Say hello to the last athlete of the week, King’s Academy’s Ava Fasano!
The junior swimmer won 68.1% of the vote for her contribution to first place in the Lady Lions at the invitation of the Florida Swimming Pool Association.
Fasano broke records in the individual 50-meter freestyle, 200-meter medley and 200-meter freestyle relays.
Despite the challenge of acclimating to a new team at King’s Academy – as well as the Florida heat – the young athlete impressed week after week.
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Fasano has been swimming for eight years, but sought more competition than she found as an athlete at Wilton High School (Wilton, Connecticut).
Not to mention the hardships his family faced while helping them achieve their dream of joining a Division I swim program.
Last year, Fasano was living with her grandparents in Connecticut so she could train while her immediate family resided in New Hampshire.
“I loved my team in Connecticut, but swimming here – especially high school swimming – is taken to a new level compared to Connecticut,” Fasano said. “Thanks to my move, Coach Gina (Proscia) and Coach John (Zuchowski) have been very welcoming, as have the school and the team.”
“Changing coaches is a very difficult transition but so far it has worked for me as I got the two best personal times and saw improvement in my technique which is a very different goal than my old team. “
And with Fasano’s performance this season, the South Florida water looks to be just fine.
As of now, Fasano is what coach Gina Proscia called “a blink of an eye” before qualifying for the Olympic trials.
“At least getting there would be a great honor,” said Fasano, hoping to be selected next season.
“In the 50 freestyle I’m 0.65 I think… a second,” Fasano said with a shy laugh, expressing the carefree glee that Proscia described as one of the athlete’s greatest assets.
Proscia called her student-athlete a “friendly beast” and a “gentle giant”.
“Oh yeah, that’s my nickname,” laughed the 5-foot-11 Fasano. “I’m quite tall and all of my family are. I look nice too, but I think I can be intimidating – I just have to have the right frame of mind.”
“She makes us laugh. She doesn’t take anything too serious,” said Proscia. “When you see her you know she loves swimming and is having a good time.”
Fasano says that in life all she wants is to be happy and after trying “all the sports in the book” she has decided that she belongs on the pool deck.
“I loved that it was just you and the water for you to focus on yourself, but also around you you have great teammates,” said Fasano. “I love to swim and I love to swim with others.”
When coaching, Proscia tells her athletes, “If you swim relaxed, you swim fast. If you swim happy, you swim very fast.
For Proscia, Fasano encompasses this mantra every day.