Swimmers part of west-side dominance

It's not often that Western Slope athletic teams travel to the Front Range and dominate a tournament. This weekend at the Jeffco Invitational swim meet in Arvada, the teams from the west side were the best side in the pool.

Montrose, Dur--ango, Moff-at County and Grand Jun-c--tion finished in the top six of the tournament. Defending Class 4A state champions Montrose won the meet with 249 points, and Moffat County had its best showing with a fifth-place finish out of 17 teams.

"It was exciting," coach Jim Vorhies said. "Six years ago, I had two relay teams qualify for the consolation finals. This year, I had guys all over in the finals."

The Bulldogs finished with 193 points, one ahead of Grand Junction and 17 behind Dur-ango.

Evergreen, which almost could be considered a Western Slope school, was second with 248 points and Bear Creek finished third with 230.

The Moffat County team didn't have any champions but had four second-place finishes.

Senior Blake Worsley continued a trend of setting a school record every time he touches the water. He was second in the 100-yard and 200-yard freestyle races, lowering the school's best in both.

"You should have seen him in the 200," Vorhies said. "He contained himself until the last 25 and then exploded. He just mistimed the leader.

"(Worsley) had some left. He has a lot left for the rest of the season."

Worsley was also on the second-place, school-record-sett-ing 400-freestyle relay team with seniors Andy Key, Nick Ruckman and Chris Compton. They set the school record in the prelims of 3 minutes, 29.13 seconds, and they were less than a second off that time in the finals.

The 200-medley team of Compton, Vorhies, Ruckman and Key also finished second.

Compton continued to drop his own school record in the 100 backstroke. His fifth-place finish time of 57.773 was the first time he broke 58 seconds.

The 200 freestyle relay team of Key, junior Lee LaNoye, Vorhies and junior Duke Har-schner swam a state-qualifying time that was good enough for fifth place.

Key was fifth in the 50 freestyle and 11th in the 100 freestyle.

Ruckman swam a personal best to finish eighth in the 100 individual medley and was fourth in the 100 butterfly.

His finish in the fly was unofficial because he was disqualified for his swim cap, which had two logos on it.

"High-school federation rules only allow for one logo," coach Vorhies explained.

Zach Vorhies, who has been fighting walking pneumonia, won the consolation heat of the breaststroke and finished 12th in the 40 freestyle.

The finals varsity placing was Karschner's 11th-place finish in the 100 breaststroke.

In the JV portion of the meet, Tyler Kalsow was second in the 50 freestyle and fifth in the 100 freestyle.

Robert McClellan was eighth in the 100 breaststroke.

The Bulldogs host the final two home meets of the season Friday and Saturday.

After swimming at elite meets two weekends in a row, the upcoming meets will be a step down in competition.

"I'm going to let the seniors choose which way they'll go this weekend," coach Vorhies said. "It will be a fun weekend."

The meet Friday begins after school at 3:30 p.m., and the next day things get rolling at about 9 a.m.

David Pressgrove can be reached at 824-7031 or dpressgrove-@--craig-dailypress.com.

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