Girls swim and dive notches record-breaking performances against Northern/Eastern


For the girls swim and dive team, fighting hard against FHNE would be an understatement. Many personal records were broken and the Rangers gave it their all, but unfortunately lost a close meet. 

The swim team has overcome many challenges due to COVID-19 last year; athletes are looking forward to a normal season and state tournament once again. 

“It’s been a hard transition from the previous year with covid limiting so much,” senior Jessica Doyel said. “The whole team has been adapting and adjusting so well.” 

Overcoming challenges should be built into the mindset of athletes, but the setback a global pandemic has on a sporting season is detrimental. The swim team has been working hard this season to prove that it can overcome adversity.

“It really proves that these girls have what it takes to be a great team,” Jessica said.

No one has had a harder time than underclassmen on the team. Coming in last year with no season, this year’s sophomores have little experience swimming for the school.

“They have been super flexible and open to the new team aspect,” Doyel claimed. “I am proud of them for willing to step up and do their part for the team.”

One over-achieving underclassman has been sophomore Olivia Oorbeck. Olivia had an outstanding showing, reigning victorious in the five-hundred-meter freestyle event with a time of 5:38:10. This broke her season record and defeated the opposing swimmers by more than five seconds. 

Freshman Kayla Quach also won her event and set a season-best time with a blazing speed of 1:05:39. Kayla also set a personal best time in the 200-meter individual medley. 

Junior Sydney VanLente dominated the competition, taking a victory in the 200-meter freestyle by over five seconds with a time of 2:03:16.

“As a team, we have been training very hard which has helped me prepare for the meet and for the future” Sydney stated. “I have my goals in mind and I continue to look forward to the rest of the season hoping to continue to get better,” Sydney has been getting better over the course of the season, as she broke her personal record for the one-hundred-meter freestyle race. 

Continuing the trend of breaking records, senior Caroline Bell also had a stellar time, placing third and surpassing her previous mark in the 100-meter freestyle race. 

Another senior to have an extraordinary showing was Rylee VeneKlase.

“I prepared by getting myself mentally ready before getting in the water,” Rylee said. “You have to be positive to be successful.” Breaking her own personal best in the 200-meter freestyle and the 100-meter breaststroke, Rylee is looking mentally locked in. 

Senior captains Jessica Doyel and Maggie Hier both broke their season’s best time, placing second and third respectively in the 50-meter freestyle. The leadership of these two captains has had a great impact on the team’s success and improvement.

“I am looking forward to seeing how people continue to improve over the rest of the season and what we can do in states,” Maggie said. 

The Rangers’ next meet is Tuesday, October 5, against conference opponent Grand Rapids Christian.