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 swimmers who are new to the team.  Watching the swimmers on Friday gave me a lot of faith in the future of Seton Swimming for sure.

A Coming Out Party for Some New Swimmers

One thing that invariably happens at Time Trials is that one or more new swimmers surprise me.  This year was no different:

  • Jacob Alsup (SO) rocked all evening long. With very little training under his belt, he competed in the fastest heats with the fastest Seton swimmers and thrived.  He even broke 1:00 in 100 Free.  I can’t wait until we finish working on his strokes and he gets in better shape!
  • Felix Seoh (SR) came out for the team for the first time as a senior and made me wish he’d been with us all along. He could fly in the sprints, swimming the 3rd fastest time on the team in 100 Free and the 4th fastest time in 50 Free.  Felix also had a great swim in 100 Breaststroke where he swam the 3rd fastest time on the team.  Felix will be swimming with Coach Lowell for the rest of the season.
  • Brian McWilliams (SR) is another senior who is on the Seton Swim Team for the first time, and I cannot wait to keep working with his strokes. He’s big and athletic, so now all we have to do is direct all of that energy forward.  With some very fast times already, I’m really looking forward to seeing how fast Brian can get.
  • Simon Seoh (8) is only in 8th grade but he swims like he is much older. I can already see that he is capable of swimming all four (4) strokes competitively.  I can’t wait to work with him to improve his strokes and then really see what Simon can do!
  • Annie Cuccinelli (SO) decided that it was important to replace her sister so we didn’t have a year without a Cuccinelli, and boy am I happy about that! I was very pleased with what I saw from Annie on Friday – I think she will score some serious points for us this season.
  • Ellie Flook (FR) looked very strong all night, swimming times that are very competitive for a Freshman. I was particularly impressed with her freestyle and backstroke, but I can see already that Ellie can do all four (4) strokes.

Some Experienced Swimmers Have Really Improved!

Every year, we have experienced swimmers who worked hard over the summer or joined a USA Swimming Club – or both – and start the season with a bang:

  • Anne Konstanty (SO) is killing it already this year. She had five (5) huge PRs and is quickly emerging as one of Seton’s top swimmers.  How about an 11.23 second PR in 100 Back, a 6.15 second PR in 100 Breast, a 5.52 second PR in 50 Fly, a 5.51 second PR in 100 Free and a 0.83 second PR in 50 Free?  Well done Anne!
  • Elizabeth Caron (FR) is off to a great start with a PR in everything she swam. Her most impressive PR came in 100 Breaststroke where she cut 6.48 seconds.  Equally impressive PRs came in 50 and 100 Free where she cut 1.32 seconds and 2.96 seconds, respectively.  Elizabeth also cut 2.96 seconds in 50 Fly and 0.06 seconds in 100 Back.
  • Ben Ceol (SR) had the fastest 50 Free of the night, in spite of the fact that most of top sprinters from last year were back. It is fun watching Ben get serious about this for his senior year.  Ben also lowered his 50 Fly PR by a whopping 2.86 seconds.
  • David Flook (SO) was awesome in a stroke that we don’t usually see him swim – breaststroke. He cut 4.09 seconds from his PR while swimming the fastest time in the meet.  David may have just established himself as our best four (4) stroke male swimmer.
  • Emily Flynn (8) showed a lot of potential last season as a 7th grader, but after a 3.06 second PR in 100 Back, she’s starting the season with a very competitive time. Emily also cut 2.27 seconds in 100 Breaststroke.
  • Caroline Griffin (SO) took 1st of 2nd in every event Friday night, including three (3) PRs of more than 2.00 seconds. She cut 2.83 seconds in 100 Free, 2.83 seconds in 100 Breast, and 2.31 seconds in 50 Fly.
  • Julia Rowzie (SR) took a strong position on our freestyle relays at the end of last year, but this year, she has already emerged as one of our top freestylers. Not only did she swim the fastest 50 Free of the night, she cut 1.12 seconds in 100 Free to swim 3rd  Julia also cut 4.93 seconds in 100 Back, 1.00 seconds in 50 Fly and 0.96 seconds in 100 Breast.
  • Mary Heim (JR) is back after taking a season off and has already emerged as one of our top swimmers, particularly in Breaststroke where she swam the fastest time of the night. Mary also showed that she can play a role in our freestyle relays with a 4.13 second PR in 100 Free after only a few practices!
  • Therese Pechie (JR) is also back after taking a year off, and she really turned my head Friday night. Her 50 Fly was beautiful!  I didn’t even have to look at the clock to know that she swam a big PR (it turned out to be 3.89 seconds!).  She also cut 4.20 seconds in 100 Back and 3.05 seconds in 100 Breast.
  • Katharine Rowzie (SO) had a great swim in 100 Free with a 0.61 second PR. Her time was the 2nd fastest time swum by a female on Friday.

