Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

Senior swimmers reflect on their time at Loyola

Heidi Herrera
A member of Loyola’s swim team racing in the Den’s indoor pool, Jan. 20, 2023. Loyola’s men and women’s swimming teams faced Millsaps College in their last home swim meet, where the senior team members were celebrated.

At the teams’ final home swim meet of the season on Jan. 20, criminology senior Eve Thomas recalls her time on the team where she formed inseparable bonds with her graduating class teammates.

Thomas began her freshman swim season amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Still, in her time at Loyola, Thomas earned NAIA All-American, Mid-South Conference Third Team All-Conference, and Mid-South Conference All-Academic, which are all the highest recognitions of individual athletic accomplishments.

She finished 3rd, qualifying for nationals at the Mid-South Conference Championships in the 100-yard backstroke. Thomas also placed 7th nationally in the 50-yard backstroke at the NAIA National Championships.

During her junior year, Thomas earned NAIA All-American, placed in top 25 in two events at NAIA National Championships, had multiple season-best times, and took 3rd in the 100-yard backstroke at the Sun Conference Championships.

Graduate student Wesley Daniel has had many accomplishments while swimming at Loyola, including setting a school record in the 200-yard fly as a freshman, won the 200-yard IM in the season-finale as a sophomore, and earning season best times in 50-yard backstroke, 100-yard backstroke, and 200-yard IM his junior year.

According to Daniel, being a part of the swimming team not only helped with staying healthy, but also helped develop time management skills, “as well as making [him] smell like chlorine most of the time.”

“The thing that I will miss the most about Loyola swimming is definitely going to be my teammates,” Daniel said.

Likewise, senior Eric Potter said he’d miss the atmosphere and unique bond with his teammates the most.

Potter started off with a splash by finishing 2nd in the 100-yard freestyle during his first swim meet and earning his personal best as a sophomore in the 50 yard freestyle.

Potter continued that momentum his junior year by having the best time of the season in multiple events, ranging from the 100-yard freestyle to the 100-yard butterfly. Potter also set another personal best time in the 50-yard freestyle.

Biology senior Hannah Richard said swimming for Loyola has made her a more responsible, accountable, and loyal person.

Richard earned Mid-South Conference All-Academic and had season best times many events including the 100-yard and 200-yard backstroke in her sophomore year. During her junior year, she achieved season best times in the 50-yard backstroke, 100-yard backstroke, 50-yard and 100-yard butterfly at the Sun Conference Championships.

“It takes great dedication to be a college athlete and the right environment to push you everyday,” she said. “It kept me grounded and kept my priorities straight, not letting me slip through the cracks.”

As Richard reflects on her time at Loyola, she said she will miss the people who helped her grow, both in and out of the water.

“I don’t think I would’ve gotten through COVID-19 athletics, not having a pool for a year after Hurricane Ida, or any of the other hurdles I’ve had during college with any other group of people.”

The men’s and women’s swim teams aren’t done yet. They will have one more away meet this weekend before they compete in the Sun-Conference Championships at the beginning of February.

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About the Contributor
Sam Guillotte
Sam Guillotte, Assistant Sports Editor
Sam Guillotte currently serves as The Maroon’s Assistant Sports Editor. Sam is a freshman majoring in journalism and working towards a minor in marketing. Outside of The Maroon, Sam plays for Loyola’s beach volleyball team. Sam can be contacted at [email protected].

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