Short-handed Bulldogs prevail in three-team swim meet

The Moffat County girls swim team won a triangular meet against Grand Junction Central and Delta County on Saturday, even though many of the team's swimmers didn't race in their normal events.

The Bulldogs won the meet with 149 points. Grand Junction and Delta scored 87 and 58, respectively.

Swimming coach Ed Stehlin said he felt confident his team would perform well, even though only 13 team members were at the meet. Two swimmers were out sick, and speech team members were on the road for a speech competition. But Stehlin opted to shake up the normal meet roster because the girls had been working hard lately, their legs were tired, and Stehlin thought it would be interesting to mix things up before heading to the Jeffco Invite near Denver next Friday.

"It's nice to swim differently before next week's big meet," Stehin said after the meet. "For swimming off-events, they did pretty good."

Moffat County won every event but diving and the 100-meter breaststroke. Katie Stewart and Cara Conci lead the team with four victories each.

Stewart swam the first leg and Conci swam the last leg for the winning medley relay team, along with Vanessa Murray and Lauren Stover. Then Stewart jumped right back in the pool to win the 200-yard freestyle. Conci won the 100-yard freestlye, Stewart won the 100-yard backstroke, and then both swimmers closed out the meet by winning the 400-yard freestyle relay, with teammates Sari Maneotis and Jessica Strahan.

Amanda Vaughn, Moffat County's lone diver, had an off day, taking second place to Grand Junction, with a score of 160.95. However, four of Vaughn's six dives had degrees of difficulty of 2.0 or greater, as opposed to Grand Junction's diver, who only attempted one dive with a degree of difficult greater than 2.0.

The meet was Moffat County's final home meet of the season. During a break following the diving competition, the swimmers recognized their parents with a flower ceremony.

After the Jeffco Invite, the Bulldogs will travel to Gunnison for their final regular season meet before the Western Slope Championships. Between now and then, Stehlin hopes to see the 200-yard and 400-yard freestyle relay teams qualify for the state meet in Loveland, along with Stewart in the 100-yard backstroke, Conci in the 100-yard freestyle, and Heather Whiting in the 100-yard breaststroke.

Stewart missed the state qualifying time in the backstroke by 3 seconds, and the 200-yard freestyle relay team once again missed qualifying by 1.07 seconds.

"Next weekend will be a good test," Stehlin said, "if we can stay healthy and get a little rest."

Rob Gebhart can be reached at 824-7031, Ext. 213 or by e-mail at rgebhart@craigdailypress.com.

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