Before Craig Sea Shark Matt Hulstine entered the pool during the Aug. 6 to 8 seasonal state meet in Colorado Springs, he felt especially confident.
His times in the 200-meter breaststroke had been dropping, and he liked his chances against the field.
“The weekend before, I took a lot off my time,” he said. “I was pretty confident I could do it again.”
Hulstine, 16, not only took several seconds off his time, but off the seasonal state record time as well.
The incoming Moffat County High School sophomore set the record in the 200-meter breaststroke by four seconds to claim first in the event.
His time of 2 minutes and 21.42 seconds bested Castle Rock’s Jay Kim’s 2005 record of 2:25.29.
Hulstine had already qualified for the Western Sectional swimming meet.
He was also first in the 100-meter breaststroke, second in the mile and 400-meter individual medley and fourth in all-around points.
“It was a good meet,” he said. “It was a good summer because I feel like I did everything I set out to do.”
At the state meet, which was the last of the summer, several other Sea Sharks had strong performances, coach Caitlin Conci said.
“It was a really good meet all-around,” she said. “We had 14 kids qualify, and seven went.
“Of the seven who went, they all swam so well.”
As of press time Wednesday, the individual results were not available, but Conci said there was a marked improvement in all her swimmers.
“It was an exciting meet,” she said. “Katelyn Peroulis dropped her times, Burke Henderson dropped her times and Colby (Beckett) swam really well.”
The swimmers who performed well were the same ones putting in extra work throughout the summer, Conci said.
“As a coach, I was really happy about how everyone did,” she said. “I was excited to see how their work has shown through.
“The kids who swam well are the same kids who have worked hard all summer, and that really showed.
“Those are the kids who practiced consistently during the summer, and I felt like they had their hard work pay off.”