Lady 'Dogs face inner challenges

Team focuses on maintaining motivation, combatting overconfidence

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The right performance at the right time will be the determining factor in the waters of Myers Pool in Arvada.

Coach Ed Stehlin can't be sure who will qualify, but there is a small army of swimmers who are seconds away from stroking the water in Epic Pool in Ft. Collins Epic during the state meet at the end of February.

Stehlin can be sure that this weekend's Jeffco Invitational is just the place to tally-up qualifications the water is fast and so is the competition.

"Myers is a quick pool, and with 20-25 teams coming to the invite, it will be a big meet atmosphere," Stehlin said. "It's definitely a time for some qualifications."

The Lady Bulldogs are in prime position for success, coming off of three weeks of competition that has been the most competitive swimming the team has seen since winter break.

And, in case there's any doubt, the Lady Bulldogs won the Fruita quadrangular that turned into an invite when an extra team was added last weekend. The Moffat County girls edged Fruita out of first place by three points, and swam 20 personal best times despite having to start from the pool edge, because the Fruita pool doesn't have starting blocks.

The Lady 'Dogs have also qualified most of their events since coming off break.

"The last three weeks have been good for us," Stehlin said. "First meet back we qualify the 100-meter freestyle relay, and then we have a good showing at Grand Junction and Fruita the kids feel good about themselves."

The Jeffco Invitational is no Fruita quadrangular, and starting blocks will certainly be provided. The stress associated with swimming in the season's second biggest invitational is an added challenge.

"There's more and better competition at a meet like Jeffco than we usually see," sophomore Cara Conci said. "It puts more stress on you to preform better, but because everyone there is good you end up performing better."

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