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Last updated
09-02-16 02:00 PM
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Seton Swimming
Coach Jim Koehr
(540) 379-8328
9314 Maple St
Manassas, Virginia
20110
 
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Friday, September 2
image_name2
The Godfather of Seton Swimming, Mr. Seltman, with the 2016 State Team

Interested in joining Seton Swimming?  Click here for our team handbook or e-mail Coach Koehr at Coach@KoehrFamily.com

 

It was a great season!  Click here for Meghan O'Malley's Season Recap Slide Show on the Seton Swimming YouTube Channel. 

 

See you on Thursday, November 3, 2016 at Central Park for the first day of practice next season! A draft meet schedule is posted under Meet & Team Information 

  • Pre-season team party and bon fire at Coach Koehr's house on Saturday, November 5th 
  • The 2017 State Championship will be held at the Christiansburg Aquatic Center on February 17-18, 2017 
  • The 2017 National Catholic HS Championship will be held at the Loyola Baltimore on January 21-22, 2017 

 

Coach Koehr's notes from the Awards banquet are posted under Meet & Team Information 

 

Congratulations to Seton Swimming’s boys and girls for their outstanding performance at the VISAA Division State Swim & Dive Champions!

  • The Seton girls took 3rd place for VISAA Division II, just 2 points behind Highland
  • Detailed analysis is posted below
  • Loads of great professional pictures by Joe Sites of Trinity Episcopal School of all the swimmers at States are available for free download by clicking here
  • See all of the races on www.woodberrybroadcasting.com

Check out a re-post of an excerpt of one of last year's blogs about a talk I heard by former Seton Captain Ray Bennett.  I've posted it below.

 

Click here to see why we line up the way we do for the National Anthem before all of our meets.  This VT Coach describes what do to far better than I have - scroll down to see the video. 

 

Click here for how to do the perfect push-up - thank you Mr. Fioramonti! 




Wednesday, February 24
“So You’re Telling Me There’s a Chance…...YEAH!”

Eleven (11) new State Records in 24 events, “5-Peat” Champions, Swim Moms honored to lead the Procession of Finalists to the blocks, music blasting, kids singing and dancing – these were just a few of the highlights from the 2016 VISAA State Swim and Dive Championship hosted by Seton School and Woodberry Forest School at the beautiful Christiansburg Aquatic Center in Christiansburg, VA!

 

Last weekend (Feb 19-20, 2010), we took 24 swimmers into this incredibly fast meet, and swimming I saw from our team was beyond my expectations.  Our kids always seem to excel on the big stage every year at States, but I was even more pleased with the way the team interacted and encouraged each other.  Before the meet, I had no real expectation of earning any of the team awards, but we left with our girls just 2 points away from winning the Division II State Runner-up and with both our boys and girls being recognized by the other coaches with the Spirit Award!

 

It was an incredibly fun trip for our team.  For the first time, we tried renting a house off of AirBnB so we had a place to gather between sessions for comradery and team meals.  Thanks to the leadership of Mrs. Lowell and Mrs. Heim, we had wonderful team meals that didn’t require long waits for restaurants to serve drink and take orders.  And thank you to Mr. Kenna and Lobster Maine-ia for supplying Lobsters and Scallops!  I’m quite sure no other team was eating like we were at States this year!

 

Here’s an excerpt from the scoring of a very exciting meet – particularly on the girl’s side where the meet came down to a single 16th place relay (more on that below):


Girl

1.     Collegiate School                  286

2.     St. Catherine’s School           250

6.     Hampton Roads Academy    174 – Division II Champ

9.     Bishop Ireton                        115

15.    Highland School                    42 – Division II Runner-up

16.    Seton School                          40

17.    Trinity Christian School         38

18.    John Paul the Great               22

 

Boys

1.     Trinity Episcopal                 303

2.     St. Christopher’s School       267

6.     Woodberry Forest                179

8.     Hampton Roads Academy   150 – Division II Champ

12.    Fredericksburg Christian       73.5 – Division II Runner-up

18.    Trinity Christian School         28

19.    John Paul the Great               19

 

Recall that our State Championship is scored like one big championship meet.  The team with the highest point total is declared the “Overall” State Champion, and the Division II team with the most points is declared the “Division II” State Champion.  For the 5th year in a row, Hampton Roads Academy took the Division II Championship.  In the years just prior to this HRA streak, Seton won the girls four (4) years in a row and won the boys three (3) years in a row (plus 2006).  Since then, our Girls have been runner-up twice.

