Undefeated Garnets Send 17 to Section Championships

The Rye girls’ swimming and diving team entered the Conference 3 Divisionals as one of the favorites October 23 at SUNY Purchase. The Garnets, with their sparkling 9-0 record and deep roster, did not disappoint.

Rye raced to the championship with 634 total points, besting second-place Horace Greeley by a whopping 54 points.

Kelly O'Neill

“It was a great night,” said head coach Shannon Bolger. “We are extremely proud of the girls and can’t wait to see how they do at Sectionals.”

Melissa Fulenwider, the Garnets’ dominant sophomore star, led the way with first-place finishes in both the 50-meter freestyle (25.17) and the 100 free (53.73). Senior captain Kelly O’Neill placed second in the 200-meter IM. Shannon Toal gave Rye a second-place performance in the 500-meter freestyle, and Catherine Tompkins was right behind her in third. In the diving portion of the competition, Coco Darelius snagged a silver off the board.

Rye saved the most excitement for the 400-meter freestyle relay, with the team of O’Neill, Katie Konopka, Toal, and Fulenwider blazing to a first-place finish and new personal record of 3:48.44.

“Our team had so much spirit and support and swam well,” said O’Neill. “We all knew we had to work hard to get as many girls to place in each event. Everyone worked together to win. There are some really good teams in our Division, but our coaches had us prepared.”

The team viewed Divisionals as a stepping stone on their way to their next goal – winning the Section. Fulenwider was top seed in the 100 freestyle at Sectionals, as was the 400 freestyle relay team. In all, Rye sent 13 swimmers and four divers to the championship meet, which concluded post press time.

– Melanie Cane

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