Gavin Fuchs signs with Cumberlands swimming

Corey Stolzenbach/The Herald
Heritage Hills swimmer Gavin Fuchs signed his letter of intent to swim for the University of the Cumberlands. From left, travel coach Vali Preda of the Owensboro Marlins, father Josh Fuchs, Gavin, mother Stephanie and Heritage Hills assistant swim coach Angie Spinner.


LINCOLN CITY — Gavin Fuchs must’ve liked being a Patriot so much these past four years that he decided he’s going to remain a Patriot for the next four.

“I pretty much have all the same colors with them being a Patriot,” Fuchs said. “I don’t have to go shop for different colors or anything like that.”

The star swimmer for Heritage Hills inked his letter of intent Wednesday afternoon to swim for the University of the Cumberlands (Ky.). Fuchs has twice qualified for state while swimming for Heritage Hills, and holds numerous records. He’s got the school record in the 200 individual medley, co-holder in the 200 medley and 400 freestyle relays, the 100 butterfly, the 500 freestyle and the 100 backstroke.

The records are nice, but he’s proudest of how far the Heritage Hills swim team has come and the way they came together as a team at sectionals. Heritage Hills sent three swimmers to state last year, including Fuchs in the 100 butterfly. He also qualified in the 200 freestyle relay. Fuchs thought the swimmers came together as a team, put their heads down and worked for what they needed.

He knows Heritage Hills has people who can make it to state this year, too. It could be him and fellow senior Noah Collignon as part of a relay, or senior Dominic Williams in the breaststroke.

“I know what we’re capable of, and I’m ready for sectionals,” he said.

Swimming is Fuchs’ life. He wakes up, goes to school, swims and then does it all over again the next day. It’s been ingrained into him since an early age. His love for it led those close to him to dub him a “water baby." He recalled going to a swim camp when he was in sixth grade, and he’s been in love with it ever since.

“You get in and you can relax,” Fuchs said. “You don’t have to worry about anything else but yourself, and I kind of use it as a destresser.”

It’s that love of the sport that Heritage Hills swimming coach Gary Ayer will most miss about Fuchs.

“They’re obviously getting a talented swimmer with his accomplishments and the times that he’s swimming, but just his love for the sport will be phenomenal in helping him succeed down there,” Ayer said.

It’s that love of the sport that Fuchs believes he has to offer Cumberlands, and he’ll do whatever he can to contribute to his team. He will be going to a swim team that boasts a 4-0 record so far this season, and is 2-0 in the Mid-South Conference. Union College and Lindsey Wilson College, two other Kentucky programs, were also possible signing destinations for Fuchs, but thought Eric Skelly of the Patriots would be a good coach for him at the next level. Fuchs is hoping to one day be a swim coach himself.

He hopes to work on his underwater and breaststroke. Fuchs plans to spend life after his senior season training with his travel team, the Owensboro Marlins, to help him get ready for college.

“I’m definitely going to get back with them and keep working so when I go in, I’m not falling off the pace — I’m still right where I was,” he said.

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