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Fitch junior competes at state swim championships

February 26, 2020
J.T. Whitehouse , The Town Crier

Over the weekend, the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) held the state championships in swimming, and Fitch was represented by junior Jake Lawrence. He competed in the 100 meter butterfly.

Lawrence's coach this year was Sara Schaefer, who is a teacher at the Mahoning County Career and Technical Center. She began as head coach for the Falcons in January of 2019 and is proud of the team and of Lawrence's accomplishments this year.

"This is my first full season with the Falcons; therefore, Jake is also my first State Qualifier," Schaefer said. "He is also only the second State Swimming Qualifier in Austintown history."

Article Photos

Photo by J.T. Whitehouse, Town Crier
Austintown junior Jake Lawrence competed in the state swim meet championships in the 100-meter butterfly last week, placing 20th overall.

This year, the Fitch Swim and Dive Team has 39 members, which breaks down to 25 female and 14 male athletes. Schaefer said this is an increase from the 23 members during the 2018-2019 season. Both the Girls and Boys teams had a winning season this year.

As for Lawrence, he has qualified for the North East Ohio District meet every year for the past three years. This is his first qualification to the State meet.

"Jake excels as a swimmer," Schaefer said. "He has a lot of natural talent but he also works hard and strives to constantly improve. He has a lot of potential and still has time to hone his skills during his senior year."

Even with the dedication and focus on his sport, Lawrence can often be found helping his teammates by providing constructive criticism and explaining to his peers how to improve their strokes, starts, and turns.

At the state championships, Jake swam very well. He was seeded 24th going into the meet and placed 20th overall.

"This weekend was a great experience for both Jake and I," the coach said. "I look forward to more successful years with Austintown Swim and Dive Team, as well as, another exciting year for Jake."



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