Attention to detail, rest key for Bulldog swimmers

Moffat County to compete in Jeffco Invitational this weekend


Her voice echoed throughout the swimming pool hall.

"Ready, set, go," Moffat County High School girls coach Marin Campbell announced.

The next sound to be heard was the splash of girls diving into the pool, followed by the rhythmic tunes of swim strokes. Those sounds soon were drowned out by the coach's instructions for the next girl, who was practicing her dive technique.

In the Wednesday session, Campbell was working with her team on dive technique, turns and proper stroke length.

"Conditioning is a big deal, making sure that they're fit and strong, but details are everything," the coach said.

"In short races like the 50s ... and 100s, which are the majority of high school swimming races, it can make or break a race easily," she said.

With the two-day Jeffco Invitational on Friday and Saturday, the coach is hoping that attention to details and a little bit of rest will equate to fast times for the Bulldog swimmers.

Campbell said the last couple of practices have not been as intense and the 4,000 to 6,000 meters the girls normally swim per day has been lowered a bit.

"They're rested for this meet," she said, "because it's a big meet with lots of competition. ... So they have a better chance at swimming faster."

Resting is not to be confused with trying to peak.

"We're not tapering for this meet," she said, "because the high school season is so short, you can only taper once. ... Basically we're just going to have a little easier practice."

Looking to improve on their state qualifying times are junior Caitlin Conci, who has qualified in the 200-meter individual medley and the 100 butterfly, and junior Kelsey Conci, who has qualified in the 50 free and the 100 backstroke. The Bulldogs have also qualified a 200-medley relay team.

The coach said a "handful" of swimmers are striving toward state times, including freshman Sara Kurz, and sophomore Meghan Innes, among others.

The coach was also impressed with junior Jessica Knez, who took 30 seconds off her 500 time, swimming an 8:03.

"That's pretty impressive. ... Her next goal is to break 8 minutes, which she will do easily," she said.

As for the team, Campbell is setting her sights on a strong finish.

"After this week, we have four weeks until regional so that's basically four weeks 'til the last-chance-to-qualify meet," she said. "I would say our sights are set on regional right now."

As for this weekend's meet, Campbell's definition of success is simple.

"I just love to see PRs, best times," she said. "It's great when they qualify for state, and for some of the swimmers, that's their goals, but if you come home and you swam the fastest you've ever swam, then that to me is a victory no matter what else happens."

On Friday at the Jeffco Invite is junior varsity diving, followed by varsity preliminary races.

Saturday starts with junior varsity swimming, followed by varsity diving. The evening session is set for varsity swimming and diving finals.

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