Makos set individual records in swim meet

Makos set individual records in swim meet

Submitted by Amy Williams

The Jefferson Swim League kicked off a summer of swimming Wednesday (June 13) with a meet between the Fluvanna Aquatic Sports Team (FAST) Makos and the Lake Monticello Swim Team (LMST) Sharks.

Many of the FAST swimmers were away this week, forcing the team to seat swimmers in just 40 of the 63 races. Despite their underdog status, FAST took home 12 first place finishes, seven second places, and eight third places.

Abby Caruso, 7, had two individual firsts: in the girls’ age 8 and under 25-meter butterfly, with a time of 25.19 seconds, which was 2.5 seconds ahead of her closest competitor, and in the 25-meter backstroke with a 24.94 time. She also secured a third-place finish in her 25-meter breaststroke.

This is Abby’s second summer of swimming with FAST. She has also completed two years as a year-round swimmer for Battlefield Area Star Swimmers (BASS). Her favorite stroke is the backstroke. One day, Abby hopes to beat her 13-year-old brother in the pool, and is looking forward to swimming across Lake Monticello this Fourth of July. Abby is a dedicated athlete and student both in and out of the water. She is a cheerleader, plays the piano and was recently chosen for an all-star softball team of girls aged 5 to 8.

“Abby is a coachable swimmer,” said Head Coach Cosmo DiFazio. “She has a good intuition with her strokes, is very receptive to corrections and can quickly integrate corrections into her stroke.”

James Johnson, 9, secured firsts in both of his individual races. He finished his boys’ age 9-10 50-meter freestyle in 42.84 seconds and the 50-meter breaststroke in 52.47.

James has been swimming with BASS for the last four winters and this summer is his third with FAST. His favorite stroke is freestyle and he says he became competitive the minute he won his first ribbon. In 2017 he was first in his age group in the Lake Monticello swim across the lake. He is looking forward to making the swim again this year. Outside of swimming, James is an avid reader and is looking forward to learning to play football and taking music lessons in the fall.

DiFazio praised James’s competitive and fun nature, saying he’s enjoyed having him as part of the team for the last four years. He said he’s “really hoping to see James step up as the leader of the 9-10 age group.”

Also securing wins for the team were Noah Klipp, 17, Emma DiFazio, 16, Joey Hagan, 14, Jackson Kinsella, 13, and Harrison Williams, 9.

DiFazio and Head Coach Nathan Johnson were pleased with the team’s showing and particularly proud of the effort put in by brand new swimmers, Brett Blaha, 16, and Shelby Crawford, 12. As older athletes who are new to swimming, they face greater challenges to get caught up to their more experienced peers, DiFazio said. He explained that they both spend a great deal of one-on-one time with the coaches, getting a “crash course.” He said he is really pleased with how well they are taking to the intense training and how quickly they are moving toward intermediate swimmers.

Assistant Coach Anna Hurdle, who coaches many of the younger swimmers, said that new swimmer Amy England, 9, is showing great progress and promise. Hurdle described Amy as “committed to trying new things and never hesitant or scared.” She added, “She’s a great listener, quick learner and so encouraging to the younger swimmers on the team.”

FAST had its next meet against the Elks in Charlottesville Tuesday (June 19).

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