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The Greyhound

The Greyhound

The Greyhound

Swim Team Takes on Puerto Rico


Over winter break, over 90 members of the Loyola University swim team took a trip to Puerto Rico, where they spent seven days on a training trip. The trip consisted of two two-hour long practices per day with free time in the middle of the day, which often consisted of relaxing on the beach or playing games such as spike ball or volleyball.

The trip was highlighted by a successful swim meet and some great memories. The swim team has been taking this trip during the break between the fall and spring semesters for the past 10 years.

Swimmer Carter Dickey ‘26 was quick to acknowledge the success of the trip, stating how it was great for team bonding.

“The trip was outstanding for chemistry,” Dickey said. “Being with more than 90 of your best friends for six days really makes you even closer than before. I would say even more so with your training groups because you sort of have fun and suffer together each day at practice.”

It took some years for the Greyhounds to find a permanent spot for this annual trip. Initially, they experimented with different places, such as Florida. However, the weather was found to be too cold for ideal training, so they stumbled upon Puerto Rico and have been going there ever since. Brian Loeffler, head coach of Loyola’s swim team for 32 years, was happy to be back in Puerto Rico for another training trip.

“We’ve been going to Puerto Rico for the past 10 years besides a little break because of COVID,” Loeffler said. “It is great weather and our team gets really effective training.”

The team took part in one official swim meet where they swam against Cornell University, American University, and Brandeis University, among others. The outcome was extremely successful for the Greyhounds, with the women taking first-place honors, the men finishing in second, and the total combined team finishing in first place.

Swimmer Michela Schultz ‘26 emphasized the joy of success after a difficult week of training. 

“The meet was definitely challenging for us after all of the tough practices we had been doing all week,” Schultz said. “But it was a nice feeling to do well at the meet and feel that it was all worth it.” 

The 95-person group got to make memories outside of the pool during the trip. 

Coach Loeffler said, “We spent New Year’s there. We arranged lots of activities including a scavenger hunt, charades, and trivia.”

Loeffler shared a special tradition that takes place during these trips he referred to as ‘class dinners.’ The coaches took out the senior class for a nice meal and then the junior, sophomore, and freshmen classes each had a separate dinner. This was a great way for the athletes to bond with their peers in a different setting, atypical to a regular college student’s experience.

Featured Image Courtesy of Jay Venit.

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Swim Team Takes on Puerto Rico