Being an alternate is a position of duality.
One-half hopes that the athletes he backs up stay healthy, while at the same time, the alternate longs to compete.
For freshmen Kyle Eitel, this year's Colorado Boys High School State Swim Meet will most likely be viewed as a spectator sport. Eitel is the alternate for the state-bound 200-yard medley and 200-yard freestyle relay teams.
"I'm glad I get to go to state, it should be real fun," Eitel said. "I still wish that I was swimming, but traveling to state will be a great experience in my freshman year."
The State Championships, which held today and Friday at the Epic Pool in Ft. Collins, will not only be a new experience for the freshman alternate, but for half of the six swimmers that the Bulldogs will take.
The newest addition to the Bulldogs' state competitors is sophomore diver, Jerry Davis. Davis qualified less than a week ago at the Regional meet in Durango, and is the first Moffat County diver ever to go to state.
However, the state meet will be something totally different for him.
"This will be the first major competition that I don't dive against Shipley," said Davis, of his friendly rivalry with teammate John Shipley. "We really pushed each other to become better this year, and at most meets, it came down to Shipley and I competing with each other."
John Shipley will also travel to the state meet, not as a diver, but as one of the four members of the relay teams. Shipley missed qualifying for state as a diver, coming within points of qualification at different meets throughout the year.
Aside from Shipley, the relays will be comprised of senior Danny Arnold, and juniors, Parker Moore and Jeff Olree.
Both relay teams may be the best to ever come out of Moffat County High School. The 200 medley relay team has already broken the old school record with a time of 1:53.85, while the 200 freestyle relay team, with a time of 1:39.87, has a good chance to break the school record at the state meet.
Aside from diving, the Bulldogs only qualified one individual swimmer. Jeff Olree qualified in the 100-yard breaststroke. Olree has been a force in the breaststroke this year, and is another record breaker for Moffat County.
"We should do well in all of our events, the boys are fired up for state," Coach Jim Vorhies said. "They've done all they can do to prepare, they just need to focus their excitement to doing well."
The Bulldogs began a two-week taper heading into Regionals, one that has continued through this week. A taper is a cut-back in the workout, intended to give swimmers a rest, so that they can peak physically for their races.
For the Moffat County swimmers, tapering means practices that lasted no longer than an hour, with most consisting of refining starts, turns, and strokes.
"The boys are rested, and really look to compete at Ft. Collins," Vorhies said.