Bulldogs gear up for second half of season after first place win | CraigDailyPress.com
Elwood Shelton

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Bulldogs gear up for second half of season after first place win

Parker Moore, John Shipley, Jeff Olree, and Danny Arnold have already qualified in the 200-meter freestyle relay once this year, however, once was not enough.

At the five-team meet at Delta on Saturday, the relay team raced its way to a first-place finish, as well as to a state re-qualification time, further proof that Moffat County’s only qualified swimmers are on track for the state meet at Fort Collins.

“Spring break threw us off in all sort of respects, but this meet was a real positive on how we’re doing this year,” Coach Jim Vorhies said. “We’re really ahead of the game compared to years past.”

The Bulldogs not only placed first in the 200 freestyle, but did the same overall in the meet as well, blowing all four other teams out of the water by more than 100 points.

The meet saw Moffat County at full-strength, unlike last week, when it was missing the other half of the team. This week, though, they regained the swimmers who were involved with other school-related activities, and the difference was evident.

Aside from the 200 freestyle team, the 200 medley, comprised of the same four swimmers, also took first place.

The 200 medley, although they fared well on Saturday, still sits a full second out of state qualification.

Two Bulldogs finished first in individual events. Arnold won the 100 butterfly, and Shipley took home first in the 50 freestyle.

Moffat County has yet to qualify an individual swimmer for the state meet, but two of its divers sit on the cusp of qualification.

John Shipley and Jerry Davis, who finished first and second at Delta, are both within a breath of state. Each has to increase the difficult of their dives by 1.2 points to satisfy state stipulations.

The Bulldogs’ first-place finish at Delta didn’t set Vorhies’ outlook on cruse-control. He can still find areas on the team still in need of refinement.

“I was pleased with how the team performed, you can’t be dissatisfied with first, but I still see areas that need improvement,” he said. “We did well, but a lot of times that’s the way it is when the boys have had a rest. It’s like they’ve gone on a taper.

“We have to make sure the team is still pushing itself in conditioning, and there’s always room for progression in the technical aspects of swimming the starts, the turns and the finishes.”

The team’s progression will be put on display for a hometown audience at 4 p.m., Friday, when the Bulldogs face the eclectic District 51 (Grand Junction, Fruita, and Palisade) at Moffat County High School pool.

The dual meet is a prelude to the largest meet that Moffat County will involve itself in this season the Jeffco Invitational.

The Invitational draws Class 4A and 5A teams from across the state, and is so large that it runs two races simultaneously.

The Invitational is a two-day meet that begins April 20.

“The next two meets [Dist. 51 and Jeffco] will be a true test in the season, and they’ll put us up against stiff competition the whole time,” Vorhies said. “We’ve got our rhythm, so if we can take care of the physical aspects of swimming, we should do all right.”