Caitlin Conci, left, and her twin sister, Kelsey, pose for a photo in the Moffat County High School pool. Caitlin will return to Craig from her first year at the University of North Dakota as head coach of the Sea Sharks, a summer competitive swim club. She starts May 18.

File photo

Caitlin Conci, left, and her twin sister, Kelsey, pose for a photo in the Moffat County High School pool. Caitlin will return to Craig from her first year at the University of North Dakota as head coach of the Sea Sharks, a summer competitive swim club. She starts May 18.

Caitlin Conci comes back to Craig to head Sea Sharks

Registration

Registration for the Craig Sea Sharks, a summer competitive swim club, will continue through April 30.

Sign-ups will be available at all of the following practices at the Moffat County High School pool, 900 Finley Lane:

• 4 to 7 p.m. April 17

• 9 a.m. to noon April 18

• 4 to 7 p.m. April 24

• 9 a.m. to noon April 25

Registration costs depend on which team a swimmer joins.

The Sea Sharks Gold Team, which practices weekdays and is designed for swimmers committed to participating in competitions, costs $230.

The Silver Team, which practices two days a week and is meant for those interested in competitive swimming, costs $130.

For more information, or to set up an appointment to register, call Sea Sharks board treasurer Sherry Bird at 824-5575, or meet director Sherry Kurz at 824-9657.

Caitlin Conci - now a 19-year-old finishing her freshman year as a scholarship athlete and pre-nursing major at the University of North Dakota - will never stop swimming.

Her resume is as accomplished as her commitment:

Key member of the Moffat County High School swim team.

Owner of several high school swim records.

Finished her senior year as the eleventh-ranked swimmer in the state.

After a year of competitive Division I swimming, Conci said her devotion to the pool has become stronger.

"Since I've been here, just every practice, I always want to get in the pool," she said. "I've been swimming for 11 years now. I'll always have swimming with me. Swimming has always been something I want to do. It's always been a part of me."

Small wonder then she chose to spend her first summer as a college student advancing competitive swimming in Moffat County as head coach for the Craig Sea Sharks. She starts May 18.

The position with Craig's summer swim club will be Conci's first foray into coaching, except for a brief stint filling in for former Sea Sharks coach Ashleigh McDonald last summer.

"I think it'll be a good challenge," she said about her new role. "I hope I do good enough for the kids. I'm thinking about what I do in practice and how I can help the swimmers in Craig."

Conci added she feels more comfortable taking responsibility for leading a team since she began her collegiate career.

"I just have a better understanding of how to coach and how to run practices," she said.

Already, her duties have begun.

Like any coach, Conci must develop a game plan for her team. Technique is crucial, as are completing the right workouts.

Conci will be responsible for it all.

She knows that a coach's role isn't just about making his or her team physically capable, however. Every sport has a mental component, and Conci plans to let her players unwind between meets so they can stay focused and motivated for when it's most important.

"It has to be fun," Conci said. "I want to start a swimmer of the week (award). Sometimes we'll play games, do things together as a team, go out and have fun."

Assisting Conci in her first year at the helm will be Sara Kurz, a former competitive swimmer with the Sea Sharks and Moffat County High School varsity volleyball player.

Conci said it will be easy for the two to work together.

Local resident Stacey Zenker, a University of Wyoming graduate and former swim team member, will lead the team in April and early May until Conci finishes her spring semester at school and arrives back home.

It will be the second time she has seen Moffat County in the last year.

"It'll be weird," Conci said. "Still, I'm excited to come home and see my friends, and eat my mom's food and not dorm food."

She's also looking forward to making Craig's young swimmers better, even if that means they might one day knock her name from the top of the high school's record books.

"That'd be awesome," Conci said. "I'd like to see it happen. It'd be pretty cool to know that, hey, I coached that kid. I hope they go for it."

Collin Smith can be reached at 875-1794 or cesmith@craigdailypress.com.

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