Building A Culture, The LSU Way

by Tanner Craft
Building A Culture, The LSU Way

BATON ROUGE – It is often said that in order for a team to be successful, everyone who is a part of it must buy in to the culture. Everyone must buy in to doing what is needed to do the very best they can do. The LSU swimming team epitomizes this.

In a year in which many school records were broken, it is easy to look simply at what was done in the pool, but the swimming culture at LSU is much more than that. How you conduct yourself out of the pool is every bit as important as how you conduct yourself in it. For an example of this, look no further than this year’s graduating class.

Never mind the fact that seniors, Haylee Knight, Summer Spradley, and Thomas Smith all set new LSU school records. Never mind the fact that Knight and Spradley made it all the way to the NCAA Championships. You can even forget the fact that this senior class contributed to wins against UCONN, Navy, Tulane, Loyola, SMU, Incarnate Word, Delta State, Houston, and Rice.

Ask anyone involved in the swimming program here at LSU, the success in the pool comes directly from the success in the classroom.

Head swim coach Dave Geyer really saw the culture shift from the class of 2016. It was the first class that found success in the water but also made the most out of the experience as a student-athlete to find success in the classroom. That culture definitely made its way to the class of 2019.

“When I look at the graduating class of 2019, they did the same thing,” said Geyer. “This group undoubtedly left their mark in the water with school records, top-ten times, and NCAA qualifiers. However, when you look at what they did in the classroom and their ability to turn quickly into the next chapter of life, it makes me proud.”

Over their four years at LSU, this class had three swimmers with over a 4.0 cumulative GPA, three make CoSIDA Academic All-District, a Third-Team Academic All-America honoree, an Astronaut Scholar and a Tiger Twelve selection.

So it is no surprise that the Class of 2019 is ready for what the next chapter of life has in store for them.

  • Will Arthur – Graduating in May 2020 (Coastal Environmental Science)
  • Tyler Harper – Enterprise Resource Planning Officer for CGI Technologies and Solutions
  • Tennyson Henry – Sales Representative for Prism Medical
  • Harrison Jones – Physical Therapy Tech
  • Lia Joslin – Entering LSU’s E.J. Ourso College of Business for graduate school
  • Haylee Knight – Graduating in December 2019 (Kinesiology); CSCAA honorable mention Scholar All-American
  • Alarii-Levreault Lopez – Reservoir Engineer for Exxon … Tiger Twelve Class of 2019… CoSIDA Academic All-District … CSCAA honorable mention Scholar All-American … 4.0+ GPA
  • Mitchell Petras – Deleware Basic Drilling Engineer for Anadarko … CoSIDA Third Team Academic All-American … Astronaut Scholar (Astronaut Scholarship Foundation) … 4.0+ GPA
  • Gabrielle Pick – Business Development Manager for Team Placement Dental
  • Summer Spradley – Financial Advisory Consultant for Deloitte … CSCAA honorable All-American
  • Thomas Smith – Software Analyst for Tyson Foods … H. Boyd McWhorter Scholarship Nominee … CSCAA honorable mention Scholar All-American
  • Lauren Thompson – Pharmaceutical sales rep with Acella Pharmaceuticals in San Antonio
  • Kate Zimmer – Dietetic Internship at Penrose-St. Francis Health Services in Colorado … H. Boyd McWhorter Scholarship Nominee … CoSIDA Academic All-District … 4.0+ GPA

“These seniors found success because of the choices they made through their four years here,” continued Geyer. “We as a program undoubtedly lay a path for them but ultimately it is their choice. I tell every prospective swimmer that attends here that everything you need to be successful as a student-athlete is here for you but you have to take advantage of it. This class did.”

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