Emily Dolloff-Holt signs with the University of New Hampshire

Kaitlyn Cashdollar, Senior Reporter

Emily Dolloff-Holt (12) officially signed with The University of New Hampshire (UNH) on Monday, Nov. 14. Many of Dolloff-Holt’s friends and family went to the signing, which was during lunch.

Both Dolloff-Holt and her coach, Roy Chaney, gave speeches about how proud they were to be signing. National Honor Society (NHS), a club that Dolloff-Holt serves as Vice President of, appeared at the ceremony. Handi and Jeff Dolloff-Holt, Emily’s parents, then played an emotional video of her throughout her years of swimming. Sydney Dolloff-Holt (10), Emily’s sister who also swims competitively, took pictures. After all the speeches and pictures were done, Dolloff-Holt officially signed. Cake was passed out, decorated with Manitou’s school colors, her club team logo and her new college’s mascot.

Dolloff-Holt began swimming when she was six, competing 11 years total. She first swam with the West Valley Seawolves in Utah, under the instruction of Coach Shawn Marsing. She then moved to Colorado, where she met Chaney and joined the Colorado Torpedoes. She has been swimming for the Torpedoes for six years.

Once Dolloff-Holt enrolled in Manitou Springs High School, she joined the Manitou Mustangs Swim & Dive team. Last year she was the Spirit Leader, and this year she is Co-Captains with Carina Villarreal (12). “The torpedoes are more high intensity because all of us have been swimming for a really long time. During [practice with the] Mustangs, its more laid back for club swimmers, because we have a variety of swimmers that have just started swimming and there’s people who have been swimming for a really long time. The nice thing about the Mustangs is that we’re more of a family. The Torpedoes are a family too, but the girls on the Mustang team, we all love each other,” said Dolloff-Holt.

Dolloff-Holt has achieved many accomplishments throughout her swimming career. She has made countless high school state cuts and Western Zones times. In her opinion, however, her greatest accomplishment so far was achieving a Junior National cut in the 2oo breaststroke last year. The qualifying time was 2:20.79, and her time was 2:20.77. She was the only swimmer on the Colorado Torpedoes to made a Junior National cut. In the future, Dolloff-Holt’s long-term goal is to get an Olympic Trail cut.

Over the summer and past school year, Dolloff-Holt has visited and stayed with four colleges: the University of Rhode Island, the University of New Hampshire, the University of Massachusetts and Duquesne University. In the end, Dolloff-Holt said she just had a “gut feeling” about UNH. “A lot of the coaches said that I would get a gut feeling. You know, you visit different schools and compare and contrast. The team was amazing and the campus is beautiful and the food is great, and that’s why I chose UNH.”

The University of New Hampshire was ranked 14th overall in the USA Swimming Division I national poll: the highest ranking in the program’s history. They hold many conference records and numerous alumni are Olympic Trial and Senior National swimmers. Head coach Josh Willman has earned Coach of the Year 13 times. With elite swimming colleges such as UNH, swimmers’ area of focus is on their strongest events. Dolloff-Holt will focus on her breaststroke and Individual Medley (IM) events. “At UNH they have really good flyers right now, which is awesome,” she said. “One of their 100 breaststrokers is graduating so I’ll probably be used there, and everybody needs IM.”

Dolloff-Holt said that her scholarship is a “significant amount,” though she is not currently allowed to discuss the specifics.

Dolloff-Holt visited the University of New Hampshire twice; once over the summer at a tour, and another time when she participated in an official overnight stay. When she went to UNH the second time, she was able to bond with the team through shopping, going to the movies and a UNH hockey game.

“After I told the coach that I wanted to swim for them, they were on the bus ride back from the University of Vermont, and the coach gave all of the girls on the team my number, so they texted me as soon as I called him. My phone blew up and it was like ‘Congratulations,’ ‘Welcome to the team.” They’re very sweet and genuine people, which is nice,” Dolloff-Holt said. “I’m technically now a part of their family.”

As of now, Dolloff-Holt plans to major in kinesiology. “It deals with more of how body parts move. It kind of has to deal with a little more sports medicine. I didn’t know about kinesiology until I went to visit the University of Massachusetts, and the coach and I were talking, and they said that kinesiology is a great major because it includes a lot of biology, but it does deal with sports medicine a little more. I’m looking at sports medicine, which is cool, but I’m also looking at some more infectious disease stuff, so I might switch to bio[logy],” she said.

Aside from swimming, Dolloff-Holt says that she is most looking forward to the independence that comes with college. “It’s different than high school because you are able to do what you want to do. You have required classes, but for your specific major. I’m really excited to have the freedom to choose the classes that I want, and there are so many classes you can take. I’m interested in a lot of stuff that they have to offer.”