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Last updated
12-20-14 06:33 PM
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Seton Swim Team
Coach Koehr
(540) 379-8328
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Saturday, December 20
Welcome to Homecoming - Our Boys and Girls 2011 State Championship Teams

· Meet Results are Now Posted from Saturday's Annual Homecoming Meet at Central Park.  Our boys are back in the driver's seat to regain the DAC Conference Champs from defending champion FCS. 

· It's time to start fundraising for our New Year's Eve Cystic Fibrosis Swim-a-thon.  Click here to go set up your personal fundraising page.  Detailed instructions are under Meet & Team Information/CF Swim-a-thon - Dec 31 2014

· Like our new Seton Swim Team Community Page on Facebook by clicking here.   

· See an example of former Seton All-America Kevin Koehr's backstroke start below:

preview Kevin Koehr Backstroke Start

Saturday, December 13
Our Annual Bus Trip to Richmond was Fun - and Fast!

On Friday night, we continued our annual tradition of loading up two coach buses and road-tripping to Richmond for a meet against some top Division I competition.  Trinity Episcopal School (TES) was a great host as usual.  The meet was a lot of fun and we had some very fast swimming , particularly in the stroke that has received so much recent attention in practice, Breaststroke. 

We all owe a big thank you to Mrs. Pechie for putting the whole trip together for us.  She really did a great job!  Thank you also to Coach Zadnik and Coach Dalrymple for the help they gave Mrs. Pechie is marshaling the swimmers and finding us a great place to eat on the way home. 

Trinity Episcopal, Fork Union Military Academy and The Covenant School are all Division I schools with TES and FUMA both boasting multiple former Division I State Championships – FUMA actually won it last year.  So I was very pleased how well we competed at that level, especially our girls. 

Here’s the way the meet scores turned out: 


Seton                        131         The Covenant School                 16

Seton                          89         Deep Run High School                81

Trinity Episcopal         95        Seton                                           75


Seton                          90         The Covenant School                  72

Deep Run HS           102          Seton                                          59

Fork Union Military  103          Seton                                          65

Trinity Episcopal      132          Seton                                          38

Top Performances in Richmond

There were several great swims on Friday night.  Here are the swimmers that stood out against some of the top competition in the State:

·       Clair Kenna, the anchor whichever of our “A” Relays I choose for her, took first place in both the 50 Free and 100 Breast, winning both races by significant margins.  In the 50, she won by nearly .9 seconds and in the 100 Breast, she won by more than 5 seconds.  It would be easy to pigeon-hole Claire as just a sprinter, but she’s swum the faster 100 Breaststroke time on the team by nearly 2.5 seconds and has qualified for both States and National Catholics in the event.  As a coach, it is great to have options, and Claire offers several. 

·       It is probably no surprise that I’m writing about Anna Kenna again, but she was definitely one of the two best swimmers in the meet Friday night.  With her big underwaters, she won 100 Back handily – so handily in fact that she had a body length lead before she even took her first stroke!  Then in 100 Fly, she took 2nd place behind the other top female swimmer in the meet, Zoe Trenz of Trinity Episcopal, who has a very fine butterfly (I think I'm going to really enjoy watch Zoe at States).  With that background, it was great to see them both step up to the blocks to lead off their respective 200 Free Relays.  Anna was faster underwater and Zoe was faster on top of the water and they battled it out to a near dead heat.  And Anna was rewarded for the effort with another PR in 50 Free, by .04 seconds.  I found out later that Anna wasn’t feeling well – she never said a word to me about it.  Now that’s a competitor!

·       Dani Flook was a real standout for us on Friday, particularly in the 500 Free where she took 3rd place in a fast field after dropping 36.95 seconds and blowing through the State qualifying time by 15 seconds.  A review of her splits showed a remarkable consistency.  To put that in perspective, had she lapped the previous version of herself swimming this event.  And to show her versatility now, she also cut .37 seconds in 50 Free and got under the National Catholic qualifying time in that event.  Dani swims part-time with us at Seton and full-time with NCAP.  I’m sure her NCAP coach, Cheri Adair, is as proud of her as we are.

·       Alex Sinner took 2nd place in 200 Free and Kimberly Rector took 2nd in 100 Free.  They both should be key contributors to our post-season aspirations. 

Another 62 Personal Records!

