Meekness in athletic competition is neither timidity nor capitulation.  Meekness is the spiritual strength to help your competitor over the bar that you raised by winning.

Coach Jim Koehr

Now they are lifting the bar for us

Coach Ross Palazzo

In 1994, Seton Swimming had our inaugural season.  We were a small team started with the help of Mr. (Pete) Westhoff, former QDD Coach Bill Shaw, Charles and Kathryn Seltman, and Joanne Pretz (Clara Condon’s grandmother).  For that ’94-’95 season, the team was small and combined with a few swimmers from nearby Emmanuel Christian School.

I can only imagine what those early meets were like as the team was just getting established.  Probably small dual meets that were hand-timed and manually scored.  I’m sure it has been exciting for those team founders, most of whom are still involved in some way, to see what their little team has become.

One thing we don’t have to imagine is that those early teams won championships in the fledgling Delaney Athletic Conference (DAC) that was also founded by some of those same people, mainly Mr. Westhoff.

That streak of regular season conference championships for the girls was intact when I first got involved as Coach Terry Shipko’s assistant for the ’00-’01 season and then as Head Coach starting in the ’01-’02 season.  The boys had lost once in the mid-1990s, but then consistently won after that.

On Saturday, January 7th, Seton hosted the 2nd annual VCAC Invitational, a meet that by prior agreement would determine the VCAC regular season swimming and diving championship.

Since the 2015-16 season, I’ve been trained to focus on the Trinity Christian girls.  The Trinity Christian girls beat us once, in 2017 in the DAC Championship Meet, but fortunately for us, we’ve always been able to maintain our streak of regular season conference championships – until yesterday.  After 28-years in a row winning the conference regular season championship, the Trinity Christian girls were rightfully crowned VCAC Regular Season Conference Champions – by only 5 points.

Congratulations to Trinity Christian’s girls for their first-ever VCAC Regular Season Conference Championship!

That is not a slight to the Trinity Christian boys.  Last season, they beat our boys in this same meet by 1-point to win their first regular season conference championship.  They raised the bar for us, and this year, our boys came back and jumped over it, clearing the bar by a wide margin of 56 points.  Since 1995, our boys have won the regular season conference championship 25 of 29 years.

Congratulations to the Seton boys for their VCAC Regular Season Conference Championship!

Isn’t this back-and-forth between Seton and Trinity Christian since the 2015-2016 season a great example of the virtue of Meekness?  This is exactly what I was talking about at last year’s swim and dive banquet when I spoke on “How to Sheath Your Sword in Meekness”.

I’ll admit that it is much easier to be meek from the winning side, but growth in virtue sometimes requires some pain.  This pain reminds me of a quote I cited from Basil W. Maturin’s book Christian Self-Mastery:

Test true meekness by the severest trials to which it can be put, and you will find in it no flaw of weakness or harshness, but a dauntless courage of the loftiest kind and an inexhaustible gentleness.

Here is a link to the written talk (also under Blog/Banquet Speeches):  Seton-Swimming-Awards-Talk-21-22-How-to-Sheath-Your-Sword-in-Meekness.pdf (

And here is a link to a video of my presentation: (28) “How to Sheath Your Sword in Meekness” – YouTube

If you want to explore the real lessons from Saturday’s competition, I encourage you to spend some time with this talk.

Final Scores

Before I dig into a little about which performances most drove the results on Saturday, let’s start by reviewing those results.

Here’s a summary of those scores:


Seton                        185         Trinity Christian                        129

Seton                        238         John Paul the Great                     53

Seton                        243         Fredericksburg Christian            42


Trinity Christian     158.5      Seton                                       153.5

Seton                        203         Oakcrest School                        106

Seton                        207         John Paul the Great                    89

Seton                        233         Fredericksburg Christian           54

Our Girls Were SOOO Close!

People that know me well know how much I enjoy studying the Civil War, and as a result, I find that I am often reminded of characters and events from that war in my daily life.  Last night was no different.  After the pool had largely emptied, I just sat on a bench alone and thought about how Robert E. Lee felt has the Virginia and North Carolina troops came streaming back from Cemetery Ridge at Gettysburg after what became known as “Pickett’s Charge”.

