Top Moffat County High School boys varsity swimming team individual results from Wednesday’s meet at Grand Junction High School:
(Name — event — time — place)
• Matt Hulstine — 100-yard breaststroke — 1:05.92 — 1
• Matt Hulstine — 200-yard individual medley — 2:15.55 — 2
• Moffat County — 200-yard medley relay — 1:58.71 — 2
• Moffat County — 200-yard freestyle relay — 1:47.40 — 2
• Justin Prosser — 100-yard freestyle — 58.54 — 2
• Justin Prosser — 100-yard backstroke — 1:15.53 — 2
• John Kirk — 500-yard freestyle — 6:04.81 — 2
• John Kirk — 200-yard freestyle — 2:10.77 — 3
• Conner Jurgensen — 50-yard freestyle — 30.30 — 5
Numbers have been a problem for the Moffat County High School boys varsity swimming team this season.
After the Bulldogs started the season with 14 boys on the team, they have competed with limited numbers in all three meets thus far for various reasons.
The meet Wednesday in Grand Junction was no exception.
“We are always down boys and we can’t keep relays together,” coach Meghan Francone said. “The individual efforts on the relays are very good, but we keep having to change them.”
The Bulldogs were still able to take second place, beating Gunnison High School and coming in behind Grand Junction.
Francone said the team worked on turns this week, which helped lower times.
“We were able to work on turns and it is exciting because all the boys implemented it into their swims,” she said. “It can be hard to apply something new, especially for the seasoned swimmers.”
Francone said the improvements have allowed her and fellow coach Anita Reynolds to look for other areas to improve on.
Sophomore Matt Hulstine took first place in the 100-yard breaststroke, an event he has already qualified in for the 4A state meet, and took second in the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 2 minutes, 15.55 seconds, about half a second off the state qualifying time.
Senior John Kirk, swimming as an individual for the first time this year, took second in the 500-yard freestyle and third in the 200-yard freestyle.
Francone said Kirk is one of her swimmers who has utilized the new turning technique well.
“John took four seconds off his (200-yard freestyle) in large part to his turns,” she said. “He really worked hard this past week.”
The Bulldogs only took seven swimmers to the meet, Francone said, compared to the 37 swimmers on the Grand Junction team.
“There was obviously a numbers difference, but we made adjustments as a team,” she said. “I can’t really pick one individual who did great because considering the circumstances, they all performed well.”
Francone said her young team has already started to show their potential just three meets into the season.
“It is phenomenal that some swimmers who have never been in the pool before this year are getting to swim with the first-team relays,” she said. “Some of the younger guys have really stepped up and the time they get to swim with the state guys is really going to help.”
The Bulldogs will have some time off before their next meet, the Jeffco Invitational on April 15 and 16 in Denver.
Francone said the biggest challenge would be to maintain what they have learned.
“We have spring break and the pool will be closed, so my concern is getting the guys in the water,” she said. “The Jeffco Invitational is the biggest meet we go to besides the state meet.”
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