This week’s emphasis was breaststroke after a week and a half of heavy work on technique in practice.  It was very gratifying to see so many long underwater glides with each stroke.  I could tell that we still have a ways to go, but the results are indicative of some pretty significant progress.   

How about 23 PRs out of 25 swims for the boys and 12 PRs out of 18 swims for the girls!?  Many of the swimmers that didn’t hit PRs were already top breaststrokers so we are more likely to see PRs from them later in the season as their conditioning advances.  And as you’ll see, it is not just the number of Breaststroke PRs that was exciting – it was also the magnitude.  It is amazing how much you can improve just by swimming the strokes properly. 

Here are the Personal Records that struck me as the most dramatic:

·       Katie Albin so excited about her “new breaststroke kick” all week, so I was so pleased to see it pay off for her – how about a 5.94 second PR in 100 Breast?  Very nice!  She also cut another .10 seconds from her 50 Free PR

·       Ben Ashton almost didn’t come to the meet, but he must have had an inkling that he could do something great – and boy did he: Ben cut a huge 10.53 seconds from his 100 Breast PR and a huge .77 seconds from his 50 Free PR.  A coach friend of mine used to say, “If it were easy, it would be called basketball ;-)”.  I’m glad the hard work paid off for Ben this weekend.

·       Tim Costello swam extremely well this weekend, and that made me very happy since his Mom was down from New York to watch.  In the 200 Free, he lowered his PR by 11.61 seconds, but it was his Breaststroke that excited me the most.  Tim has made major changes to his stroke, particularly how he glides and how he delays his kick until after his pull is complete.  While the results are still coming in the 100 as he gets more comfortable, in the 50 during a medley relay, he swam his fastest relay split ever, by a huge .70 seconds.

·       Drew Dalrymple lowered his 100 Breast PR by 5.71 seconds.  He’s only in 7th grade, so I’m very excited about his future on the team.

·       Ben Dealey, only a freshman, has been really coming on strong this season.  His 7.70 second drop in 100 Breast and his .57 second drop in 50 Free are demonstrating the real potential he has to be a significant scorer for us in the future.

·       Joe Fioramonti is definitely on my radar now, even though he’s only a freshman.  To do the entries, I run reports that show times, fastest to slowest, of every swimmer on our team for every event.  This past week, as I was doing the entries, Joe was surprisingly high a several of my reports.  To tell you the truth, I thought there might be a mistake so I put him back in 50 Free to find out if it were possible that he could really go 29.75.  Well, I really glad I did, but not only could he go 29.75, he could go 27.88!  That was another 1.87 second drop – if I didn’t see it for myself, I wouldn’t have believed it.  Just for the record, Joe is now out fastest freshman – and only one sophomore can beat him in 50 Free.

·       Ryan Hall has brought a real joy to his swimming and that great attitude is yielding some pretty significant results.  Somehow, Ryan dropped 7.65 seconds in 100 Breast and another .71 seconds in 50 Free.  Once we get to flip turns in practice, I can easily see Ryan going under :30 seconds in the 50 Free.  It’s exciting to me to think that he is only a freshman!

·       Chris Hartung is another one who brings great joy to his swimming and is seeing the results of it.  I don’t think anyone on the team continually has drops as large as Chris’.  This week’s monster improvement came in 100 Breaststroke when he cut an amazing 9.75 seconds.

·       Theresa Hartung also continued her massive levels of improvement with a 12.35 second PR in 100 Breaststroke.

·       Bernadette Hassan somehow managed to improve even more than that.  How do you drop 15.01 seconds in 100 Breaststroke?  Wow!

·       Sean Kellogg upped the ante even more than that, if you can believe it.  Sean lowered his PR by 16.28 seconds!  Unbelievable!

·       John O’Donohue performed very well with the General looking on.  I’m sure his father was very proud to watch him drop 6.09 seconds in 50 Back leading off a medley relay.  He also cut 1.91 seconds in 100 Breast.

·       Mark O’Donohue also stepped him up for his father’s return to the pool with a 16.51 second PR in 500 Free and a .89 second PR 100 Breast.  I really liked how Mark was trying to sprint at the end of those 20 lengths on the 500.

·       Bridget O’Malley is working hard to become a four (4) stroke swimmer and it showed with a 11.28 second PR in 200 IM.

·       Meghan O’Malley had a very fine swim in the 500 Free, lowering her lifetime best by 7.54 seconds.·       Michaela Pennefather had a big drop in her 50 Free when she cut 1.65 seconds from her PR.  Next stop – something below :30!

