Swimmers race through pain

Triangular meet comes after tough week of practice

Moffat County senior Nick Ruckman wasn't sure which was harder: Thursday's workout or swimming three times in the span of four events at Friday's meet.

"Yesterday was one of our toughest practices this year," Ruckman said. "But that 500 today, it got me."

Ruckman swam the 500-meter freestyle, anchored the 200-freestyle relay team, and after a short rest during the 100 backstroke, swam the 100 breaststroke.

"The time I swam in the breaststroke was 10 seconds slower than what I swam this summer," he said. "Did I mention how tough the 500 was for me?"

It's all a part of coach Jim Vorhies' master plan.

"I felt kinda bad about that," Vorhies said about Ruckman's tough day. "They worked hard last night, and they were moaning about it."

Friday's meet against Glenw-ood and Grand Junction's District 51 and today's meet against Durango (both in Craig) serve just as much as workouts as competitions for the Craig team.

"I wish we had two more months to train," Vorhies said. "But we're going to get them in the best shape we can by state."

State is in two weeks.

Senior Abram Bolloga secured himself a trip to state by joining Chris Compton, Duke Karschner and Ruckman in the 200 medley.

"Wasn't that great?" Vorhies said. "We tweaked (Balloga's) stroke this week, and it worked."

The medley relay team finished second behind District 51.

Sophomore Shane Dodge almost punched a ticket for the trip to state in the 200 freestyle relay but came up seconds short.

"It's my fault we missed it," he said. "I missed my turn, and it cost my time."

Blake Worsley, Compton and Ruckman joined Dodge on the team that finished first overall.

"At least I had the chance to experience racing with the big boys," he said. "It's frustrating that I missed, but it was fun."

Moffat's only diver, junior Aaron Kawcak, was back on the board after a week off. His score of 144.62 was 20 points better than his first, and only other, six-dive competition. He's 40 points from state qualifying.

"If I can stick all the dives I did today, I might be to 180," Kawcak said. "I felt better today, and my reverse 1 1/2 went much better today than earlier this week in practice. I smacked on it and hadn't tried it again until today."

The meet was scored as three duals between Moffat County and District 51 and Glenwood but the teams competed like it was a triangular meet.

The Bulldogs defeated Glen-wood 115 to 72 and lost to Class 5A District 51 142-77.

Top three finishers in the overall standings for Moffat were: 200 individual medley, Worsley, second; 100 butterfly, Compton, third; 100 freestyle, Worsley, first; 100 backstroke, Worsley, second; 400 freestyle relay (Kalsow, Lee Lanoue, Balloga, Karschner) third.

The dual against Durango begins today at 9 a.m.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.