Medals, records new for swim team

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The senior class of the Moffat County boys swim team has earned many honors in four years, but before this weekend, none of its members had received a medal in a high-school swim meet.

Make room on the letter jackets, they have medals now.

Coach Jim Vor-hies had the honor of handing out second-place medals to his four seniors in the 200-yard medley relay Saturday at the Cheyenne Mountain swim meet in Colorado Springs.

"It was an honor for all of us," Vorhies said. "I felt pretty good about it, too."

Seniors Chris Compton, Zach Vorhies, Nick Ruckman and Blake Worsley opened the meet finals up Saturday with the second best swim against the best competition Colorado Springs and the Western Slope have to offer.

"Some coaches said that the meet was a good indication of where we'd be at state," coach Vorhies said. "And we did that with two guys off their times."

In all, the Bulldogs broke four school records, finished in the top eight in eight of 12 events and finished ninth out of 23 teams in the meet.

The medley relay had the team's best finish, and the time of 1 minute, 45 seconds had the team close enough for coach Vorhies to be thinking about an All-American time.

"All-American is 1:37, and we'll have to all be on at the same time," the coach said. "It's a long shot, but it could happen."

The meet was stacked in Class 4A. The top three teams in the class -- Cheyenne Mountain, Thompson Valley and Montrose -- were there. Moffat finished behind those three and Pine Creek for a fifth-place finish among 4A schools. The Bulldogs were three points behind Montrose for seventh place.

"I had a lot of the coaches come up and compliment this team," coach Vorhies said. "It's been a long time coming."

Worsley put his name on the record board in two more individual meets. He swam a 1:51.59 in the preliminaries of the 200-yard freestyle, a time that was eight seconds better than the previous best for Moffat County. He had to swim in the 200 final immediately after the medley and was two seconds slower, but he still finished fifth.

"We aren't in shape yet," coach Vorhies said. "That was tough for Blake to come back and he was gassed."

Worsley had a chance to swim fresh in the 50 freestyle and he took third.

He also joined Andy Key, Compton and Ruckman in the school-record-setting 400- freestyle relay. That team finished eighth.

Compton reset his own school record in the 100 backstroke by breaking the 59-second barrier for the first time in the open event.

He swam 58.42 in the prelims and 58.48 in the finals for sixth place.

Compton and Key also qualified for state for the first times of their careers in the 50 freestyle. Compton was sixth and Key was eighth in the event.

"I was happy for those guys because they've been so close in the past," coach Vorhies said.

The Bulldogs now have swimmers qualified for state in all but three events. One of those events is the 100 breaststroke and illness kept Zach Vorhies from being at the top of his game for the weekend's meet.

"He'll get there," his coach/dad said.

Other events that the Bulldogs placed in were: Ruckman, 15th in the 200 IM, sixth in the 100 butterfly; 200 freestyle relay (Key, junior Lee LaNoye, Vorhies, junior Duke Harschner) 12th.

"Everybody, including our swimmers not in the finals, swam well," coach Vorhies said.

Next week the Bulldogs will have another chance to drop times among the state's elite. The Jeffco swim meet will feature top teams from the Fort Collins area.

"Times will continue to drop," Vorhies said. "We're still working hard."

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