“It’s all my fault” he told his retreating troops, all who had just fought so valiantly and all who had friends who had just given their “last full measure of devotion”.

That was exactly how I felt – because I knew it was true.

Many times, the most closely contested swim meets are decided by the all-important relays because the chance for a big point swing is so high.  Saturday was no different, and this is where I made my biggest mistakes.

Our Girls started off very strong with a 3.22 second PR in the 200 Medley Relay to take the 10-points for first place with a time that would have finished in the top-8 at last year’s State Championship meet.  Ariana Aldeguer (8) led off with a blazing 29.06, a 50 Back PR by nearly a full second (.83 seconds).  Next, Clara Condon (SO) extended the lead with a 50 Breaststroke split of 30.88, a lifetime best by 1.17 seconds.  Then Stella Paradise (JR) split a lifetime best 50 Fly split of 28.00, beating her previous best by .45 seconds, leaving Mary Pennefather (SR) to clean-up on the anchor duties with a near-season-best 26.62.

Our girls ended up going a very fast 1:54.56 which proved to be very important because Trinity’s “A” Relay also dropped big time, 6.58 seconds, and finished with a time faster than our previous best of 1:57.78.  With the addition of a great performance by Trinity Christian’s “B” Relay, which took 3rd place in our meet, Seton was only able to win the event 10-8.

That was not the end of our great relay swims, but that was the end of our great relay scoring.  In both the 200 Free Relay and the 400 Free Relay, Trinity Christian was able to take both 1st and 3rd in our dual meet and beat us in both of those events 13-5.  No coach should ever let that happen, but I did.

I have been tracking Trinity Christian’s times in my Team Manager database since 2015, so I know all of their swimmers’ times and relay splits for any meet that we either hosted or attended with them.

Using that data, I knew (or thought I knew) that our four (4) best could beat their four (4) best in either freestyle relay, so I decided to mix it up a bit and try to see what we could do in the Girls 400 Free Relay.  I have generally loaded up the 200 Free Relay, but because I didn’t think it would make a difference, I decided that it might be fun to do something a little out of character.  Not only would be more fun for the girls, it might also keep Trinity Coach Alyssa Knauf more honest for the end-of-season Conference Championship meet.

I was feeling pretty good about that plan until Trinity Christian took 1st and 3rd in the 200 Free Relay.  It wasn’t like our girls swam poorly though.  Maggie Gibbons (JR) anchored our “A” Relay with a 25.68!  In addition, Philomena Kay (8), Jacqueline Oswald (SR), Amelie Halisky (SR), and Kateri Mantooth (SR) all swam lifetime best splits.

Unfortunately for us, Reagan Buff (JR), Selah Bang (SR), and Mary Bailey (JR) came to play too.  Trinity Christian’s 1st and 3rd place finish gave them the lead by 6-points, their first lead of the meet.

This is when I started to get a little worried.  We started discussing on the live-stream whether or not I should have just stuck with the proven formula of loading up our 200 Free Relay knowing that we have better sprinters – but I guess I went into the meet a little too confident.

Another reason I was getting a bit worried at this point was because I had just been introduced to a Trinity Christian swimmer who went 56.45 in 100 Fly and 5:07.28 in 500 Free – I had never even heard of Allie Witdoeckt (JR) before this meet.  Allie is apparently new to Trinity Christian this year, and she didn’t swim in any of our December meets – so she was not in my database.

Following the 200 Free Relay, we made up lost ground in 100 Backstroke and 100 Breaststroke and entered the final event, the Girls 400 Free Relay, with a 3-point advantage.  Since relays are scored 10-5-3 points for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place, respectively, the other coaches and I quickly calculated that, if our “A” Relay beat their “A” Relay OR our “B” Relay beat their “B” Relay, we would win.

We were not able to get either of those done.  Trinity took both 1st and 3rd, and we lost the event 13-5.  That 8-point swing turned our 3-point lead into a 5-point deficit – game, set, match.

