This past weekend was a very busy weekend for Seton Swimming with two (2) separate meets going on nearly 100 miles apart.

Twenty-three (23) members of our team returned to our long tradition of taking our top swimmers to the National Catholic High School Swimming and Diving Championships.  After many years of the Meet being hosted at Villanova, it has more recently been hosted at the beautiful aquatic facility at Loyola University of Maryland, in Baltimore.  As you will see below, despite some painful lessons that had to be learned, our contingent made a very strong showing, especially Coach Ashley Keapproth’s boys diving team and our young phenoms Ariana Aldeguer (8) and Clara Condon (SO).

The rest of the team stayed at the Freedom Center for one of the most unique meets each season.  For the last several years, I have used the Seton Winter Invitational as a sort of “rite of passage” for the new swimmers where they compete in the 500 Freestyle, most for the first time ever.  With the size of our team, that meant that we had 38 girls and 29 boys in the 500 Free – whoa!  We also had 35 total entries in the 200 Free, 21 total entries in the 200 IM, and 10 total entries in the 100 Fly.

As remarkable as it was to watch the top swimmers for the top Catholic Schools swim times that might seem otherwise unbelievable if you didn’t see them for yourself, what I saw on Saturday at the Freedom Center was even more remarkable.  The amount of improvement I saw was like nothing I have ever seen in almost 23 years of coaching.

Just for fun, I thought it might be interesting to add up the total amount of time dropped in the 96 Personal Records we saw during the meet.  The total time dropped was 4,481.11 seconds – that is just under 1 hour and 15 minutes!  Are you kidding?  I wouldn’t have believed it had I not seen if for myself.

When I add those 96 Personal Records and the 22 Personal Records swum at National Catholics to our previous season total of 682, I can see that we have had more PRs to this point than any previous time in Seton Swimming history.  Our season total for Personal Records so far this season is now exactly 800!

To accommodate that many swimmers for the 500 Free – an event that could take up to 15 minutes per heat – Bill Dealey, Chris Condon, and the Captains helped pull together our plan to swim two (2) heats at the same time – a so-called “chase start” as Mr. Seltman informed me.  It required us to get 20 separate timers and stopwatches, plus 10 lap counters, behind the blocks to make sure that, with multiple kids in a lane, we could reliably get a time on each one.

As Coach Zadnik, Coach Hurley, and I described the scene on the livestream broadcast, I was glowing with pride watching so many Seton volunteers pitch in to give these kids a chance to learn one of the many life lessons I hope they learn from Seton Swimming:

You can always do more than you think you can.

Final Scores

This past week, the scores were not really a focus for us at all, but here’s how they turned out all the same:


Seton                        134         Carmel School                            58

Seton                        146         Fresta Valley Christian                34

Seton                        149         Veritas Collegiate Academy        34


Seton                        134         Fresta Valley Christian                84

Seton                        144         Carmel School                            40

Seton                        145         Veritas Collegiate Academy        42

Seton                        146         Brookewood                               23

Conquering Discomfort

Prior to the meet, I know there were an awful lot of kids who were experiencing great anxiety about swimming in this meet.  (I even know some Mom’s that shared in that anxiety).  Nineteen (19) flip turns?  That’s surely impossible!

I’ll tell you all a little secret though.  I do this sort of thing on purpose – I deliberately put our swimmers in uncomfortable situations so they can build the confidence that only comes from attacking their fears head-on.  Avoiding the fear just legitimizes it, and that is not something I want to perpetuate, particularly when they are afraid of something that is so clearly within their capability.

I suppose I have the advantage of 23-years of watching what happens when you push a kid to swim the 500 Free, even when they are afraid, and this year it all ended as I predicted for so many of those kids:

“Can I swim that again Coach Koehr?  I know I can do it faster.”

I should have counted how many times I heard that question, but it was more than ten (10).  No surprise there.

