Swim falls to Loyola, Kawash captures three first place finishes


The Leopards will take on American University next. (Photo courtesy of GoLeopards)

The Lafayette swimming and diving team hosted Loyola Maryland in a dual meet to kick off their season. Both the women’s and men’s teams fell to the Greyhounds, 162-138 and 176-118, respectively, despite some impressive individual performances.

“The first meet of the season is always exciting, especially for the first years. College dual meets are unlike anything in high school and can be nerve-racking even for upperclassmen,” captain JJ Wong said.

The Leopards won their first race of the afternoon thanks to senior Sydney Perks, who placed first in the 1000-yard freestyle. Sophomore Maggie Ivie followed up Perks’ victory with two of her own in both the 100 and 200-yard backstroke.

Sophomore Sophia Toomey placed first in the 200-yard butterfly, and freshman Emma Luttrell came in second, touching the wall just a second behind her.

Rounding out wins for the women’s side, sophomore Shaylee Daniels managed wins in both the three and one-meter diving events.

“The team performed around where coach expected us. It is still early in the season, meaning we’re still building fitness and endurance,” Wong said. “Practices are getting harder each day. We had our hardest training week thus far heading into the meet, yet we were still able to perform and win events.”

This meet was a notable one for the men’s diving team, as the Leopards had a men’s diver compete for the first time in over four years, and sophomore Peter Kawash won three races for the Leopards.

Kawash’s first-place finishes came in the 100 and 200-yard backstroke as well as the 200-yard medley. Kawash, who set school records in all three aforementioned races last year, picked up right where he left off and set the tone for a Lafayette men’s victory.

“Having Peter win three events was a great boost for morale. I think it helped the freshmen to see that it doesn’t really matter how tired you are – you’re there to compete and beat the guy next to you,” Wong said.

The men’s team also had event wins from freshman Tommy Weber in the 1000-yard freestyle and senior Aaron Tupper in the 100-yard freestyle.

“Everyone competed really well for our first meet of the year,” said Lafayette head coach James Dailey to GoLeopards.com. “They’ve been training hard, and the first set of races always can go either way – really good or really not good. Many of our races went very well.”

The team is excited about what is in store for the following month. “We’ve been looking to beat Colgate this weekend and American the next. We have been working harder than ever in practice in hopes of beating Lehigh this year,” Wong said.

The Leopards will travel to Colgate this weekend for their second dual meet of the season, with the first race starting at 1 p.m.