Hayburn, the 2016-17 Capital Gazette Male Swimmer of the Year from St. Mary’s High School, committed this month to swim at Loyola University. He chose Loyola over Navy, Army and Georgetown.
In Baltimore, he’ll join his older sister, Annie Hayburn, who is currently a sophomore on the Greyhounds’ team.
“My parents, my mother — a swim coach herself — and my sister, a great role model, they’re what allowed me to get to this position to have the opportunity to compete in Division I athletics,” said Hayburn, a Bowie native.
In addition to the family connection, Hayburn said Loyola’s coaches are “phenomenal" not just as coaches, but as people.
“These guys understand that there’s more to life than swimming and they really try to develop a student-athlete character-wise on top of athletic performance-wise,” Hayburn said. “That was a very important piece to me.”
With his decision out of the way, Hayburn is now preparing for his senior season at St. Mary’s, where he’s likely to add to his legacy.
Hayburn is 50-0 in individual races and 49-1 in relay events for his high school career. The Saints, an all-around strong program, have gone a combined 25-0 and won the last three MIAA B Conference titles in Hayburn's three years so far. He said his main goal for his senior season is to “four-peat.”
He and his siblings also have shone during summertimes in the Prince-Mont Swim League with Whitehall Pool and Tennis. That Bowie club team is coached by his mother, Teri Hayburn, who is a former assistant swim coach for the University of Maryland and Villanova University. Annie Hayburn took on the role of her mother’s assistant coach this year after aging out of the league she herself also used to compete in.
As a junior last year, Hayburn posted his fastest times of the season when he finished second in the 100-yard freestyle (21.11 seconds) and third in the 50-yard freestyle (46.63) at the 2017 National Catholic High School Championship last January. That meet is held on Loyola's campus, and Hayburn said Greyhounds head coach Brian Loeffler saw his performance there.
It “kind of worked very nicely,” Hayburn said.
Of course, Hayburn is also familiar with Loyola from visits to watch his sister compete. He went up to watch Annie swim last season and saw another meet this year on his official visit.
“Family is hugely important to him, but he also knew that no matter where he chose he’d have the support of all of his family,” Annie Hayburn said. “I think what he decided was family was definitely important to him, but he also wanted to find the school that fit best for him, and Loyola was the best option in his mind.”
The siblings will see a lot of each other once again. Annie said the women’s and men’s teams have their practices and lifting sessions at the same time, in addition to the same meet schedule.
“I think it’s awesome because it promotes a sense of team unity,” she said.
Annie is having a good college season so far, herself. In dual meets with Boston College and league foes American, Colgate and Lafayette, she’s won seven individual events, including the 200-yard backstroke each of the three times she’s swum it. She also usually swims on the 200-yard medley relay team, which has won three times in 2017. Loyola’s women’s team is 4-0 and the men’s team is 3-1 through four meets.
Jimmy expects to swim freestyle sprint events and some butterfly and backstroke at Loyola. Annie believes he’ll be “a huge asset” to the men’s team in relays, as well.
Always gracious, Hayburn has a list of “thank-yous” that ranges from God and his family to Annapolis Swim Club coach Mark Mangold, St. Mary’s athletic director Allison Fondale, St. Mary’s swim coach Allyson Reiter and her staff of assistants.
Don’t be surprised to see the Hayburn name in the sports pages for years to come. There are more brothers — Patrick, Joseph and Luke — coming down the pipeline. Patrick begins his freshman swim season at St. Mary’s this winter.