Moffat County sends six swimmers to state |

Moffat County sends six swimmers to state

Elwood Shelton

There was a tie at the Western Slope Conference Swimming and Diving Championship in Durango on Saturday, though out there wasn’t a swimmer involved.

The three-way tie was for Conference Coach of the Year, and the Bulldogs’ Jim Vorhies walked away with a share of the honors.

“It’s great to receive an award like this,” Vorhies said. “Really it’s a reflection of the swimmers and the season they’ve had as well as what Lindsey Carl has done for the divers.”

The third year of Vorhies’ Moffat County coaching career not only yielded him Coach of the Year, but a fourth-place team finish as well. The Bulldogs also qualified six swimmers for this week’s state meet.

Along with the respectable showing at Durango and the state qualifications, Vorhies has also guided his swimmers to three new school records.

The 200-yard medley relay, Jeff Olree in the 100 breaststroke, and diver Jerry Davis broke the points record.

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The list of coaching achievements doesn’t stop there. All eleven of Vorhies’ swimmers qualified for the finals at the Conference meet, with most achieving a personal-best time.

“The guys have had a great season,” Vorhies said. “We’re more focused then we’ve ever been, and the boys’ technique is getting stronger all the time most of all these guys want to win.

“The thing that is really impressive is we’re a seasonal club and we’ve done all this.”

The ‘Dogs will be matched up against the cream of Colorado’s swimmers this Thursday and Friday at the state meet, held at the 10-lane, 25-yard Epic Pool in Ft. Collins.

The Bulldogs will send two relay teams to state, the 200 medley and the 200 freestyle. Both relay teams are made up of Olree, Danny Arnold, John Shipley and Parker Moore.

Davis will represent the Bulldogs in the diving events, and Kyle Eitel will travel as the alternate for both relay teams.

Olree is the only individual swimmer for Moffat County, qualifying in the 100 breaststroke.

Entering the home stretch for state has left the Moffat County swimmers on a more relaxed practice schedule. They have been working to peak the swimmers for this week’s meet.

While staying healthy may seem like the teams’ primary concern, a few swimmers see it as more of mental battle at this point.

“Right now we have to be mentally prepared,” Moore said. “It can be tough, because there’s a lot of waiting involved. You just have to try and relax, stay focused, and basically stay away from distractions.”

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