On your mark, restart, go | CraigDailyPress.com

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On your mark, restart, go

At Wednesday’s practice, the Moffat County boys swim team ran outside between intervals and dove through the snow.

“We’ve done seal slides every year since my freshman year,” senior Zach Vorhies said. “The last time we did it was a year ago.”

They had to do something with all of that pent-up energy from not competing since before spring break.

“(The meet this weekend) is almost like a restart of the season,” coach Jim Vorhies said. “They’re anxious to race again.”

The last time the Bulldogs raced was 2 1/2 weeks ago in Durango. By the time they put on the Speedos on Saturday, it will have been three weeks since they last competed.

“We’re excited,” Zach Vorhies said. “It will be the first week for a lot of the guys.”

The swim team had a great start during its first weekend. All three relays — the 200-meter medley, 200 freestyle and 400 freestyle — and two individuals — seniors Chris Compton, 100 backstroke and Nick Ruckman, 100 butterfly — qualified for state.

But it’s been awhile.

“I would have preferred our break to be a little later,” coach Vorhies said. “We’ve still got some kids catching up, but by districts we’ll be good.”

Senior Andy Key, one of the team’s best freestyle racers, is just getting his water form back after playing in the state basketball tournament.

Ruckman went on spring break to Costa Rica last week.

Senior Blake Worsley was in peak shape two weeks ago, when he raced in the Western State Sectionals in Seattle (which is a workout just to say five times fast).

All three of them are from different schools. Key is from Rangely, Ruckman from Meeker and Worsley is from Steamboat Springs. There also is Devin Gill-ette, who attends Hayden.

“It’s been a little sporadic with out-of-town kids,” coach Vorhies said. “But this weekend will be a good ice breaker.”

The Bulldogs (or the Cowboy/Panther/Sailor/Tiger/Bulldogs) are hosting one of their three home meets at 10 a.m. Saturday against Montezuma Cortez, Delta and a couple of swimmers from Grand Junction’s District 51.

Worsley is coming off swimming several lifetime bests in Seattle and is looking forward to seeing where he’s at right now.

“I tapered for that meet, so I’m starting over,” he said. “I’m really confident with my workouts, so I hope to swim well again.”

This is the first time Worsley has trained year-round. Coach Vorhies thinks that work will pay off.

“There’s a kid from Cheyenne Mountain who is a returning state champ,” the coach said.

“We’ll see him next week, and I think Blake will be up there right with him.”

For this week, coach Vorhies wants to get Worsley qualified for state in several events.

He also said that his son, Zach, should make the cut in the 100 breaststroke.

Zach took it a little further.

“I want to break the school record this weekend,” he said.

Senior Joe Hayes is out for his first high school sport. He’s looking forward to having his parents watch him.

“The last sport I was in was soccer, and that was several years ago,” he said. “The first meet we drove 10 hours to get to; we’ll be less tired this time.”

Coach Vorhies expects his boys to not look tired this weekend.

“This will be a good challenge for our B- and C-level swimmers,” he said.

“The competition won’t be that stiff for our other guys.”

Another rookie to home competition is junior diver Aaron Kaw–cak. He has received rave reviews from his teammates and will get to show what he has learned during his first month on Saturday.

“I hear he’s doing well,” said coach Vorhies.

“The general idea is to get as many guys qualified as we can for state.”

After the three-week layoff, the Bulldogs have six consecutive weekends of meets that conclude with the big show at state in Loveland.

“We’ll be working things around to see if we can sneak into the top three at districts,” coach Vorhies said.

“Then who knows at state, but this group of guys will do well, I’m sure.”

David Pressgrove can be reached at 824-7031 or dpressgrove@craig-dailypress.com.