When swimmers have time to make up songs between intervals, you know it's taper time.
"It's been fun this week," Moffat County swim coach Patti Worsley said after disciplining two swimmers for not listening. "They have a lot of energy, and that's the way it works at the end of the season."
Going into the Western Slope Championships, the Bulldogs had one swimmer, freshman Cole Worsley, qualify for the state meet. At the WSCs, the Bulldogs added three more state swimmers by qualifying in the 200-meter and 400-meter relays.
Cole will be joined by freshman Cody Poirot and sophomores Andrew Aultman and Tyler Kalsow in the two relays. He also will compete in the individual 50 and 100 freestyle events.
The state meet will be a first for the four swimmers.
"It's neat that all of these guys are experiencing it for the first time together," coach Worsley said. "I've encouraged them all week to just have fun."
If the swimmers can have fun, it will be a carryover from an easy week of practice.
The week before the state meet, practice is reduced to allow the swimmers to conserve their energy. Long, slow intervals, starts and quick sprints make up the shorter practices.
"Earlier in the season, we'd swim hard for up to two hours," Cole Worsley said. "Now it's maybe for a half an hour."
The state meet starts today with the preliminary rounds at 3:30 at Fort Collins' Epic Center.
Worsley, who has been a swimmer most of his life for the Steamboat Springs Summer Swim Club, is familiar with large meets.
"I'm not the one to give advice, though," he said. "I'll leave that to my mom."
Cole's best time in the 50 freestyle is the ninth-best in the state. His 100- freestyle is 18th best.
"I want to get into the finals (top eight preliminary times) in the 50 and get a sectionals time," he said. "To do that, I need to swim in the 22s."
His best time in the 50 is 23.66 seconds.
The 200 freestyle relay team's best time is the 18th best and the 400 is the 24th best.
The top 16 times in prelims make it into Saturday's finals.
"I've really enjoyed this year because we've all become friends," Cole Worsley said. "We're going to go to state and learn what it's all about. Then we'll all have a party with everybody the next week."
David Pressgrove can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 209, or firstname.lastname@example.org.