·       Marcie Van de Voorde was a very happy girl after her 100 Breaststroke.  I would have been too if I had cut 24.85 seconds! 

And here are the rest of the great performances that made up our PR total:

·       Edith Barvick looked very strong during in 1.41 second PR swim in 100 Breaststroke.  She has really improved quite a bit since she joined our team.

·       David Catabui has also shown a great deal of improvement since his early days on the team.  On Friday night, he cut another 2.61 seconds in 100 Breast and 2.63 seconds in 50 Free.  That’s are quite some drops, particularly in that 50 Free.

·       Alex Ceol is one of our team’s best four (4) stroke swimmers, and it showed in his 200 IM after a 4.28 second PR.  I can’t wait to see what he can do once the season progresses and his conditioning improves!

·       Leslie Chang got DQ’d in 100 Breast, but her time would have been more than 19 seconds faster, mostly on the strength of her pull.  Once she develops a legal kick, I’d expect her time to drop even more.

·       Katie Dealey has a very nice swim in 100 Breast, lowering her previous best time by 3.08 seconds.

·       Patrick Dealey also swam quite well when he cut 1.23 seconds from his 100 Breaststroke PR.

·       MacKenzie Farmer, a freshman, is showing her future potential as a scorer on our team.  On Friday, she cut another 2.29 seconds in 100 Breast and another 1.44 seconds in 50 Back leading off a medley relay

·       Justin Fioramonti continues to show great improvement.   He lowered his 50 Free PR by .97 seconds and, had he not been DQ’d, he would have lowered his 100 Breast PR by 2.77 seconds.  Let’s work on that kick in practice and then really see what you can do Justin!

·       Matthew Fioramonti continues to improve and score solidly for our team.  I just love his work ethic so much that I particularly enjoyed watching him swim lifetime bests in 100 Back by 1.29 seconds and in 100 Free by .80 seconds.  In that 100 Free, he broke the magical 1:00 barrier for the first time in his life too!

·       Tommy Flook is one of the swimmers our team that can swim competitively in any of the 8 individual events.  On Friday, I gave him a crack at the 200 Free and repaid me with a 4.01 second PR.

·       Caroline Griffin is only a 7th grader, but I can already see great things in her future, particularly if she keeps dropping 2.13 seconds in 100 Breast and 1.62 seconds in 50 Free.

·       Patrick Hall looked very long in his 100 Breast, and that big improvement in stroke technique helped him cut 3.46 seconds from his PR

·       Ruthie Hartung somehow managed to cut yet another 1.06 seconds from her 50 Free PR.

·       RJ Kenna continued to improve with a big 1.55 second PR in 100 Breast and a .02 second PR in 50 Free.  RJ is already under :30 in 50 Free as a 7th grader.

·       Jeremy Kleb is really starting to figure it out now.  I really enjoyed watching his 5.09 second PR in 100 Breaststroke

·       John Paul Kleb also had a big drop in 100 Breast, improving his personal best by 3.70 seconds.

·       Brian Koehr is another one of our four (4) stroke swimmers, and he proved it with a 8.58 second PR in the 200 IM going 2:24.66, the fastest time on the team.  That was good enough for 4th place against some pretty good competition.

·       Seamus Koehr continues to get better with three (3) PRs on Friday night.  He dropped 1.98 seconds in 100 Breast, 1.23 seconds in 50 Free, and .26 seconds in 50 Back leading off a medley relay.  Seamus is another one who shows promise in all four (4) strokes.

·       Anne Konstanty, always the first one to practice in the morning, dropped a big 2.27 seconds in 100 Breaststroke

·       Josh Miller looked very good in Breaststroke once again this week, but it was 50 Free where he shined on Friday, lowering his PR by .74 seconds to go a fast 27.56.

·       Tommy Moore showed he has been listening in practice when I watched him cut 2.44 seconds in 100 Breast.

·       Patrick Murray would have had a 7.14 second PR in 100 Breast had he not been DQ’d.  We’ll work some more on that kick and then we’ll watch him go even faster!

·       Peter O’Donohue showed some strong improvement in his Breaststroke technique, and it resulted in a .28 second PR.  As he gets more comfortable doing the stroke this new way, I’d expect to see even more improvement.

·       Paul Pechie did a nice job leading off a medley relay when he lowered his 50 Back PR by .10 seconds.

