FAST readies for championships

FAST readies for championships

Submitted by Amy Williams

The Fluvanna Aquatics Sports Team (FAST) continues training in preparation for the Jefferson Swim League (JSL) Championships, to be held at the University of Virginia Aquatics and Fitness Center July 27-28.

Throughout the regular season, JSL tracks swim times across all three of its divisions and compiles a list of the top 50 swimmers in each event and age group. Sixteen of the FAST swimmers have made the most recent top 50 lists:

5-6 years old: Jacob Birckhead (25-meter freestyle and 25-meter backstroke), R.J. Crawford (25-meter backstroke), and Reed Williams (25-meter backstroke);
7-8 years old: Abby Caruso (50-meter freestyle and 50-meter backstroke);
9-10 years old: Leanna Collier (100-meter individual medley), Harrison Williams (50-meter backstroke), and James Johnson (50-meter breaststroke and 100-meter individual medley);
11-12 years old: Tyler Davis (50-meter butterfly and 100-meter individual medley);
13-14 years old: Joey Hagan (50-meter backstroke), Joseph Sam (50-meter breaststroke), Jackson Kinsella (50-meter butterfly and 100-meter individual medley), and Anthony Caruso (50-meter butterfly);
15-18 years old: Emma DiFazio (50-meter freestyle, 50-meter backstroke, 50-meter butterfly), Brady Woodside (100-meter freestyle and 50-meter backstroke), Noah Klipp (50-meter breaststroke, 50-meter butterfly, and 100-meter individual medley), and Aiden Johnson (50-meter butterfly and 100-meter individual medley).

Nathan Johnson, FAST head coach, commented on the success of both young, new swimmers and more experienced senior swimmers. Johnson pointed out Jacob Birckhead, a 6-year-old swimmer in his second summer with FAST, as an example of one of the younger swimmers who is having an outstanding season. “Jacob is a very talented swimmer,” Johnson said. “He always shows up to practice with a smile on his face and is always laughing and having a great time in the water. He works hard, sometimes showing up to two practices a day to try and learn new skills.”

Jacob said his favorite stroke is the backstroke and he looks forward to swimming more races and joining the Battlefield Area Star Swimmers (BASS). Jacob said he’s “super excited for champs” and hopes to “get a ribbon or two.” Outside of swimming, Jacob is an avid outdoorsman, who loves camping, fishing, catching bugs, lizards and snakes. He also likes to play soccer and wants to play basketball this winter.

On the other end of the experience spectrum, Johnson mentioned 17-year-old Noah Klipp. Noah has been swimming since he was Jacob’s age. He favors freestlye and has a goal of swimming in college. Noah is a fitness enthusiast who enjoys learning about and practicing fitness in all forms.

Johnson described Noah as “an amazing role model for our younger swimmers because of his unmatched work ethic and coachability. He always does what is asked of him, without any complaints, and is always ready to step up to the plate to work hard.”

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