Matt Hulstine, with the Craig Sea Sharks, swims Friday at the Craig Swimming Complex. Hulstine finished first in the ABC Meet's first event, the 1,500-meter freestyle.

Photo by Hans Hallgren

Matt Hulstine, with the Craig Sea Sharks, swims Friday at the Craig Swimming Complex. Hulstine finished first in the ABC Meet's first event, the 1,500-meter freestyle.

Craig Sea Sharks' lone home meet begins with a mile



Craig Sea Shark swimmer Danielle Brockman swims Friday during the 1,500-meter freestyle.


Craig Sea Shark Sydni Tripp swims the backstroke Friday afternoon at the Craig Swimming Complex. Tripp wrote down the numbers of the events she competed in on her left forearm.


Craig Sea Sharks ABC Meet results

(Name, event, time, place)

• Owen Allen, 25-meter backstroke, 54.56, 9

• Danielle Brockman, 1500-meter freestyle, 23:47.75, 3

• Nate Cooper, 25-meter backstroke, 33.00, 1, 100-meter freestyle relay, 2:20.43, 2

• Katherine Dodd, 1500-meter freestyle, 22:21.06, 1

• Megan Durner, 25-meter freestyle, 29.34, 3, 25-meter butterfly, 37.18, 2, 25-meter backstroke, 33.12, 3, 25-meter breaststroke, 38.06, 2, 100-meter freestyle relay, 2:13.15, 4

• Jesse Earle, 25-meter freestyle, 25.15, 4, 50-meter freestyle, 57.78, 4, 100-meter freestyle relay, 2:20.43, 2

• Matt Hulstine, 1500-meter freestyle, 22:04.62, 1

• Toryn Hume, 25-meter freestyle, 28.65, 2, 100-meter freestyle relay, 2:20.43, 2

• Trevor Hume, 25-meter freestyle, 35.39, 1, 25-meter backstroke, 44.53, 3, 100-meter freestyle relay, 2:20.43, 2

• Kelsey McDiffett, 25-meter backstroke, 38.89, 5

• Molly Neton, 25-meter freestyle, 27.12, 2, 25-meter backstroke, 27.57, 3, 100-meter freestyle relay, 2:13.15, 4

• Sydni Tripp, 50-meter freestyle, 1:10.81, 1, 100-meter freestyle, 2:47.53, 1, 100-meter freestyle relay, 2:13.15, 4

• Audrey Witherington, 25-meter freestyle, 32.56, 2, 25-meter backstroke, 34.25, 1, 100-meter freestyle relay, 2:13.15, 4

— Running a mile takes a few minutes.

Swimming one takes a commitment.

On Friday morning, Craig Sea Shark Matt Hulstine made the commitment and was rewarded with a first place finish in the 1,500-meter freestyle.

His time of 22 minutes and four seconds was especially good, considering it was his longest race ever.

"It was pretty good, I was kind of afraid I got off to too fast of a start," Hulstine said. "I figured out my pace, and it all turned out OK."

Hulstine, along with more than 30 swimmers from Craig, are competing in the ABC Meet this weekend at the Craig Swimming Complex.

The three-day meet, the only one of the summer in Craig, will bring almost 200 swimmers from Steamboat Springs, Ouray, Rangely, Platte Canyon, Delta and Sopris to the pool.

Being home means Hulstine will try more events.

"I haven't done the mile before," he said. "But we always try to do something different when we're at home.

"I thought it would be really boring. But it was actually kind of exciting."

Hulstine, who admits a preference to the 200-yard breaststroke, said he likes the longer races.

"In the 200, you don't want to go all out," he said. "You want to take it easy for the first 100, then go fast through the last 100."

While he is in the water, Hulstine kept a goggled-eye towards his competitors.

"You're always afraid they're passing you," he said. "I just try to lap them again and again, and sprint at the end."

Now, after his leisurely paddle through the pool, Hulstine might keep on swimming miles.

"I guess it might be something I'm good at," he said. "You just have to try to get your own pace. You have to get into your own speed and just sort of put it in cruise control."

Hulstine was one of the more seasoned swimmers at the meet Friday.

Coach Caitlin Conci said almost half of her team had never before swam competitively.

"They've all done well considering that for so many, this is their first time," she said. "I'm really excited to see how the rest of the meet goes."

Kelsey McDiffett, 6, was a veteran by the day's standards - she swam last weekend in Delta - and had a fifth-place finish in the 25-meter backstroke.

"It was good," she said. "I like racing."

Sydni Tripp and Megan Durner, both 8, swam so many races they needed the number of each event written in purple permanent marker on their forearms.

"My favorite is probably the butterfly," Durner said. "It's easy for me, and I'm good at it."

The pair practiced together in between races, and even talked at the same time.

"We race together most of the time," Tripp said. "Whenever we can."

The Sea Sharks had several first-place finishes, which encouraged Conci.

"It was a good start to the weekend," Conci said. "We started with the mile, and everyone did well."

Friday mainly featured swimmers ages 8 and younger, but the rest of the weekend will feature the more seasoned swimmers.

Conci's advice for her young team was simple.

"Go fast," she said, "and beat the kid next to you."


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