89 Personal Records Already!

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 have 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:

  • Liam Kellogg (FR) had a great night of swimming with five (5) PRs in 200 Free (by 10.74 seconds), 50 Fly (by 4.75 seconds), 100 Back (by 2.41 seconds, 100 Breast (by 2.07 seconds, and 100 Free (by 1.55 seconds).
  • Katya Konstanty (SR) looked very good on Friday with a 9.47 second PR in 100 Back, a 2.62 second PR in 50 Fly and a 2.58 second PR in 100 Free.
  • Teresa Bingham (8) cut a huge 7.72 seconds in 100 Back! She also cut 1.49 seconds in 100 Free and 0.92 seconds in 100 Breaststroke.
  • Alex Ceol (SR), the fastest butterflier on our team, has already lowered his PR in 50 Fly after cutting 0.42 seconds.
  • Katie Albin (SO) dropped 4.64 seconds in 100 Back with a time under 1:20. It is great to see Katie swimming well in all four (4) strokes.
  • Ben Dealey (SR) is back for his senior year and already showed he is .11 seconds faster in 50 Fly.
  • Joey Dealey (7) is on the team officially for the first time, but I had some times on his from Time Trials last year. How did he drop 15.81 seconds in 100 Back!?  Joey also cut 5.70 seconds in 200 Free, 2.65 seconds in 50 Fly and 1.42 seconds in 100 Free.
  • Justin Fioramonti (SO) had a great swim in 50 Fly, dropping 6.48 seconds. He also dropped 0.68 seconds in 100 Free, a good sign for Justin this early in the season.
  • Brian Geiran (7) showed what a good swimmer he’d going to be in the future with some very impressive times. Like Joey, I had some times on Brian from last year’s Time Trials, so I could see some very big drops.  95 seconds in 100 Back, 5.49 seconds in 100 Breast, 4.01 seconds in 100 Free and 1.97 seconds in 50 Fly – all big drops!
  • Connor Given (SR) last swam in the ’12-’13 season as a 7th grader, so it feels like Connor is a new swimmer – again. I was so pleased with the way Connor swam, particularly in freestyle.  That swimming resulted in five (5) PRs for Connor on Friday night
  • Maddie Given (8) also had two PRs, including a 1.87 second PR in 100 Back and a 1.09 second PR in 100 Free.
  • Dominic Hartung (SO) last swam as an 8th grader in the ’14-’15 season, but he is already showing tremendous improvement. Dominic had a PR in every event he swam with a couple of them more than 10 seconds.  He cut 19.62 seconds in 50 Fly, 11.89 seconds in 100 Back, 8.63 seconds in 100 Free, 3.93 seconds in 100 Breast and 0.92 seconds in 50 Free.
  • Ruthie Hartung (SR) also last swam two season ago, but that didn’t keep her from four (4) PRs on Friday. 50 seconds in 100 Breast, 2.94 seconds in 100 Free, 2.67 seconds in 100 Back and 0.85 seconds in 50 Fly.  Nice work Ruthie!
  • Virginia Hartung (FR), like her siblings, also took last season off and showed that she is back stronger than ever. She had five (5) PRs in 50 Fly (by 3.49 seconds), 100 Breast (by 2.88 seconds), 200 Free (by 1.32 seconds), 100 Free (by 0.96 seconds), and 100 Back (by 0.82 seconds).
  • Matthew Kelly (JR) stepped up as a future leader on our team with his three (3) PR night. He cut 3.38 seconds in 100 Breast, 1.79 seconds in 50 Fly and 0.25 seconds in 100 Free.
  • Timmy Kelly (FR) matched his brother’s three (3) PR performance with a 13.89 second PR in 100 Back, a 9.81 second PR in 100 Breast and a 3.23 second PR in 100 Free.
  • Jeremy Kleb (SO) had a strong night of swimming, including a 0.22 second PR in 50 Fly.
  • Shane Koehr (SO) dropped 1.89 seconds in 50 Fly and 0.92 seconds in 100 Free. Shane is very close to breaking 1:00 in 100 Free now, and looks to be one of our top backstrokers this season.
  • Mary Ostrich (JR) broke :30 in 50 Fly after a 1.25 second PR.
  • Caroline Pechie (8) sure looked good in that 100 Free, cutting 5.26 seconds. Nice work Caroline!
  • Kevin Rodriquez (8) had a great swim in 100 Back with a 7.96 second PR.
  • Joseph Rowzie (8) showed what a big future he can have at Seton with four (4) PRs including a 29.84 second PR in 200 Free, a 1.05 second PR in 100 Back, a 0.11 second PR in 100 Free and a 0.03 second PR in 100 Breast.
  • Samantha Wong (JR) is back with us from our sister team, Renaissance Montessori School. She’s already showing improvement with a 2.96 second PR in 50 Free.

