Cody McDermott, center, was part of a state-qualifying relay for the boys swimming team. The Bulldogs now have qualified in four events in the first half of the season — just the start the team was looking for.

Nate Waggenspack/file

Cody McDermott, center, was part of a state-qualifying relay for the boys swimming team. The Bulldogs now have qualified in four events in the first half of the season — just the start the team was looking for.

Moffat County swimmers qualify in 2 more state events

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— In the first weekend of the season, Moffat County’s Dalton Kendall qualified for the state swimming meet with two great times. In the past couple of weeks, Kendall has improved on his times and had some teammates swim to join him at state this season.

The Bulldogs traveled to Grand Junction and swam against the District 51 team, which comprises swimmers from Delta, Palisade and Grand Junction, in a dual meet. Going against a big team, it was no surprise the Bulldogs lost the meet, but they came away with better news than a win.

The team’s 200-meter medley relay team, composed of Kendall, Chris Kling, Jesse Kurz and Brenden Carta, swam a 1:54.78 to break under the 4A state standard.

On Saturday, the Bulldogs swam at Montrose and took third place out of six teams, scoring 272 points despite being the smallest team there.

“We’re the smallest team on the Western Slope,” coach Meghan Francone said. “For us to beat teams that have more teams than we do, it says a lot.”

Also in the meet, Kendall qualified for his third individual state event, the 100 backstroke, by swimming 1:03 exactly, which is also the cutoff point for state qualifiers. And he helped the 200 freestyle relay team, which just missed out on qualifying in Junction with a 1:45.89, get under the state standard Saturday in 1:41.20.

The team of Kendall, Cody McDermott, Kurz and Carta delivered once again, giving Moffat County qualifiers in five of the 11 state swimming events.

“They smashed that state qualifying,” Francone said. “Our boys swam very well. Montrose is a hard meet because it’s the first one over two days, and usually, we’re tired the second day. But they responded well.”

Beyond the state qualifiers, it was a good meet for Moffat County, with less-experienced swimmers coming away with personal-best times.

“We had some phenomenal races. John Hulstine dropped seven seconds off his 100 free. Tanner Snyder dropped huge time, too,” Francone said. “They set high expectations for themselves, and they continue to meet them.”

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

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