Eight seniors on the LSU swimming and diving team will be honored Saturday for their accomplishments before Saturday’s dual meet with Texas A&M, slated to begin at 11:00 a.m.
Fans are encouraged to attend the meet at the LSU Natatorium Saturday morning and collect their own LSU swimming and diving rally towel and schedule poster for the 2021-22 season. Both items will be in limited supply and distributed on a first-come-first-serve basis.
“We are looking forward to hosting Texas A&M for our final competition prior to our championship season,” head diving coach Doug Shaffer said. “This will be an excellent competition in the pool and on the boards!”
The eight seniors LSU will honor before the start of the meet include two Olympians, Anne Tuxen and Juan Celaya-Hernandez. Others that will be honored Saturday are Natalie Kucsan, Michael Petro, Brittany Thompson, Jack Jannasch, Allie McDaid, and Julian Norman.
“For our seniors, this marks the end of a collegiate chapter but a new beginning in life,” Shaffer continued. “We are so proud of each of our senior’s accomplishments and have admired their growth throughout their careers. We are thankful for their contributions and humbled to have been a part of their journeys.”
Tuxen, a native of Stavanger, Norway, has been yet another diver under the direction of head diving coach Doug Shaffer to thrive. Prior to the 2021-22 season, Tuxen participated in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics as a representative of her native country. She took to the 10-meter platform event and placed 28th, despite the injury difficulties she had been facing. Throughout her time as a Tiger, she qualified for the NCAA’s postseason competition three different times. During the regular season, Tuxen saw limited action but claimed a win at the Rocky Mountain Invitational and a second-place finish in a dual meet against Alabama. Tuxen currently holds the sixth spot on LSU’s all-time top-10 list for the three-meter dive.
During the 2021-22 season, the 2020 Tokyo Olympian has accumulated four SEC Male Diver of the Week honors to add on to the 13 he had before the season began. Celaya-Hernandez is a five-time SEC champion and holds SEC records on the one-meter and platform. He also holds the school record in each event. The native of San Nicolas de los Garza is a nine-time All-American looking to add more medals to his collection during the postseason.
Kucsan has been a team leader in many ways with impressive swims and her infectious personality on the pool deck. In her final season in the purple and gold, Kucsan set three personal records at the Art Adamson Invitational in the 50-free, 100-free, and 100-fly.
Petro has been another swimmer with a lot of experience in several events. For Petro, he has competed in seven different events during his time as a Tiger. During his busy freshman and sophomore seasons, he set six personal bests, while his senior season saw one PR broken in the 50-free. Throughout his senior season, although spare of competitive experience, Petro has always been a leader for the swimming and diving team, especially through the adversity he’s faced.
While facing adversity during her final year, the native of Austin, Texas, announced that she would be stepping away from the sport of swimming in early December. Thompson’s legacy and impact will be felt forever during her time in the purple and gold. In her final first meet during the 2021-22 season, Thompson won the 100-back and 200-back while taking second in the 200-IM and holds the ninth spot on LSU’s all-time top-10 list for the 100-back. She also holds the fourth-best time in school history for the 200-back.
Jannasch, a native of Frisco, Texas, has been the definition of consistency for the LSU swimming program, improving throughout his four seasons in Baton Rouge. Jannasch claimed all four of his personal records during his sophomore and junior season at the SEC Championships. Under head swimming coach Rick Bishop, he has seen significant improvement, including swimming a 50-free split over two-tenths faster than his 2020 mark in the 200-free relay.
McDaid, a native of East Windsor, New Jersey, has had a very impressive senior season, starting off with a win in the 200-yard breaststroke and third in the 100-yard breaststroke and 200-IM. She currently holds the tenth-best time in the 100-yard breaststroke on LSU’s all-time top-10 list. Two of her personal records came during her junior season in the 2021 SEC Championships, posting best times in the 100-yard breaststroke and 200-IM.
Norman, a swimmer of eight events during his career as an LSU Tiger, has been a steady hand to lean on during his career. So far, in his final season in Baton Rouge, he has claimed four top-5 finishes. During his freshman and sophomore seasons, he set six personal records before setting two more in his senior season.