Moffat County High School senior John Kirk powers through the water during the 100-meter backstroke event at the Moffat County Invitational Friday afternoon at the Moffat County High School pool. Kirk placed sixth in the backstroke and first in the 400-meter freestyle. The MCHS boys varsity swim team took third in the home meet.

Photo by Andy Bockelman

Moffat County High School senior John Kirk powers through the water during the 100-meter backstroke event at the Moffat County Invitational Friday afternoon at the Moffat County High School pool. Kirk placed sixth in the backstroke and first in the 400-meter freestyle. The MCHS boys varsity swim team took third in the home meet.

MCHS swimmers place 3rd at home

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Results ...

Results for MCHS swimmers at Friday’s Moffat County Invitational

(Name — place — time)

50-meter freestyle

Brenden Carta — 3 — 29.31

Spencer Hebert — 4 (tie) — 30.28

Chris Kling — 7 — 32.16

Curtis Bowser — 10 — 48.74

100-meter backstroke

John Kirk — 6 — 1:19.01

100-meter breaststroke

Matt Hulstine — 1 — 1:12.56*

100-meter butterfly

Brenden Carta — 5 — 1:27.93

100-meter freestyle

Spencer Hebert — 5 — 1:10.88

Curtis Bowser — 10 — 1:48.54

200-meter freestyle

Chris Kling — 7 — 2:52.59

200-meter freestyle relay

MCHS — 2 — 1:57.07

200-meter individual medley

Matt Hulstine — 2 — 2:24.43*

200-meter medley relay

MCHS — 1 — 2:10.30

400-meter freestyle

John Kirk — 1 — 5:07.80

— MCHS placed third overall, with 240.5 points

  • indicates a 4A state qualifying or re-qualifying time

photo

for the Daily Press

Moffat County High School junior Matt Hulstine comes up for air during the 100-meter breaststroke event of the Moffat County Invitational Friday afternoon at the Moffat County High School pool. Hulstine placed first in the event and second in the 200-meter individual medley.

Before Friday afternoon, Steamboat Springs High School freshman Brenden Carta had yet to see what a home meet was like in the Moffat County High School pool facilities.

By the end of the day, the MCHS boys varsity swimmer, who attends Steamboat Springs High School but swims with the Bulldogs, was looking forward to several more chances to host surrounding schools in the coming years.

The swim team placed third out of four teams in the Moffat County Invitational, its last regular meet of the season, competing against visiting Montrose, Glenwood Springs and Gunnison.

With 16 swimmers to Moffat County’s six, Montrose won the day by sheer numbers, gaining 614.5 total points to MCHS’ 240.5, due largely to multiple swimmers in every event, including numerous relay squads.

Individual results were still strong for the Bulldogs, winning the first event of the day in the 200-meter medley relay with a team made up of Carta, senior John Kirk, and juniors Matt Hulstine and Spencer Hebert.

The team’s time of 2 minutes, 10.30 seconds re-qualified them for state, based on the 4A bracket’s meter times.

Hulstine also placed first — and re-qualified — in the 100-meter backstroke and got second in the 200-meter individual medley, qualifying for the first time in the event.

“I take a lot of pride in my breaststroke and I really try working on it every meet,” he said. “The medley is where I kind of have a tough time trying to do every stroke because the butterfly is the hardest and by the time I get to the freestyle, I’m just dead.”

Coach Anita Reynolds said the home meet is the perfect warm-up for the team as it prepares for next week’s regional tournament, which the entire team will attend.

“They’ve really been practicing hard this week, and we only had two days to swim because our pool was having mechanical problems,” she said. “I think they’re pumped and they’re ready. We’re going to get down there, and their times will come down even more than they have before.”

Reynolds said the entire team has improved tremendously over the season.

“They all have the want and the drive to improve every day in practice,” she said. “There’s always concerns about having a small team, but we really focus on their strong points and how they do in their events and I think they’re really showing what all they can do. In fact, they keep adding events they can do.”

Hulstine said he anticipates his best chances at regionals and beyond is in his specialty.

“My main goal is to place in the top three at state in the breaststroke,” he said. “We have a small team, but I think we’re pretty well-rounded, and Spencer Hebert and Brenden Carta have really stepped up as strong swimmers.”

Carta said he’s not sure what to expect from his first trip to the regional level.

“I feel like it’s going to be fun to get some tough competition,” he said. “I just like to get in and race and have a good time.”

He added he is looking forward to being part of Moffat County’s swimming program In the future.

“It’s really fun to be able to hang out with guys on the team because in Steamboat, I don’t get to spend a lot of time with guys my own age who swim,” he said. “Just being part of a team and having a home meet is a real treat for me.”

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