Swimmers anxious to compete at Jeffco

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Jeni Bamford has been looking forward to the Jeffco swim meet just as much as anyone else on the Moffat County High School girls swim team.

"There's competition for everybody," said the junior varsity swimmer. "At the dual meets or smaller meets usually the JV swimmers don't have anybody to swim against because we're not up front, but at Jeffco there is a separate JV meet."

The varsity swimmers are excited for the meet as well because when they hear Jeffco they think one thing, "fast times."

"There are so many levels of swimmers at Jeffco that someone will be with you to push you in a race," said senior Cassie Owens. "The meet is geared toward fast swims."

More than 20 teams will compete in the two-day competition, which is the biggest meet for MCHS until districts.

"You can look at them today at practice and tell they're already pretty squirrelly," said coach Ed Stehlin Wednesday. "This is a meet they look forward to every year because of the big meet atmosphere and fast pool."

The Bulldogs have had dual or tri meets for a majority of the season, and three of the duals have been against the same competitor. Jeffco provides the opportunity to swim in a meet much different from duals.

"This is one of our best chances to qualify for state because of the competition," said senior Nichole Vorhies. "It's exciting to swim against somebody other than Glenwood and in a fast pool"

The Olympic-sized pool is different from most that the Bulldogs have competed in because it has no diving well and is also wider.

"With just one level in the pool there is less friction," said senior Jada Hastings. "With a wider pool, the waves are spread out and there is less resistance."

The swim team's best finish at the meet with primarily Front Range teams is 18th. Stehlin said he thought that top 15 was possible for this year's team even without sophomore-standout Heather Whiting, who is out for the rest of the season with shoulder problems.

"Heather's absence hurts us in a big meet because she could get us points in the finals every time," Stehlin said. "But there are several girls capable of making it into the finals."

In addition to qualifying several swimmers for the finals, the team has its eyes on Grand Junction.

"If we can beat Junction, it means we have one of the top teams in the Western Slope," Hastings said. "So that is who we're going after."

Of course the JV swimmers have goals as well.

"I hope to make the finals," Bamford said. "Then I want to cheer my teammates on."

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