Our loss in the 400 Free Relay had nothing to do with the girls swimming it though.  All eight (8) of them had tremendous swims, including five (5) who swam life-time best splits, two (2) who swam season-best splits, and one (1) who had just finished 100 Breaststroke who swam within a half-second of her PR.

Ariana Aldeguer (8) led off our “A” Relay with a 1.26 second PR 56.24 to give us a lead of more than 2-seconds.  Ariana was followed by Clara Condon (SO) and Mary Pennefather (SR) who swam season-best splits of 1:01.66 and 59.42, respectively.  That left our anchor, Stella Paradise (JR) with a small lead that even her blazing fast PR split of 56.23 could not hold.

How do you compete with Allie Witdoeckt’s (JR) anchor split of 52.29?  To put that time in perspective, it would have won the Bronze medal and qualified Allie for All-State honors in 100 Free at last year’s State Championships.  Allie Wiggins (FR), Audrey Schlieter (FR), Bella Yaraschak (JR), Mary Bailey (JR), and Liz Klanderman (SO) also had great swims for Trinity Christian.

In case you are still wondering Mrs. Klanderman, I know who Allie Witdoeckt is now, and man is she fast!

Our Girls “B” 400 Free Relay also overachieved despite the loss.  They started off with Maggie Gibbons (JR) rocking a 59.60 which beat her previous life-time best by nearly 3-seconds (2.90 to be exact)!  Amazing!  Next up was Anastasia Garvey (FR) whose split was 1.15 second faster than ever before, followed by Jacqueline Oswald (SR) and Elodie Brox (SO).

In another coaching mistake, both Jacqueline and Elodie had just finished competing in 100 Breaststroke, but despite being exhausted from that very tense race, Jacqueline swam within .45 seconds of her life-time best split, and Elodie actually beat her life-time best split by .33 seconds!

How can a coach ask for any more than that?  It was all my mistake, so thank you girls for doing all you could to cover for me.  I just put you in too deep of a hole.

Despite my mistake lining up our relays, when you dig through the results event-by-event, I saw so many other places I could have lined you up better to gain just another 5-points that were required to prevail.  If you are not one of the fastest swimmers on the team, and you think your opportunity to score doesn’t really matter, I hope this meet convinces you how important every member of the team is.

How are just a few examples where great swims earned just a few extra points that could have made the difference:

  • Anastasia Garvey (FR) was seeded 6th overall in the 200 IM, but finished 5th overall after a 7.05 second PR. That swim jumped her ahead of a higher-seeded Trinity girl making a 2-point swing in our favor.  She also held her seed in 100 Fly, but it took a 2.39 second PR to do it.
  • Haley Fifield (SO) entered the 50 Free seeded 14th overall, but her 1.19 second PR jumped her up to 5th As good as that was, she was even better in 100 Backstroke (when I was so nervous).  Haley dropped a massive 5.67 seconds and jumped up to 5th place overall from her 8th place seed.
  • Gabriella Russo (8) scored an all-important point in 100 Backstroke thanks to her huge 2.32 second PR.
  • Rose Waldron (SO) came within a spit of jumping from the 6th seed all the way up to 2nd place overall with her massive 3.16 second PR. Against just Trinity Christian, she was seeded 3rd and ended up finishing in 2nd!
  • Jacqueline Oswald (SR) was right with Rosie in 100 Breaststroke, finishing immediately behind her after a 2.80 second PR that got us the 3rd place points against Trinity rather than the 4th place in which she was seeded.
  • Kateri Mantooth (SR) was seeded 6th in 100 Breaststroke against Trinity Christian by more than 3 seconds and ended up tying for 5th after a 2.63 second PR.

