Craig With the state meet around the corner, Moffat County’s boys swimming team practice was relatively subdued Wednesday compared to the work it has put in the rest of the season.
But while the water at the MCHS pool wasn’t being kicked and splashed around the way it is when the Bulldogs are racing, the swimmers preparing to compete Friday and Saturday in Fort Collins are doing plenty of churning below the surface.
“I’m just nervous,” Dalton Kendall said. “I don’t think that’s going to go away until I’m in the water and swimming.”
Kendall is coming off a Western Slope League championship in the 50-yard freestyle last weekend, when he swam a 22.59 to record his fastest time of the year and beat the rest of the 4A field in Grand Junction.
“Going into the meet, I had the fastest time, but I figured the rest were all guess times by the coaches,” he said. “After I won my prelim, I knew I’d have to be even better in the finals to take it, so I just got into that mindset. It felt good to win.”
Kendall was not the only one to get good news in the 50 free. In his preliminary heat Friday, sophomore Jesse Kurz hit a season-best 23.99, sneaking just under the qualifying standard and making it to state as an individual.
“I was kind of disappointed in my time because I’ve been swimming faster than that in the relays,” Kurz said. “But I was glad I made it.”
The Bulldogs now turn their attention to the state meet, where they will be underdogs to make the finals by finishing in the top 12 after prelims. The Moffat County 200-yard freestyle relay is ranked 20th and the medley relay is ranked 24th, so both will have work to do in order to swim a second time.
“They need to be properly tapered, eating well, getting sleep — all those things are important to make sure they swim their best,” coach Meghan Francone said. “A lot of it will come down to them doing what they know how to do and putting all the pieces together.”
Kendall is ranked 12th in the 50 free, in which the times are all so close together that a swimmer can rise or drop several spots with a good or bad race. He is focused on that event and ready to get in the pool.
“I just need to stay focused, don’t think about anything else,” he said. “I want to get in there and win it.”
Contact Nate Waggenspack at 970-875-1795 or nwaggenspack@CraigDailyPress.com. Follow him on Twitter at @CDP_Sports.