Lafayette swimming dives into season with dual meet against Loyola

The+Lafayette+swimming+and+diving+team+fell+to+Loyola+on+Saturday%2C+with+the+overall+scores+being+197-103+on+the+women%E2%80%99s+side+and+193-100+on+the+men%E2%80%99s+side.+%28Photo+courtesy+of+Athletic+Communications%29

The Lafayette swimming and diving team fell to Loyola on Saturday, with the overall scores being 197-103 on the women’s side and 193-100 on the men’s side. (Photo courtesy of Athletic Communications)

Caroline McParland, Sports Editor

While both the women’s and men’s swim teams were unable to capture an overall win against Loyola, members of both teams earned impressive times in Lafayette Top 100 and Top 10 all-time lists on Saturday afternoon. Overall, the Leopards fell by a total score of 197-103 to Loyola on the women’s side and 193-100 on the men’s side.

“We had a really positive attitude,” senior Sam Talecki said. “Everybody was really excited to have our first ‘real’ swim meet again since last year was different because of COVID. I think that really pushed everyone to go as fast as they did.”

Lafayette won four races on the day for the women’s side. Senior Tara Leininger brought home the first win of the day in the 200-yard freestyle with a finishing time of 1:56.48 to score nine points in the event. 

“We’ve been training really hard up until the meet this weekend,” senior Emily Richter said. “Coming off an 8-week season last semester, I think everyone’s ready to have a full season and be able to have in-person meets.”

Lafayette sophomore Kaley Snarr finished in second just two seconds behind Leininger, with a time of 1:58.37 to score another four points in the event. 

These were not the only success stories for the early-winning pair as they also came back with wins later on in the meet. Leininger also won the 200-yard breaststroke (2:29.65) and Snarr also finished second in the 500-yard freestyle (5:19.35) to add another four points.

Freshman Maggie Ivie won the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 59.38. Ivie contributed nine points for her college debut, and this performance entered Ivie in the Lafayette Top 10 all-time list for the event. Ivie came back later in the meet to win the 200-yard backstroke (2:09.13 ), adding another nine points.

Junior Haleigh Marzano opened the season strong, placing second overall in the 100-yard breaststroke (1:08.85) and the 200-yard breaststroke (2:31.12) to score eight total solo meet points on the day. 

Marzano was joined by senior Danielle Carr, freshman Sophia Toomey and Talecki for the 200-yard medley team, which finished second overall and added four more points (1:50.43).

“It was definitely really exciting coming in second for the medley,” Talecki said. “Loyola is a really good team, so we weren’t expecting that at all. We’ve all been working really hard and we tried our best and it worked out. It made me really excited for the future.”

Talecki also was a strong performer in the 50-yard freestyle, finishing in second with a time of 25.07.

“I was very surprised because that was a time that is really fast for me for a regular dual meet. It’s only three out of ten of a second off of my best time ever, so that was really exciting,” Talecki said. “I think lifting more this year contributed to it, so I hope that continues.”

Freshman Paige Griggs finished second in the 1000-yard freestyle, finishing with a time of 10:55.24 to score another four points in her collegiate debut. 

Freshman Shaylee Daniels also had a stellar college debut, finishing second overall in the three-meter diving with a score of  199.27. Daniels has now entered the Lafayette Top 10 all time in that event, and her mark of 187.43 in the one-meter diving event also placed her in the Top 10 all time list for Lafayette.

The team’s work out of the pool is what creates such a positive environment for success.

“The freshmen came in really close-knit which definitely helped. All of the upperclassmen have been really welcoming toward the freshmen, and the sophomores who haven’t had a full year on campus,” Richter said. “It’s a really cool thing to be able to have such a big team and get along with everyone, it creates a great atmosphere.”

Senior Eden Ephraim entered the Lafayette Top 100 all-time list in both the one-meter diving and three-meter diving, scoring 191.85 and 162.45, respectively.

To finish the meet on the women’s side, Ivie, sophomore Maya Byrne, senior Emily Wilson, and Talecki placed second in the 200-yard freestyle team relay, adding four points on the day with a final time of 1:41.21.

The Leopards won four races on the day for the men’s side. The first win of the day came out of the 200-yard medley relay, which included senior Michael Gorgan, freshman Avery Letourneau, sophomore James Lapsley, and junior Aaron Tupper. They added 11 points to the race, with a time of 1:33.51. 

Gorgan won two more races later on in the meet, both of which were solo races. The first win was in the 100-yard breaststroke, finishing first and scoring nine points in the event (57.73). The next win came from the 200-yard breaststroke, which added another nine points to his meet total (2:07.86)

Letourneau also came back later to win solo races in his collegiate debut. He crossed the finish line first in the 200-yard butterfly (1:57.25, adding nine points) and the 100-yard butterfly (50.71, adding another nine points). His time for the 100-meter butterfly entered Letourneau into the Lafayette Top 10 all-time list.

Lapsley had a strong season opener as well, coming back later in the meet to finish second in the 100-yard backstroke (51.96) which added four points to his meet total. He added another four points on the day as he finished in second place in the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 1:55.94. 

Tupper also had a second-place finish in the 100-yard freestyle in a time of 47.12, adding another four points to his meet total.

The final win of the day came from freshman Peter Kawash in the 200-yard IM, who crossed the finish line in a time of 1:56.76, adding nine points.

“It was really tiring, because I’m not used to swimming that many races in one day, but it was fun to be a part of a big team because I’m not used to that,” Kawash said.

Kawash also added that his senior teammates Justin Lloyd and Gorgan are people he looks up to. “They have a good work ethic and lead by example,” he said.

Upperclassmen commended the freshmen for their work.

“I think some of our freshmen really showed up,” Talecki said. “Maggie Ivie got her first and both of her races. On the men’s side, Avery Letourneau had two races that were really close, and he beat the other swimmer right at the end, so those were both really exciting to watch.”

“The men’s team did really well. They definitely had great swims on their end, especially for the freshmen,” Richter said. “Gorgan had a really good 200-yard breaststroke, and [Letourneau] had a really good one hundred and tw0-hundred yard butterfly.”

Senior Naoki Nomura was the last entry to the Top 10 all-time list of the day for Lafayette, finishing fifth overall in the three-meter diving event with a total score of 139.35.

Gorgan, freshman Antonio Arena, Tupper, and Letourneau closed out the meet scoring for the men as they finished in second place in the 200-yard relay, adding four points with a final time of 1:26.24.

“For Colgate this weekend, we’re doing a lot of sprint work,” Richter said. “This week we’re definitely focusing on technique and fast blocks and turns.”

The Leopards will compete in their next home dual meet on Saturday, Oct. 30th at 12 p.m. against Colgate.