With only two meets remaining before the state regional tournament begins Feb. 6 in Durango, the season is running out for the Moffat County High School girls swimming team.
The Bulldogs got a taste of what regionals will be like during the Jeffco Invite on Friday and Saturday in Denver.
Moffat County finished 20th out of 22 teams.
Despite finishing out of the medals as a team, coach Meghan Francone said she was impressed with a few individual performances by the MCHS swimmers.
"Emma (Lichtenfels) did really well," Francone said. "Both the relay teams did well, Genna (Bradley) did awesome in diving, and the girls had a lot of fun.
"Everyone on the team was excited to be there."
The 200-yard medley relay team of Danielle Brockman, Lichtenfels, Katherine Dodd and Mary Penner finished one spot away from the finals round, placing 17th in 2 minutes, 13.74 seconds.
Dodd finished 36th in the 200-yard individual medley, completing the eight laps required in 2:41.51.
Penner eclipsed her previous career-high in the 50-free, breaking 30 seconds (29.72).
Breaking 30 seconds "was a goal of hers since the season began." Francone said. "It was really amazing to see her accomplish something that she had set her mind on. I'm really proud of her."
Steamboat Springs resident Genna Bradley also set a career high in diving.
Bradley placed second in the event, tallying a total of 366.40 points, shattering the MCHS record of 360.5 she set last year.
"You could hear people whispering about Genna," Francone said. "A lot of people were talking about her when we left."
If not for an out-of-this-world performance by Ralston Valley diver Raleigh Williams (440.60), Bradley would have won the diving competition in her fifth consecutive meet.
Instead, she settled for eclipsing the state qualifying mark of 300 points for the fifth time in as many meets.
Penner placed 53rd (1:06.62), while Danielle Brockman placed 58th (1:08.62) in the 100-free.
Dodd shaved nearly 20 seconds off her last performance in the 500-free, finishing 26th in 6:20.38.
"Katherine did really well," Francone said. "I think that is her best time in high school swimming. USA swimming might be different, but I think that's the best she's done in high school."
Brockman placed 42nd in the 100-back, finishing the four laps required in 1:17.93.
Francone said Lichtenfels is the closest on the team to joining Bradley in the state finals.
She showed why her coach is optimistic Saturday.
Lichtenfels placed 20th in the 100-breast.
Her time of 1:19.40 is the Steamboat Springs High School sophomore's fastest time of the season and is four seconds away from the state qualifying time (1:15.30).
The 400-free relay team of Lichtenfels, Brockman, Penner and Dodd closed the event with an 18th-place finish (4:32.83).
"It was really exciting," Francone said of participating in an event the size of Jeffco. "The girls really loved it. I really loved it. It was a great time."
Sarah Kirk finished 16th in the 200-yard IM in 3:00.89. Megan Knez swam in the event, as well, finishing 25th (3:10.20).
Kathrine Cork's time of 31.82 earned the MCHS junior a 25th-place finish in the 50-free. Tatianna Dulmaine finished 48th in 35.61.
Dulmaine also competed in the 100-free, finishing 57th in 1:22.77.
The 200-free relay team of Cork, Dulmaine, Knez and Kirk finished 14th, finishing in 2:11.78.
Cork also finished 40th in the 100-back (1:33.67).
Knez ripped through the JV finals in the 100-breast, finishing in 1:27.37, capturing fourth place.
Kirk placed 22nd in the same event, finishing in 1:32.60.
Kirk, Knez, Dulmaine and Cork teamed up in the day's final event, placing 13th in the 400-free relay.
The Bulldogs' varsity and junior varsity teams combined for 17 team points, three ahead of Arvada High School.
Next up for MCHS is a meet at 3:30 p.m. Friday in Aspen.
John Vandelinder can be reached at 875-1793 or firstname.lastname@example.org