As we headed down mid-last week, I was hoping for some great PR swims from our kids, but I wasn’t expecting to bring home much team hardware but that changed for our girls after the first day’s competition.  When our girls 200 Medley Relay took 11th place and Trinity Christian’s relay was disqualified, I saw an outside chance to take the State runner-up for Division II.   Highland had 20 points, we had 12 points, and Trinity Christian had 6 points.

That night, our rally cry echoed the famous line from the bad comedy “Dumb and Dumber” where, in response to a girl telling one of the lead characters that he had a one in a million chance of taking her out, he said “So you’re telling me there’s a chance….YEAH!  

We knew that Anna Kenna still had both of her individual events to swim, that our 200 Free Relay was likely to score and that we had an outside chance of scoring some points in 100 Breaststroke with Claire Kenna and Emily Heim.  On the other side of the coin, we knew that Trinity Christian still had two scoring relays, but that their top female swimmer only had one individual event left.  We also knew that we were going to have to score a total of at least 40 points to counteract the 40 points that Reni Moshos of Highland School would score all by herself over the course of the two nights.

The stage was set, and all played out better than we could have hoped – except for one thing.  The performance of our girls on Saturday night, particularly Anna Kenna, held off Trinity Christian by 2 points, and Reni got her 40 points with two State record swims – but Highland’s 200 Free Relay also snuck into 16th place and scored two more points.  Those two points made all of the difference!  Even with top swimmers, swimming truly is a team sport.

Even though Reni Moshos swam for Highland, over her 5 year swimming career, many of us at Seton have developed a special bond with her and her family.  Reni even selected Bryanna Farmer and Kimberly Rector for the honor of carrying the sign to lead the Procession of Finalists to the blocks for her State record setting 100 Backstroke final.  If we had to lose to someone, the Moshos family and the other great swim families from Highland School were good people to take the trophy from us.  Next year, Reni will join former Seton Lacrosse star Joe Kenna as a varsity athlete representing the University of North Carolina

This meet was incredibly fast, and only the top 16 finishers in each event even score points!  Our Boys swam the best they’ve swum all season (details below), and that was good enough for some strong relay finishes in 17th, 19th and 20th but not quite good enough to get into the scoring.

Anna Kenna Comes Back Twice!

Anna Kenna always has been a big meet swimmer, and once again, she showed it to all us.  After a season of balancing swimming with Varsity Basketball, Irish Dance and her rigorouse Seton studies, it was truly amazing to watch her race last weekend.

In 100 Free, Anna won the consolation finals to take 9th place overall, scoring 9 points.  During this season, the fastest Anna had ever gone was 56.27 which had her seeded just outside the top 16.  Then, during prelims, she went out incredibly fast and swam a 53.90 – a lifetime best by .48 seconds!  Knowing that last year, a time that fast would have placed 4th in the Finals, we were surprised to see that, this year, it only earned the top seed in the Consolation Finals (Note: top 8 are Championship Finals and the next 8 or Consolation Finals with all 16 places scoring).  It was very difficult to be too disappointed though – 53.90 is the 2nd fastest 100 Freestyle in the history of our team!

Later that same day, Anna popped another great swim in 100 Backstroke where she ultimately took 7th place to score a very important 12 points.  Like freestyle, her multi-sport balancing act left her with a top time during the season of 1:01.38.  In Prelims, we decided that her best approach would be to take it out very fast and try to hold on for a strong 3rd wall – and that is just what she did.  I knew she was having a great swim when I saw her 50 split display at 28.06!  With less than 7,000 yards per week of training, Anna came back in 30.47 to swim a lifetime best 58.53!  That earned her the 4th seed for the Championship Finals.  In the finals, the competition really heated up, but Anna gave it all she had going out in an incredible 27.94.  She ended up with a 58.98, a 7th place medal and a huge smile.

Other Swimmers Who Made it Back to Finals

Every year, this meet gets faster, so it is no small feat to qualify top 16 during Prelims, but we had one other individual girl plus two relays pull off scoring swims for us.

  • Claire Kenna had the best 100 Breaststroke of her life during Saturday morning Prelims, and that is exactly what was required for her to sneak into 16th place for the Prelims.  Her .30 second PR 1:12.23 was really fun to watch.  At finals, she stayed at 16th in a very fast heat and scored 1 crucial point for Seton.

