County residents Kevin and Nevin take state swimming gold for Seton School
By Rebekah Stone

What a season it has been for the Manassas-based Seton School swim team, thanks in no small part to Fauquier residents Kevin Koehr and Nevin Cook.

The duo has led Seton’s stacked squad to their 12th straight Delaney Athletic Conference championship season. At the championships, Seton took 17 of the 22 available gold medals. Cook, a sophomore, took four of those gold medals, while Koehr, the senior captain, snatched another four and garnered the Swimmer of the Meet title.

But the powerhouse team didn’t stop there. At the Virginia State Independent Schools championships, the boys squad took the Division II state championship, while the girls took third in the state.

Cook won the silver medals in both the 200-meter individual medley and his specialty — the 100-meter breaststroke, which he swam in only 59.31 seconds.

Koehr captured a state title in the 100-meter backstroke with an automatic All-American time of 51.98 seconds.

“The last day of states, I had three races in a row,” Koehr laughed. “But this was my last year, so I was determined to take full advantage of the day. … It was a fun experience.”

Describing competitions like states as “fun” is just part of Koehr’s personality — a direct contrast to focused Cook, said Seton coach (and Kevin Koehr’s father) Jim Koehr.

“Those two are both instrumental to this team, and completely different,” he said. “Kevin is fun-loving, while Nevin is very, very focused at all times. But it works for them …

“There are several ties between our two families,” the coach went on. “Nevin is a good friend of Kevin’s younger brother, for one. They’re teammates, but not just in high school. They also train and travel together for the USA Swimming team, and they lead off the medley relay together for both teams.

“Those two work together really well, and they are forever linked.”

The Kevin-and-Nevin supercombo also pairs up to teach the rest of the Seton squad, assisting in practices and giving extra help to teammates after practice. They’ve perfected the balance between their own training and teaching their fellow swimmers this season, Jim Koehr said.

“When we get in the pool at practice, we know there’s no time to fool around,” Cook said. “We only have so much time at each practice to get everything done that we need to, and to help get the team where it needs to be.”

And where the team needs to be is on a medal podium, Jim Koehr said. A boost that the swimmers have come to count on is an ample dose of team spirit — Seton won the state title for team spirit this season, led, again, by the Cook-Koehr partnership.

“Kevin and Nevin really set the pace for the rest of the team,” Jim Koehr said. “They set a great example by showing the rest of the team that they’re not good just because some lightning bolt struck them and made them great swimmers. They do have natural talent, but they’re good because they swim 50,000 yards a week. They both really work at it.”

The squad will be losing Kevin Koehr to graduation this year, along with several other talented swimmers. But he doesn’t think the team will suffer for it too much.

“The younger swimmers are coming into their strokes,” he said. “Some are really fast. But they have Nevin to lead them, and he’s gonna be able to hold the team together.”

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