Swiming teams finish strong at NAIA National Championship


A member of the Loyola New Orleans swim team competing in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics on March 3 2018. The women’s team finished in 6th place and the men’s team finished in 9th. LOYOLA NEW ORLEANS ATHLETICS/Courtesy.

Andres Fuentes

The Loyola swim program, in their second year of existence, took home top-10 finishes for both teams while also shattering records in the process at the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics National Championships.

The women’s team placed 6th overall and the men’s team took home 9th while landing 13 swimmers on the All-American list.

Sophomore Paige Carter was very impressed with how her team performed.

” The teams performance overall was huge. We went from having one athlete making top 8 last year, to tripling that. Everyone was on their A-game,” she said.

On the women’s side, biology freshman Kamryn Alexander, business sophomore Nina Mantich, mathematics freshman Katharine Szum, mass communication freshman Madeline Raue, environmental science senior Carolyn Ives, business freshman Elizabeth Skinner, international business freshman Andrea Van Den Berg and sophomore Paige Carter were all named All-Americans.

The men’s side had finance sophomore Salvador James III, business sophomore Warren Massimini, english freshman John Jackson, marketing senior Timothy Buisson and biochemistry freshman Samuel Vasquez make the list.

“To be an All American is just crazy to me,” Carter said.

In every race she competed in, Carter made the All-American list especially with her third-place finish in the 500-meter freestyle.

Cater broker her own personal record for the event and the standing Loyola record with a time of 5:06.53.

“Being an All-American in every race has been such a change for me and I just can’t believe it,” she said. “I’m speechless.”

Carter was not the only standout, as the final day of the four-day event saw three swimmers break school records.

Alexander broke the school record in the women’s 200-yard backstroke with her third-place finish at 2:06.27.

James III also shattered a school record for the same event on the men’s side. He finished top-three with a time of 1:05.41.

Massimini broke another Loyola record on the men’s side in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 46.47.

The team shattered multiple records for their last competition of the year, and overall, Carter sees this year as a success.

“This season as a whole was just overall amazing,” she said. “There were never really days I was dreading practice, I was always excited to be there and work hard. Coach TJ and Jarryd really motivated me and made me want to be at practice, a huge step up from last year.”

The teams stellar performances are credited to not only their talents but also their teamwork and camaraderie.

Carter said, ” We were behind the blocks for every race for every person making sure we cheer for them. I saw my teammates behind the blocks for every single race of mine and it really touched me because it showed they cared.”

In the end, Carter sees the major difference from this year’s team compared to last year’s and embraces the programs new identity.

“This team has grown so much as a whole,” she said. “With much fewer girls than the other teams it really showed how good we were and that we all were ready to race and show what we got.”