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International Swimmer Christina Lazari Excels in the Classroom and in the Pool

Raimondo Partito
Graduate Assistant, Marketing and Communications

Christina Lazari with Greek flag

Christina Lazari, a sophomore mainstay of Mount St. Mary’s University’s NCAA Division I swim team, is flourishing at the university and in her home country of Greece.

 MAAC relay in textThis spring Lazari showcased her talent and spirit of competition by placing third at the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championships in the 50-yard free and 100-yard breaststroke races. She also helped the women’s team to set four new school relay records in the competition, securing placements as high as second. Her success in the 2023-24 season earned her the opportunity to compete in the National Invitational Championship in Florida.

"Standing on that podium was a culmination of years of hard work and perseverance," Lazari said. "It's a testament to the unwavering support of my coaches, teammates, and the Mount community."

The NCAA season has ended, but Lazari remains in training. A member of Greece’s national team and of Athens’ Club Panathinaikos A.C., she is preparing for the Open National Championship in Thessaloniki, Greece next month.

"I sincerely hope we (she and her club teammates) have a fantastic performance that paves the way for a victorious comeback to the college arena in August,” Lazari stated with a mixture of eagerness and resolve. “I try to set higher and higher goals every year. I want to make the coveted NCAA cut, maintain academic excellence and graduate with honors.”

Christina LazariLazari’s still-evolving success story features tenacity, willpower and the strength of community. Her family discovered her natural attraction to water at the age of three when she began swimming to address her limitless energy and restless need to move. "They truly tried to find me a swimming alternative,” she reflected. “I had no idea that this would eventually lead to my being a swimmer in competition."

When Lazari left Athens, Greece for Emmitsburg, Maryland, she faced challenges in adjusting to life as an international student. "Being far from home, adjusting to a new culture, and balancing academics with athletics posed significant challenges," recalled the business major with a psychology minor. Her teammates and coaches helped her to overcome the difficulties, offering consolation and support.

"The camaraderie within the team was like a lifeline for me," she explained. "The coaches embraced me with open arms, helping me navigate the complexities of collegiate life and fostering a sense of belonging."

Lazari's dedication to excellence is evident in both the pool and the classroom, where her grades have earned her spots on the MAAC All-Academic Swimming and Diving Team and the university dean’s list. Her capacity to balance rigorous training sessions with a challenging course load is a shining example of the Mount's commitment to all-around growth for all students. "For me, success isn't just about winning races," continued Lazari. "It's about striving for excellence in every aspect of life."  

The accomplished student-athlete offers advice to future college swimmers: "Embark on the journey of a lifetime—dive into new waters, chase your dreams in the classroom and the pool, and let the ripples of your passion resonate across borders. Take on the task, discover your style and create ripples that uplift and bring others together. This is your chance to develop, study and shine as you strive for academic and athletic achievement. The trip is about exploring a world of development and limitless possibilities rather than merely crossing the finish line."

Raimondo Partito
Graduate Assistant, Marketing and Communications