3-Sport Athlete Makayla Suominen Signs NLI to Swim at Alaska Fairbanks

Makayla Suominen of Cloquet, Minnesota signed an NLI to swim for the University of Alaska Fairbanks beginning next fall.

“I am very excited to announce that I will be swimming for the University of Alaska Fairbanks! Go Nanooks!!!💙💛”

Suominen wrapped up her prep career with the Cloquet-Esko-Carlton Lumberjacks in November, placing second in the 50 free (23.37) and fourth in the 100 free (51.38) at the 2018 Minnesota MSHSL Girls A Swim & Dive Championships. She won the state title in the 50 free (23.46) and took 3rd in the 100 free (52.46) as a sophomore in 2016, then placed 2nd and 3rd in those respective events (23.43 and 51.89) in her junior year season. She also earned five consecutive 50 free titles (8th-12th grades) and four consecutive 100 free titles (9th-12th) at the Minnesota Section 7A Championships.

Suominen holds Section 7A, Lake Superior Conference, and C-E-C records in both the 50 and 100 freestyle events. She is also a C-E-C team record-holder in the 200 medley relay, 200 free relay and 400 free relay. The most remarkable thing about all of this is that Suominen began swimming at age 12 and only swims 3 months a year. After high school swim season, she competes in Cloquet High School’s weight lifting and track & field programs and she is not a member of a year-round club swim team.

“We are extremely happy to announce the signing of Makayla Suominen with the Nanooks for the fall of 2019,” head coach Becca Weiland said in a UAF news release. “We know that she will have an immediate impact on our sprint freestyle events and relays. Makayla has a fantastic attitude and the mindset of a world-class swimmer. She is a very talented athlete and an excellent student, who I know will achieve great things as a Nanook student-athlete.”

In an interview with WDIO Sports, Suominen said she recalled her first state meet as an 8th grader, looking at the record board at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center and thinking, “The girl who held the 50 long course and short course records is Rebecca Weiland and I thought, ‘she is really fast and that’s so cool.’ Then, I went to a swim camp and I got to meet her and I thought she was really nice and she remembered me and now that she is taking over the head coaching position, she reached out to me and I got to know her better and I am really excited to go swim for her.”

Top SCY times:

  • 50 free – 23.37
  • 100 free – 51.38

The University of Alaska-Fairbanks competes in the Pacific Collegiate Swim & Dive Conference. Suominen would have placed 2nd in the 50 free and 4th in the 100 free at the 2018 PCSC Conference Championships. Her best 50 freestyle time (swum on 11/15/18) would also have been invited to the 2018 NCAA DII Swimming & Diving Championships.

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About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swam in college. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD, she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently …

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