Surprise at Palisade no problem for swimmers

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It was supposed to be a quad meet -- at least that's what the entry forms said for Moffat County girls swimming and diving coach Marin Campbell.

What it turned out to be was a six-team meet, where the Bulldogs placed third overall with 265.5 points.

"It was a surprise," Campbell said. "It turned out pretty big, with most of the teams from the Western Slope there."

The Bulldogs continued to show that hard work pays off, with two-a-days in full swing, individuals have consistently dropped time in races.

"Jessica Knez dropped 30 seconds on her 500-free (freestyle), which was phenomenal," Campbell said. "And Megan Trujillo threw down the second fastest 100-back (backstroke) on the team."

Besides the time improvements, junior Caitlin Conci said teammates tried new things.

"Clare (Sorrentino) tried a flip turn," Caitlin said. "She got disqualified, but she tried it."

The fact that more teams showed up to the meet than expected also raised the level of competition for the Bulldogs.

"I was excited because Glenwood (Springs) was there," Caitlin said. "And they are always fun to compete against."

Campbell said having more teams made the meet last a little longer, but overall, having quality opponents to compete against was a positive.

The Bulldogs pushed the limits Friday against Glenwood Springs in the 200-yard medley relay. Going into the last swimmer, Moffat County led by a body length, Kelsey Conci explained. But by the last turn, the Glenwood swimmer had crept up on junior Meghan Innes.

"She had her by a hand, maybe," Kelsey said.

The Bulldogs had just edged Glenwood in the league relay meet at the start of the season and Caitlin said she was excited to see if the Bulldogs could win again.

Moffat County is heading into the holiday season which means that a large chunk of practices are on individual time.

Campbell said that after the first five weeks, she is continuing to see strides being made in the pool, but cautioned that from this point on the "gains will be based on the effort they're (the girls) are putting in."

Some coaches might worry that leaving practice up to the player would mean less work and more slack, but Campbell said she is optimistic about the determination of her team.

"This is an opportunity for the girls to step up," Campbell said. "We talked about season goals on the bus Friday to Palisade and before I leave on Wednesday I am going to remind them about their goals and that they can only achieve them if they work toward them everyday."

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