MCHS boys swim relay teams qualify for state meet |

MCHS boys swim relay teams qualify for state meet

Joshua Gordon

As the Moffat County High School boys varsity swimming team approached its first meet of the season, the Bulldogs weren't sure how the year would turn out.

"Half of our 14 boys are freshmen who have never been in the water," coach Meghan Francone said. "They were afraid to put their faces in the water."

At the Grand Junction Relays on March 12, Francone's worries were put to rest, she said.

"The way they performed in their first meet was incredible," she said. "They improved so much in just two weeks of practice."

This year's team is the biggest boys swim team in the past decade at MCHS, Francone said.

While the new swimmers impressed with their improvement, some of the returning swimmers made big splashes in Grand Junction.

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Senior Charlie Griffiths, sophomore Matt Hulstine and junior John Kirk were all 4A state qualifiers last season.

They will be returning to the state meet again this year after putting up qualifying times in their first meet.

Griffiths, Hulstine and Kirk were joined by freshman Colter Tegtman in the 200-yard medley relay to swim a time of 1:56.85.

Their time came in just under the 4A state qualifying time of 1:57.00.

Rangely senior Justin Prosser, who swims for the Bulldogs, teamed up with Griffiths, Hulstine and Kirk in the 400-yard freestyle relay to qualify for state with a time of 3:47.52.

The 4A state qualifying time for the 400-yard freestyle relay is 3:51.00.

"I think it is huge to qualify in the first meet because it is a confidence builder for the rest of the team," coach Anita Reynolds said. "A lot of the new guys saw the older swimmers and it made them want to push harder to qualify for state as well."

The 200-yard freestyle relay composed of Griffiths, Hulstine, Tegtman and Prosser also posted a qualifying time at the meet, but was disqualified when their first leg flinched to start the race.

"The 200-yard freestyle relay swam a qualifying time, but it didn't count," Reynolds said. "They will get it next time."

Reynolds said newcomers such as Dalton Kendall, Tayler Slaugh and Michael Jurgensen had a big first meet.

"We can take two relay teams in each relay event," she said. "It gives the freshmen a high goal and they want to put a group together to qualify as well."

As the season progresses, Reynolds said the swimmers will get less apprehensive about being in the water and will learn better technique.

"We definitely need to work on endurance and get a lot better at technique," she said. "If we can work on different spots of their stroke and their mechanics, they will get more confidence in the water."

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Top MCHS boys swimming team finishers from the Grand Junction Relays on March 12:

(Name — event — place)

  • MCHS — 200-yard medley relay — 3

MCHS — 200-yard backstroke/breaststroke relay — 3

MCHS — 500-yard crescendo relay — 3

MCHS — 200-yard backstroke relay — 5

  • MCHS — 400-yard freestyle relay — 4
  • 4A state qualifier