Back to state: Moffat County swimmer Cody Evaristo takes state-worthy time to start league championships |

Back to state: Moffat County swimmer Cody Evaristo takes state-worthy time to start league championships

Moffat County High School swimmer Cody Evaristo qualified for the state level in the 100-yard backstroke during Friday's Western Slope Conference Championships.
Andy Bockelman

Moffat County High School swim coach Meghan Francone has yet to see a season go by without an athlete making the cut for the state championships, and Bulldog athletes weren’t about to make it the first time.

MCHS’s aquatics program saw its first qualification for boys state, as Cody Evaristo recorded his best time this spring in the 100-yard backstroke, finishing fourth in his heat of Friday’s preliminary round of the Western Slope Conference Championships at 1:01.77 to beat the 1:02.5 standard for state.

After getting within a half-second of the qualifying time but still not quite getting past the minimum, Evaristo said he felt ready in every part of the race.

“My walls, I kept my streamline tighter, and my kicks,” he said, listing off all the factors he has to keep in mind to do well in such a brief period of time.

He added that his height hasn’t hurt him one bit in the style, while the pool at Colorado Mesa University tends to lend itself to good performances.

“This water doesn’t feel as thick as some of the other pools we’ve been to,” he said.

This is the second year in a row Evaristo has made it to state in the backstroke, and he aims to crack one minute this time.

“He’s got to work on that tempo under pressure, so we’ll see,” Francone said. “He’s been working really hard on it, he’s had a little mental block with it, but I’m excited to see he’s gotten past that.”

Evaristo’s backstroke also came in handy during the 200 medley relay, with the Bulldog foursome moving on to finals with their fastest time so far this year, trimming more than three seconds at 2:00.58.

Francone noted that between Nathan Cooper’s butterfly stroke, Chayton Owens’ freestyle and David Prescott’s breaststroke, the group stands a strong chance to make it to state during Saturday’s action.

“They are really close to state,” she said.

In his solo breaststroke race, Prescott will also progress to finals, cutting down to 1:14.47.

“He has come so far in that breast. It’s a very energy-taxing stroke,” Francone said. “He’s extremely coachable, and we were able to tweak it this week so he could take more time off. He likes being challenged like that.”

The 200 free relay will also be in the finals, down to a season-best 1:49.41.

“Very excited to see that the boys are tapering so well at this point in the season,” Francone said.

MCHS swimmers continue in the finals Saturday morning at CMU’s El Pomar Natatorium.

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