The MCHS girls varsity swim team mixes new and returning swimmers this winter. The girls swimming team is, back row, from left, Tatiana Dulmaine, Luci Franklin, Mary Penner and Eryn Leonard; and front row, from left, Jessica Prather, Hannah Cordes and Hannah Kirk.

Photo by Shawn McHugh

The MCHS girls varsity swim team mixes new and returning swimmers this winter. The girls swimming team is, back row, from left, Tatiana Dulmaine, Luci Franklin, Mary Penner and Eryn Leonard; and front row, from left, Jessica Prather, Hannah Cordes and Hannah Kirk.

Young MCHS swim team working on fundamentals

Girls varsity swimming

4 p.m. Dec. 4 at Gunnison

10 a.m. Dec. 12 at Glenwood Springs

10 a.m. Dec. 19 vs. Moffat County Invite

10 a.m. Jan. 9 at Aspen

11 a.m. Jan. 23 vs. Moffat County Invite

4 p.m. Jan. 29 at Delta

10 a.m. Jan. 30 at Grand Junction

TBA Feb. 5 at League Championships

TBA Feb. 6 at League Championships

TBA Feb. 12 at State Championships

TBA Feb. 13 at State Championships

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Junior Mary Penner stretches during practice. The Moffat County High School girls swim team should be well balanced this year, coach Meghan Francone said.

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Hannah Cordes swims a few laps during the first practice for girls varsity swimming.

At a glance

Coach: Meghan Francone, third year

Seniors: One

League: Western Slope League

— Being one of Moffat County High School’s teams hardest hit by graduation, girls varsity swimming is hoping some of its young swimmers will rise to the top this season.

Because only three swimmers return, the team will start from the beginning, coach Meghan Francone said.

“We have a very young team this year, so we will be going back to the basics and focusing on fundamentals,” she said. “A lot of these girls have been in the water since they were little, though.”

Francone said the girls on the team may be young, but they can be competitive.

“I’m excited,” she said. “We have a lot of really good talent coming back and a lot of talent I’ve seen before coming in. It’s a good group of girls this year.”

Just a few practices in, Francone said she knew how this year’s team would differ from last year’s swimmers.

“We are going to be pretty well rounded, just from looking at all the girls and knowing what their strong points are,” she said. “Last year, we were strong in a couple of areas, but lacked in a few. I think we are going to be more balanced this year.”

The team lost a number of senior swimmers last year, including Katherine Dodd and Danielle Brockman.

As a result of the departures because of graduation, junior Mary Penner said the team will have to work on one thing first.

“We don’t know each other that well,” she said. “If we are going to be a team together, we really need to try and get to know each other. Right now, the only people I know are Tatiana (Dulmaine) and Genna (Bradley).”

Francone said she expects the team to gel.

“We had a very good group of very cohesive girls last year and I expect them to be about the same this year,” she said.

But, even with a lack of familiarity, Penner said she expects big things from her fellow swimmers.

“I think we’ll have a good varsity team this year,” she said. “We have a lot of incoming freshmen, but I have seen them swim before and I think they are all going to do great.”

To get better, the team will look to improve in every aspect, Francone said.

“We are going to be focused on the whole scope — from fundamentals all the way up to pretty rough workouts and packing in the meters,” she said.

Penner said this year’s swim team will look to improve on last year’s edition.

“With all the seniors who graduated, we did awesome for being such a small team from a small town,” she said. “Even though not many of us made it to state, we did awesome.”

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