Last year, everywhere the Moffat County High School girls swim team looked it saw red.
That was because in all but two meets, Glenwood Springs was there. While the Demons won't be around as much this year, this weekend will feel a little bit like last year as the Glenwood swim team comes to town.
"Some time in the pool with Glenwood is good for us," said coach Ed Stehlin. "While they'll beat us up in the pool, they'll also pull us along for faster times."
The eighth-ranked Demons and Aspen are scheduled to make waves with the Bulldogs Saturday at 11 a.m. in the high school pool.
The Bulldogs were scheduled to open their season after Christmas break last weekend with a trip to Grand Junction for a triangular meet against Central/Palisade and Fruita. The weather didn't allow the Bulldogs to make the scheduled trip.
Despite the delay in competition, Stehlin thinks his team is ready to swim to at least one state qualification this weekend.
"I would be surprised if we didn't have at least one qualification," he said. "The medley relay has the best chance of getting its time down."
The medley relay team was .06 of a second off swimming a fast enough time to qualify for state before Christmas break. Stehlin said they've changed the lineup to be even faster, so he expected that the .06 would be easier to shed than the extra weight most people put on during the Christmas season.
The work that the team did over Christmas break is part of the reason Stehlin is confident in his teams ability to drop time.
"We had at least three-fourths of the team in the pool four days a week over break," the coach said. "That is one of the best turnouts we've had in a while."
The effort in the pool over break has kept the team in shape and it resulted in better practices this week, according to Stehlin.
"We've been able to do more quality work this week," he said. "Usually we have to build our base back up but that hasn't been the case."
The work that the team is doing will build up until the Jeffco swim meet Jan. 23-24 where the team will have what Stehlin called a "mini-taper" to swim fast at the Front Range meet where most of the state's best teams will be.
David Pressgrove can be reached at 824-7031 or firstname.lastname@example.org