Well, there was one (1) surprise: Mary Clare Osilka (9), who is not known for her demonstrative behavior, gave me a high-five so hard that my hand is still red!   I was very proud of you Mary Clare!

There were some massive Personal Records in the 500 Free.  Can you imagine a meet where we had 17 PRs of more than one (1) minute and one (1) of more than ten (10) minutes?  Remarkable!

Here are the people who overcame their fear and beat their previous best time by more than a minute:

  • Victor Henry (FR) had the largest single Personal Record in Seton Swimming history when he dropped 641.38 seconds in the 500 Free – that is 10 minutes and 41 seconds! He also swam 200 Free 50.59 seconds than his previous best.
  • Joseph Minarik (JR) swam the 2nd largest single PR in Seton Swimming history when he dropped 368.39 seconds – more than 6 minutes – in the 500 Free! Joseph also dropped .84 seconds in 50 Back leading off a relay.
  • Noah Vaughan (8) had the 3rd largest PR in Seton Swimming history when he swam the 500 Free in 8:41.,97, beating his previous best by more than 7 minutes (286.03 seconds). He also beat his previous best in 200 Free by more than a minute (63.57 seconds).
  • Daniel Kohlhaas (6) had the 3rd largest single Personal Record in Seton Swimming history with his drop of 241.94 seconds in the 500 Free – a drop of more than 4 minutes! He also cut 83.82 seconds in 200 Free, a drop of nearly a minute and a half.
  • Kit Blanchette (7) beat her previous best by 180.72 seconds – more than 3 minutes. She also beat her previous best in 200 Free by 29.07 seconds.
  • Sofia Kohlhaas (7) cut 159.71 seconds in the 500 and swam the 200 Free for the first time in 3:11.86.
  • Aidan McCardell (FR) lowered his 500 Free PR by 149.93 seconds, almost 2 and a half minutes. Aidan also lowered his 200 Free PR by 14.79 seconds.
  • Camila Quispe (6) was remarkable on Saturday, beating her PR in 500 Free by 140.68 seconds and her PR in 200 Free by 35.87 seconds.
  • John Cooley (7) dropped 132.56 seconds – more than 2 minutes – and he dropped 33.40 seconds in the 200 Free.
  • Nick Vaughan (SO) beat his PR in the 500 Free by 102.55 seconds. He also beat his PR in the 200 Free by 77.06 seconds and his PR in 50 Back leading off a medley relay by 5.02 seconds.
  • Cora Kramer (8) lowered her 500 Free PR by 97.44 seconds and her 200 Free PR by 12.43 seconds.
  • Aoife Haggerty (8) cut 77.54 seconds in the 500 and swam the 200 IM for the first time in 3:35.49
  • Josh Fioramonti (FR) cut 79.59 seconds in the 500 and 35.99 seconds in the 200 Free. His 500 is almost under 7:00 and his 200 is down to 2:21.
  • Jack Gregory (FR) is a first-year swimmer who beat his previous best in the 500 by 69.88 seconds. He also completed his first-ever legal 100 Breaststroke!
  • Emma Reynolds (SR) is bringing her senior season toward a successful close after swimming a 61.47 second PR in the 500 on Saturday.

Here are the other swimmers who swam the 500 Free faster than ever before:

