Less than a second.
That's the difference between the state-qualifying standard and Moffat County's 200-meter freestyle-relay team's best time.
That miniscule amount of time is the difference between a good turn and a great turn, a good start and a great start.
Or a slightly improved stroke.
"We're working a lot this week -- on the small things that could make up that time," coach Patti Worsley said. "I truly believe the guys can get it this weekend."
The swim team is in Montrose today and Saturday for the regional meet. The only way for a team to qualify for state in swimming is to turn in a faster time than the established standard. The preliminary and final rounds of the regional meet are the last opportunity to reach that barrier.
"I think their best chance is to get it on Friday," Worsley said. "They'll be fresh and ready to go."
The team -- freshmen Cody Poirot and Cole Worsley, and sophomores Tyler Kalsow and Andrew Aultman -- has the fifth-best time in the region going into the meet. The hope is that a relaxed week of practice and the pull of the three teams in front of them will help the team drop its time below the 1 minute, 41 second standard.
"We're trying to get everything perfect," Kalsow said. "Maybe all we need are better starts and turns."
Kalsow is even closer to qualifying as an individual. He is a half-second from qualifying in the 50-meter freestyle.
"I'm feeling good this week," Kalsow said. "We'll see what can happen."
Cole Worsley is the sole Bulldog to qualify for state before the regional. He has qualified in the 50 and 100 freestyle events. He also goes into the weekend with the region's best time in the 50 and third-best in the 100 free. Kalsow isn't far behind with the fourth-best time in the 50 and sixth-best time in the 100.
Coach Worsley had most of the Bulldog swimmers reduce their training this week to be peaked for the regional.
"They're doing long, slow swims," she said. "We'll throw in a few sprints, too."
The top 12 times in each event today will earn swimmers a chance to swim in Saturday's finals.
Going into the meet, the Bulldogs have seven times that are in the top 12 in the region.
The 400 freestyle relay team, the same foursome as the 200 relay, is ranked fifth and is 2.43 seconds away from qualifying for state.
Poirot is ranked 11th in the 100 backstroke.
Aultman is 13th in the 100 breaststroke.
David Pressgrove can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 211, or firstname.lastname@example.org