Girls swim and dive honors seniors despite loss

On Tuesday, October 19, the girls swim and dive team honored its amazing seniors; that celebration was nothing short of special. For those seniors, senior night has been something they have looked forward to ever since they were freshmen. It is truly a bittersweet experience. 

In the meet on Tuesday, the girls faced off against a very talented East Grand Rapids team. Unfortunately for the Rangers, the team lost 135-50. Junior Sydney VanLente finished first in the 100-meter fly with a time of 1:03.25. Senior Jessica Doyel finished second in both the 100-meter freestyle and the 200-meter individual medley. 

Aside from the loss, the team was very happy to recognize the great things the seniors have accomplished. Competing as a varsity athlete is demanding enough, but few people understand how hard these girls work. Four days a week, the girls hit the pool at 5:30 AM for practice. Doing this for four years straight gets you a lot of time in the pool. 

Over the years of competing, the girls have learned a lot from this sport. 

“I’ve learned how to manage my time with school and long practices; it gets very chaotic,” senior Avery Verlinde said. 

Along with Avery, Jessica also took some important life lessons away from the grind of the season.

“I’ve learned the rawest form of the importance of teammates,” Jessica Doyel said. “The support and love they pour into this sport to motivate everyone else are crucial.”

Not only have the seniors learned a lot from this sport, but the younger girls on this team have learned a lot from the seniors. 

“The seniors taught me how to have fun,” junior Sydney VanLente said. “They also taught me never to take any of it for granted.”

The Rangers’ next meet will be against Northview on Tuesday, October 26.