Aspen Speedos swimmer signs with Hawaii
Lauren “L.J.” Fetzko knew where she wanted to compete in college and knew what she needed to accomplish to get there. It was only a matter of putting the work in to make it happen.
And, after a breakthrough season in the pool, the Glenwood Springs High School senior swimmer who trains with the Aspen Swim Club completed her goal last week when she signed her letter of intent to swim for the University of Hawaii in Honolulu.
“She’s been very dedicated,” Aspen Swim Club coach Gordon Gerson said. “It was really her goal to get Hawaii to pay attention to her and she succeeded with her improvement over the year. I’m proud of her, but I think she’s got room to improve a ton more, too.”
Fetzko started looking at Hawaii last year and latched onto its noted nutritional sciences program, which would lead her toward her preferred career as a sports nutritionist. She visited the campus in August and briefly met with Dan Schemmel, who had just been hired as the head women’s swim coach, about what she needed to accomplish in the pool to earn a roster spot on the NCAA Division I team.
“I love the campus; it’s gorgeous. I mean, it’s Hawaii,” Fetzko said. “I’m super excited that I get the chance to compete DI. There are a lot of cool privileges that come with Division I swimming. I think it will be neat to compete against the best swimmers.”
Fetzko’s winter season went well. She took fourth at sectionals in the 200 butterfly and as part of the girls’ high school swim team at Glenwood won a state championship in the 200 IM. She’s currently knocking on the door of junior nationals, which takes place later in the summer in New York.
Fetzko only joined the Aspen Speedos a year ago. Gerson invited her to come work with the club, but also told her she needed to be dedicated and consistently make practice, despite the often daily drive from Glenwood Springs to Aspen.
She held up her end of the bargain, with Gerson saying, “She hasn’t missed anything, and that’s a long drive.”
Fetzko is the second senior swimmer for the Speedos to sign with a Division I swim program this season, joining Aspen High School’s Kennidy Quist, who will swim for Harvard.
“I switched to the Aspen Swim Club this summer just because I needed more training partners in order to get faster and I wanted to get my times down so I could get into Hawaii,” Fetzko said. “And Gordon, he’s the best coach that I’ve had and he’s worked with me so much on bettering my strokes, getting me to go faster, the mental side of things, and it’s great being able to swim with everyone there because there are a lot of people who can push me to get faster.”
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Sophomore Ava Lane is a flourishing star in her own right, but spends a lot of her time trying to chase down senior Sierra Bower and sophomore Katelyn Maley, both in practice and in races. This, however, is only making her stronger down the line and it’s not a task she will shy away from.