And here were some of the most impressive individual scoring swims for the girls:

  • Ariana Aldeguer (8) broke 1:00 in 100 Fly for the first time in her life scoring behind only Allie Witdoeckt (JR) of Trinity and Elizabeth Bryan (FR) from Oakcrest in what was probably the fastest individual heat of girls in the meet. Her time was 2.03 second PR and leaves her just 1:32 seconds off of Anna Kenna’s team record.  Ariana won 100 Backstroke outright with her 2.34 second PR swim.  Man, she is getting good underwater.
  • Stella Paradise (JR) swam a 1.32 second PR to take 1st in 200 Free and a 1.58 second PR to take 2nd in 100 Free. 55:76 in 100 Free is rockin!
  • Clara Condon (SO) handled 200 IM duties for us, placing 2nd overall ahead of all the Trinity swimmers.
  • Maggie Gibbons (JR) was seeded 3rd in 200 Free against Trinity but swam a 6.56 second PR to ensure a 1st and 2nd place finish for Seton.
  • Philomena Kay (8) cut 9.35 seconds from her 500 Free PR to score in 4th place versus Trinity Christian. Her 6:34.54 is a very strong time for an 8th
  • Rose Waldron (SO) took the 1st place points in diving for our dual meet versus Trinity Christian.

Our Boys Just Keep Getting Stronger

Last year at this time, our Seton boys had just lost the regular season conference championship to Trinity Christian by a single point.  This year, the boys came back with a vengeance, and the result was never in doubt.

The tone was set in the very first event where our Boys “A” and “B” 200 Medley Relays took both 1st and 2nd overall in the meet with our “B” Relay beating Trinity’s “A” Relay by only .33 seconds on the strength of Liam Halisky’s (SO) 23.89 anchor split.   That PR split, by .61 seconds, was more than enough get the win.

That means that, after the first event, we were ahead of all the other boy’s teams by a score of 15-3.  Not a bad start.

There were so many great swims for the boys in those two relays including Connor Koehr’s (SO) lead-off 28.48 50 Back (a .17 second PR), Joe Wilson’s (SR) season-best 25.41 50 Fly Split, Drew Nguyen’s (SO) blazing 30.50 50 Breaststroke split, and Lionel Martinez’s (8) smoking 22.87 anchor for the “A” Relay.

The “B” Relay led-off with Mick Fioramonti’s (JR) 29.32 50 Back split (.60 second PR), JJ Brox’s (SR) 30.29 50 Breast split (a .37 second PR), David Hudson’s (JR) 26.76 50 Fly Split (a .74 second PR), and, of course, Liam’s anchor leg.

In the Boys 200 and 400 Free Relays, Trinity Christian prevailed in both, but our “A” and “B” Relays took 2nd and 3rd overall so we only lost those events to Trinity by a score of 10-8.  That means that, against Trinity, we won the relays by a combined score of 31-23, and against every other team, we won the relays by a combined score of 45-9.

The best swims in our two (2) 200 Free Relays came from JJ Brox’s (SR) season-best 25.32, Drew Nguyen’s (SO) PR split of 24.48, and Joseph Borneman’s (SO) PR split of 25.37.

In the 400 Free Relay, the boys in our “A” Relay were universally outstanding with all of them swimming at least a season-best relay split.  Lionel Martinez (8) led-off with a .26 PR 51.32!  Then Joseph Borneman (SO) and Michael Brox (SO) both swam PR splits going 57.18 and 56.45, respectively.  Finally, the courageous Joe Wilson (SR) split an amazing 52.85!

Peter Konstanty (JR) and William Sokban (SO) had particularly good swims in our “B” 400 Free relay.  Peter Konstanty’s 58.04 was 1.33 seconds faster than any previous split he’s swum, and William’s 59.52 was .11 seconds faster.