  • Max Wilson (SO) swam a very fast 500 Free, completing the event in only 6:25.27. That was a 17.59 second PR for Max who also beat his 100 Breaststroke PR by 6.51 seconds.
  • Peter Konstanty (JR) had a breakthrough meet. Not only did he cut 19.35 seconds to go a very fast 6:25.78 in the 500 Free.  He also cut 1.06 seconds in the 50 Free to break :26 for the first time (25.91)!
  • Dominic Judge (8) swam a very strong 6:45.00 in the 500 Free, beating his previous PR by 54.62 seconds – that’s a pretty good time for an 8th grade boy. He also cut 33.18 seconds in the 200 Free to go 2:26.77.  I think this kid is going to be a good one.
  • Michael Zahorchak (8) swam the 500 in less than 7 minutes when he finished in a time of 6:57.34. That was a 41.19 second PR for Michael.  He also swam 200 IM for the first time in less than 3 minutes, completing the race in 2:54.08.
  • Jonas Wilson (7) completed the 500 Free in only 7:38.06 which was 7.54 seconds than ever before.
  • Clare Heiny (7) was great in the 500 Free, dropping 53.77 seconds from her previous PR. She also cut 5.84 seconds in 100 Breaststroke.
  • Kyleigh Fifield (8) cut 52.84 seconds in 500 Free and swam the 100 Fly for the first time in only 1:32.64.
  • Veronica Gonzalez (7) had two remarkable swims, lowering her 500 Free PR by 52.06 and her 200 Free PR by 51.85 seconds.
  • Joseph Dwane (JR) lowered his 500 Free PR by 48.13 seconds and his 200 Free PR by 17.07 seconds.
  • Helena O’Keefe (FR) dropped 44.03 seconds in the 500 and swam the 200 Free for the first time in 3:05.32.
  • Elizabeth Hurley (7) cut 43.53 seconds from her 500 Free PR. She also cut 1.11 seconds in 50 Back leading off a medley relay and swam the 200 IM for the first time in only 3:00.06.
  • Mary Clare Osilka (FR) gave me that great high-five after she saw that she had beaten her 500 Free PR by 42.63 seconds and after she conquered the 200 IM for the first time in 3:18.11.
  • Mariana Bingham (8) dropped 30.62 seconds in the 500 Free and also 18.68 seconds in 100 Fly.
  • Nora Blanchette (FR) lowered her 500 Free PR by 29.04 seconds, her 200 Free PR by 22.79 seconds, and her 50 Back PR by 2.40 seconds.
  • Lucia Bingham (SO) beat her previous best in the 500 Free by 28.62 seconds.
  • Maria Miller (FR) cut 19.13 seconds from her 500 Free PR.
  • Sophia Halisky (7) had three big PRs including a 16.49 second PR in the 500, a 33.55 second PR in the 200 Free and a .32 second PR in the 50 Free.
  • Monica Irving (7) cut 12.33 seconds in 500 Free and swam the 200 Free for the first time in 3:04.52.
  • Shannon O’Malley (SO) lowered her 500 Free PR by 11.36 seconds and her 200 IM PR by 7.93 seconds.
  • Luke Mantooth (JR) dropped 8.79 seconds in the 500, but his most remarkable swim came in 100 Fly where he swam 1:13.79 in his first-ever attempt at the event.
  • Raphael Likoy (8) beat his previous best in the 500 by 8.03 seconds. He also swam the 200 Free for the first time in less than 5 minutes.
  • Joey Dealey (SR) dropped 6.96 seconds in the 500 and 2.90 seconds in 200 IM.
  • Daniel Sokban (8) cut 6.40 seconds from his 500 Free PR and 33.14 seconds from his 200 Free PR.
  • Orla Haggerty (SO) beat her previous 500 PR by 5.08 seconds and also dropped 3.95 seconds in 100 Fly.
  • Noemi Rodriguez (8) dropped 3.81 seconds in the 500 Free.
  • Ryan Beltran (JR) cut .47 seconds in the 500 Free and 14.47 seconds in the 200 Free.

And here are the swimmers who swam the 500 Free for the very first time:

