Now they know what it will take.
Moffat County boys team members, freshmen Cole Worsley and Cody Poirot and sophomores Andrew Aultman and Tyler Kalsow, had never swam at a high school state meet.
After their experience at the Epic Center in Fort Collins, the young quartet saw where it could be in the future.
"I think they understand now where they can go," coach Patti Worsley said. "They were excited with what they did at state, and that will help for next year."
The Bulldogs swam personal bests in all four of the events in which they competed. In all but one of those events, they improved on their ranking from before the meet.
Cole Worsley was the only swimmer competing in an individual event. He swam in the 50- and 100-meter freestyle events.
In the 50, Cole went into the meet with the goal of making the finals and swimming a time faster than 23 seconds. Although his time of 23.18 and his ninth-place finish (the top eight places make the finals) didn't reach those goals, coach Worsley didn't think Cole had too much to hang his head about.
"He was a bit disappointed he didn't make it into the top eight," she said. "But he swam a personal best and won the consolation finals."
In the 100 freestyle, he improved his best time of the season to a 52.26, which was 0.11 seconds from making it into the consolation finals.
Cole joined with the other three swimmers in the 200 and 400 freestyle relays.
In the 200 relay, the boys improved their pre-tournament ranking by three spots to make the consolation finals and finish 15th. Their time of 1:37.88 was two seconds better than the time they swam at the regional meet.
The team's time of 3:42.81 in the 400 relay was a six-second improvement from the regional meet last week. It was good enough for 22nd place.
"I knew they'd probably improve their times at state, but I didn't think it'd be by that much, especially in the 400 relay," coach Worsley said. "They really stepped up to the big competition."
Because all four of the swimmers will be back next year, they already started setting goals.
"Most of the guys are going to swim this summer and get better," coach Worsley said. "They also have the mission to come back to practice next year with at least one new recruit each."
With Cole's ninth-place finish in the 50 and the 200 relay's 15th-place finish, the Bulldogs finished the state meet with 13 points and in 23rd place out of 29 teams that scored. They placed in front of Glenwood Springs, which was 24th. Western Slope team champion Montrose finished second to Thompson Valley with 256 to 276 points.