this was the first time in the 23 year history of DAC Swimming that our girls were beaten in the Conference Championship meet. The loss of so many seniors last year plus the loss of three key upperclassmen on the girl’s side left us unable to handle the talented – and young – TCS girls team. But, as anyone who watched our middle school girls this season knows, we’ll be back!
Congratulations Trinity Christian School Girls! All of us who watched their Coach, Andy Gingrich, their Athletic Director, Cheryl King, and their DAC Champs meet host, Jennifer Fletcher, work last Saturday night could have nothing but admiration for what they have put together in such a short time. I think they can give Hampton Roads Academy a run for the VISAA Division II title and, at a minimum, I don’t see anyone who can keep them from winning the State runner-up – except maybe Seton 😉
Fortunately for us though, the Athletic Directors decided earlier this year that the actual DAC conference champion would be determined by the results of everyone’s first meeting during the regular season. By virtue of the fact that we were undefeated against all conference teams during our first regular season meetings, both our Boys and our Girls are repeat conference champions.
For the Seton’s Girls, it is our 23nd consecutive DAC Conference championship in swimming. For Seton’s Boys, this was our 20th DAC Conference championship.
Here’s how the final scores looked on Saturday.
Trinity Christian School 311
Fredericksburg Christian 165
Fredericksburg Academy 124
Chelsea Academy 21
Wakefield Country Day 17
Fredericksburg Christian 188
Fredericksburg Academy 168
Trinity Christian School 139
St. Michael the Archangel 85
Chelsea Academy 43
Randolph-Macon Academy 41
Wakefield Country Day 32
The DAC is Getting More Competitive
One thing is for sure, DAC Swimming has gotten a lot more competitive, and I don’t think that is going to change anytime soon. Here’s a trend of the DAC Championship Meet scores since 2003. You can see that for many years, we would regularly double or nearly double the 2nd place team’s score – but not any longer.
I was looking back at 2010. At the DAC Championship meet, we won every single event except for the Girls Medley relay, which had just won by more than a length of the pool but was DQ’d (I’ll never forget that! ;-)). That year, we also held every single DAC Short-course yard record except the 50 Free – we had three girls that year who could all go much faster than the record but didn’t get the chance because DAC Champs was held in a meter pool.
But those days are behind us. With the emergence of Trinity Christian and Fredericksburg Christian, we are going to have to earn every victory for the foreseeable future.
And that’s OK because it is just going to make us better. We do our best when we are pushed, and we are now being pushed. If you’ve been watching many of the younger swimmers on our team this year, I think you are going to see that we are up for the challenge!
Medal Winners and All-Conference Swimmers for Seton
One unique form of recognition available to our swimmers at this meet was the possibility of being designated “All-Conference”. All-Conference recognition goes to any swimmer that gets a gold, silver or bronze medal in an individual event.
One thing that you will notice is that we only had a single Gold medal in the entire meet, yet we won the girls handily and almost won the boys. That’s what happens when so many different swimmers can score, even our younger swimmers. It is very cool to have two (2) 8th graders on this list!
Here are Seton’s and Wakefield Country Day’s All-Conference Swimmers for 2016-2017:
- Lucas DuMez (SR) is a 2X DAC Champion and a 2X All-Conference swimmer after winning both of his individual events by very wide margins. In 100 Fly, Lucas came in just .02 seconds off of Alec Morin’s (St. Michael) 2014 meet record of 53.33, but he was up to the challenge. Lucas popped a 53.18, broke the record and won the Gold Medal by almost 3.5 seconds. Then in 100 Back, Lucas again crushed both the field – this time by nearly 7 seconds – and his personal record to go 54.51 and take his second Gold medal of the night. For his great swimming, Lucas was voted by the Coaches the co-Swimmer of the Meet with another superstar from Wakefield School, Nick McGrath. Nick also an Alec Morin meet record, in the 50 Free with a blazing time of 21.66.
- Anna Kenna (JR) is a DAC Champion and 2X All-Conference swimmer! In spite of the fact that Anna wasn’t feeling well, she smoked the 50 Free field to win the Gold medal by 1.68 seconds, and she took the Silver medal in 100 Back against the eventual swimmer of the meet while fighting off a migraine. That race seemed to fire Anna up a bit, because her anchor leg on our Gold medal 400 Free Relay was the highlight of the night for me. The anchor for the Trinity Christian girls took off 1.19 seconds ahead of Anna, and that lead was nearly gone by the first wall. Anna’s relay start, underwater and breakout was so powerful that, even though she was racing a very talented TCS girl, the race almost didn’t look fair. In the end, she split a season best 53.30 with a small fever and a big headache. I think she’s ready to head to States!