  • Patrick Kay (7) made it clear that he wants to become one of our top swimmers after swimming his first attempt at the 500 Free in only 6:38.40 and his first attempt at the 200 IM in 2:39.02.
  • Gabriella Russo (8), in 7:32.81. She also swam the 200 IM in 3:03.18.  Those are excellent times for a first-year swimmer who is only in 8th
  • Avila Mantooth (7) swam the 500 for the first time in a remarkable 7:43.09 and the 200 IM for the first time in a very fast 3:03.32.
  • Colin Nguyen (SR) swam both the 500 Free and the 200 IM for the first time, swimming them in 7:58.39 and 2:54.59, respectively.
  • Katie Bauer (7), in only 8:00.21. Katie also swam the 200 IM for the first time.
  • Betsy Arnold (7), in only 8:03.29. Betsy also dropped 34.85 seconds from her 200 Free PR.
  • Annie Dusek (7), in only 8:07.15. She also cut 2.93 seconds in 100 Free and .84 seconds in 50 Back leading off a relay.
  • Maddie Heiny (FR) tried both the 500 Free and the 200 IM for the first time, swimming them in 8:24.73 and 3:33.84, respectively.
  • Jane Judge (7), in 8:35.40. Jane also tried 200 IM for the first time and swam it in 3:28.80.
  • Kenneth Nguyen (8), in 8:48.47. Kenneth also dropped 44.31 seconds in the 200 Free.
  • JJ Cooley (FR), in 9:02.25 – plus he dropped 30.21 seconds in the 200 Free.
  • Rachel Baughman (7), in 9:04.13. Rachel also beat her 200
  • Veronica Bingham (6), in 9:04.99.
  • Free PR by 7.75 seconds.
  • Bella Nguyen (7), in 9:15.01. Bella also cut 31.79 seconds in 200 Free.
  • Ben Ellis (8), in 9:40.56, plus a first-time attempt at the 200 IM 3:25.39.
  • Tim Blanchette (SR), in 10:45.68. Tim also cut 38.64 seconds from his 200 Free PR.
  • Dominic Henry (7) is swimming for his first year ever, and boy has he improved since the first day. On Saturday, he swam 500 Free for the first time in 11:37.81 and the 200 Free for the first time in 3:59.82.

Here are the rest of the 96 Personal Records or first-time swims that I have not mentioned yet:

  • Julia Atkinson (JR) dropped 2.13 seconds in the 200 IM
  • Greg Bauer (FR) swam the 200 IM and 100 Fly for the first time, completing them in 2:45.88 and 1:27.27, respectively. Both of those are pretty good times.
  • Aaron Bishop (JR) cut 25.85 seconds in 200 IM. He is close to breaking 3:00 minutes in the event.
  • Meg Blanchette (SO) beat her previous best in the 200 Free by .03 seconds.
  • Lucy Cunningham (SO) swam a big 10.23 second PR in 200 Free and another .97 second PR in 100 Free leading off a relay.
  • Elizabeth Francis (SO) lowered her 100 Fly PR by 2.93 seconds.
  • Moira Haggerty (SR) was great in the 200 IM, beating her previous PR by 17.24 seconds. She also beat her 100 Free PR by a huge 3.43 seconds.
  • Amelie Halisky (SR) crushed her previous best in 200 IM by 21.20 seconds, her previous best in 100 Free by .98 seconds, her previous best in 100 Free leading off a relay by .95 seconds, and her previous best in 50 Back leading off a relay by .40 seconds. Four (4) PRs in a single meet – not a bad day Amelie!
  • Mary Catherine Hurley (SO) beat her 100 Fly PR by 2.44 seconds.
  • Joey Lynch (7) cut 31.35 seconds in 200 Free and 1.53 seconds in 50 Back leading off a relay.
  • Allison Quispe (FR) dropped .52 seconds in 200 Free.
  • Briana Shillingburg (SO) competed in the 200 Free for the first time and completed the event in 4:16.24.

Kids Are “Anti-Fragile”

As I talk about things like deliberately putting kids in uncomfortable situations or teaching kids that they can always do more than think they can do, I am reminded of a pair of Awards Banquet talks that I gave after the ’18-’19 season and the ’19-’20 season:

As I drove back to Baltimore after the meet at the Freedom Center, the key concept in the first one struck me in particular.

Kids are not fragile, nor are they completely durable. Kids are anti-fragile.  This is a concept coined by Nassim Nicholas Talib, a quantitative scientist at NYU who some of you might recognize as the author of “The Black Swan”.

