Francone takes the reins |

Francone takes the reins

New MCHS swim coach primed for season

John Vandelinder

Meghan Francone

The Moffat County High School girls swimming team had to replace more than just the Conci sisters this past offseason.

The team also had to make an adjustment at the top when former coach Marin Campbell retired in February.

Meghan Francone was named head coach in June, jumping at the opportunity to take the reins of MCHS’ girls swimming program.

“I was officially named coach right after the boys (swimming) season,” Francone said. “It was an easy choice for me.”

Francone has been assistant boys coach for the past two years, and she coached the Craig Seas Sharks swimming program in 2007.

As a high school athlete in Sterling, Francone qualified for the state championships each of her four years in three sports: cross country, swimming and track, totaling a Sterling High School-record 12 state trips.

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Upon graduating from SHS, Francone attended the University of Northern Colorado, where she majored in speech language pathology and audiology.

Francone started swimming when she was six years old, and it stuck.

She attended seminars for prospective swimming coaches at UNC run by U.S.A. Swimming, with running a swimming program thoroughly fixed in her mind.

“I’ve always loved swimming,” Francone said. “It’s something I plan on being around my whole life.”

The Bulldogs head into the 2008-09 season without the staple of the program the past four years: the Conci twins – Caitlin and Kelsey – who came away with five top-20 finishes at the state finals last year – including a gold and silver medal.

Although the team returns just five starters this season, change is an attribute Francone said she embraces.

“This year is going to be all about team-worth,” she said. “I want the team to be able to have self-respect for each other and to learn self-discipline. I think everybody lives in the here and now, and now, I’m here for a reason.

“For the love of the team and the love of swimming.”

John Vandelinder can be reached at 875-1793 or