Our Seton boys were every bit as strong in the individual events are they were in the relays.  Here were some of the most impressive scoring swims on the boy’s side:

  • Lionel Martinez (8) showed that he was the class of the meet on the boy’s side with some tremendous swimming. In the 200 IM, Lionel beat Trinity Christian’s best male swimmer by .43 seconds with a time of 2:04.51.  This was his first attempt at the event for Seton, but he told me that his time was a life-time best.  Then, in 100 Backstroke, Lionel beat another of Trinity’s top boys by 1.09 seconds with a blazing-fast time of 58.06.  That time was a 2.85 second PR.  2:04.51 and 58.06 are very fast times for any high school swimmer, but it is even more impressive when you remember that Lionel is only in 8th grade!
  • Joe Wilson (SR) decided that he wanted to try the 200 Free (despite his prior injury), and he made the most of the opportunity by swimming a 2.24 second PR to take 2nd place behind a Trinity swimmer who was one of the best male swimmers in the meet. Joe also took 3rd place overall in 50 Free with a .07 second PR.
  • Connor Koehr (SO) scored in 2nd place overall in Diving with a PR score of 188.18. That score is less than 20-points from beating our team record.  Connor also took 4th place overall in 200 Free after a 6.68 second PR.
  • JJ Brox (SR) reclaimed his spot as the team’s 2nd fastest Breaststroker with his 1:10.39, a time that claimed 3rd place overall. He also jumped up to our team’s 3rd fastest 100 Freestyler after a .96 second PR 55.99, a time that was good enough for 1st place on Saturday!
  • Drew Nguyen (SO) scored in 4th place overall in 50 Free with a .33 second PR to go 25.11. That :25 barrier is in danger with Drew!  Drew also had a great swim in 100 Breaststroke to take 4th place after a huge 2.55 second PR to go 1:10.49.
  • Michael Brox (SO) took 2nd place in the 500 Free, but his best swim was a couple of events prior when he cut 3.41 seconds in 100 Fly to score in 6th
  • Joseph Borneman (SO) keeps getting stronger, and that was never more evident that during his 2nd place finish in 100 Free where he cut another .53 seconds to go 57.24. Joseph also took 4th place overall in 100 Back.
  • David Hudson (JR) scored in 4th place overall in 100 Fly after a .08 second PR. Even more impressive was David’s 3rd place overall finish in the 500 Free after a 2.67 second PR swim.
  • Max Wilson (SO) dropped 4.03 seconds in 200 IM to take 4th place overall, and he dropped 2.21 seconds in 100 Fly to take 8th
  • Peter Konstanty (JR) didn’t just swim well in the relays. He took 5th place in 200 IM after a 2.40 second PR and 4th in 100 Free after breaking 1:00 for the first time in his life.  Peter also curt 5.38 seconds in 50 Back leading off an exhibition medley relay.
  • Mick Fioramonti (JR) swam well individually. In the 200 IM, he cut 2.26 seconds to take 6th  With that swim, Seton took 1st, 4th, 5th, and 6th overall in 200 IM which scored massively.  Mick also took 3rd place in 100 Back with a near-PR 1:05.45.
  • Luke Mantooth (JR) had the breakthrough meet that I’ve been waiting for. In 100 Breaststroke, he dropped 3.32 seconds to jump up to 6th place overall, but his most impressive swim was in 50 Free.  Somehow, Luke dropped 2.37 seconds in 50 Free!  His 26.08 is now the 7th fastest flat-start 50 Free time on the team this year.
  • Max Gonzalez (SO) and Gus Kohlhaas (SO) worked their way into Group 1 for our Diving team. The improvement in these 1st-year divers has been remarkable, and their work paid off with two (2) PRs that resulted in a 3rd and 4th place finish overall.

National Catholic High School Swimming and Diving Champs

Next weekend, we have two (2) swim meets.  For most of the team, we’ll be hosting our annual Seton Winter Invitational on Saturday at the Freedom Center.

A select group of qualifiers will be heading to Baltimore, MD for the National Catholics at Loyola University of Maryland.  That group gotten larger by five (5) this past weekend.  Congratulations to:

  • Haley Fifield (SO) qualified in both the 50 Free and 100 Back.
  • Anastasia Garvey (FR) qualified in the 200 IM.
  • Kateri Mantooth (SR) qualified in 50 Free
  • Joseph Borneman (SO) and Michael Brox (SO) both qualified in the 400 Free Relay.