  • Our Girls 200 Medley Relay of Anna Kenna, Emily Heim, Kimberly Rector and Claire Kenna dropped nearly 1.5 seconds from their PR to take 11th place and score 12 points.  Anna’s 27.33 lead-off was just off her own team record, Emily’s 32.45 equaled her season best, Kimberly’s 29.53 was an act of courage with her injured wrist and Claire’s 25.74 was her fastest of the season.  I have to highlight here the courage I witnessed in Kimberly Rector’s 29.53 split.  She was in some pretty good pain as a result of a skiing accident a couple of weeks ago, but she swam through the pain and was very near her PR split.  Had she not shown that courage, we really would not have had the shot at State Runner-up that we had.

  •  Our Girls 200 Free Relay of Anna Kenna, Bridget O’Malley, Emily Heim and Claire Kenna took 14th place to score 6 points after dropping their season PR by almost 2.5 seconds.  Anna crushed her 50 Free PR by .57 seconds with her lead-off 25.00, Bridget O’Malley split an unbelievable 27.20 (her PR set the day before was 28.43), Emily Heim split a lifetime best 27.75 and Claire rocked the anchor as usual 25.27.


There Were So Many Other Great Swims

Most of our team was in Christiansburg to swim in Relays, but we did have three (3) other individual qualifiers who competed for points:

  • David Flook is only in 8th grade, but he got his first taste of individual State competition taking 47th place in 100 Backstroke with a .18 second PR swim of 1:03.83

  • Matthew Fioramonti (SR) took 49th with a 1:04.26.  To put the high level of competition in this event into perspective, the 31st place time was 59.91!

  •  Emily Heim (SR) had one of her best swims of the season, and in a very fast event, she placed 21st with a 1:14.03.  Her “quick hands” became a model that I used for many other members of the team, including Claire Kenna.

  • Vivian Zadnik (SR) swam a .43 second PR to finish 29th in 100 Breaststroke.  It was a great way to end her swimming career. 

We had some really tremendous splits during our many relays last weekend.  With many of these swimmers coming back next season, it is getting me sort of excited for the possibilities:

  • Our Boys 200 Free “A” Relay of Andrew Quinan, Grant Mantooth, Brian Koehr and Matthew Fioramonti just missed the top 16 when they placed 17th in prelims after a nearly 3 second PR.  Andrew led off with a blazing .27 PR 23.93 followed by Grant’s 24.71, Brian’s 25.25 and Matt’s 24.46.  They entered the meet seeded 23rd and almost made it back!

  • Our Girls 200 Medley “B” Relay of Caroline Griffin, Vivian Zadnik, Meghan O’Malley and Bridget O’Malley was very well, particularly Caroline’s .13 second PR lead-off split and Bridget’s 27.31 anchor split

  • Our Boys 200 Medley “A” Relay of Matthew Fioramonti, Martin Quinan, Will Arnold and Andrew Quinan definitely over achieved taking 20th place with nearly a 2 second PR time.  Everyone swam well, particularly the Quinan brothers who split 30.12 in Breast (Martin) and 23.49 in Free (Andrew) and Will Arnold whose 26.59 split was even called out by the announcers broadcasting the meet for WFSPN.

  • Our Boys 200 Medley “B” Relay of David Flook, Seamus Koehr, Kevin Geiran and Brian Koehr had a PR swim, mostly on the strength of great splits by Seamus Koehr (32.47 for BR) and Kevin Geiran (28.68 for FL).

  • Our Girls 200 Free “B” Relay of Kimberly Rector, Reilly Cuccinelli, Meghan O’Malley and Mary Heim shined, particularly Reilly’s 27.99 split and Mary’s amazing 27.74 split!  Mary will almost certainly be on our “A” Relays next year with a split like that.

  • Our Boys 200 Free “B” Relay rolled in with a nearly 2 second PR swim.  Will Arnold, Kevin Geiran, Tim Costello and Josh Miller all swam lifetime best splits of 24.81, 24.96, 25.74 and 24.77, respectively.  There were lots of smiles when I saw them all after their heat!

  • Our Girls 400 Free “A” Relay of Meghan O’Malley, Julia Rowzie, Bridget O’Malley and Reilly Cuccinelli took 20th place with an almost unbelievable 6 second PR.  Meghan led-off with a near PR 1:06.65 and then Julia split 1:03.23 Bridget split 1:02.35 and Reilly split 1:01.23!

