Cole Worsley competes in the 400-meter freestyle Saturday at Moffat County High School. Worsley won the 400-free and the 50-free, qualifying for state in the latter event.

Photo by Hans Hallgren

Cole Worsley competes in the 400-meter freestyle Saturday at Moffat County High School. Worsley won the 400-free and the 50-free, qualifying for state in the latter event.

MCHS swim team cruises to home meet victory

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Kyle Steitz competes Saturday in the 100-meter backstroke at Moffat County High School. Steitz won the event and qualified for state.

— Heading in to Saturday's lone home meet of the season for the Moffat County High School boys swim team, coach Patti Worsley said one of her goals for the team was to win.

The other two goals were a good fan turnout and for the team to qualify a few more swimmers for state.

Despite the low number of fans attending, coach Worsley still managed to achieve two of her three goals.

The Bulldogs defeated visiting Montrose, 58-40, and added four more swimmers to the bus headed to the state meet in Fort Collins on May 16.

"The team was really motivated" Saturday, Patti Worsley said. "It was a really good meet for them. It was nice to win and see some other kids qualify."

Steamboat residents Cole Worsley and Kyle Steitz won their respective events, qualifying for the state championships, as did the relay team of Cole Worsley, Steitz, Andrew Aultman and Tyler Kalsow.

Cole Worsley - the No. 2-ranked 4A swimmer in the state in the 50-meter freestyle - did what he said he thought he would do.

The junior completed the two laps required for the 50-free in 25.11 seconds, bettering the qualifying time of 26.63, while winning the event by nearly five seconds.

Cole Worsley also did something he didn't expect.

Competing in the 400-meter freestyle for the first time, Cole Worsley set a new MCHS pool record in the event, recording a time of 4 minutes, 40.41 seconds. The time was well short of the 4:16.78 required for state, but that didn't bother him.

"I was trying to do well even though I've been sick all week," he said. "I qualified in the 50, and I was really tired at the end of the 400. But, I'll keep working on it and see what happens."

Cole Worsley also anchored the 200-meter medley relay team to a first-place finish, as well as helped the team shatter the state qualifying time of 2:09.34.

The Bulldogs won the event in 2:02.11, eclipsing second-place Montrose by more than 10 seconds.

Qualifying the medley relay team "was one of our main focuses," Cole Worsley said. "It's a big relief to have done it. Now we can focus on getting faster."

Steitz had been flirting with the state qualifying time of 1:09.44 in the 100-meter backstroke, coming within a second the last few weeks.

In his home pool, Steitz finally hit the mark, finishing first, as well as qualifying with a time of 1:09.09.

"It is a big weight off of my shoulders," Steitz said. "I've been close all season. I saw people waving at me, but I couldn't tell until I touched the wall."

One of the most exciting races of the day came in the 200-meter freestyle relay.

MCHS edged Montrose by less than a second.

Bulldogs anchor Cody Poirot began the last leg of the race, trailing the Indians' Dustin Copper by three body lengths.

Poirot caught Cooper in the final turn, then passed him in the final 50-meter stretch, claiming another first for the MCHS swim team.

The Bulldogs won nine of the 12 events, a number that could have been better if MCHS had a diver on the team.

"We are ahead of schedule at this point," coach Worsley said. "The boys really stepped up today. I'm really encouraged with their work ethic. It should bode well for next week."

The Bulldogs compete in the Jeffco Invite beginning Friday at Meyers pool in Arvada.

John Vandelinder can be reached at 875-1793, or jvandelinder@craigdailypress.com

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