Swim team dives into a new season

Thomas+Natal%2C+Head+Coach%2C+trains+the+Loyola+swimmers+as+they+eagerly+improve+their+times+and+hone+their+technique.
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Swim team dives into a new season

Thomas Natal, Head Coach, trains the Loyola swimmers as they eagerly improve their times and hone their technique.

Thomas Natal, Head Coach, trains the Loyola swimmers as they eagerly improve their times and hone their technique.

Tristan Emmons

Thomas Natal, Head Coach, trains the Loyola swimmers as they eagerly improve their times and hone their technique.

Tristan Emmons

Tristan Emmons

Thomas Natal, Head Coach, trains the Loyola swimmers as they eagerly improve their times and hone their technique.

Jessamyn Reichmann

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Overcoming the nervousness of starting a new team, head coach Thomas Natal has lead his swimmers to victory.

Loyola’s swim team wrapped up their first fall season with success, and multiple swimmers took home conference recognitions.

Natal set the bar high. The team improved their times, weight-lifting and placed in the Mid-South Conference.

The team said they are excited to build off of their fall momentum and spring it forward for the upcoming season.

With both the women’s and men’s teams, consisting entirely of freshmen, competing collegiately for the players was a first for them as well as for Natal.

“Walking into the season, of course I was nervous for them, coming in trying to develop and create something new but with their own twist is different,” Natal said.

While the incoming freshmen were perfecting their strokes, Natal demanded even more from them.

“They’re not just here to swim, but to be student athletes, to excel in the classroom as well as excel in the pool,” Natal said.

With the importance of exceeding in class and the pool, one swimmer stood out the most: Paige Carter.

Having won the 200 medley relay, 200 freestyle and 500 freestyle in one of her meets, Carter was quick to become the first Loyola swimmer to take home a conference recognition.

Carter, mass communication freshman, is planning to carry over her success from the fall season into the spring.

“I’m overall just really motivated. Our big meets are now approaching in the spring, and I’ve been practicing hard and believe I’m well trained now,” Carter said.

Natal not only focused on the strengths of his team in the water, but also in the weight room.

Many of the swimmers weren’t anticipating the new weight lifting program.

“Surprisingly, what’s helped me a lot has been lifting weights. Especially since Loyola has a really great lifting program, it’s helped me build muscle and overall swim better in the pool,” Carter said.

While the women’s team has been developing in the pool, the men’s team has as well.

Warren Massimini, economics freshman, explained his personal progress as a first-time collegiate swimmer.

“It’s been a lot of fun, tough work, but it keeps me busy,” Massimini said.

Natal’s implementation of the weight room has been popular and beneficial among the swim team.

“Through it all, Coach Natal has improved my stroke, race-times and strategy as a swimmer, especially through the weight room,” Massimini said.

Besides the strenuous amount of workouts being held in the weight room, Natal doesn’t stop there. With the goals of seeing improvement from each swimmer, he expects nothing but the best.

“Preparing for the spring season, we’ve been swimming more than usual; at times, twice a day and multiple times a week,” Massimini said.

Through the countless practices, hours spent lifting and sauna breaks, the team has created a name for themselves in their first season.

“It’s been great; it’s been a lot of learning and fun working with student athletes, especially building up the program,” Natal said.

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