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The 2017 sports year began early for Fluco athletes when the boys’ and girls’ swim and dive team traveled to Woodberry Forest on Jan. 2 and to the University of Virginia Aquatic and Fitness Center on Jan. 3 to participate in the annual Ben Hair event.

This is the largest high school swim meet of the season in Central Virginia. Eleven teams competed in the boys’ competition and 10 teams competed on the girls’ side.  This event was named for a 2006 graduate of Albemarle High who was a top student and swimmer.

Girls’ Coach Feda Morton said that the girls’ team achieved its goal at this meet, which serves as the Jefferson District winter swim and dive meet. The girls’ team was aiming for a third place finish and they achieved that result by nudging out Monticello. It has been several years since the Fluco girls have bested Monticello in this event. Albemarle and Western Albemarle are real powerhouse teams, and as expected they finished first and second.

In the diving event, held at Woodberry Forest School in Orange County, the Fluco girls did very well, as Lydia Reynard placed third and Anna Hurdle took sixth. Both of these divers have qualified for the state swim meet at the end of the 2017 season.

The girls’ team also had some high quality performances in some of the swim events held at the University of Virginia facility. Caylyn McNaul excelled for the Flucos. She turned in strong performances in both the 100-yard breaststroke event and the 200-yard event. Her time in the 100 was a state qualifying time, and her time in the 200 missed the state qualifying time by a mere two seconds.

Stephanie Nardone also posted a state qualifying time in the 100-yard butterfly event. With the season still young, the girls’ team already has four athletes qualified for the state swim meet, which will be held at the end of the season in February.

The Fluco boys’ team did not do as well as the girls did at the Ben Hair event, as they finished in sixth place.  However, the boys’ team has one swimmer who already is qualified for the state event in two disciplines. Mike DiFazio has qualified in the 100-yard backstroke and the 100-yard butterfly.

“Both teams have a lot of fast swimmers and we are having a very good season,” said Morton.

The swim teams were scheduled to swim at Spotswood High on Jan.7, but that meet was postponed due to inclement weather. On Jan. 13 the swimmers will be heading to Harrisonburg.

The next day they will compete here in Fluvanna County at the Fork Union Military Academy (FUMA) pool. The Fluco home pool is at FUMA, as there is no pool at the Fluvanna County High School. On Jan. 17 the Fluco teams will swim at Charlottesville and on Jan. 19 they take on Turner Ashby.

In February the Flucos will be hosting the conference and the region swim and dive events at the FUMA pool. These will be followed by the state meet.