Each year we kick off our season with a Time Trial Meet at the Fitch Warrenton Aquatic and Recreation Facility (WARF) with a few goals in mind:

  • Ensure that we have good baseline times on every swimmer against which we can measure improvement and with which we can prepare our meet and relay entries
  • Ensure that everyone clearly understands how Seton Swimming operates at a Meet, particularly arriving on time, warming-up efficiently, showing great respect for the national anthem, getting behind the blocks in time for your events without assistance, and starting a race with the whistle rather than voice commands.
  • Ensure that we have all of the parent volunteers and supplies that we need to run our meets

If those were the goals for our Time Trial meet on Friday, November 17th, then I would have to say that we were highly successful.  Not only did we accomplish those goals, but several swimmers made their presence known, especially several young swimmers.  Watching the swimmers on Friday gave me a lot of faith in the future of Seton Swimming for sure.  As you read through this blog, notice how many of the great swims were from kids who were a freshman or younger – it is really amazing, particularly on the girl’s side.

Normally, we would have had our Time Trial meet earlier in the season so that we could better capture from where everyone was starting, but we made adjustments this year in an attempt to accommodate girls cross country.  I’m sorry to say that my attempts to accommodate them caused many more problems than it solved, so we will be returning to our traditional schedule next season.  We’ll have to work out something with the cross country teams separately.

A Coming Out Party for Several Young Swimmers

Another thing that invariably happens at Time Trials is that one or more swimmers have a performance that pleasantly surprises me and the other coaches.  Often, it is a very pleasant surprise from a new swimmer – which we had – but this year, we also had several surprises from returning swimmers who have made tremendous strides since last season.

Here are some of the swimmers who made a real impression on me with their performance on Friday night – and note how old they are.  The future for Seton looks bright:

  • Drew Dalrymple (FR) just rocked on Friday night with big a PR in every single event. Drew cut 29.03 seconds in 200 Free, 14.22 seconds in 100 Breast, 5.59 seconds in 100 Free (to go 58.86!), 5.23 seconds in 100 Back, 1.63 seconds in 50 Fly and .68 seconds in 50 FR.  Drew, only a freshman, now has the 5th fastest 50 Free time on the team!
  • Jerry Dalrymple (8) was even more stunning with his 5.34 second PR in 100 Free to take 2nd the intra-squad event with a 57.76. Even accounting for the upper-classmen missing for to setup the enthronement dance, Jerry is now has the 2nd fastest 100 Free time on the team!  Jerry also had a 12.24 second PR in 50 Back, an 8.65 second PR in 100 Breast, a 2.61 second PR in 50 Fly and a 1.11 second PR in 50 Free.  For the night, Jerry never placed lower than 3rd.  It is going to be exciting to see what Drew and Jerry can do this year and in the future.
  • Theresa McGrath (7) gave us coaches plenty to be excited about. We actually had her best USA times and she has already shown bit improvement in the strokes on which we have worked.  How about a 3.01 second drop in 100 Free and a 2.48 second drop in 100 Back.  Theresa’s 100 Free time is 1:05.23, her 100 Back time is 1:15.04 and her 100 Breaststroke time is 1:19.44 – all very fast times for a 7th  I can’t wait to further refine her strokes and see what she can do!
  • Emily Flynn (7) is clearly going to be a good one for Seton over the next six (6) years. She had some very impressive times for a 7th grader including 1:05.82 for 100 Free and 1:17.63 for 100 Back.  Emily swims very strong in the water, and as we continue to work on her strokes, I’d say that the sky’s the limit for her in VISAA Swimming.
  • Matthew Kelly (SO) just moved to the area from New Mexico to go to Seton, and I am sure glad that he did! Every time he hit the water, I did a double take to see who was swimming so well.  As he continues to improve his strokes between now and Christmas, I can’t wait to see how fast he can go.  It already looks to me like we will be seeing Matthew on some of our scoring relays and maybe even on some “A” Relays.
  • Isabelle Luevano (7) had family visiting from out of town so she was unable to make it to Time Trials, but her mother was able to send me some of her recent times. Wow!  With those times, she’s right in the same league as Theresa McGrath and Emily Flynn – that’s a pretty strong core group of very fast 7th grade girls we’re starting the season with.