The term “anti-fragile” describes an entity that is strengthened by stress.  A fragile object fractures.  A durable object maintains its integrity.  An anti-fragile object, however, may break down now and again, but properly supported, you can bet it will bounce back from the experience stronger than ever.  Like steel hardened in the forge or clay hardened in the sun, some things get stronger with stress.

That describes, as well as I have ever heard, how our kids get stronger too.  When we as parents constantly shield our children from hardship or adversity or any sort of anxiety, we are actually denying them an opportunity to become stronger.  Yes, it is hard to watch sometimes, but the stress caused by intentionally allowing your child to suffer makes us stronger parents as well.

I strongly encourage you to print these talks and give them a read.  Together, they are pretty much the best description of how I think about raising my own kids and how I’m thinking as I coach all of you on this simple high school swim team.

I want he help parents make much more than “nice” boys and “feminine” girls.  I want those things of course – but I want so much more than that.  I want these boys and girls to grow into strong and capable men and women – strong enough to live their faith in the real world and capable of fully exploiting the gifts that God gave them to make a difference in the lives of others.

National Catholic High School Swimming and Diving Champs

During this past weekend (January 14-15, 2023), 23 of our top Seton Swimmers and divers journeyed to Loyola University in Baltimore, MD to compete at the National Catholic High School Swimming and Diving Championship.

I was so pleased with the results, starting with our Boy’s Diving team that competed under the tutelage of Coach Ashley Keapproth.  Believe it or not, no school in the meet scored as many diving points as Seton – in fact, since Diving was the night before swimming, Seton was actually winning the entire meet following the diving competition!  It was definitely cool when they published the meet scores, and we were beating Gonzaga!

The reason we scored so well is because we placed 4 Divers in the Top 16 scoring positions including two who won medals in the Top 8:

  • Connor Koehr – 5th
  • Mick Fioramonti – 8th
  • JJ Brox – 13th
  • Max Gonzalez – 16th
  • Gus Kohlhaas – 19th

Congratulations to these boys and Coach Keapproth.  Let’s repeat that performance at States boys!

On the swimming side, we had two girls qualify out of the Saturday Prelims to swim in the Sunday Finals.

  • Ariana Aldeguer (8)was our highest placing finalist with a  6th place medal in 200 IM and a 7th place medal in 500 Free.
    • In the 200 IM, she swam a PR 2:13.52 to qualify 6th, and in the Championship Final, she held that seed with another PR that dropped her best time to 2:12.67. With that swim, Ariana is within a second of Jessica Dunn’s 2008 team record of 2:11.80
    • In the 500 Free, she once again left Prelims with a big PR which got her time down to an incredible 5:17.04 to qualify 7th. In the Championship Final, she dropped again to 5:16.67 to hold her seed.  I can see another team record in Ariana’s future here too.  In 1999, long before Ariana was born, Katie Shipko swam a 5:06.98 on her way to the Gold medal at States and State MVP honors.  Breaking that record would be a marvelous achievement.
  • Clara Condon (SO) was our other swimmer who scored individually in this extremely fast meet – Clara made two (2) appearances in the Consolation Final.
    • In 100 Fly, Clara swam a season-best 1:02.15 in Prelims to qualify 12th, and in Finals, she dropped again to 1:01.02 to score in 10th place.
    • In 100 Breaststroke, Clara continued her streak of season-best times with a 1:09.61 that qualified her tied for 9th place, only .06 seconds behind the 8th place qualifier.  Then, in the Finals, even though she dropped her time to 1:09.30, she ended up scoring in 10th place.

It was a great weekend for both Ariana and Clara as they each prepare to score twice at the VISAA State Championship in mid-February.

