Bulldogs swim team places second in Montrose | CraigDailyPress.com

Bulldogs swim team places second in Montrose

John Vandelinder

— The Moffat County swim team competed in the Montrose Invitational on Friday and Saturday, traveling through Mother Nature’s wrath to come away with a second place finish in Montrose.

Weather played a large part in the event, as three of the scheduled nine teams canceled due to weekend snowfall.

Moffat County capitalized on their absence, as Genna Bradley captured first place in diving with a point total of 340.1, which also qualified her for the state championships.

“Genna was really impressive,” coach Marin Campbell said. “She pulled out her highest degree of difficulty dive and nailed it.”

Bradley’s previous personal best was 373 points last season, in the year’s second-to-last meet.

“I’m way ahead of schedule,” Bradley said. “There is less pressure on me now for the rest of the season’s meets. I hadn’t practiced my dive all summer. Thursday was the first day I practiced it, and it ended up coming through for me Saturday.”

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Bradley completed a back flip with a one and a half full twist, which earned her a 2.3-degree of difficulty on a scale of one and a half to three.

“Now I can work on my two harder dives that I’m preparing for state,” she said. “I’m not comfortable with them yet, so with the pressure of qualifying behind me, my goal is to perfect them.”

Twins Caitlin and Kelsey Conci were comfortable in the pool the entire weekend, sweeping all seven events they competed in.

Caitlin placed first in the 50, the 100 and 200-yard fly. Kelsey claimed the top spots in the 50- and 100-yard backstroke, the 100-yard freestyle and the 100-yard individual medley.

“Kelsey had absolutely no competition,” Campbell said. “She won all of her races by at least five seconds. I’m a bit disappointed some of the teams didn’t show up. I would have enjoyed the stronger competition.”

Campbell also pointed to the performances of Kelsey Pierson and Cameo Wilson as key to the team’s second-place finish.

Wilson had been dealing with a bad leg all week, not kicking a lot during practice. She regrouped to take three seconds off of her best time in the 100-meter freestyle and swam personal bests in the 50-yard free and 50-yard fly disciplines.

With the strength of the team being in the shorter disciplines, Campbell leaned on Pierson to anchor the Bulldogs in the longer events.

Pierson responded well, swimming 1,000 yards for the blue and white.

“We needed a presence in the longer events,” Campbell said. “Kelsey really stepped it up for us.”

Campbell left Montrose pleased with the team’s early season performance, although she hinted there is more work yet to come.

“We are exceeding our expectations this year already,” she said. “Now we are going to have to reassess our goals and bump them to a higher level.”