Micah Espinosa, from the girls swim team, does her workout laps during practice.

Andrea Angelo, Blue Print

Micah Espinosa, from the girls swim team, does her workout laps during practice.

Girls swim team: five to one

The Moffat County girl's swim team kicks off their season this month. They have an initial meeting the 8th. Practice will begin the following Monday.

Junior Hannah Kirk described our team as, "absolutely tiny." Last year, they had a total of eleven girls on the team. This year, they have an estimated twenty. The girls compete against teams with up to 80 girls. These schools can have various class ratings.The MCHS swim team doesn't just compete against other 4A schools.

Several girls qualified for State last year, including junior Eryn Leonard. Swimmers may qualify for State at any meet (excluding fun meets) by reaching the state designated qualifying time. Colorado has faster state times than surrounding states. "If I was to go to Wyoming I would be able to qualify within the first meet, but it takes hard work the entire season to qualify here," said junior Hannah Kirk, who competes in the 100 meter breast stroke and 200 meter medley.

The swimmers can compete in two individual races and in two relays. There are four types of strokes: freestyle, backstroke, breast, and butterfly. One of the hardest things to learn in swimming is how to dive off the blocks. Swimmers want to spend a much time in the air as physically possible because it has less resistance then the water. They are able to propel themselves through air at a quicker speed. They also want to enter the water cleanly, without making much of a splash.

These girls go through intense workouts both in and out of the water. They do the typical dry land conditioning, including weight lifting, lunges, push ups, and sit ups. Their in-water work outs are comprised of hypoxics (swimming a certain length without taking a breath and repeating this feat several times) and treading.

Although swimming is a great exercise, especially for those who suffer from joint issues, it does have its injuries. These injuries are typically from over-use and over-extending. The most prominent body part effected is the shoulder. The average swimmer uses their shoulder ten times per length of the pool. This can lead to extreme over-use in a 50 length workout.

Moffat County has the only competition ready pool in Northwest Colorado.

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