·       Martin Quinan lowered his 100 Breast PR by 4.02 seconds.  It was so fun having him run up to me after his racing saying, “Coach Koehr, I could feel the glide!”

·       Dominic Wittlinger looked stronger than I’ve ever seen him look in freestyle so it didn’t surprise me when I saw that had lowered his PR by .70 seconds in 50 Free.  He also had a big 2.76 second drop in 100 Breast. 

Other Great Performances

Here are some other exciting things I remember or took notes on from the meet:

·       Andrew Quinan had ice on his elbow for most of the meet, but that didn’t keep him from scoring twice with times remarkably close to his personal bests.

·       Alex Ceol had a particularly strong split in 50 Fly in a medley relay.  He split 29.80, the first time he’s ever split below :30 seconds.  Alex now has the 2nd fastest 50 Fly split on the team.  Alex also split his fastest ever 100 Free as the anchor of our 400 Free relay with a 58.89.

·       Leslie Chang showed us all what to do when you googles come off during a race – you just keep going – don’t stop, don’t adjust, don’t do anything except keep swimming as hard as you can.  Leslie did just that even though her googles wer covering her mouth!  As a few swimmers learned, just fixing your googles could actually lead to a DQ in strokes like Breaststroke and Butterfly where there’s a required rhythm to the stroke in order to keep it legal.

·       Dominic Wittlinger and Brian Koehr are models for how to finish a race in freestyle.  Both of them put their heads down and really reach – like they want to get to the wall faster than everyone else.

·       Paul Pechie’s Butterfly technique looked very good on Friday.  His chest was down and his hands were light on every stroke.

·       There’s a reason why we have Claire Kenna on the back end of our “A” Relays and she showed it in the 200 Free Relay when she hit the water behind Trinity’s anchor swim and walked her down with a split of 25.66 to get Seton 1st place in the event.  A big part of the reason Claire is such a good anchor, besides her heart, is her relay start.

·       Mark O’Donohue cracks me up sometimes.  As the anchor on our “A” 200 Medley Relay, he split 25.86.  After the race, I excitedly told him how much he’s improving and he said “Is that good?”.  Yes Mark, that was very good!  And once we work on your relay start, it will be even better.

·       Brian Koehr slipped on the block on his lead-off for the 200 Free Relay and still managed to go 25.61 from a standing start. 

Qualifiers for VISAA States and National Catholics

Congratulations to Dani Flook who hit the State Qualifying time in 500 Free and the National Catholic Qualifying time in the 50 Free. Dani will join Anna Kenna, Claire Kenna, Kimberly Rector and Alex Sinner – all four (4) of these girls added events for which they qualified for both of these elite championship meets.  I expect to add the first boys to the list of individual qualifiers as early as next week.  

Eligibility reports are always posted under the applicable meets under Meet & Team Information.

Recall that, unlike most of our other meets, during the Championship season, we have two big swim meets that require participants to achieve a qualifying time during this season in a non-time trial meet (that’s a change from the past).  The National Catholic High School Championship Loyola University in Baltimore at the end of January and the State Championship is moving back to the Collegiate Aquatic Center in Richmond February 13-14th. 

Here’s where we stand for our Championship meets so far:

Meet Girls Boys
National Catholics 

Kimberly Rector

·        50 Free

·        100 Breast

·        100 Free

Claire Kenna

·        200 IM

·        100 Free

·        50 Free

·        100 Breast

Anna Kenna

·        50 Free

·        200 Free

·        100 Fly

·        100 Back

Alex Sinner

·        100 Fly

·        200 Free

Dani Flook

·        50 Free

200 Medley “A”

200 Free Relay “A”

400 Free Relay “A”


Kimberly Rector

·        50 Free

·        100 Breast

·        100 Free

Claire Kenna

·        200 IM

·        100 Free

·        50 Free

·        100 Breast

Anna Kenna

·        50 Free

·        200 Free

·        500 Free

·        100 Fly

·        100 Back

Alex Sinner

·        100 Fly

·        200 Free

·        500 Free

Dani Flook

·        500 Free

200 Medley “A”

200 Medley “B”

200 Free Relay “A”

400 Free Relay “A”

 200 Medley “A” 

Also Recall: For relays at States, we are I am able to enter an “A” scoring relay and a qualifying “B” exhibition relay.  Swimmers are qualified to swim on a relay if they have either qualified in an individual event or swum on the relay when it hit the qualifying time.   At the time that I submit our relay entries, I will enter the fastest two qualifying relays that I can, so that means that relay line-ups are subject to change up to the last moment depending on who is the fastest at that time.   For now, I won’t even attempt to project who is traveling with us for relays yet – I will say that there are a lot of opportunities for swimmers on our team! 

