Gators Take 6th but Most Times Improve

Moments after taking third place in the 400-meter freestyle relay are (from left) Geoffrey Berger, Sam Davis, Hap Burke and Jack Stark. (Photo by Steve Bowman)

Improving trumps winning for first year in tougher conference

By Steve Bowman
Editor, The Brentwood Spirit

Elle Curran prepares to dive in during the age 11-12 freestyle relay. (Photo by Steve Bowman)

For the first time in three years, the Brentwood Gators swim team didn’t get to throw coach Sean Dooley into the pool at the end of the summer season. But this year he’s cool with that.

Pushing the coach into the pool had become a tradition for the Gators. Dooley said they could do it if they won the conference meet. They dominated their conference in 2011, 2012 and 2013 so every year he got wet. But for this season the Gators were moved up to a conference with larger, much tougher teams. He told his swimmers to focus on improving their times, not racking up points for the final team score.

By that measure they did great in the conference meet, which was held at two pools on Friday and Saturday. The Gators took last place among six teams but Dooley was thrilled to see that most of his swimmers posted their best times.

“We took sixth overall but the kids swam great and we had 80 percent of our swimmers improve their times,” he said, “and that’s what’s most important to me.”

Gators coaches Sean Dooley with assistants Kate Albrecht (far left) and Molly Burke. (Photo by Steve Bowman)

For instance, in the 11-12 age group, two swimmers shaved nearly eight seconds off their previous season bests − Addison Fitzgibbon in the 50-meter breaststroke and Molly Callihan in the 100 individual medley.

Katie Krausz cut almost four seconds off her time in the 50 breast in the 15-18 age group.

Said Dooley, “I was wondering if we had the times wrong and she [Krausz] said, ‘No, that’s what I had before.’ And I said, ‘Great job.’”

Two other examples: Improving their personal bests by just over one second were Kaelin Dooley in the age 13-14 50 freestyle and Hailey Alexander in the age 11-12 50 breast.

Hailey Alexander swims the age 11-12 50 breaststroke. She cut more than one second from her previous best time. (Photo by Steve Bowman)

And then there’s Geoffrey Berger. He not only improved his time by more than a second in the age 15-18 50 breast, he won the event overall. He also took second in the individual medley and fifth in the freestyle, contributing 39 points before the meet was half over.

Geoffrey Berger swims the breaststroke portion of the 100 IM. (Photo by Steve Bowman)

Also in the 15-18 age group, Sam Davis scored 20 points by taking fourth in the freestyle and sixth in the IM.

Sam Davis, of Brentwood, swims to a sixth-place finish in the 100 IM. (Photo by Steve Bowman)

Elle Curran scored 17 points with a fifth in the age 11-12 breast and a seventh in the IM.

Sophie Hiotis scored 12 points with a third place in the age 13-14 breaststroke.

Sophie Hiotis pushes off the wall in the age 13-14 100 IM. (Photo by Steve Bowman)

In overall points scoring, Brentwood took sixth place behind Lake Chesterfield, Cool Dell, Missouri Athletic Club, Castle Pines and Cedarmill. The league meet for ages 11 and up was at Cedarmill on Friday. The meet for 10 and under was at the Missouri Athletic Club on Saturday.

“This conference has been a way different conference for us compared to past years,” said Dooley. “But most of our swimmers showed improved times and that’s what I care about the most.”

Brentwood head coach Sean Dooley consults with a swimmer during the conference meet at Cedarmill. (Photo by Steve Bowman)

Gateway Swimming and Diving League
Spitz Division Conference Championships
Partial Results
Point Winners for Brentwood, Top 12

Boys Ages 15-18
100-meter individual medley
2nd, Geoffrey Berger, 1:06.33, 13 points
6th, Sam Davis, 1:09.44, 9 points
12th, Hap Burke, 1:13.25, 1 point
50 freestyle
4th, Davis, 27.06, 11 points
5th, Berger, 27.16, 10 points
50 breaststroke
1st, Berger, 33.00, 16 points
10th, Jack Stark, 40.04, 3 points

Geoffrey Berger does the backstroke in the 100 IM. (Photo by Steve Bowman)
Timers watch as Geoffrey Berger finishes the 100 IM. (Photo by Steve Bowman)
Charlie Lund, of Brentwood, swims the age 15-18 50-meter breaststroke. (Photo by Steve Bowman)

Boys Ages 13-14
100-meter individual medley
6th, John Burke, 1:18.81, 9 points

Will Slatin swims the age 13-14 50 breaststroke. He improved his personal best time by nearly one second. (Photo by Steve Bowman)

Girls Ages 15-18
100-meter individual medley
11th, Meghan Albrecht, 1:21.65, 2 points
50 freestyle
7th, Lolo Davis, 31.58, 7 points
50 breast stroke
6th, Albrecht, 41.53, 9 points

Madison Alexander in the age 15-18 50 breaststroke. (Photo by Steve Bowman)

Girls Ages 13-14
100-meter individual medley
10th, Rosie Carollo, 1:29.51, 3 points
50 freestyle
9th (tie), Megan Jones, 35.72, 3.5 points
50 breast stroke
3rd, Sophie Hiotis, 40.97, 12 points
11th, Carollo, 46.72, 2 points

Sophie Hiotis does the backstroke in the 100 IM. (Photo by Steve Bowman)
Rosie Carollo swims the age 13-14 100 individual medley. (Photo by Steve Bowman)
Sarah Alexander dives in for the age 13-14 50 freestyle. (Photo by Steve Bowman)
Katie Blase swims the age 13-14 50 breaststroke. (Photo by Steve Bowman)
Maggie Callihan does the age 13-14 50-meter breaststroke.

Girls Ages 11-12
100-meter individual medley
7th, Elle Curran, 1:27.50, 7 points
11th, Maggie Hodge, 1:33.44, 2 points
50 Freestyle
7th, Anna Carollo, 35.93, 7 points
50 Breaststroke
5th, Curran, 47.88, 10 points
8th, Hodge, 48.72, 5 points
12th, Sarah Alexander, 46.99, 1 point

Elle Curran on the way to fifth place in the age 11-12 50 breast. (Photo by Steve Bowman)
Maggie Hodge waits for a teammate to finish a lap before jumping in for the age 11-12 freestyle relay. (Photo by Steve Bowman)
Maggie Hodge in the age 11-12 freestyle relay. (Photo by Steve Bowman)
Cedarmill Tennis and Bath Club, in Chesterfield, looks like a house in front but there’s a big swimming pool in the back. It’s where the conference meet for ages 11 and up was held. (Photo by Steve Bowman)

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