We had one (1) relay come back for Sunday Finals too.  Our Girls “A” 400 Free Relay of Ariana Aldeguer (8), Anastasia Garvey (FR), Maggie Gibbons (JR), and Stella Paradise (JR) qualified for the Consolation in 16th place on the strength of Ariana’s lead-off 56.50.  We were pleased with their performance, but Coach Palazzo, Coach Mulhern and I knew they could do better than 3:57.34.

So, at Coach Palazzo’s suggestion, we switched the order to front-load the relay.  It worked great!  After Ariana’s 56.22 lead-off and Stella’s 56.13 2nd leg, we were leading the heat from the outside lane.  Maggie followed with a lifetime best split of 58.26, and that left Anastasia Garvey to try to hold up the anchor against the other seven (7) relays who left their top swimmer in that position.  Anastasia was up the task!  Her anchor split of 1:00.30 was more than two and a half seconds faster than her 100 Free PR, and she was able to touch in 13th place surprising three (3) other schools who entered the race with a higher seed.

Their 3:50.91 was right on Trinity Christian’s 3:50.63 from last week’s meet – without Mary Pennefather (SR).  Watching that race already has me thinking about how to line-up our relays for VCAC Champs.  Their time is also the 7th fastest girls 400 Free Relay swum in the VISAA so far this season.

We had two (2) other relays who would have qualified for Finals but had to learn a hard lesson about the importance of relay starts.  Both our Girls “A” 200 Medley Relay and our Boys “A” 200 Free Relay would have come back Sunday, but they were disqualified for early take-offs.

  • Our Girls “A” 200 Medley Relay of Ariana Aldeguer (8), Clara Condon (SO), Stella Paradise (JR), and Maggie Gibbons (JR) swam an amazing time of 1:53.84, a time that would have qualified them 5th in the Championship Final. Their splits were universally outstanding with Ariana leading off at 29.32 for 50 Back, Clara splitting 30.62 in 50 Breaststroke, Stella going 28.07 for the Fly leg, and Maggie anchoring in 25.83.

Their time of 1:53.84 would have finished in the Top 8 in last year’s VISAA State Championship, ahead of all other Division II schools.  Looking on SwimCloud, it also would have been the 6th fastest time swum this season in the entire VISAA, once again ahead of all Division II schools (their time from last week’s VCAC Invitational was also the 6th fastest in the VISAA this season)

  • Our Boys “A” 200 Free Relay of Lionel Martinez (8), David Hudson (JR), Joe Wilson (SR), and Liam Halisky (SO) went a season-best 1:37.83 which would have qualified them in 16th for the Finals had they not been disqualified. Like the girls, their splits were great with Lionel leading off at 23.65, David splitting 25.12, Joe going 24.49, and Liam anchoring at 24.57.

Their time would have been the 12th fastest in the entire VISAA had it counted

The DQs were listed as “early take-offs”, but I think a better description might be “late finish” – and that was the lesson we can take into the post-season.  A great relay start begins with the person in the water finishing strong.  The swimmer on the block shouldn’t be waiting for the swimmer in the water to touch as much as the swimmer in the water should be ensuring they touch before the swimmer on the block leaves.

If we are going to take two (2) of the three relays from Trinity Christian at VCAC Champs, we are going to have to gain an edge on relay starts.   The swimmers on the block are going to have to feel free to be aggressive, and it will be the swimmers in the water that allow them to think that way.

And finally, congratulations to our other National Catholic Team members who swam well:

