Holyoke’s state qualifiers for the 3A state girls swim meet are pictured from left, front row, 400 freestyle relay first alternate Summer Martin and Lali Marquez; and back row, Rylee Schneller, Haley Van Overbeke and Traeli Hutches. Not pictured are other relay alternates Jackie Valenzuela, Josie Schlachter and Danielle Wilkening. — Photo by Michelle Van Overbeke
Swimmers head to state
Three relay races and four other individual swimming events will see Holyoke competitors in the 3A state girls swim meet Friday and Saturday, Feb. 14-15, at Veterans Memorial Aquatic Center in Thornton.
It will be the third straight year for state competition for qualifiers Traeli Hutches (a senior), and juniors Rylee Schneller and Haley Van Overbeke, and the fourth year for senior Lali Marquez.
The foursome will swim the 200 medley relay, 200 freestyle relay and the 400 freestyle relay, as well as one additional individual race for each of them. A year ago, this same quartet finished 12th at state in the 200 medley relay event.
While they qualified for other individual races this year, they’re limited to swimming in four state events and have prioritized the three relays.
Schneller will compete in the 100 breaststroke, a race in which she finished 11th in 2018 and 10th last year at state.
Marquez will enter the 100 butterfly event, in which she finished 20th last year.
Additionally, Hutches will swim the 500 freestyle and Van Overbeke, the 100 freestyle, races they competed in at state in 2019 as well.
Freshman Summer Martin will be the first alternate for the 400 freestyle relay, and other relay alternates are Jackie Valenzuela, Josie Schlachter and Danielle Wilkening.
Conference meet condensed to one day due to weather
Holyoke swimmers and coaches were at Wiggins Friday morning, Feb. 7, when they received the call about postponing conference prelims. They were on their way to the Tri-Valley Conference meet, scheduled to start at 3 p.m. at Thompson Valley High School in Loveland.
When a major school district in the conference canceled school Friday, it effectively canceled all after-school activities for the day.
Not since a blizzard in 2010 have the Tri-Valley Conference Friday preliminaries been rescheduled due to weather, according to coach Aly Brinkema.
But coaches and officials spent the next hours discussing how to hold a major two-day championship meet in one day.
“It wasn’t easy, and the disadvantages hit every single team in major ways,” said Brinkema.
Prelims were held Saturday morning, Feb. 8, beginning at 9 a.m., with finals beginning that same afternoon at 5 p.m.
Instead of taking the top 18 finishers from prelims, for the sake of time, only the top 12 placers from morning prelims returned to swim in the evening finals.
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