Here is Seton’s 2023 National Catholic Team.  If you cannot go, please let me know as soon as possible.  Congratulations to:

  • Girls
    • Ariana Aldeguer (8)
    • Elodie Brox (SO)
    • Clara Condon (SO)
    • Haley Fifield (SO)
    • Anastasia Garvey (FR)
    • Maggie Gibbons (JR)
    • Philomena Kay (8)
    • Kateri Mantooth (SR)
    • Jacqueline Oswald (SR)
    • Stella Paradise (JR)
    • Mary Pennefather (SR) – cannot attend
  • Boys
    • Joseph Borneman (SO)
    • JJ Brox (SR)
    • Michael Brox (SO)
    • Mick Fioramonti (JR)
    • Liam Halisky (SO)
    • David Hudson (JR)
    • Connor Koehr (SO)
    • Lionel Martinez (8)
    • Drew Nguyen (SO)
    • Joe Wilson (SR)

We will also be bringing only the most competitive divers.  Coach Keapproth has announced that the following Divers will compete:

  • Connor Koehr (SO) – also swimming
  • Mick Fioramonti (JR) – also swimming
  • JJ Brox (SR) – also swimming
  • Jacob Oswald (SO)
  • Max Gonzalez (SO)
  • Gus Kohlhaas (SO)
  • Rosie Waldron (SO) – cannot attend

Fortunately for me, Mrs. Condon has taken on the challenging task of organizing logistics.  Her and I are posting the latest logistics information under Meet Information.

With the addition of five (5) more team members, I am sure that we have outgrown our ability to house everyone in the two (2) AirBnB houses so we will have to supplement lodging with hotel rooms.

We are also going to need more parents to drive and chaperone kids at the hotel.

I know Mrs. Condon will be providing more information shortly.

There Were So Many Other Personal Record Swims

I have already mentioned numerous Personal Records, but here are the rest of the 143 Personal Records that I have not yet had an opportunity to highlight.  That brings our season total up to 682 PRs!  Check out how many younger swimmers we have improving on our team:

  • Madelyn Zadnik (JR) lowered her 50 Back PR by .63 seconds leading off a medley relay.
  • Max Wilson (SO) dropped .57 seconds in 50 Back leading off a relay.
  • Rose Waldron (SO), in addition to her big PR in 100 Breast, swam PRs in 50 Free, by .65 seconds, and 50 Back, by 1.77 seconds.
  • Cate Waldron (JR) beat her previous best time in 50 Free by .71 seconds.
  • Noah Vaughan (8) dropped 6.14 seconds in 100 Back and .80 seconds in 50 Free. Nice work Noah!
  • Nick Vaughan (SO) had a massive PR in 100 Breast, beating his previous best by 25.06 seconds! He also beat his previous best in 50 Free by 1.79 seconds.
  • William Sokban (SO) had a great swim in 100 Fly where he dropped 2.20 seconds. He also swam well in 50 Back leading off a relay where he dropped .25 seconds.
  • Daniel Sokban (8) had two nice PRs including a 3.32 second drop in 50 Free and a .83 second drop in 50 Back.
  • Briana Shillingburg (SO) continues to improve with a 1.75 second PR in 50 Free and a .67 second PR in 100 Free.
  • Maggie Schroer (7) looked very strong in 50 Back leading off a relay where she dropped 1.42 seconds. She looked even stronger in 100 Breaststroke where she dropped 2.73 seconds.
  • Gabriela Russo (8), before her big backstroke PR, swam a .15 second PR in 50 Free.
  • Camila Quispe (6) dropped 2.20 seconds in 50 Free and 1.33 seconds in 100 Back.
  • Mary Clare Osilka (FR) had a great swim in 100 Back, beating her previous PR by 4.12 seconds! She also beat her previous PR in 50 Free by 1.08 seconds.
  • Shannon O’Malley (SO) lowered her 200 Free PR by 1.22 seconds and finished in 10th place overall.
  • Colin Nguyen (SR) dropped 3.48 in 100 Breaststroke with the longest stroke I’ve seen from him to date. Colin also dropped .17 seconds in 50 Free.
  • Bella Nguyen (7) lowered her 50 Free PR by 1.29 seconds and her 100 Back PR by .60 seconds.
  • Maria Miller (FR) beat her previous best diving score by 6 points.
  • Dominic Miller (JR) improved his PR diving score by 10.20 points.
  • Thiago Martinez (7) went 1:07.42 in 100 Back, 1.60 seconds faster than ever before. He also broke :27 in 50 Free for the first time after a .14 second PR.  His times are already very fast, particularly for a 7th
  • Kateri Mantooth (SR) was great in more than 100 Breaststroke. She also beat her previous best in 50 Backstroke by 1.85 seconds.
  • Avila Mantooth (7) absolutely destroyed her previous PR in 200 Free – by 27.98 seconds! In 50 Free, she dropped 1.95 seconds!
  • Joey Lynch (7) lowered his 100 Free PR by .16 seconds.
  • Raphael Likoy (8) gave the freestyle events another try and demonstrated how much he has improved. In 50 Free he dropped 2.58 seconds, and in 100 Free he dropped 3.32 seconds.
  • Cora Kramer (8) used her new flip turns to help her beat her previous PR in 100 Back by a whopping 24.61 seconds!
  • Gus Kohlhaas (SO) improved his Diving PR by 6.38 points.
  • Cecilia Kelly (7) had a great day on the diving boards beating her previous best score by 13.43 points.
  • Patrick Kay (7) is going to be a good one. His 200 Free is down to 2:26.41 after an 8.72 second PR, and his 50 Back is down to 34.43 after a .05 second PR.  Those are both pretty strong times for a 7th
  • Jane Judge (7) had three PRs on Saturday. In 100 Free she dropped 2.11 seconds, in 50 Free she dropped .27 seconds, and in 50 Back leading off a relay she dropped 1.61 seconds.
  • Dominic Judge (8) is trying to work his way up to Varsity even though he is only in 8th He’s doing it by asking me to swim 200 IM and 100 Fly – and then doing really well.  In 100 Fly Dominic cut 12.39 seconds from his PR, and in his first-ever attempt at the 200 IM he went 2:46.95!
  • Monica Irving (7) made a big leap forward in 100 Free with a drop of 9.86 seconds.
  • Mary Catherine Hurley (SO) swam a .56 second PR in 50 Back and a .55 second PR in 50 Free.
  • Elizabeth Hurley (7) used her underwaters to help her improve in 100 Backstroke by 3.23 seconds.
  • Dominic Henry (7) showed a ton of improvement on Saturday. In 50 Free he improved by 2.82 seconds, and in 100 Free he improved by 4.80 seconds.
  • Clare Heiny (7) dropped 4.51 seconds in 100 Back.
  • Sophia Halisky (7) made the 500 Free look easy, and it showed in her time – a 67.64 second PR!
  • Amelie Halisky (SR) lowered her 200 Free PR by 1.48 seconds, her 50 Back PR by 63 seconds, and her 50 Free PR by .41 seconds.
  • Orla Haggerty (SO) looked great in 100 Back while she was dropping 3.94 seconds. Orla also dropped .26 seconds in 50 Free.
  • Moira Haggerty (SR) lowered her 500 Free PR by 4.54 seconds.
  • Aoife Haggerty (8) beat her previous PR in 100 Free by .33 seconds.
  • Jack Gregory (JR) lowered his 50 Free PR by .52 seconds. Next step, 100 yards of legal breaststroke!
  • Amelia Geary (JR) dropped .44 seconds in 100 Back.
  • Josh Fioramonti (JR) cut 5.71 seconds from his 100 Breaststroke PR and .02 seconds from his 50 Free PR.
  • Kyleigh Fifield (8) dropped 1.34 seconds in 100 Free. She also had a great first-ever attempt at 200 IM – which she asked me to swim!
  • Haley Fifield (SO), in addition to qualifying for National Catholics twice individually, also cut 2.12 seconds in 50 Back and 1.00 seconds in 50 Free leading off two relays.
  • Charlie Dusek (FR) continued to show great improvement with a 1.46 second drop in 100 Back and a 2.20 second drop in 50 Free.
  • Anne Dusek (7) had a big 3.63 second PR in 100 Back and a .47 second PR in 50 Free.
  • Lucy Cunningham (SO) had a great confidence-building swim in the 500 Free. I can’t wait to see what she can ultimately do in this event.
  • JJ Cooley (FR) beat his previous best in 100 Back by 4.40 seconds and his previous best in 50 Free by 1.48 seconds.
  • Meghan Condon (7) crushed her PR in Diving by 33.30 points! She also cut 2.96 seconds in 100 Breaststroke.
  • Michael Brox (SO) scored huge in swimming, but he also improved his Diving PR in exhibition by 1.95 seconds.
  • Elodie Brox (SO) beat her 100 Free PR by 1.03 seconds
  • Nora Blanchette (FR) crushed her previous best in 50 Free by 2.80 seconds.
  • Meg Blanchette (SO) was great in 100 Free, beating her PR by 4.75 seconds. Meg also beat her 50 Free PR by .36 seconds.
  • Kit Blanchette (7) beat her 100 Free PR by even more than her sister. Kit beat it by 9.00 seconds!  She also lowered her 50 Free PR by .73 seconds.
  • Aaron Bishop (JR) is having a good week 😉 It ended with a 3.83 second PR in 100 Breaststroke and a 1.07 second PR in 50 Free.
  • Veronica Bingham (6) beat her previous best in 100 Free by 4.70 second and in 50 Free by 1.95 seconds.
  • Mariana Bingham (8) lowered her 50 Free PR by .54 seconds.
  • Lucia Bingham (SO) dropped her 200 IM PR by 3.48 seconds and her 50 Back PR by .27 seconds.
  • Rachel Baughman (7) had PRs in both of her individual swims. In 100 Back she cut 1.74 seconds, and in 50 Free she cut 1.38 seconds.
  • Molly Bauer (SO) dropped .36 seconds in 100 Breast and .09 seconds in 50 Free.
  • Katie Bauer (7) cut another 3.78 seconds from her 100 Free PR and another .01 seconds from her 50 Free PR.
  • Greg Bauer (FR) used a strong breaststroke kick to lower his PR in 100 Breaststroke by .99 seconds. Now he just needs to stop using that breaststroke kick in Fly!
  • Jed Albin (JR) cut another .04 seconds from his 50 Free PR

