Back to state: Moffat County swimmer Molly Neton makes the cut in 2 races in Montrose
Moffat County High School girls swimming proved they were well ahead of schedule when they qualified for state in a Dec. 7 relay race, but the curve advanced all the more Saturday when one of their own made the cut in two more individual races.
MCHS’s Molly Neton gained 3A state times in both the 100-yard backstroke and 100 freestyle in the finals of the Montrose Invitational.
Molly gained a time of 1:01.4 in the 100 free, the seventh-best result across two days of preliminaries and finals — the fourth fastest individual after Grand Junction, Glenwood Springs and Gunnison competitors — to make it to state for the first time in the race.
She narrowly missed making it to state in the race last season.
“Last year I was two-hundredths of a second from getting it, so making it this time was really nice,” she said.
As for the backstroke, her 1:09.75 got her past the 1:10 state mark — ranking sixth altogether in Montrose — for her best this season, though she’s still chasing the 1:08.31 from the previous year.
She added that she is similarly close in the 50 free, only .08 seconds away from state, though she didn’t compete in the shorter race this weekend.
Molly and younger sister Alexa made it official for state during the Glenwood Demon Meet a week earlier along with Katelynn Turner and Kelsey McDiffett in the 200 free relay and knocked a little more time off their season best in the group race in Montrose to make their time 1:55.35.
The same quartet is still looking for a state time in the 200 medley relay, though a disqualification Friday in the prelims kept them out of the finals.
“They’re really cracking down on all the teams,” Molly said. “CHSAA’s changed it so they don’t have to have a dual confirmation and get another person to judge a disqualification. It’s a lot more difficult.”
Though she will already be joined at state by teammates, Molly said she expects her sister and Turner to make it in one of the freestyle races, as well as McDiffett in the breaststroke, which she made it to state in last year.
Alexa took ninth and Turner 11th in the 50 free at Montrose, with Turner eighth in the 100 free and McDiffett 10th in the 100 breast. Alexa Neton was seventh in the 200 free.
In her senior year, Molly said she and her fellow Bulldogs have already had to cope with plenty of changes with the shutdown of the MCHS pool, though they are making it work.
“It’s been pretty cool to see how we adapt,” she said.
It was one of the longest days Moffat County High School volleyball players have experienced this season, but by the end of Saturday, the effort was worth it all.