MaKayah LaRose makes history on the fly

Published 2:05 am Wednesday, October 26, 2022

 

RESERVE — For the past three years, Riverside Academy senior MaKayah LaRose has made swim team history by qualifying in all eight individual events for the annual State Swim Meet in November. The eight events are the 200 yard IM, 50 yard freestyle, 100 yard freestyle, 200 yard freestyle, 500 yard freestyle, 100 yard breaststroke, 100 yard backstroke and 100 yard butterfly.

LaRose swam for eight years over the summer for the Riverland’s Stingrays just for fun, never thinking her swim career would ever be serious. Once she started competitively swimming for RA in her seventh grade year, that all changed. Her eighth grade year was the first time she ever qualified. In 2019, her freshman year, LaRose placed Top 10 at State. Now she has made swim team history three years in a row by individually qualifying in all eight events.

“My passion basically came from my family by putting me in sports at such a young age,” LaRose said “I eventually found a love for sports when I got older.”

But this year one event in particular was physically challenging.

The 100 yard butterfly was LaRose’s final event to qualify in this year, but due to a nagging pain in her shoulder it was put on hold for a while. She distracted herself by motivating her teammates to qualify in their own events and tried to develop a clear mindset before swimming. Recently at Crawfish Aquatics in Baton Rouge, swimming through the pain, she did it; she qualified in the dreaded 100 yard butterfly.

“I didn’t think I was going to make it in fly, it was a bit of a struggle this year because of my shoulder,” LaRose said. “I don’t know what’s wrong with it, I refuse to go to a doctor.”

With the support of her parents, they give her a pep talk when she’s feeling down and push her to do better even when she gets frustrated. Her favorite thing about swim is the atmosphere of swim meets and how supportive the team can be. Her advice to anyone looking to swim is to enjoy it, it’s such a fun experience and it’s great for team building.

With swim season soon coming to a close, you will find LaRose on the soccer field and running for RA’s track team. Her goal for soccer this year is to score 10 goals and for track she wants to place higher at State this year. LaRose wishes she would have tried volleyball again but nothing could make her give up her love for swim. Because of her busy schedule from sports she doesn’t have many hobbies, but for the past two summers, she has been a lifeguard for LARAYO.

“Never going to be able to compete again makes me devastated,” she said. “I could see myself crying at State.”

From eating Chick-fil-A after meets too playing UNO in her hotel room at State, lasting memories were created from doing what she loves. LaRose plans on coming back to RA in the future to help coach with Coach Christy Duhe.