Craig Moffat County High School had its second swimmer of the year sign on to keep competing in the water Wednesday.
After Eryn Leonard committed to Colorado Mesa University during the winter, fellow senior Matt Hulstine signed to swim for University of Denver beginning next year while also earning a spot in the university’s honors program for his academics. The lone senior on the boys swimming team this year, Hulstine said he’s been working toward this for years.
“It’s been a goal of mine to swim for a Division I school,” Hulstine said. “I’m really happy to get to swim for them.”
Hulstine chose DU because the Pioneers began recruiting him early on and always made him comfortable throughout the recruiting process. He is excited to be a part of a large team, where he’ll have to work hard to earn his spot.
“I’m looking forward to being on a bigger team where I’m not the best swimmer,” he said. “I’m going to have to work hard and improve.”
His signing continued a great week for Moffat County swimming that began last Friday at the Montrose Invitational. The boys team had its best meet of the season kicked off by the 200-meter medley relay team swimming a state-qualifying time of 1:56.82.
The group of Jesse Kurz, Hulstine, Brenden Carta and Chris Kling had been flirting with qualification for much of the season and broke through Friday.
Kling said for qualifying for state, the team gets to wear pink jammers (their swimsuits), a reward for accomplishing their goal. But they also are excited because it represents the improvements the swimmers have earned through hard work.
“It shows how much of a team we’ve become,” Carta said. “It’s our biggest accomplishment of the season.”
Hulstine, the only member of the team to swim at state before, is excited to have teammates going with him.
“I knew it would be really tough because we lost a lot of veteran swimmers from previous years,” he said. “I’m really proud of them.”
The team now has nearly half of its nine members qualified for state. It hopes to earn a couple more qualifications in the 200 and 400 free relays in the coming weeks.
“Through hard work and coaches nagging, you can accomplish anything,” Kurz joked with his coaches standing nearby. “We’re poised and ready to do more.”
Nate Waggenspack can be reached at 970-875-1795 or firstname.lastname@example.org.