Swimmers net state-qualifying performances

By the end of the season, John Shipley wants to have his name on the record board six times at the Moffat County High School natatorium.

The senior swimmer and diver on Saturday showed the goal could be attainable if things keep going the way they did in his first meet.

"I worked on my flip turn and improved my stroke in the off season," he said. "I would consider it a good meet considering I have no endurance."

Shipley qualified for the state swim meet in two individual events and one relay. He won the diving competition and was 1.7 points from setting the school record. He won the 50-meter freestyle race and was .3 of a second from that school record. Additionally, he led off the 200 freestyle relay and, along with Kellan Moore, Kyle Eitel and John Ilko, won the event.

"As far as John goes, the sky is the limit," coach Jim Vorhies said. "He probably has more natural talent than anybody I've coached, so it's up to him to how far he can go."

In the team effort, the Bulldogs lost to Glenwood Springs, 54-46. It was not a meet of lightweights as the Demons had seven state-qualifying performances to the Bulldogs' five.

"Glenwood has some very good swimmers," Vorhies said. "Their speed in the relays helped pull us along to swim fast times."

The 200 medley relay team of Moore, Zach Vorhies, Nick Ruckman and Chris Compton improved its state-qualifying time to 2:06.46. The 400 freestyle relay team of Shipley, Compton, Andy Key and Ilko was two seconds off of a state-qualifying time.

Diver Jared Jenkins earned 194.20 points with a degree of difficulty of 10.6 for a state-qualifying performance. Jerry Davis outscored Jenkins and finished second behind Shipley with a total of 202.25 points, but his degree of difficulty of 10.5 was .1 too low to qualify for state.

"Ed (Stehlin, diving coach) has really done a great job with the divers," Vorhies said. "They are only going to get better and could all be at state."

Chris Compton, who was swimming with a cast on his right hand, was the other winner in the meet with a title in the 100 backstroke.

"The cast and the hand bothers me a bit," he said. "But it should be healed before the season is over."

The injury is important because Compton swims on the 200 medley and 400 freestyle relay teams for the Bulldogs and the improvement he could have with a healed hand will help them at the end of the

season.

With his team three meets into the season, Vorhies was pleased.

"We are ahead of where we were last year," he said. "They are at the very least where I would expect them at this point in the year."

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