  • Our Girls 400 Free “B” Relay of Caroline Griffin, Ashley Cackett, Bryanna Farmer and Vivian Zadnik also had a huge PR swim – but they dropped nearly 7.5 seconds!  Caroline led off with a 1.57 second PR 1:06.19 followed by Ashley’s 1:08.21, Bryanna’s 1:07.20 and Vivian’s 1:05.20.  All of those splits were lifetime bests.

  •  Our Boys 400 Free “A” Relay of Andrew Quinan, Brian Koehr, Will Arnold and Matthew Fioramonti wrapped up the Saturday prelims with a 19th place PR swim that featured some amazing splits.   Andrew somehow dropped 1.26 seconds from his 100 Free PR to lead off with a 53.61!  Will and Matt also had nearly unbelievable splits with their 55.71 and 54.97 respectively.  It was a great way for these four (4) seniors to finish their Seton Swimming careers!

One unique feature to the meet this year was the ability for kids who had otherwise qualified for the meet to get an extra swim in the Bonus 50 Free event.  We had eleven (11) qualify to take advantage of that opportunity and 7 of them hit big PRs:

  • Bridget O’Malley (10) cut .73 seconds and cemented her spot on the 200 Free “A” Relay with her lifetime best 28.43.

  • Will Arnold (12) crushed his PR by .60 seconds and went 25.20.  It was a great way to end his Seton Swimming career for sure.

  • Reilly Cuccinelli (JR) went 28.06 dropping .46 seconds and virtually securing her spot on some of our “A” Relays next season.

  • Julia Rowzie (SO) cut .45 seconds from her PR to go 28.97.

  • Mary Heim (FR) lowered her PR by .28 seconds after going 29.00

  • Kevin Geiran (SO) cut yet another .27 seconds and went 25.56.  That’s a pretty big drop from 28-high at the beginning of the season!

  •  Tim Costello (SR) somehow managed to lower his PR by .10 seconds after missing the horn and starting late.  There’s no telling how much faster his time could have been, but a 25.89 was a great time for him anyway.

Awards are All That Remain

Mrs. Pechie is coordinating our Awards for Sunday, March 6th at Seton School starting at 2:00 p.m.  I’m traveling a lot this week and next (I’m writing this blog from a sales meeting in Tampa, FL – don’t worry, the Saddlebrook Resort is not too painful for me ;-)) so I’m not exactly sure what is planned , but I think it will involve ice cream. I’ll put out more details as plans develop.

Final Thoughts

It certainly has been another great season for Seton, even if it was different from some past years – I’m quite encouraged by our future here.  I’ve written in past blogs of the great joy that comes from achieving things that you never thought possible by working hard, believing in yourself and taking a risk.  I saw countless examples of that this season, and I’ll tell you true – you swimmers are not the only one who get great joy out of it.

At the end of last season, I also spent a lot of time writing about the power of being a team that has a commonality of purpose, which mutually supports one another, that identifies with each other’s struggles, and that encourages one another to do their best.  I feel particularly good about the fact that we were able to tap into that power this year. 

So even though the season it over, we are still a team.  I look forward to seeing you all support each other for the rest of the year outside the water the way our State Team supported each other this past weekend in the water.

Coach Jim Koehr



Monday, February 22
Voting for Team Captains for the '16-'17 Season

Please Give Coach Koehr Your Input on Team Captains using the survey above 

Each season for most of my coaching career, I have appointed team captains prior to the first regular season swim meet.  I have always made the appointments in consultation with the other coaches.  After discussing it with Coach Lowell last year, I decided to announce the captains for the next season during the post-season swimming awards.  I liked the way that worked for this year, so I plan to announce next season's Captains at the Swimming Awards on Sunday, March 6th at 2:00 p.m. based, in part, on the results of voting by the team. 

I've posted a survey, above, for every member of the team to complete one time (and only one time please).  If you have an opinion on who would make a great team captain, now is your time to speak up. 

Below are some questions that you should ask yourself when deciding who you think would be a great captain.  I adapted these questions from the thoughts of Coach Lowell, and they are a great description of what I am looking for.  After carefully considering the questions he poses, please participate in the survey.   

Normally, I consider primarily Seniors and some Juniors, but if you feel an underclassman would make a great captain, feel free to enter their name in the survey.  A team roster is posted under Meet & Team Information/Team Information if you need a refresher.  I am anxious to take advantage of your votes. 

