Bulldog swimmers compete in regional meet today
If you go …
What: Moffat County High School girls varsity swimming team at Western Slope regional meet
When: Today, 4 p.m.; Saturday, 2:30 p.m.
Where: Colorado Mesa University, 1100 North Ave, in Grand Junction
— Admission is free
The Moffat County High School girls varsity swimmers have one last opportunity to qualify for the 4A state swim meet.
The Bulldogs compete today and Saturday in the Western Slope regional meet at Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction.
The meet is the final competition for the Bulldogs before the state meet Feb. 10 and 11 in Thornton.
Junior Eryn Leonard and Steamboat Springs senior Amy Brodie, who competes for Moffat County, have qualified individually, and the 200-yard medley relay and 200- and 400-yard freestyle relays have also qualified for the state meet.
Head coach Meghan Francone said the girls would have a chance to compete against the best swimmers on the Western Slope this weekend.
“This is our last stop prior to state and we still have a lot of girls pushing to get qualifying times,” she said. “We have 14 girls swimming, and I think we will do very well competing against the likes of bigger teams like Montrose and Grand Junction.”
Francone said the Bulldogs have a bigger squad than they have in the past, but they still can’t compete with the numbers on some of the other teams.
So rather than concentrating on team standings, she said each individual has to give it their all.
“We want to put the girls in the events they can excel at,” she said. “You have to know your girls and know what times they can swim. We want them to be very competitive in whatever race and heat they are in.”
For Leonard and Brodie, Francone said their goal is to improve their seeding for the state meet and give themselves the best chance possible in Thornton.
“The goal is to get the times down and improve in every aspect of the race,” she said. “It is huge that the girls are mentally prepared heading into state, so they may not swim their fastest times, but they need to feel they did well so they can roll into state psychologically ready to go.”
Brodie is still trying to qualify for the 200-yard freestyle, but fellow Steamboat senior Luci Franklin could be the next individual Bulldog swimmer to qualify for state.
On Jan. 21 at the Jeffco Invitational, Franklin swam the 50-yard freestyle stroke as part of the medley relay in 26.16 seconds, coming in under the 26.6 seconds need to qualify for state.
However, because Franklin didn’t post the time from the leadoff position or in the individual race, it was not official.
Francone said Franklin would give it her all to reach her goal in Grand Junction.
“Luci really wants that 50-free time,” she said. “She is definitely one to watch this weekend. She has high hopes and us coaches do for her as well.
“This is the last meet to fight for a spot.”