- Mairead Geiran (8) has been sick in bed for much of the past week and a half, but that didn’t stop her from becoming the DAC Champion and All-Conference in 100 Free! It was a very close race the whole way against TCS superstar Junior Laurel Schmidt, but sick or not, Mairead was not going to let Laurel take the Gold. Mairead also took 4th in 100 Fly. (I literally just noticed as I am writing that I entered a girl who I knew had been sick nearly up to the day of the meet in two back-to-back 100 yard sprints. Not a very good job on that coach’s part, but somehow, she still won the second of those sprints!)
- Reilly Cuccinelli (SR) may have had the meet of her life on Saturday night, and that performance got her a Silver medal, All-Conference honors, two new State cuts and two huge PRs! In 100 Free, Reilly broke the 1:00 minute barrier (59.53) with a 2.86 second PR to take 4th place, and later in 100 Breaststroke, she swam a huge 2.78 second PR to jump up from her 5th seed all the way to the Silver medal! Incredible swimming Reilly!
- Alex Ceol (JR) was awesome in the 200 Free while young Jerry Dalrymple (8) gave him all he could handle. Alex ended up popping a 4.69 second PR with a very strong 2:04.03 to take the Bronze medal and the accompanying All-Conference Alex also swam a blazing 54.03 in 100 Free to take 4th place behind a very fast field. We’re going to miss Alex at States this year, but I’m looking forward to him showing me a State Championship trophy from VEX States!
- Dani Flook (SR) made the most of her senior season with two medals and 2X All-Conference honor with a Silver medal in the 500 Free and a Bronze medal in the 200 Free.
- David Flook (FR) also brought home All-Conference honors with a Bronze medal in the 200 IM after a 3.31 second PR. That swim also got David his first individual State cut. Three of the top 4 finishers in that race were Freshman or younger, so I think we’re in for some good races in the future. David also took 8th in the 500 Free, just missing the State cut after a .84 second PR.
Shaking Up the State Meet Entries
The State Championship Meet is this Friday and Saturday, February 17-18th. I have submitted our State Meet entries, and they are now posted. We are bringing 23 Seton swimmers and one (1) Wakefield Country Day swimmer to the Christiansburg Aquatic Center this year.
I published a draft of our entries prior to DAC Champs knowing that some good swimming this past weekend could changes things – and it definitely did. I’ve made numerous changes and didn’t do a good job of keeping track of all of them, so if I missed one, please don’t hesitate to let me know:
- Jerry Dalrymple’s (8) entries changed quite a bit. His 4.26 second PR in the 500 Free got him the cut so he’s now one of only three boys that hit an individual cut. Jerry also rocked his 50 Fly leg on the “B” medley relay with a 28.02 and jumped onto the “B” medley relay for States. He missed the “A” relay by only .02 seconds!
- David Flook (FR) is now swimming in the 200 IM, as previously mentioned
- Reilly Cuccinelli (SR) got two individual state cuts this past weekend in 100 Free and 100 Breast with the two huge PRs I’ve previously mentioned. Because Reilly is swimming in three (3) “A” relays and 100 Breaststroke is right before the 400 Free Relay, she won’t be swimming 100 Breaststroke at States.
- Dani Flook (SR) had a plan going into the 500 Free and it worked – she got the cut! That made Dani our 5th individual qualifier for the Seton girls.
- Kevin Geiran (JR) absolutely rocked his leg of the 400 Free relay going 55.97. That’s the fastest split this season (other than Alex Ceol who is not going to States) so it jumped him from the “B” 400 Free Relay to the “A” Relay. It was really an amazing swim considering that his PR is 57.69.
- Katherine Rowzie (FR) and Kathleen O’Malley (FR) both had a good night, starting with them both qualifying on the 200 Free Relay. That gave me enough qualified swimmers to enter a “B” relay for the Girls 200 Free Relay. Kathleen also hit the cut for the Bonus 50 Free – so she now has two more swims at States.
We had 40 personal records on Saturday which means that exactly 50% of our individual swims resulted in a lifetime best – not a bad way to end the conference season! And remember as you are looking through these notes that finishes up through 12th place scored points in this meet.
Here are the personal records that I have not already mentioned:
- Anne Kontanty (FR) finished the season where she began it – with huge time drops. Incredibly, Anne dropped another 6.18 seconds in the 500 Free to score in 7th place – she’s now very close to breaking that 7:00 barrier. And also dropped 8.60 seconds in the 200 IM. Can’t wait to see what she can do next season!
- Josh Miller (SR) was all smiles after his 100 Fly. How about a 2.83 second PR to jump up to 7th place!
- Katharine Rowzie (FR) had a breakout season for sure, and she ended it with a bang. How about a 6.04 second PR in the 500 Free and a 6.26 second PR in the 200 Free. Those swims were good enough for 4th and 6th place respectively!
