Head boys swimming coach Jim Vorhies was delivered a pleasant surprise from the team Saturday in Durango, they were only a breath away from qualifying several racers for state and it was just the first meet.
Two relay teams, the 200-meter medley relay team and the 200 freestyle team, were less then a second from qualifying. The medley team was five-tenths of a second, and the freestyle team was only three-tenths of a second away.
Individually the swimmers fared well, with four of the boys only three seconds away from qualifying in state Parker Moore in the 50 freestyle, Kyle Eitel and Jeff Olree in the 100 breaststroke, and Danny Arnold in the 100 butterfly.
The overall performance of the team was good enough to earn them a second-place spot behind Durango.
"We're swimming way ahead of schedule this year, and at least a second better in most swims," Vorhies said. "We just need to keep the kids going on the program."
The Moffat County program is centered primary on the technical aspects of swimming working on starts, turns, relay takeoffs, and interval training. Vorhies feels a lot of the minor mistakes in form and technique are holding back the qualifiers.
Both the coach and the team are working their utmost to get as many kids as possible to state this year. It is one of the primary goals of the program.
"I feel that we have the sort of swimmers on the team this year to qualify a bunch," senior Zach Murphy said. "All I think we have to do is work hard throughout the year and believe in the program."
The relay team and the individual swimmers will have a chance to shave off the time they need to this weekend when they travel to Fruita Friday, and to the Grand Junction Relays Saturday.
The Fruita meet will only draw swimmers from district 51, and shouldn't turn out to be much of a problem for the team, according to the coach. The Grand Junction relay, on the other hand, will draw in most of the Western Slope schools, and should provide stiff competition for the Bulldogs.
Vorhies said that no matterwhat the competition is, both races will furnish excellent opportunities for the team to qualify.
"We should hold our own in both meets," he said. "Sometimes the added competition of a meet like the one on Saturday at Grand Junction is what some racers need to get it done."
The 'Dogs have competed against several of the teams who will be at the Grand Junction Relays at Durango, which is an advantage the coach feels Moffat County will bring to the competition.