FAST swim team competes at Elks pool on Pantops

By Duncan Nixon

The FAST (Fluvanna Area Swim Team) swam in a three-way competition at the Elks pool on July 19. The final score was Culpeper Barracudas 507, FAST 355, and Elks swim team 166. There were 80 events at this meet so the change over from one event to the next had to be well organized. This meet was considered a home meet for the FAST team which does not have its own home pool and therefore moves from pool to pool in the Jefferson Swim League, with half of its meets designated has home matches. Head Coach Michael DiFazio advises that the team practices mornings and afternoons at the FUMA pool and that they “have 70 in the water this summer with about 55 competing on our JSL roster.”

Despite being overwhelmed by the Barracudas, a number of FAST swimmers turned in impressive individual performances, with several swimmers winning more than one race. The first win for FAST came in the fifth race. In the boys, age 10-12, 100-meter IM, Levi Rensch was first to touch by a margin of almost nine seconds. In the girls, age 15-18, 100-meter IM, Abby Ford was first for FAST, winning by almost five seconds. The next winner for FAST was Jacob Birckhead who was first in the boys 9-10, 50-meter freestyle sprint. In the girls 11-12, 50-meter freestyle, Abby Caruso won a very tight race finishing in 33.34 for a win by 0.32.

In the girls 15-18, 50-meter freestyle, FAST swimmer Laura Hernandez was the winner by four seconds. The breaststroke discipline was not FAST’s strongest, but the team did manage to win three races. Rensch topped the competition in the 50-meter breaststroke for his second win of the night. In the boys 15-18, 50 meter, Mitch Messier was the winner for FAST. In the girls 50-meter breaststroke Abby Ford gained her second win of the night.

In the backstroke events, the FAST squad captured four races, all by the girls. In the 9-10 50 meter it was Madelyn Ford in first place, winning a close race by a margin of 0.23. In the girls 11-12, 50-meter backstroke Abby Caruso took first. In the girls 13-14, Maya Hernandez was the winner. In the 15-18 age group Abby Ford was again the best in the meet.

The butterfly was the FAST team’s best discipline. The boys did better here. In the age 9-10 event, Christian Gray won for FAST. His time was best by four seconds. Levi Rensch posted his third win of the night in the 11-12 butterfly race. In the 13-14 event, Padraic Bodenstein won by over five seconds.  The girls also posted a couple of wins in the butterfly.  Maya Hernandez won in the 13-14 age group and in the 15-18 race, Lexi Collier finished 0.06 ahead of the second-place finisher, who was her teammate Laura Hernandez.

In the relay races, FAST garnered two first place finishes, both on the girls side. The team of Leanna Collier, Josie Caruso, Maya Hernandez and Abby Caruso won the 13-14 freestyle relay by 18 seconds. The team of Laura Hernandez, Lexi Collier, Joey Hagan and Abby Ford won the15-18 freestyle relay.

At these swim meets there are races for the six and under crowd, but the results are not scored. FAST had some good results in these races, which may auger well for the future. Lévi Sclater, Henry Ward and Sophia Henderickson, all posted wins in their events. This was the final scheduled meet of the season. The JSL championship swim meet will be held on July 29 and 30.

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