Diving into season | CraigDailyPress.com

Diving into season

Swimming

John Vandelinder

— Moffat County girls swim coach Marin Campbell has her work cut out for her this season.

Campbell lost five swimmers in the off-season, a considerable amount considering the team roster is set this year at 14 athletes.

“It’s hard to replace experience,” Campbell said. “We only have three returning seniors. It should be an interesting year.”

Leading the way for the Bulldogs will be twin sisters Caitlin and Kelsey Conci. The duo have had success together throughout their swimming careers, and this year will be their last chance to swim in the state championships together.

They will be splitting up when the year is over. Kelsey has signed a letter of intent with the University of Wyoming. Caitlin has agreed to swim at the University of North Dakota.

Behind the two seniors are Natasha Romney and Genna Bradley. Romney excels in the breaststroke, and Bradley is the team’s diving specialist.

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“This year, we are focusing on qualifying our relay teams for state.” Campbell said. “We will then focus on qualifying a few more individuals. Everyone will get the chance to improve this season.”

Swimming participants can qualify for the state tournament at any point during the swimming season.

“Everything we do here goes by time,” Campbell said. “We practice cutting off the flaws in stroke technique to make sure we are not wasting any energy. We need to apply that energy to go fast.”

Campbell said the beauty of swimming is that it’s “goal based.”

“No matter the level you are at as a swimmer,” she said, “there are many different dimensions in which you can improve.”

The girls on the Moffat County swim team are “really close and supportive of each other,” Campbell said. “They love the sport they compete in. Of course we are out to win, but we have a lot of fun, too.”

Swimmers to watch:

– Kelsey Conci (senior) – placed second in the 50-meter freestyle and third in the 100-meter backstroke at last year’s state championships.

– Caitlin Conci (senior) – placed ninth in the 100-meter butterfly at last year’s state championships.

Teams to watch:

– Montrose and Durango. Both teams qualified several swimmers to last season’s state championships and return many of those athletes to the pool this year.

Dates to circle on the schedule:

– Dec. 7 and 8. – Moffat County visits Montrose Invitational. Montrose is a top-notch team that should provide a great early season measuring stick for the Bulldogs.

– Jan. 5 – The Bulldogs host Delta, Palisade, Grand Junction Central and Glenwood Springs. The Bulldogs won 10 events at their lone home meet of the season last year.

Team information

– League: Western Slope League – class 4A

– Coach: Marin Campbell

– Years at Moffat County: one

– Returnees: 5

– Swimmers lost: 5

Roster

– Miranda Blomquist

– Genna Bradley

– Danielle Brockman

– Caitlin Conci

– Kelsey Conci

– Kelly Cooper

– Katherine Dodd

– Samantha Dulmaine

– Megan Knez

– Mary Penner

– Kelsey Pierson

– Natasha Romney

– Clare Sorrentino

– Cameo Wilson