A year ago, New Paltz High School girls swimming coach Don Bartlett said that, entering the state championships, competitors seeing familiar faces is a comforting sight. Be it teammates or local rivals, he said, running into people they know offer a calming influence.
Well, that certainly will benefit his team as four of the nine area athletes competing this weekend in the girls swimming and diving state championship meet come from New Paltz.
The swimming preliminaries begin at 10:30 a.m. Friday, and the diving competition starts at 2 p.m. All of the diving will conclude on Friday, but the swimming finals and consolations take place on Saturday.
New Paltz’s relay team of Bella Santos, Morgane Kuyl, Kaela Santos and Abigail Santos will compete in the 200-yard medley relay. That quartet will also race in the 200 freestyle relay.
That group, sans Bella Santos, was part of the 200 medley relay that placed seventh in the state tournament last year, helping the Huguenots take 18th overall in team score.
Abigail and Kaela Santos each also qualified for the 100 butterfly, as did Brenna Hayes of Arlington. Hayes will be joined by Admiral teammate Rebecca Baione, who qualified for the 200 individual medley. Baione, last year, was part of the 200 medley relay team that took fifth in the state meet.
Kuyl and Our Lady of Lourdes sophomore Clare Bosse will compete in the 100 freestyle, and Bosse also will race the 100 backstroke. Bosse, a sophomore, took ninth in the 100 freestyle at states last year, and enters the meet with the 11th-fastest time in the state this year, 52.60 seconds.
Heidi Simpfenderfer of Roy C. Ketcham will compete in the 200 freestyle. She took 23rd in that event in states as a junior last year.
Hayes and Amber Diehl of Franklin D. Roosevelt will race in the 100 breaststroke. Diehl, a junior, has the ninth-fastest time in the state this year, 1:05.95.
Stephen Haynes: email@example.com, 845-437-4826, Twitter: @StephenHaynes4
Swimming & Diving state championships
When: Friday preliminaries, 10:30 a.m.; Saturday finals and consolation finals, 10 a.m.
Where: Ithaca College