107 Personal Records for 72 Swimmers!

From our first practice until Christmas, we will use large chunks of our practice time to build every stroke and every wall from scratch.  With the delay in when we had our time trials, we’ve gotten to the point we have largely covered freestyle already – and boy did we see the results of our work!

As you will see throughout the season, I will meticulously track Personal Records or “PRs” (i.e. Best Times) for each swimmer.  Here are the swimmers not previously mentioned who swam at least one PR:

  • Caroline Griffin (FR) crushed it with six (6) Personal Records. You can see from watching her swim that, as she matures, she is getting more comfortable with the execution of her strokes.  On Friday, Caroline cut 7.34 seconds in 100 Breast, 3.83 seconds in 200 Free, 2.53 seconds in 50 Fly, 1.05 seconds in 50 Free, .74 seconds in 100 Free and .63 seconds in 100 Back.  Her 1:09.13 in 100 Back qualified for National Catholics and almost hit the State cut!
  • Justin Fioramonti (FR) had a heck of a night with a PR in every single event. How about an 8.25 second PR in 200 Free, a 1.80 second PR in 100 FR, a 1.65 second PR in 100 Back, a 1.17 second PR in 50 Fly, a 1.00 second PR in 100 Breast, and a .82 second PR in 50 Free?
  • Jeremy Kleb (FR) had some exciting performances including a 33.81 second PR in 200 Free, a 16.25 second PR in 100 Back, a 6.97 second PR in 50 Fly, a 3.75 second PR in 100 Free, and a .26 second PR in 50 Free. Those are some really big drops Jeremy!
  • Julia Rowzie (JR) came on strong at the end of last season, particularly for our 400 Free Relay, so I was happy to see the trend continue already this year. Julia cut another 1.67 seconds from her 100 Free PR.  She also cut 15.60 seconds in 200 Free, 9.55 seconds in 100 Breast, 4.88 seconds in 50 Fly, and 4.84 seconds in 100 Back.
  • Katharine Rowzie (FR) also had some very good swims including her 25.75 second PR in 200 Free, her 6.79 second PR in 50 Fly, her 2.70 second PR in 100 Free, her .75 second PR in 100 Breast and her .60 second PR in 50 Free.
  • Seamus Koehr (JR) had a really big drop in 100 Breaststroke – and we haven’t even worked on Breaststroke yet. How about that 2.79 second PR!   Seamus also had a huge 3.75 second drop in 100 Free.  I can see already that Seamus will be scoring a lot of points for Seton this season!
  • Shane Koehr (FR) was a runaway winner of most improved swimmer last season, and he’s already got a good start on continued improvement this season. Shane cut 15.29 seconds in 200 Free, 4.48 seconds in 50 Fly, 2.21 seconds in 100 Free, 1.27 seconds in 100 Breast and .36 seconds in 50 Free.
  • Alex Ceol (JR) had a fun race in 50 Free, winning the intra-squad event over Drew Dalrymple by just .01 seconds. In the process, Alex cut .60 seconds from his PR.  Alex also won 100 Free with a 1.05 second PR, won 50 Fly with a .20 second PR, and got 3rd in 100 Back with a .37 second PR.
  • Ben Ceol (JR) had a couple impressive PRs including a 8.08 second PR in 50 Fly and a 2.30 second PR in 100 Free.
