Moffat County swimming starts winter strong

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— Moffat County’s girls swimming meet was canceled Saturday, as the teams planning on competing couldn’t make it to Craig.

Delta and Central-Palisade, a team with swimmers from Central High School in Grand Junction and Palisade High School, canceled their travel plans because of road conditions coming north. It was disappointing news for the Bulldogs swimmers and coaches who were looking forward to showing off for the home crowd, especially after a successful start to the season in Glenwood Springs.

The team traveled to Glenwood on Friday for its first meet of the season and scored 270 points in the meet hosted by the Demons to go along with strong individual performances right off the bat.

Several Bulldogs dropped significant time from their best swims last season, delighting coach Meghan Francone.

“A few years ago, we had such a young team, but now they’ve grown and matured,” she said. “Our team this year, these girls are working hard.”

Among many highlights for Moffat County from the meet, sophomore Bailey Kurz finished the 200-meter individual medley in 2 minutes, 48.59 seconds, more than 6 seconds faster than she swam it last year. Along with her, Emily Womble dropped nearly 10 seconds off her 100 freestyle time, and Alex Samuelson cut her 200 free mark by more than 18 seconds.

Samuelson’s "50 free time was phenomenal also. She dropped a half-second off of that, which in the 50 is a lot,” Francone said. “Alex has really shown she’s going to be one to watch this year for sure.”

The team’s 200 medley relay of Laurel Tegtman, Kurz, Micah Espinosa and Marisa Hulstine took second overall with a time of 2:16.74. The team’s depth at every stroke is something Francone sees as one of its strengths.

“We are deep in the breast(stroke) and back(stroke),” she said. “Micah Espinosa has been working hard on her fly, and she shined this weekend. She did very well.”

Francone thought that relay could have been even faster with better exchanges, which will be a focal point in the coming weeks. She also thinks continuing to build a base of strength will be important, but she couldn’t be too picky about the Bulldogs’ start.

“Overall, we had a great meet,” Francone said. “We were supposed to have two meets in 24 hours, and the girls were pumped for it. But it was a good first meet.”

Contact Nate Waggenspack at 970-875-1795 or nwaggenspack@CraigDailyPress.com.

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