  • Lionel Martinez (8) was hanging with the big boys even though is still only in 8th In the 500 Free, he dropped 5.19 seconds to a very fast 5:09.16.  That is smokin’!  He also had a very fast swim in 200 IM where he went 2:06.82.  Lionel has the 16th fastest 500 Free time and the 17th fastest 200 IM time in the VISAA so far this season.
  • JJ Brox (SR) had a phenomenal swim in 100 Breaststroke, breaking his previous Personal Record by 2.13 seconds. In 50 Breaststroke as part of our relay, he split 29.52.  That split was .77 seconds faster than his previous best, and it is now the fastest on the team – so JJ has earned a spot on the “A” Medley Relay this coming weekend.
  • Michael Brox (SO) was on fire this weekend in 100 Free. From a flat start, he went 56.25 which beat his previous PR by .75 seconds.  Then in the 400 Free Relay, he split 55.17!  Welcome to the “A” 400 Free Relay, Michael.
  • Connor Koehr (SO) is getting very close to the State cut in 100 Backstroke, and his quest was helped quite a bit by his 1.15 second PR last weekend. Connor is also looking like he could repeat as a Championship Finalist in Diving.
  • Philomena Kay (8) had a great swim in the 200 Free, beating her previous PR by 4.11 seconds.
  • Maggie Gibbons (JR) had two individual PRs in addition to her great relay splits. In 50 Free she cut .57 seconds and in 100 Back she cut .64 seconds.
  • Mick Fioramonti (JR) had a great swim in 100 Backstroke, lowering his PR by .32 seconds to go 1:04.91.
  • Anastasia Garvey (FR) didn’t just swim well in the relays. She also swam well in 100 Breaststroke, dropping 1.32 seconds.
  • David Hudson (JR) cut .96 seconds from his 100 Free PR. David also had a life-time best split in 50 Fly on a relay, 26.44.
  • Kateri Mantooth (SR) had some great swims in 100 Breast where she dropped .42 seconds and in 50 Free where she dropped .23 seconds.
  • Stella Paradise (JR) broke the :26 barrier in 50 Free when she swam 25.98 in a .22 second PR.
  • Elodie Brox (SO) dropped .11 seconds in 50 Free and came within .02 of breaking the :27 second barrier from a flat start.
  • Drew Nguyen (SO) dropped .10 in 50 Free to go 25.01 from a flat start.
  • Joseph Borneman (SO) split a blazing 25.12 in a relay. While that doesn’t count as a PR, it was 1.25 seconds faster than his best-ever flat start 50 Free.
  • Haley Fifield (SO) and Jacqueline Oswald (SR) both had strong swims in 50 Free and 100 Back, coming very close to her PRs in both.
  • Joe Wilson (SR) continues to amaze me. Despite his very serious car accident, he was within .33 seconds of his lifetime best in 50 Free.

All-in-all, it was a great weekend for our top Seton Swimmers.  We once again stayed in AirBnB houses.  It was so cool being able to have a gathering space between sessions and a central place for all of our meals.

A special thanks to volunteer coaches Pat Mulhern, Ross Palazzo, and Ashley Keapproth, none of whom have kids on the team, for taking their weekend to guide our swimmers and divers.

And also, a big thank you to Mrs. Katie Condon, Mrs. Claire Nguyen, and Mrs. Christi Brox for their hard work organizing and preparing our meals and coordinating rides for everyone.   Mrs. Condon in particular was a super-Swim-Mom for the weekend, and I am so grateful to her for her leadership.

Final Notes

Let’s wrap it up with some final notes:

  • There are only two (2) weeks left in the season for our non-Varsity swimmers. Everyone will be swimming in the Northern Virginia Catholic High School Championship (aka, “NoVa Catholics”) on January 21st
    • After NoVa Catholics, I will draft our entries for one of the February championship meets and use that to announce our 2022 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 29th.
    • This meet is primarily for 6th to 9th graders, but I will be able to include some select upperclassmen.
  • For the Varsity swimmers, it’s time to start to get serious about some championship level swimming. From now on, you are going to see my attention shift from giving you a wide range of different types of swims to lining you up to be as competitive as possible.
    • Both our Boys need to take the VCAC Championship Meet from Trinity Christian, and our Girls need to take the VISAA State Championship from the Steward School, Peninsula Catholic, and Veritas.
    • None of those are going to be easy

So, let’s make the most of our training for the rest of January.  It’s nearing the end of the season for most of you, and this is when championships are won for the rest of you!

Coach Jim Koehr

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