Bulldog swimmer eager for next year

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LOVELAND -- Kelsey Conci wanted to see what it took.

The Moffat County freshman stood and watched as the state final of the 50-meter freestyle relay was raced.

"I wanted to see their stroke and turnover," she said.

Conci wanted to see what she could de better in the next three years. She had just finished in 12th place in her first state swim meet.

"Next year I want to be in the championship finals," she said.

Conci has been swimming competitively less than a year after joining the Craig Sea Shark Summer Swim Club last summer.

She qualified for the Junior Olympics in her first summer.

"J.O.s were a lot bigger, and I was more nervous for them than state," she said. "This was still never-racking though because I was competing against all upperclassmen."

Conci was the only Bulldog to make it to the finals of the state meet. She swam a season best of 25.83.

"I'm sure with Kelsey's work ethic she'll get to where she wants," coach Jennifer Zimmerman said. "She'll do some tough work during the summer and next school season."

The 200-medley relay team of Kesley and Caitlin Conci and juniors Katie Gainor and Ashleigh McDonald were the first team not to make the finals. They missed swimming Saturday by less than a second. Their time Friday was good enough for a seasonal best of 2 minutes, 2.58 seconds.

Caitlin swam another personal record of 1:06.51 in the 100 backstroke. The cutoff for the top 16 was 1:04.25

The freestyle relay swimmers of both Concis, Gainor and senior Sari Maneotis also competed at the state meet. The 200 freestyle effort was a season best in 1L49.04, less than two seconds from the finals. The 400 relay team was unable to improve on its best time of the season.

"They were exhausted from the other events in the 400 free," Zimmerman said. "We still had some great performances."

Maneotis, the Bulldogs' lone senior at state was nominated as the Class 4A senior swimmer of the year by coaches.

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