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Holyoke’s four state swimmers are pictured from left, Rylee Schneller, Haley Van Overbeke, Lali Marquez and Traeli Hutches. Not pictured are relay alternates Demiah Hernandez, Josie Schlachter and Jackie Valenzuela. — The Holyoke Enterprise | Johnson Publications

Swimmers statebound

Holyoke earns new qualifying times at conference meet, sending 8 events to state championships

    Four Holyoke High School girls swim team members will each swim in two individual events and two relays at the 3A state championships Friday and Saturday, Feb. 8-9, at the Edora Pool Ice Center in Fort Collins.
    Four of those individual events reached the qualifying time at the Feb. 1-2 Tri-Valley Conference meet in Loveland. The others had made the qualifying mark earlier in the season.
    The tiny but mighty Dragon swim team of 10 girls placed third overall last weekend. Without the diving portion of the meet, in which Holyoke has no competitors, the team ranked second. This is the highest team placing for Holyoke in the Tri-Valley Conference since the team’s inception in 1997, coach Aly Brinkema said.
    “It was an enormous accomplishment,” coach Adria Colver said. “This is a young team with no seniors, but I saw the freshmen, sophomores and juniors all clearly modeling excellent leadership, both in and out of the pool.”
    Headed to state this weekend are sophomore Rylee Schneller in the 100-yard breaststroke and 200-yard individual medley; junior Lali Marquez, 50-yard freestyle and 100-yard butterfly; sophomore Haley Van Overbeke, 50-yard freestyle and 100-yard freestyle; and junior Traeli Hutches, 500-yard freestyle and 100-yard breaststroke.
    New qualifiers in the prelims of the Tri-Valley Conference meet were Hutches in both of her individual events, and Van Overbeke and Marquez in the 50-yard freestyle.
    Additionally, the foursome will compete in the 200-yard medley relay and 400-yard freestyle relay. Relay alternates are junior Jackie Valenzuela, sophomore Demiah Hernandez and freshman Josie Schlachter.
    Schneller also qualified for state in the 200-yard freestyle, and the four girls qualified in the 200-yard freestyle relay. However, each competitor is allowed only four total events at state, so Holyoke will not be participating in those.
    State swimming competition is not new to any of the four state qualifiers, as they all competed in last year’s state event. Marquez will be competing at state for the third straight year.
    Schneller finished 11th in the 100-yard breaststroke and 13th in the 200-yard individual medley a year ago, and the 400-yard freestyle relay took 15th at state with Schneller, Hutches, Haley Van Overbeke and Regan Van Overbeke.

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