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RA sophomore qualifies for all 8 swim events, makes school history

LAPLACE — Riverside Academy sophomore MaKayah Larose became the first swimmer in her school’s history to individually qualify in all eight events for the State Meet, and she accomplished it all within the first five swim meets of the season.

Swim team coach Christy Duhe said it’s an achievement worth recognizing.

“There’s only eight events to qualify in, and she qualified for all of them in our first five meets. That means she qualified for about three events per meet, which is unheard of,” Duhe said. “Just to think, two years ago, she didn’t qualify at all. I’m really proud of her. She has the determination. She’s a workhorse. That’s the first time I’ve seen it done, so I just think that’s phenomenal.”

The state swim meet is held annually in November.

While the butterfly stroke and individual medley are MaKayah’s strongest events, she has shown improvement across the board in freestyle, breaststroke and backstroke races.

MaKayah has been a competitive swimmer for more than five years. She joined her school’s swim team when she was in fifth grade and has worked hard to improve each year. As a freshman in 2019, she earned a Top 10 placement at the State Meet and collected individual awards at her school’s banquet.

This year, she turned up the intensity to accomplish her goals. COVID-19 has presented some changes to swim meets, but the team is thriving stronger than ever, and MaKayah was ready to rise to the challenge of beating personal records.

“I stepped out of my comfort zone and swam more strokes I didn’t think I would swim. I practiced harder because I made a goal to qualify in everything this year,” MaKayah said.

In addition to qualifying for all eight events, MaKayah crushed her personal records in everything but the 50 free before the beginning of October.

The 200-yard individual medley is her favorite event.

“Swimming just takes my mind off of everything,” MaKayah said. She added that her next goal will be bettering her times.

When she isn’t in the pool, MaKayah can be found on the soccer field. She is also a member of Riverside Academy’s track team.