Highlands Middle School Student Qualifies for Olympic Swim Trials

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Alexa Reyna, the NYSPHSAA Champion and NYS and Section 1 record holder in the 500 Freestyle has qualified for the Olympic Trials. Reyna, an eighth grade student at White Plains Highlands Middle School, swims on the Tigers Varsity Swim Team. On Jan. 12, while competing with the Westchester Aquatic Club at Rutgers University, she qualified for the Olympic Trails in the 1500 Meters with a time of 16.48.25. Albert Coqueran Photo

Alexa “The Great” Qualifies for Olympic Trails

It is not often that I refer to an athlete as “The Great.” However, eighth grade Highlands School student/athlete Alexa Reyna very much deserves the prestigious accolade. If you proclaim to be a local sports enthusiast, unless you have been living under a rock in White Plains, the name Alexa Reyna is familiar to you.

Reyna was proclaimed a High School All-American Swimmer after only her second season competing in varsity swimming. As a seventh grader in 2018, she broke school records in the 500 and 200 Freestyle. Reyna was also a member of the 400 Freestyle Relay Team with Ava Iannetta, Luisa Nierhoff and Kayla Shannon that broke the Tigers school record in 2018.

Reyna broke her own record in the 500 Freestyle this season as the Tigers Girls Swimmers went undefeated at 9-0 and captured the League 2 Title. Reyna is also the current NYSPHSAA Champion in the 500 Freestyle and holds the New York State and Sectional records in the 500 Free, while swimming the record-breaking time of 4.47.80 in the NYSPHSAA Meet in November 2019.

On Sunday, Jan.12, the 14 year-old Reyna really made a splash in the pool while competing with the Westchester Aquatic Club in the Jim Woods Memorial Meet at Rutgers University. Reyna logged a 16.48.25 in the 1500 Meters, which qualified her for the Olympic Trails.

In June this year, Reyna will travel to Omaha, Nebraska with the Westchester Aquatic Club and Head Coach Carle Fierro to compete for a spot on the Olympic Team. The first two finishers in Omaha make the Olympic Team. “It is a bit overwhelming at my age to know I made the Olympic Trails. I do not think it has completely processed yet that I made the time,” commented Reyna. “I would be so excited if I make the Olympic Team. It is something that I have been dreaming about ever since I was really young,” said Reyna.

“The amount of work and effort it took to get Alexa where she is now says a lot about her dedication and motivation,” acknowledged WPHS Head Swimming Coach Patricia Gilmartin. “She is an incredible hard worker and she drives herself,” stated Gilmartin.

Alexa is the youngest of three Reyna sisters who competed on the White Plains High School Girls Swim Team last season. Margaux, a graduation senior, was a Team Captain and Salma a sophomore competed in 100 Freestyle and Backstroke.

“No I am not surprised! But had you asked me when Alexa started swimming at eight years old, if we would have been here today. I would have said no way,” replied the Reyna sisters’ mother, Stephanie Reyna. “You never know, you just hope your children do well. Alexa worked very hard and made a lot of sacrifices. I am just happy for her,” said Alexa’s proud mother Stephanie.



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