Final Notes

·       Next Saturday is our annual Homecoming Meet at Central Park.  Our warm-up will be a noon rather than the normal 1:00 p.m. so please note the change.  Plan to be on deck ready to stretch at 11:39 a.m. And spread the word to all of the alumni that you know!

·       We started Butterfly last Thursday, and from what I could see, we really need to finish it - so don’t miss practice!

·       Don’t forget:  I’ve scheduled the pool time at Central Park for practices over Christmas break.  I’m targeting December 22nd, 23rd, 29th and 30th at 10:00 a.m. for Varsity swimmers (non-exhibition) only.  If you are in town, I will expect you to come.  If we want to be ready for the championship season which begins only a month after Christmas, we need to train over break.  Guest Coaches Cat Rogers, Sean Koehr and Daniel Koehr will be handling the practices on Dec 22nd and 23rd and I’m working on some special guest for the next week also.

·       On December 31st we’ll have our annual Cystic-Fibrosis Swim-a-thon from 10:00 a.m. to Noon.  Thanks again to the Given family for running it again.  I’ll pass on more information as I get it.

·       I’ve told all of those effected, but just so we are clear – no more Speedo style swim suits for Seton Swimming. 

Next week’s meet is against the defending boy’s conference champion, Fredericksburg Christian.  I’d really rather not type that phrase ever again ;-)  Come to practice this week ready to work – especially you boys! 

See you Monday morning, 

Coach Jim Koehr    

Sunday, January 5
Hey Coach, Does Winning Really Matter Anyway?

Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth Matt 5:5 

I’ve heard it said at Seton that winning doesn’t really matter, and some people have asked me if my emphasis on personal records means that I believe that myself.  I don’t.  And I certainly don’t think that our faith teaches us that. 

Our faith does teach us to be “meek”, but many people completely misinterpret the term “meekness” in the way that Christ meant it.  According to St. Thomas Aquinas, “meekness is a virtue which moderates the passion of anger according to the dictates of reason, and calms the desire for revenge”.  I don’t know about you, but I didn’t see anything in that definition that implies the capitulation or timidity often associated with the term “meek”.  Quite the opposite in fact. 

To demonstrate the spiritual strength to be truly meek, you need to be in complete control of your passions and direct them toward good – so called “righteous anger”.  And to be truly meek in competition, you have to have the strength of character to turn your anger inward to maximize the gifts that God gave you rather than trying to tear down your competition.  So being meek actually requires incredible strength of character. 

If you really want to take “meek” to the next level, you compete is such a charitable way that you actually make your opponent better too.  Taken this way, if you don’t try to win, you are actually doing your competitor a disservice!  

This is why winning matters.  I will wonder aloud: if we did not have such a long history of winning at Seton, would some of those great FCS swims have been perhaps a bit less inspired?  Would Jack Rutherford have had that ridiculous swim in the 50 Free?  Or would Brandon Chang, Noah and Garrett Ross, or George Tryfiates have swum the way they did?  Certainly there is some excellent coaching going on down there, and they certainly would have improved without competing against Seton – but all of us who compete know that we like to beat the best.  And Seton has been the best for a long time. 

Now the shoe is on the other foot.  They are the ones who need to be meek.  They are the ones who need to push us to be better stewards of the gifts God gave us by being even better stewards themselves - and when that happens, all of DAC Swimming benefits.  I doubt they are going to happy with just one DAC Championship – at least I hope not.  

To me, being “meek” is synonymous with being a great sport.  I never liked it that, by default, the worst team in a league always seems to get the sportsmanship trophy.  Being happy about losing is not good sportsmanship – it is the opposite of good sportsmanship because those who are content with losing are not making anyone with whom they compete any better.  In their victory yesterday, I think that FCS, particularly their coaches, were a great example of meekness in Christian sense – and the Seton boys are going to return the favor next season ;-) 

Christian Meekness in athletic competition is not capitulation or timidity. 

Christian Meekness is the spiritual strength to help your competitors over the bar that you raised by winning.

- Coach Jim Koehr

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