Rylee Schneller wins the 100-yard breaststroke at the Valley Invite on Dec. 1 — one of several accomplishments over the course of that and the previous meet. — Photo by Michelle Van Overbeke

Holyoke plunges into season, qualifies in 5 state events

    Holyoke High School girls swim team pulled down four qualifying times during the season opener dual at Eaton High School last Thursday, Nov. 29, winning seven out of the 12 events to clinch the meet.
    At their second meet, an invitational at Valley High School on Dec. 1, another qualifying time was recorded, for a total of five events at state.
    Coach Aly Brinkema said the team, which includes no senior swimmers, is already proving their mettle and competing far beyond their years.
    “Watching the ladies swim at their first meet of the season was like watching them compete eight weeks into the season,” she said. “To repeat their outstanding performance from Thursday is a difficult feat with little rest, but this team shows a consistency that I admire and respect.”
    
Dragons qualify in 4 events at Eaton
    At the Eaton meet, the team dominated multiple events and guaranteed themselves a spot at the 3A state meet with four qualifying times — Rylee Schneller in the 200-yard individual medley and 100-yard breaststroke, Lali Marquez in the 100-yard butterfly and Schneller, Marquez, Traeli Hutches and Haley Van Overbeke in the 200-yard medley relay.
    Schneller qualified for the state meet and placed first in the 200-yard individual medley and 100-yard breaststroke with respective times of 2:28.38 and 1:15.24. Finishing third and fourth in the 200-yard individual medley were Van Overbeke, with a time of 2:47.77, and Demiah Hernandez, with a time of 2:54.37.
     Schneller, Marquez, Hutches and Van Overbeke swam in the 200-yard medley relay, qualifying for state with a time of 2:08.04. Another Holyoke team including Hernandez, Josie Schlachter, Amy Mackay and Jackie Valenzuela placed third with a time of 2:37.15.
    Marquez placed first in the 50-yard freestyle and 100-yard butterfly, qualifying in the latter as well, with times of 0:28.19 and 1:09.03.

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