Eryn Leonard swims during Moffat County High School swimming practice. Leonard has qualified for the 4A state championship meet already this season.

file photo

Eryn Leonard swims during Moffat County High School swimming practice. Leonard has qualified for the 4A state championship meet already this season.

Swimmers from Moffat County return to the pool

Swimming is already a sport associated with the summer more than the winter, so taking time off for winter break seems like the natural thing to do.

But Moffat County High School head coach Meghan Francone says those days off can provide difficulty for swimmers to stay in peak form during the middle portion of the season.

The Moffat County girls swim team is competing in just eight meets this season before the state championships, meaning they have a more limited amount of chances to qualify for state. With four meets gone, each of the remaining four will take on added value.

That will put some pressure on MCHS swimmers to get their swimming strength back quickly after taking nearly two weeks off from a pool.

“Following CHSAA (Colorado High School Activities Association) rules, we can’t have direct contact with the kids between the 24th (of December) and New Year’s Day,” Francone said. “We can’t be in the pool over Christmas break anyway and our kids are kind of limited with pools aside from that, so it is a bit of a hardship on our athletes.”

But while the break may slow the Bulldogs down in the water temporarily, Francone doesn’t see it have long-term effects.

“They should be able to get (in shape) pretty quickly if they’ve kept up,” she said. “Doing dry land (workouts) or anything to keep up makes it much easier. But it does throw a damper in our training.”

Moffat County still has some work to do in qualifying more swimmers to state. Senior Eryn Leonard is still the team’s lone qualifier (she re-qualified with a faster time in the team’s Dec. 14 meet in Montrose), but the Bulldogs have high hopes to bring several other swimmers to the final meet of the season.

Francone said some of the relays and other individual qualifying will come as the Bulldogs get back to full strength.

“We still don’t have all of our athletes going at the same time, so we’re trying to get all the pieces of the puzzle to fall at the right time.”

The Bulldogs resume practice Jan. 2 at the MCHS pool, and return to competition when they host a home meet Jan. 11.

Nate Waggenspack can be reached at nwaggenspack@craigdailypress.com. Follow Craig Daily Press sports coverage on Twitter at @CDP_Sports.

MCHS girls swimming

Remaining meets

Jan. 11 MCHS pool

Jan. 19 Summit High School

Jan. 25 Delta High School

Feb. 1-2 WSL Championships

Feb. 8-9 State Championships

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