The MCHS boys varsity swim team’s strength this year will come from a balanced attack, coach Meghan Francone said. Team members are, from left, Nick Glispy, Curtis Ellgen, Aaron Byram, Chance Peterson, Charlie Griffiths, John Kirk and Matt Hulstine.

Photo by Shawn McHugh

The MCHS boys varsity swim team’s strength this year will come from a balanced attack, coach Meghan Francone said. Team members are, from left, Nick Glispy, Curtis Ellgen, Aaron Byram, Chance Peterson, Charlie Griffiths, John Kirk and Matt Hulstine.

Adding depth to the pool

Deep roster of swimmers expected to propel MCHS boys swimming team

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Moffat County High School boys swimming coach Meghan Francone, right, watches her swimmers come off the blocks during a recent practice at the MCHS pool. The divers pictured are Curtis Ellgen, from foreground, John Kirk and Matt Hulstine.

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Meghan Francone

At a glance

Coach: Meghan Francone

Returning state qualifiers: Three (Chance Peterson, Charlie Griffiths, John Kirk)

New faces:

• Senior Nick Glispy gives Moffat County something they haven’t had in recent years — a diver. The extra position will award the Bulldogs extra points at meets and solidify the squad.

• Freshman Matt Hulstine is expected to shine in his first season in the high school pool, and senior Curt Ellgen has shown early promise in his first year, coach Meghan Francone said.

Swimmers to watch:

• John Kirk: The sophomore made the state tournament as a freshman, and is only expected to improve on his times this season.

• Charlie Griffiths/Chance Peterson: The juniors have made strides, and will be expected to shoulder the load left by Cole Worsely’s departure because of graduation.

Moffat County High School boys varsity swimming — 2010

  • March 5 and 6 — Montrose Invitational
  • March 12 and 13 — Grand Junction Relays
  • March 27 — Moffat County
  • April 10 — Montrose Invitational
  • April 16 — Jeffco Invitational
  • April 17 — Jeffco Invitational
  • April 23, 4 p.m. — Moffat County Invitational
  • April 24 — Glenwood Springs High School
  • May 14 — League Championships (Mesa State)
  • May 15 — League Championships (Mesa State)
  • May 21 — State Championship (Mountain View)
  • May 22 — State Championship (Mountain View)

Although coach Meghan Francone would like to see the Moffat County High School boys varsity swimming team compete well in every category, there is one event she expects the team to dominate this season.

“I want to take a medley relay to state,” she said. “Moffat County has competed in a medley relay since before my time, and I think we should have very strong swimmers in that.”

Last year, the MCHS 4-by-200 team of Charlie Griffiths, Chance Peterson, John Kirk and Cole Worsely placed 19th at the state meet.

This year, that group, minus Class 4A swimmer of the year, Worsley, returns.

And Kirk thinks the team will be just fine.

“We lost Cole, but we realized we can’t rely on him,” he said. “It hit us in the head, the idea that we need to really pick it up. If we all pick it up individually, I think we’ll do well.”

Essentially taking the spot of Worsely on the relay teams will be former Craig Sea Sharks standout Matt Hulstine, an MCHS freshman.

“My hope is that Matt will be doing the breast in (the relays),” Francone said. “John probably will be doing fly, Charlie will probably be doing free, and we still need a back, whether that’s Chance or Aaron (Byram) or Tucker (Trujillo).”

Having options is what Francone called the team’s primary strength.

“We don’t have any weak swimmers,” she said. “Typically, we have extremely strong swimmers all the way down to beginning swimmers. Even our beginning swimmers have got it.”

Having more individuals participating in more events will only help the Bulldogs’ league standing.

“We have Nick (Glispy), so we have a diver,” Francone said. “So, we will receive those points, which is crucial. If you don’t compete in a whole event, you don’t get any points.”

In the individual races, Moffat County could field several contenders.

Hulstine swims the breaststroke, Griffiths swims in the 50- and 100-meter freestyle, Peterson swims in the 50-meter freestyle, and Kirk has his eyes on the 200-meter freestyle and 100-meter backstroke.

“We’ll be really good,” Kirk said. “We have a lot of strong swimmers like Matt, Charlie, Chance and the two new guys, Aaron and Curt (Ellgen). Overall, I think our relays will make state like we did last year.”

In their quest to return to the state meet, Francone can’t wait for the team to get started.

“I’m anxious. I’m ready for them to get in the water,” she said. “They’re ready to compete.”

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