Moffat County swimmers chart return to state | CraigDailyPress.com

Moffat County swimmers chart return to state

Back in November, Jeff Wert had just gotten his feet wet as a Moffat County High School swimming coach, and he's ready to push forward into another season in the pool.

The MCHS boys swim team begins their season this week, as the aquatic athletes make their way toward greatness starting with a relay event at Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction.

The team has spent the past two weeks readying for the weeks ahead, their roster a mixture of young and experienced, including Chris Kling, Jesse Kurz, Daniel Rockwell, Wes Atkin, Jeremy Looper, Glen Dilldine and Jacob Briggs.

Regardless of their experience, all have shown dedication in

"Every day, they've been here working hard every practice," Wert said. "You have to be self-motivated in this sport, and they're doing everything I say and coming together."

The seven Bulldog swimmers will also be joined this year by Steamboat Springs' Sean Portman and Brenden Carta.

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Another swimmer from Rangely was going to join, as well, but opted to run track.

Carta attended state last year with the team and he and Portman both regularly swim for Steamboat's club team, Wert said.

After coaching the girls team this winter, Wert feels more confident in advising the boys in the pool.

"Now that the season's started, it's gonna go fast, so we have to make sure we're focused, and we're ready to go each week," he said.

Kling and Rockwell are the only two MCHS seniors on the team, and Carta is also an upperclassmen.

Kling and Kurz, a junior, were part of last season's 200-yard freestyle relay team at the state meet along with Carta and then-senior Dalton Kendall.

Kurz and Kling each fully expect to visit state again, the challenge being how soon they'll qualify.

"Hopefully it's within the first three meets," said Kling with confidence.

Kling aims to make it to state in the 200-yard freestyle relay and the 200-yard freestyle individual, while Kurz's goal is to get his best times in the relay, and the 50- and 100-yard freestyle.

Working out some of the bugs in teammates' technique is part of the responsibility of the veteran swimmers, Kurz said.

"Sometimes we'll look over when we're swimming and see something with the breathing, and we'll try to help them then," Kurz said.

However, neither wants to come off too overbearing.

"For the most part, we'll let them try to stick with it just to get their endurance up," Kling said.

Though the entire team has done well so far it's hard to judge who has the potential to take it all the way in competition, he added.

"Only the season will tell," Kling said.

Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or abockelman@CraigDailyPress.com or follow him on Twitter @CDP_Sports.

Moffat County High School boys swim team schedule

Date(s), Meet

March 7, Grand Junction Relays at Colorado Mesa University

March 13, Montrose Invitational

March 28, Fruita Dual

April 11, Grand Junction Invitational

April 17 to 18, Jeffco Invitational

April 24 to 25, Mustang Invitational

May 2, Glenwood Springs Invitational

May 8 to 9, League Championships at Colorado Mesa University

May 15 to 16, State

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