Moffat County High School junior Matt Hulstine pulls ahead in the breaststroke event at the Moffat County Invitational. Hulstine placed seventh in the 100-yard breaststroke and 15th in the 100-yard butterfly at the 4A state championships last weekend in Thornton.

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Moffat County High School junior Matt Hulstine pulls ahead in the breaststroke event at the Moffat County Invitational. Hulstine placed seventh in the 100-yard breaststroke and 15th in the 100-yard butterfly at the 4A state championships last weekend in Thornton.

MCHS swimmer Hulstine places 7th, 15th at state meet

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Results …

The following are Moffat County High School boys varsity swim team’s results from last weekend's 4A state championship meet in Thornton:

(Name — Event — Time)

MCHS — 200-yard medley relay — 1:54.19

MCHS — 200-yard freestyle relay — 1:38.79

Matt Hulstine — 100-yard breaststroke — 1:00.77

Matt Hulstine — 100-yard butterfly — 57.32

John Kirk — 200-yard freestyle — 2:00.29

— Hulstine was the only team member to make it to the finals, placing seventh in the breaststroke and 15th in the butterfly

The Moffat County High School boys varsity swim team swam strong Friday and Saturday against fierce competition at the 4A state championship in Thornton.

The team’s top individual finisher for the weekend was junior Matt Hulstine, who placed seventh in the 100-yard breaststroke with one minute, .77 seconds, and 15th in the 100-yard butterfly at 57.32 seconds.

Coach Meghan Francone said Hulstine showed well against some of the fastest swimmers in Colorado.

“He has just been a great competitor,” she said. “For these kids to consider him real competition just shows how hard he’s worked this season.

“He wasn’t really slated to win, but that’s something that’s everyone’s goal, and I think he can work toward that in his senior year. He has a wonderful work ethic and will put in the effort to do whatever he wants to do.”

MCHS’s goals at state were largely based on keeping up the times that brought them there. Senior John Kirk, the only other swimmer to compete in an individual event, finished the preliminary round with a time of two minutes, .29 seconds in the 200-yard freestyle, .08 seconds behind his original qualifying time.

Kirk did not make the cut for the finals, nor did the relay teams, with only the top 18 making it to the next round.

“He was ranked 40th going in and he stayed right on his best time,” Francone said.

Francone said all five of the MCHS swimmers who attended set new standards for themselves regardless of rankings.

“Our relay teams were ranked 25th and they moved up to 19th and 21st, so they really rocked it and swam the best times ever that they’ve ever posted,” she said. “Every one of them.”

Kirk, Hulstine, freshman Chris Kling and Steamboat Springs High School freshman Brenden Carta made up the 200-yard medley relay — lowering their time with a 1:54.19 — while Kirk, Hulstine, Carta and junior Spencer Hebert rounded out the 200-yard freestyle relay with a 1:38.79.

Francone said she was proud of all the team members, noting that Kling, Carta and Hebert performed outstandingly for swimmers who are still wet behind the ears.

“Taking three out of five swimmers who have never been to state and they all cut times, there’s nothing more we could ask for,” she said.

With only one senior on the team, Francone said she anticipates a strong group to return next season. She also hopes to garner a larger squad.

“We’re hoping to recruit some kids, like some of the kids who are doing Sea Sharks,” she said, “We’re hoping they have a great summer and they get to know some of the coaches well and want to further their swimming.”

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