  • Christian Ceol (FR) finished a strong night for the Ceol-Team with big PRs in 100 Back (by 8.12 seconds) and 100 Free (by 6.07 seconds).
  • Brendan Santschi (JR) can do more than compose great music – he can also cut 5.01 seconds in 100 Breast, .65 seconds in 100 Back, .64 seconds in 50 Fly and .23 seconds in 50 Free.
  • Nick Foeckler (JR) is back on the swim team after a year’s hiatus, and he is really looking good. His three (3) PRs on Friday night included a 54.36 second PR in 100 Breast, a 19.06 second PR in 50 Fly, a 17.44 second PR in 200 Free and a 4.36 second PR in 100 Back!
  • Anne Konstanty (FR) had a wonderful start to her season with PRs in 200 Free (by 14.16 seconds), 100 Free (by 4.08 seconds) and 100 Back (by 1.11 seconds).
  • Katya Konstanty (JR) also performed very well on Friday night with five (5) PRs including a 30.06 second drop in 200 Free, a 3.91 second drop in 50 Fly, a 1.55 second drop in 100 Breast, a 1.48 second drop in 100 Free and a 1.29 second drop in 100 Back.
  • Patrick Murray (JR) had to have a big smile on his face when he saw that he cut 31.02 seconds from his 100 Breast PR. I’m sure he also smiled after cutting 5.58 seconds in 50 Fly.
  • Kalli Dalrymple (JR) had a strong meet with three (3) PRs. In 50 Fly she cut 1.60 seconds, in 100 Back she cut .98 seconds and in 100 Free she cut .41 seconds.
  • Dani Flook (SR) is back at Seton, and we are very lucky to have her. I was very pleased to see her 9.02 second PR in 100 Breaststroke too.
  • Bernadette Hassan (SO) swam very well on Friday night. I was so pleased to see her drop 7.49 seconds in 100 Free, 5.03 seconds in 200 Free, and 1.62 seconds in 100 Back.
  • Liam Kellogg (8) lowered his 100 Breast PR by 6.51 seconds, his 100 Back PR by 5.97 seconds and his 100 Free PR by 5.58 seconds.
  • Katie Dealey (FR) showed a lot of improvement already with her 7.59 second PR in 200 Free, her 1.24 second PR in 100 Free and her .24 second PR in 100 Breast.
  • David Flook (FR) is going to be key to the competitiveness of our team this season so I was happy to see him PR in 100 Breast (by 1.53 seconds) this early in the season.
  • Mairead Geiran (FR) is also going to be a real player for us this season, with the potential to be the 2nd leading scorer on the girl’s side. Her back stroked looked better than ever when she swam a .74 second PR so early in the season.
  • Peter Tozzi (FR) swam well with a 7.47 second PR in 200 Free and a 4.82 second PR in 50 Fly.
  • Maria Tozzi (8) also swam well cutting 1.24 seconds from her 100 Free PR, .62 seconds from her 50 Fly PR and .46 seconds from her 50 Free PR.
  • Julianna Holmes (SR) is back for her senior year and has already showed improvement with a 6.75 second PR in 100 Breast and a 4.07 second PR in 50 Fly.
  • Kathleen O’Malley (FR) has been looking very good in practice so I was very pleased to see her 1.50 second PR in 50 Fly and her 1.38 second PR in 200 Free.
  • Mary Ostrich (SO) cut 4.60 seconds in 50 Fly.
  • Katie Albin (FR) cut .84 seconds in 50 Fly and .24 seconds in 100 Back. I’m looking forward to see how much she can improve this year!

