5 Questions With a Trials Qualifier: Dave Fitch

By: Rich House

Dave grew up in Potomac, MD and began his swimming career with the Potomac Swim Team in the MCSL, and year-round with All Star Aquatics and later NCAP. Dave found early success as he marched through the age groups, setting team and MCSL league records along the way. He still owns 17 records at Potomac as well as the MCSL 11-12 50 Breaststroke record (set back in 2016). He attended Georgetown Prep, and as a Sophomore in 2019 was a Washington Post All Met honorable mention, as well as a member of the Prep team that won Metros. He graduated in 2020 and went off to Florida for a semester before transferring to the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW). He had an immediate impact on the team, scoring in the 100 and 200 Butterfly at the Championship meet. In his next two years at UNCW he’s had a rollercoaster dealing with injuries, but has come back strong to compete at their Championship meets. Notably this season, he finished 4th in the 100 Butterfly, 5th in the 200 Butterfly and 9th in the 100 Breaststroke, with a lifetime best 53.71.
He went on this Spring to the Speedo Spring Championships and swam the 100 Butterfly, improving his best time each swim, from 54.86 in prelims to 54.26 in finals…then going a 53.88 time trial, just shy of the Trials standard of 53.59! His next opportunity came May 17-19 at the TAC Titans Spring meet, where he swam prelims and finals, but still just missed the cut. It was the time trial where he dropped another .41 from his best time, going 53.20 and made the Olympic Trial standard!

Photo Courtesy Dave Fitch

You can watch Dave compete at Trials Friday, June 21st for the 100 Butterfly Prelims. Media coverage gets underway on Saturday, June 15, at 6:30 p.m. ET on USA Network. Qualifying heats will air live on Peacock with same day delayed coverage each day on USA Network.

As an aside, back in 2016, I made the trip to Omaha for the Olympic Trials and spent a few days watching the swims unfold and taking in the atmosphere (Friday Trials, Saturday Trials). As athletes made their way to and from the pool from the hotel, they often stopped and gave the spectators a chance to chat, take pictures and get autographs. Here’s a throwback to Dave getting to meet Cierra Runge after she made the Olympic Team in the 200 Free!

Here’s the Questions:

RFTW: Which is more fun- Summer League or College meets?

DF: It is hard to compare the two as they are totally different- different arenas. there are good positives for both, the summer league meets you are swimming for/representing the entire community. However, in college you are able to develop deeper connections with your teammates. UNCW has taken a unique to mid-major dual meets getting hyped and putting on a show. SwimSwam wrote a brief piece on the energy that UNCW brings to the college dual meet season

RFTW: What is your favorite hype song/band and favorite chill song/band?

DF: My favorite hype song/band is Riot by Three Days Grace and my favorite chill song is Boots by Hardy. However, I did use Boots as my walkout song when I was seeded 1st in the 200 Fly at Conference Championships.

RFTW: What is your ‘go to’ meal before a meet?

DF: Salmon, asparagus, and rice. Actually before I made the Trials cut, I ate Salmon for every meal-Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner!

RFTW: What is the best advice you’ve received from a coach?

DF: My current coach Bobby Guntoro actually talked about this before my 100 Fly swim in May…Relax and let the work speak for itself, stop thinking about the time or the result, let the work, work for you

RFTW: Who has inspired you in your career (swimmer & non-swimmer)?

DF: Swimmer- Noah Rutberg, I competed against and swam with him growing up. He’s one of my closest friend and we talk almost daily. When he made Trials in 2021, it gave me inspiration to stay in the sport. As for the non-swimmer inspiration, it is my family. Their constant support and encouragement keep me going every day.

RFTW: (Bonus Question) What advice can you give to current age groupers looking to achieve their goals in swimming?

DF: Have fun, and be consistent. A lot of kids in the DC area put too much pressure and activities on themselves…relax. In the grand picture, it doesn’t matter if you swim in college or not. If it’s not fun, don’t do it! I took time off in high school because I wasn’t having fun and it affected everything else. If you need a break take it!

One thought on “5 Questions With a Trials Qualifier: Dave Fitch

  • Jun 16, 2024 at 7:15 pm

    Great article on David! We will be watching on Friday! Go David Go!


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