MCHS swimmers finish season with a first place |

MCHS swimmers finish season with a first place

Bulldogs compete at regionals this weekend

Elwood Shelton

The 200-medley relay team became the second squad from Moffat County to qualify for state Saturday at Orchard Mesa in Grand Junction.

The team swam to a first-place finish, and put a time on the clock that was a full two seconds under state qualification time.

The 200 medley team of Danny Arnold, Jeff Olree, John Shipley and Parker Moore, are the same swimmers that make up the 400-meter freestyle relay team which qualified earlier this season.

That team also pulled in first in the 400 freestyle relay on Saturday.

“We were so close to sending more than we did to state last year,” said the team’s anchor man, Parker Moore. “Trying to make up where we fell short last year has really motivated us all, it has made making state all that more important especially in our relays.”

The Moffat County relay teams have remained the backbone of the program this year, turning out the most consistent performances throughout the season.

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The 400 freestyle team not only qualified early in the season, but repeated the feat several times in the year.

The 200 freestyle relay team of John Ilko, Randy Runyan, Grant Hudish and Olree pulled into second at Orchard Mesa.

Along with strong performance by the relay teams, the Bulldogs placed one swimmer in first, Danny Arnold in the 100 butterfly. They also had five second place finishes, and another five in third. In the end, Moffat County walked away from the last regular season meet with a first-place team finish.

Diver John Shipley tallied up another first-place finish for the season, but he shared the podium with a different teammate than his usual counterpart Jerry Davis. Jared Jenkins took second, provig to be another example of how far the brand new diving program has gone in one season.

“The way the guys have swam this year has been huge,” coach Jim Vorhies said. “The two relay teams that we qualified, along with the first we took a Orchard Mesa, have the guys really excited for districts.”

Districts, or the Western Slope Championships, will be held Friday and Saturday at Ft. Lewis Natatorium in Durango. It is the absolute last chance the Bulldogs have to qualify any more swimmers to state.

To get ready for the championship blow-out, Moffat County has started its taper, working more on technique and less on endurance. A taper is done with the hope that swimmers will peak at regionals and at state.

Vorhies looks for his divers and a few individual swimmers to qualify at Durango.

“We’re a lot more focused this year going into districts,” said Olree. “We’ve just got to go in there worried about the clock, and let the rest take care of itself.”

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