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Holyoke High School swim team qualifies four for the first-ever 3A state championships. The "tiny but mighty" team is pictured from left, Emily Krogmeier, Regan Van Overbeke, Lali Marquez and Anna Jelden.

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Lali Marquez blasts through the water in her butterfly leg of the 200-yard medley relay as it qualifies for 3A state competition at the Friday-Saturday Tri-Valley Conference meet. Marquez also qualified in the 100-yard butterfly as well as for the 50-yard freestyle at the meet.

2 relays, 6 individual events are qualified for 2017 3A state swim competition

Holyoke Dragons make a splash at Tri-Valley Conference

    “Tiny but mighty” is the adopted slogan of the smallest school swim team in the 3A conference, and truer words were never said. With only eight Holyoke Dragon swimmers at the Tri-Valley Conference in Windsor Friday-Saturday, Feb. 3-4, the team qualified two relays and three more individual events for state in addition to Emily Krogmeier’s three pre-qualified events.
    The team smashed through personal bests throughout the meet. “I feel like I spent most of the day high-fiving everyone,” said coach Adria Colver. “The girls have worked so hard, and they tapered so well.”
    Coach Aly Brinkema was extremely pleased with the team as well. “We always have high expectations for any athlete, but they exceeded everything,” she said.
    Brinkema said that having the 3A classification, new this year for Colorado girls swimming, has transformed the team, providing new opportunities for teams like Holyoke.
    The Dragons’ 200-yard medley relay team, Anna Jelden, Regan Van Overbeke, Lali Marquez and Krogmeier, had flirted with the 2:08 state-qualifying time for weeks. Friday, they busted through at last with a 2:05.76, placing fourth in the event and qualifying for state.
    Holyoke qualified for 4A state competition in the 200-yard medley relay last year, and Krogmeier and Van Overbeke are returning members of the relay team.
    The same four girls also make up the 200-yard freestyle relay team, which qualified with a 1:51.21 under the 1:54 mark at the weekend meet, placing third.
    Marquez swam the first leg of the relay — a qualifying leg in which she earned a chance at the 50-yard freestyle at state with her :27.42. She qualified for the 100-yard butterfly as well, placing third and swimming a 1:07.48.
    Van Overbeke, who had been eyeing the needed 6:08 in the 500-yard freestyle, crushed it with a 6:01.14 to also qualify in that event.
    Krogmeier had previously qualified in three individual events — the 50-yard freestyle, the 100-yard freestyle and the 200-yard individual medley. With the cap at four events per person per meet, she will compete in the two relays and two individual freestyle events at state.

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