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Falcon swimmers end first season as school sport

March 1, 2018
J.T. Whitehouse , The Town Crier

The Fitch Swim and Dive Team ended their first season as an official school sport on a high note. The team sent three to districts, one to state, and many placed in the top five in the conference.

"We had a pretty good season," said head coach Lisa Frederick. "Junior Gia Direnzo was the 2018 AAC female swimmer of the [conference] meet and took first place in both the 100-meter fly and 100-meter back stroke. The boys 200-meter medley relay and 400-meter freestyle relay (Daniel Frederick, Chris Lawrence, Jake Lawrence and Dylan Wilson) both placed third at the AAC tournament. Jake Lawrence placed second in 100-meter backstroke at the AAC. Fitch placed fifth overall out of 11 teams."

Three of the Falcon swimmers/divers made Districts. Stefani Christy placed 16th overall in diving, Gia Direnzo placed eighth in the 100-meter fly and eleventh in the 100-meter back stroke. Jake Lawrence placed tenth in the 200 individual medley.

Article Photos

Finishing their first year as an official Fitch High School sport are members of the Austintown Swim and Dive Team, coaches and school officials, in front row: Superintendent Vince Colaluca, Gia Direnzo, Kamryn Pechatsko, Stefani Christy, Isabella Butchko, Ericka Lester, Sadie Hager, Morgan Galterio, Jo Jo Mendez, Natalia Novicky, Ashlee Green, and Assist. Coach Larry Stankorb. In back row are: Randy McCloskey, Chris Lawrence, Dylan Wilson, Daniel Frederick, Jake Lawrence, Zane DiRenzo, and Head Coach Lisa Frederick. Missing from photo Allie Dilts and Brianna Stephenson.

Frederick said last season, when the team was a club sport, Tim Kubacki made it to state competition and was on the podium for the 200-meter individual medley and the 100-meter fly. That good showing earned him a scholarship from Cleveland State University, where he is completing his first season swimming on a college level.

The Falcon swim team competed as a club team for eight years. Early on it used the Y Neptune coaches and swam at the YMCA. In the 2011-12 season, Frederick began assisting the team and when Stefani Christy, the team's first diver joined in the 2016-17 season, Coach Ron Navarra joined in as dive coach. This year, a second diver in Isabella Butcko joined the ranks.

With the team officially accepted by the Austintown Board of Education last year, the team is competing in the OHSAA and is now practicing and holding meets at the YSU pool.

"We had five seniors this year; the most we have had so far," Federick said. "Diver, Stefani Christy (two years), Allie Dilts (three years), Daniel Frederick (four years), Chris Lawrence (four years) and Dylan Wilson (four years)."

She is grateful for the seniors' leadership and is also thankful for the juniors, sophomores, and freshmen, who will be filling the ranks next season. Frederick is also setting her goals high for the team in 2017-18.

"I want to help make the team grow and get more swimmers to Districts and State," she said.



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