Swim meet a learning experience

— Moffat County High School swimming coach Marin Campbell has been putting the Bulldogs through rigorous weightlifting sessions this past week in an attempt to gear up her swimmers for the state championships.

The problem she said she encountered during the team's performance Saturday in the Coaches Invite in Loveland was that maybe she worked them too hard.

"We swam really tired," she said. "We've been lifting a lot lately, and I think I wore them out."

The Bulldogs finished outside the top 10, but Campbell said it was a great learning period for her young team.

"There were more than 540 athletes out there," she said. "It was definitely a bigger meet than we will see all year, including state."

The Bulldogs, a 4A school, competed against a combination of 4A and 5A teams.

"It was a little nerve-racking for the girls at the beginning," Campbell said. "It was kind of intimidating for the younger girls to swim against 5A competition. Many of these girls have never seen a meet of this size."

Kelsey Conci continued her domination in the 50-yard freestyle, winning the event for the third consecutive time this season.

"Kelsey was very impressive," Campbell said. "She's got the fastest time in the state right now, regardless of classification. It bodes really well for her the rest of the season."

The 200 medley relay team of Caitlyn and Kelsey Conci, Katherine Dodd and Kelsey Pierson swam a season-best time of 2 minutes, 5.2 seconds, but still need to shave off two-tenths of a second to qualify for the state finals.

"It takes a lot of pressure off knowing how close we are this early," Campbell said. "Now, we can just work on the fine-tuning part."

Sophomore Genna Bradley, who qualified for the state finals in diving last week, made it past the first round but failed to make the finals.

Thirty-six divers competed.

"Genna did well," Campbell said. "She's only a sophomore and inexperienced in these bigger meets. For her to do that well against a very competitive field is amazing."

Regardless of her team's finish, Campbell said the team is always taking a step forward.

"We have nowhere to go but forward," she said. "We can always take something out of this kind of meet. We got a great feel for what we need to make the finals."

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