Other Great Performances

I’m not completely diligent at this because I’m so ADD, but here are some other great things I remember or took notes on from the meet:

  • Meghan Curley (SR) is one of those rare kids who is willing to put themselves outside of their comfort zone and try something new as a senior. I am so pleased to have Meghan on the team.  I really wish I would have taken the time to just time her in 50 and 100 Free on the first day she came to practice, but I’m sure the times she swam on Friday were dramatically better.  Meghan has shown tremendous improvement in freestyle.
  • Reilly Cuccinelli (SR) has shown that she can take her role as a captain seriously. Meghan Curley had never swum Breaststroke in her whole life, so as we were discussing whether or not she should swim it to get a time anyway, Reilly jumped in and asked, “Can I take her over there and try to show her?”.  You bet you can Reilly!
  • Anna Kenna (JR), Cat Pechie (JR) and Seamus Koehr (JR) showed me that they were serious about becoming really good Captains. I loved how well they did organizing the team at the beginning of the meet and encouraging swimmers as they got out of the water.
  • Dominic Wittlinger (JR) showed me some pretty good effort on Friday.
  • Caroline Pechie (7), Mary O’Malley (7) and Sophia Zadnik (7) are three more 7th grade girls that are showing some very good early potential. I think that whole class has the potential to do something very special at the State level before they graduate.

Our Sister Teams Swam Well Also

I’m very pleased that the Seton Swim Coaches are also the coaches for two other schools: Renaissance Montessori School and Wakefield Country Day School (WCDS).  In addition, we’ve been doing everything we can to help out the up and coming Chelsea Academy Swim team.   We had a couple of members of these teams come out to our Time Trial Meet including:

  • Janey Olohan (8) from Chelsea Academy swam high school PRs in all six of her events! Janey cut 8.25 seconds in 200 Free, 5.67 seconds in 100 Breast, 4.50 seconds in 100 Free,  81 seconds in 100 Back, 1.90 seconds in 50 Free and 1.14 seconds in 50 Fly!
  • Ethiana Hasch (7) from Renaissance Montessori School has brought a smile with her to practice every day this season, and she brought the same smile to the meet on Friday night. I was very pleased to see how well she did, and I can’t wait to see how much better she can do by the end of the season.
  • Kathryn Phillippe (JR) from Wakefield Country Day School also came out to swim with us on Friday night. It was great that she had the courage to come out by herself so that we could all get to know her.  I’m looking forward to be on deck with Kathryn.

Opportunities to Improve

Considering this was our first time operating in a Meet format this season, I was generally very pleased with how we did.  I was particularly pleased with how seriously you all took our rehearsal of the National Anthem.  However, there were a few areas where I’d love to see some improvement for our first meet on December 2nd

  • Unlike summer swimming, there is no mother running a clerk of course to make sure that you are all in the proper lane at the proper time. You are swimming on a high school swim team now, so we make the assumptions that you can get yourself to where you are supposed to be.  Our started waited for swimmers to get to the blocks far too often.  On December 2nd, they will not wait – you will just be disqualified.
  • I was pleased to see you all having fun at the meet, talking and laughing with each other on deck – but we have to remember to be quiet for the start once the referee blows that long whistle.
  • Seton Swimming is not an individual sport, so you are not done with you are personally finished swimming your events. Please don’t leave the deck and take a shower before all of your teammates are done swimming
  • We had a few swimmers miss the meet without telling me. At Time Trials, it’s really not hard to deal with that because there are no relays, but for a regular season meet, we just cannot have that happen.  If you were ever the one who had to rearrange the relays on deck right before the meet is about to start while 60 or 70 kids are floating around and asking questions, they I promise you, you would never fail to e-mail if you or your kid cannot make it to a meet.  And please use e-mail – don’t just tell me.

Final Notes

  • It was really great to have Noah on deck with us on Friday night. He even jumped in as a timer.  Gotta love that!
  • We’ll continue our work on the backstroke this week – so don’t miss practice!
  • On New Year’s Eve, December 31st, we’ll have our annual Cystic-Fibrosis swim-a-thon. Thanks again to the Given family for running it again.  I’ll pass on more information as I get it, but I can tell you now that I’m looking forward to doing a better job of raising money for this great cause than I did last year.

I have been so pleased to see so many of you on deck with me and the other coaches for morning practice.  Your smiles, your laughter and your desire to get better make it fun for me also.

See you Monday morning,

Coach Jim Koehr

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