Falcons' Vorrasi Making Waves

It will be difficult to keep Katherine Vorrasi on dry land for long. Not only is the Fauquier High School junior the star of the Falcons' swim team, but her dream is to serve on a cruiser ship in the Navy.

"It's the water part of the military--I swim, and I thought that would be good," Vorrasi said of her interest in that branch of the armed forces. "A lot of people say [the Navy] fits me."

Fauquier Coach Kathy Winkler is one of them.

"I've met a lot of swimmers in the past 25 years, and she's probably one of the most disciplined swimmers I've ever had," said Winkler, whose girls and boys teams are 3-1 and 2-1, respectively, in their first year of existence. "Give her a workout [and] I can't imagine her not doing the entire workout."

Vorrasi is undefeated this season in three freestyle events--the 50 and 100 meters and the 200 relay, which she anchors--and has won all but one race with the 400 freestyle relay team.

Her swimming career dates to when she was 9 and living behind the FAST Aquatic Club's Vint Hill Farms headquarters. She would become a member, and last year, when the club was in need of an assistant coach, she volunteered for the job.

It's an experience that could be an impressive note on her resume for college-- especially the Naval Academy.

But if Vorrasi is able to get into Annapolis, she'll have to choose between swimming and track (she has competed in both at the U.S. Junior Olympics). Though she most likely would choose swimming, Winkler said it won't matter: "Whether it be in swimming or something else, Katherine will be known someday."

Area Teams at a Glance

Fauquier: The Falcons are having a remarkable start to their program--the girls team is 3-1 and the boys are 2-2. And Fauquier has done it with teams composed primarily of non-seniors.

Katherine Vorrasi leads the girls and is complemented by junior Kristen Finn--who is undefeated in the 100 breaststroke--while the undefeated 200 freestyle relay team consists of Vorrasi and three freshmen.

For the boys, junior Blair Harris has earned two first-place and two second-place finishes in the 500 freestyle, and junior Chase Gruszawski has one first and one second in the 50 freestyle.

Park View: The Patriots started the season with more female swimmers than male and, not surprisingly, the girls team has fared better this season. The girls, who boast 22 members, have a 2-1 record with two meets left in the regular season. Junior Megan Stavish has led the way by qualifying for the state meet in six events, including what are likely her two best events, the individual medley and the butterfly.

Juniors Holly Ward (two events) and Kate Laczynski (one) are the other Patriot girls to qualify.

On the boys side, junior Kyle Gallo has been dominant, qualifying in six events. Friday night against Wakefield, Gallo showed his versatility by qualifying in the backstroke and 100 freestyle--even though he was racing in each event for the first time this season.

Park View's boys team has 13 swimmers and are 0-4, 0-3 in the district.

Liberty: Senior Kenny Flory is undefeated in all of his events this season and has earned state-qualifying times in the individual medley, the breaststroke, the butterfly and the 200 and 500 freestyles.

Also faring well have been sophomore Andy Hansbrough, who is undefeated in the 50 and 100 freestyles and has qualified in the butterfly and backstroke. Freshman William Norman has qualified in five events, and freshman Lee Tully in the breaststroke and individual medley.

Still, that hasn't been able to lift the Eagles boys above 1-3 in the district, with their lone win coming two weeks ago over Park View. The girls have struggled, as well, but they have had their share of highlights.

Junior Lindsey Pearson has recorded first-place finishes in three events (backstroke, 100 and 200 freestyle) and has qualified for states in the breaststroke and individual medley. Freshman Lindsey Sawyer has won races in the butterfly and the backstroke and has qualified for states in two other events. Fellow freshman Marnie Rognlien is set to go to states in four events, including the 100 freestyle, where she has won three times.

Broad Run: The Spartans have been led by their girls team this season, with their boys team not far behind. Eight members of the girls team have earned state-qualifying times, leading the undefeated Spartans to first place in the Northwestern District.

Freshman Amy Luna has qualified in four events, including the 200 and 500 freestyle, the 100 backstroke and the 100 individual medley. Sophomore Stephanie Lubore has qualified in the 200 freestyle, the 200 individual medley and the 200 backstroke.

Meanwhile, the boys have been led by seniors Ben Smith and Zach Orchant and freshmen Richard Matthews. Orchant has qualified in five events, including the 200 and 500 freestyle, Smith in the individual medley and the butterfly and Matthews in the 200 and 500 freestyle and the butterfly.

CAPTION: Also a track athlete, junior swimmer Katherine Vorrasi has aspirations of being in the Navy. "Katherine will be known someday," Fauquier swim coach Kathy Winkler said of her star, who specializes in freestyle events.

CAPTION: Park View's Megan Stavish, seen competing in the 100 back during the Liberty District championships last year, has qualified for the state meet in six events.