You can't do much better than exceeding your coach's expectations.
That was the case for the Moffat County boys swim team at the Western Slope Championships on Friday and Saturday in Montrose.
"They did really, really well," coach Patti Worsley said.
"They stepped up and swam faster than I think they thought they could."
The 200-meter freestyle relay team of sophomores Andrew Aultman and Tyler Kalsow and freshmen Cole Worsley and Cody Poirot went into the meet less than a second from a qualifying time for the state meet.
In the preliminary round Friday, they swam faster than the state-qualifying mark of 1 minute, 41 second barrier. On Saturday, they improved their time to 1:39.23. The team finished third in the meet with that time.
"For them to come back Saturday and swim faster, it takes motivation," coach Worsley said.
Aultman said Friday's swim was all the motivation they needed.
"Since we've been so close all year it was really great to finally break it on Friday," he said. "That time had been haunting us."
To make the weekend even better, the same four swimmers combined to cut three seconds off their 400-freestyle relay time and qualify for state.
"I wasn't so sure about our chances in the 400," Aultman said. "But Patti knew we could do it."
The 400 relay finished fifth with a three-second seasonal best of 3:49.
"I liked how they came in Friday ready to compete," coach Worsley said. "It was exciting to watch."
Cole Worsley showed why he could be one of the best swimmers on the Western Slope for years to come. He finished first in the 50 freestyle and second in the 100. He had already qualified for state in both events.
Other Bulldog swimmers to score points were Kalsow, fifth in the 100 freestyle, eighth in the 50 freestyle; Aultman, 12th in the 100 breaststroke; and Poirot, 11th in the 100 backstroke and 12th in the 200 freestyle.
The state meet starts Friday at the Epic Center in Fort Collins. Finals start Saturday in the afternoon.
David Pressgrove can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 211, or firstname.lastname@example.org.