Converse administrators have made difficult decisions to ensure the health and safety of our campus community. This included moving all classes online beginning on March 30, 2020, and continuing through final exams.
As a tribute to our Converse athletes whose season was cut short, we are featuring some of our Valkyries seniors in a spotlight series.
Senior Spotlight: Jasmine Loy-Smith
In this episode of senior spotlights, we introduce Jasmine Loy-Smith, a member of the Converse acrobatics and tumbling team.
Loy-Smith, who resides in Oakdale, Connecticut, has been a member of the Valkyries acro and tumbling team for three years. Not playing any other sports, Jasmine had an immediate passion for gymnastics, starting at the age of two.
Jasmine attended Norwich Technical High School and was a member of the Warriors gymnastics team
“I started gymnastics at the age of two,” said Loy-Smith. “I competed through my senior year of high school and knew I wanted to do something like this in college.”
Although gymnastics was not in her collegiate future, a new, emerging sport called acrobatics and tumbling was.
“I was recruited by Keegan Johnson, the first head acro and tumbling coach in Converse history, and although I was looked at by other schools for gymnastics, Converse seemed the be the best fit for me,” she explained.
Coming from a bigger city in Oakdale, the small classes and family atmosphere drew Jasmine to Spartanburg.
“Everyone was super welcoming and made me feel at home,” Jasmine said. “It is an amazing feeling when professors know your name and support you!”
During her time with the Purple and Gold, Jasmine helped to guide the Valkyries to back-to-back NCATA National Championships in her sophomore and junior years. The team was poised to make its third consecutive appearance in the event when the season was cut short.
“The season being canceled made me feel very sad,” said Loy-Smith. “I wasn’t mentally prepared for that competition to be my last ever. I’ve done this sport for 18 years and to have it suddenly taken away was upsetting.”
Although her collegiate competing days are over, Loy-Smith plans to stay in the Upstate while participating in a managerial training program with Ford Credit.