I am also particularly anxious to hear from the younger swimmers.  Many of my expectations deal with how you are treated, so please vote - I know that many of you don't have internet access, so parents, please help them complete the survey.  Their votes are very important to me.

Expectations of a Team Captain

(Adapted from the thoughts of Coach Rich Lowell)

Those who want the title of "Captain" should expect to be held to a higher standard, first in their commitment to improve as swimmers, and then secondly to others in their actions for others.

You cannot lead something you are not willing to do yourself, so first ask this about how you approach the task at hand... swimming.

  • Am I really trying to improve my swimming to the point of being willing to submit to the discomfort associated with an assigned workout, or do I back off, just going through the motions?
  • Do I have to get out of the pool during swim practice?
  • Do I try to move to a harder lane, or is the risk of working harder too much for me to do so?
  • When was the last time I did more than I was assigned?
Leadership focuses on service.  Everyone knows when you are doing something for yourself or when you are doing it for others.  What are small, obvious, concrete examples of service for this team...
  • Do I know the names of everyone on the team. If you don't care enough to know my name, how are you going to convince me that you care about me?
  • Have I stopped to talk to a team member that seems to be kinda by themselves and not really included, or do I just hang around those I am comfortable with?
  • When was the last time I initiated the action, beginning the work ahead of being directed, not waiting for the coaches to ask for me to do the obvious?
  • When did I last begin to move to be down on deck to lead so that all are ready for the exercises begin @ 6:04?
  • Do I arrive late or just on time?
  • Do I stay focused on others, encouraging the underclassmen during meets, cheering, offering swimming advice for improvement?
  • Do I jump in the pool to lead the team into the water?
  • Do I seek to help other, sometimes less capable, swimmers improve their strokes?
  • Did I lead by example while raising money for our annual Cystic Fibrosis Swim-a-thon?
  • Am I willing to come to every meet, particularly the championship meets for which I am eligible?

Some really want the title of “Captain”, but do you really want to be held to these standards?

Please tell me who you think really wants to be held to these standards - and judge them by their actions, not their words.  I'm most interested in getting Captains that act like Captains when the coaches are not around - you, the members of our team, know best who I am looking for.



Sunday, February 1
Am I Too Cool?

This past week (back in January 2015), I had the good fortune to hear former Seton Captain Ray Bennett speak to The Chief’s senior religion classes about how great it is to be Catholic in the real world.  I was struck by so much of what he said, but one part of his talk struck me in particular – especially after watching how some of us let how we feel about some our fellow swimmers affect our attitudes and actions.

 

Ray told a story of how, in his classes, everyone wanted to sit in a particular row where the “cool” kids sat.  It sort of reminded me of watching how the seating arrangements shook out on the bus trip we took down to Richmond this past year.  Well one day, Ray noticed a kid in his class who was decidedly uncool.  Getting tired of competing for a seat with the cool kids, he decided to step out of his comfort zone and befriend this kid.  In the process, Ray learned some valuable lessons:

  1. He was much happier for being true to himself and serving others.  If you have to sit in a certain seat to be accepted into a group, it makes you wonder.

  2. He was able to have a profound impact on this kid’s life.  I don’t know who he was, but Ray described a kid who came out of his shell and started to excel, even socially.  In fact, Ray ended the story by saying that this kid eventually got Seton’s top award for living what it means to be a Seton student.

Ray got me thinking about what happens when you pick at least some of your friends based on what you can do for them versus what they can do for you.  Even us Coaches and Teachers could do well to remember that, the kids upon whom we can have the most profound impact are not always the most talented.  A top student is probably going to be a top student whether or not they have us as a teacher, coach or friend, but the kids who are struggling in some way – maybe academically, maybe athletically or maybe socially – now those are the kids upon whose lives we can have a truly profound impact.  But it sometimes takes Courage, and it almost always takes Charity.

 

Even at a school as Catholic as Seton, you don’t have to look very far to find examples of where the virtue of Charity is trumped by Pride - or Self-Righteousness.  Sure, for you swimmers there are kids on the team that bug you for one reason or another, but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be friendly with everyone on the team.  You never know who’s life you are going to change forever – just by even small acts of selfless kindness.

 

So in these last two weeks of the season, let’s all make an effort to talk to someone with whom we’ve never talked.  Let’s sit next to someone with whom we’ve never sat.  Let’s eat lunch next to someone with whom we’ve never eaten.  Then let’s ask ourselves how it feels.  I think you’ll find that it feels pretty darn cool.



   
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