- Dominic Wittlinger (JR) swam like a very determined young man on Saturday. He scored in 10th place with a 11.32 second PR in 500 Free, and he scored in 6th place with a .69 second PR in 200 IM. Dominic also led off the 400 Free Relay with a .62 second PR in 100 Free.
- Christian Ceol’s (FR) backstroke never looked so good, so I wasn’t surprised at all to see him PR by a whopping 5.36 seconds.
- Jeremy Kleb (FR) was awesome in the 200 IM, and it showed in his time – a 4.80 second PR to score in 8th
- Seamus Koehr (JR) had a tremendous swim in 100 Breaststroke, lowering his PR by 1.10 seconds to 1:12.31, the fastest on the team right now.
- Peter Tozzi (FR) had a great meet with two big PRs. In 100 Fly, he cut 3.76 seconds to score in 9th place and in 50 Free, he cut .43 seconds. The kid is getting fast!
- Kathleen Phillippe (JR) WCDS took her first shot at the 200 Free on Saturday and sure made the most of it. I was so pleased to see her cut 21.29 seconds from her Personal Record in the event. Kathryn also told me she’s been working on 100 Breaststroke, and it definitely showed with a huge 8.62 second PR!
- Bridget Larsen (JR) WCDS has been coming all the way from Winchester to practice with us for Wakefield Country Day. She was trying to improve her 100 Fly – and she did. I was so pleased to see her cut .48 seconds to go a very competitive 1:09.29. She singlehandedly scored all 17 points for WCDS’s girls. Bridget was such a joy to coach – I hope she comes back next season.
- Katya Konstanty (JR) really had a great swim in 100 Fly, beating her previous best by 6.17 seconds!
- Maria Tozzi (8) doesn’t swim like she’s only in 8th I was so pleased to see her cut 5.92 seconds from her 500 Free PR.
- Julia Rowzie (JR) showed her versatility by excelling in the 200 Free on Saturday and cutting 2.49 seconds from her PR.
- Ashley Cackett (JR) had a great swim in the 200 IM, cutting 1.77 seconds from her PR to score in 10th
- Grant Mantooth (SR) pulled out the cool new suit and used it to propel himself to a blazing 56.73 in 100 Free, .64 seconds faster than his previous PR.
- Ben Ceol (JR) somehow just keeps getting faster in the 50 Free. On Saturday, he went 25.49 which was .36 seconds faster than his previous best and scored in 9th
- Matthew Kelly (SO) once told me he was a “sprinter”. Well for a sprinter, he sure seemed to do well in the 200 Free. He cut another 1.23 seconds in the event and scored in 8th There is no doubt that Matthew can also sprint though, and he showed me that with his .08 second PR in the 50 Free to go 26.37.
- Jerry Dalymple (8) did a lot of great things on Saturday, and one that I haven’t had a chance to mention yet was his 1.98 second PR in 200 Free. That swim scored in 4th
- Justin Fioramonti (FR) wrapped up his season in style with a 10th place scoring finish and a .30 second PR in 100 Back. Can’t wait to get Justin back next year!
- Kalli Dalrymple (JR) got the elusive PR she’s been seeking all season – a lifetime best in 50 Free!
- Kevin Geiran (JR) didn’t just rock his relays, he also cut 1.52 seconds in 100 Back, a swim good enough for 6th place
- Kathleen O’Malley (FR) did more than get the bonus 50 Free cut for States. She also cut .22 seconds in 100 Free.
- Shane Koehr (FR) took advantage of his extra swim in 50 Free to cut another .06 from his PR
Some Final Notes on States
I’ve posted a document called “Everything You Need to Know About States” in the hopes that it literally tells you that. I’m continually updating it as plans firm up.
A few things I’d like to highlight from that document:
- Our team uniform at States is an embroidered Rugby shirt. If you got one last year, don’t forget to bring it. If you are new to the State team this year, you can thank Mrs. Kenna for making the arrangements to get one for you.
- If they come in early, I’ll ask The Chief if you can wear them to school on Thursday.
- By now, ever swimmer that is going should have a ride and a room with a parent or someone a parent designates.
- The admission fees set by VISAA are pretty stout: $10/person/day with a $30/day family maximum. I fought it all the way to the top of VISAA, but I lost.
- Any team member in a team uniform will be admitted for free, so where your Seton Swimming Rugby shirt!
- Several of the State Team members are swimming on only one of the two days. I will leave it up to the parents, but they are welcomed to participate in everything with us even on the days that they are not swimming. Seniors are also welcomed to join us.
Two more practices – let’s get ready to race!
Coach Jim Koehr