5 MCHS swimmers headed to state

Results ...

The following are MCHS’s qualifying and re-qualifying times from regionals for the 4A state competition this week. Five of the team’s six members will attend state.

(Name — Event — Time)

MCHS — 200-yard medley — 1:55.31

MCHS — 200-yard freestyle relay — 1:40.96

Matt Hulstine — 100-yard breaststroke — 1:00.13

Matt Hulstine — 100-yard butterfly — 56.04

John Kirk — 200-yard freestyle — 2:00.21

Phenomenal.

That was the word Meghan Francone used to describe the Moffat County High School boys varsity swim team’s performance last weekend at the 4A Western Slope Meet at Colorado Mesa University.

As the final opportunity for the team members to qualify for state, the boys hit the water hard. Of six total team members, five will represent MCHS Friday and Saturday at the 4A state championship in Thornton.

Coach Francone said their showing at the regional meet indicates just how well she expects them to do at the biggest event of their season.

“We had an incredible weekend, and my boys just rocked it,” she said,

The 200-yard medley and 200-yard freestyle relay teams both posted new qualifying times at regionals, as did junior Matt Hulstine in 100-yard butterfly and 100-yard breaststroke.

“Matt’s fly race was just incredible, he dropped so much time,” Franconce said. “He blew his old time out of the water, and for anyone to swim butterfly in under a minute is just incredible. He’s peaking at just the right time.”

John Kirk also set a new personal best of two minutes, .21 seconds in the 200-yard freestyle.

“His best going into it was a 2:04, and the qualifying time is 2:00.5,” Francone said. “It’s really hard to qualify for that event, and he just did great.”

Hulstine and Kirk will be competing individually at state, as well as on the qualifying relay teams. Hulstine has qualified in multiple events —including the 50-yard and 100-yard freestyle and 200-yard individual medley — in past meets, but he’s only able to compete in so many events.

Junior Spencer Hebert, freshman Chris Kling and Steamboat Springs High School freshman Brenden Carta will also be going, filling out the relays. Francone said Hebert and Kling are battling this week in practice to determine which of them swims as the fourth man on which relay team.

On the docket for all the boys is rest and relaxation — when they’re not in the water.

“We’re tapering, but we’re also concentrating on those little things like concentrating on our second and third flip turns and our streamline’s gotten a little sloppy, just cleaning up,” Francone said. “A lot of them are carrying a lot of stress because they know what’s coming.”

Francone said the regional meet also demonstrated the great attitude possessed by her swimmers, which she expects them to keep up at state.

“We had two officials, numerous parents and timers come up to us and tell us how proud they were of us as a team because of their sportsmanship,” Francone said. “John Kirk lapped someone in one of his events and not only did he wait to say, ‘Good job,’ but he cheered for him before he got out of the water. Matt always shakes hands on both sides and tells everyone ‘Good luck.’ That makes us proud as coaches because not only do we have great athletes, we have great people.”

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