Swimmers grab first-place finish

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Moffat County High School boys swim coach Jim Vorhies seemed to speak more about his swimmers appetite rather than strategy or technique.

Hungry was the only word he could use to describe them after the Bulldogs' first first-place finish of the season Saturday at Orchard Mesa. The swimmers placed in the top three in 12 events, including five first-place finishes. They qualified one new relay team and re-qualified another team and have already surpassed the number of boys they sent to state last year.

"They're hungry and they want to win," Vorhies said. "They're strong swimmers and are putting up times surpassing anything we've done in the past two years."

The Orchard Mesa Quadrangular saw the re-qualification of the 200-yard freestyle relay team and the qualification of a second 200-yard medley relay team.

The medley relay team of freshman Zach Vorhies, junior John Ilko, sophomore Kyle Eitel and senior Parker Moore nearly doubles last year's number of swimmers Vorhies will send to Fort Collins for state.

Last year the team sent two relay teams one alternate and one diver accounting for six total qualifiers.

Besides increasing the number of swimmers at state the Bulldogs also swept three events at the quadrangular. The meet only scored the top-two placers.

The Bulldogs swept the 200 individual medley, 50 freestyle and diving.

The only event missing from the banner day, and what is turning out to be a banner season, is an individual qualifier.

"It's only a matter of time before we start seeing the individual events qualify," Eitel said. "I'd say in two or three weeks the guys will start picking up the qualifications."

One of the main reasons for the Moffat County swim team's success is the lack of loss it took from last year's graduation and a number of talented freshmen joining its ranks.

The only state qualifier to bid farewell to the MCHS pool was Danny Arnold, who swam on both state relay teams in 2001.

Team members are now proving themselves to be seasoned veterans who take the chance to place at state seriously.

"These guys definitely want to place at the end of the year and have the tools to do it," Vorhies said. "They just have to keep progressing like they have and they will when state rolls around."

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