Lucy Avila Set a Great Example

Lucy Avila really impressed me on Friday night.  There were a lot of swimmers on deck who were swimming in a competitive situation for the first time in their lives.  That can be intimidating, and even scary.  I was so pleased to see her overcome her fears and do so well.

One of the things that I want all of our swimmers to learn while you are part of our team is that you can almost always do more than you think you can do.  The only way you are going to learn that is to try your best to everything you can, even when you think you can’t.

Other Swims that Caught My Eye

A huge percentage of the swimmers in the water didn’t have a previous time against which I could compare so it’s a little more difficult to tell how well they did.  In spite of that, there were some swimmers who caught my eye anyway:

  • Theresa Dwane (SO) is a first year swimmer at Seton as a sophomore, and I really liked what I saw. I can see that her freestyle has already improved since the beginning of the season, but I also like what I saw with her Breaststroke.
  • Hailey Reddington (7) was swimming with a cast on her arm! I was so pleased to see that she didn’t let that stop her.  You can always do more than you think you can Hailey – like competing with a cast on!
  • Gemma Flook (7) has the potential to be a really great swimmer for Seton. Not only does she have a great attitude out of the water, she’s very fast for a 7th  It is going to be fun working with her strokes and seeing how far she can go!
  • Maggie Kleb (8) joined the team on Friday so Time Trials was her first activity with our team. I really liked what I saw from her – now let’s get to work and see how fast we can get Maggie!
  • Céilí Koehr (8) is at Seton for the first time. She’s had 9 of her 10 siblings on the team before her, so I’m very excited to see her the water with us.  Few people on the team do the drills at practice as beautifully as Céilí, so I’m excited to see how her improved strokes will translate into improved times.

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 Starter waited for swimmers to get to the blocks far too often.  On December 2nd, they will not wait – you will just be disqualified.
  • 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.
  • 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.  And if we have a swimmer who is all alone in the water finishing his/her race, please don’t just stand there chatting with your friends.  Get to the end of the lane and cheer!

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!
  • For this coming week, we’ll finish our work on freestyle and start working on backstroke – so don’t miss practice!
  • The day before New Year’s Eve, December 30th, 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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