The Rest of the Season for Non-Varsity Swimming and Divers

There has been so much to say, but let us wrap it up with some reminders about the rest of the season:

  • There are only three (3) weeks left in the season for our non-Varsity swimmers. Everyone will be swimming in the Seton Winter Invitational on January 14th and then the Northern Virginia Catholic High School Championship (aka, “NoVa Catholics”) on January 21st
    • After NoVa Catholics, I will post the members of our Varsity team.
  • Then, as a season-ending meet for all non-Varsity swimmers (i.e., swimmers who are not entered into meets during the championship season where there is no exhibition swimming), we will host our 15th annual Junior Varsity Invitational Championship at the Fitch WARF in Warrenton on January 28th.

Final Thought

This morning at practice, I gathered the team together to talk during dryland.  I told them this story:

On April 6, 1862, General Ulysses S. Grant was camped at Pittsburgh Landing on the Tennessee River in southwestern Tennessee.  The Confederate Army, led by PGT Beauregard and Albert Sydney Johnston, left Corinth, MS, just below the Tennessee line, and launched a surprise attack on Grant’s army.  Furious fighting ensued around Shiloh Church (hence the common name of the battle), and the day ended with the most casualties, by far, of any Civil War battle up to that point.  Grant was pinned against the river as survivors wrote of how you could walk across the battle field on dead bodies without ever touching the ground.

Under a tree sat General Grant, smoking his 20th cigar of the day, when his chief lieutenant, William Tecumseh Sherman, came up and said, “Well, we’ve had the devil’s own day today haven’t we Grant”.

Grant took another puff on his cigar, looked up, and said simply, “Lick ‘em tomorrow.”

And he did.

So will we.

Coach Jim Koehr

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