MCHS swimmers looking for relay success |

MCHS swimmers looking for relay success

Nate Waggenspack

Eryn Leonard (right) and Marlee Chacon start off the blocks at Moffat County swimming practice in the MCHS pool. The girls swimming team is competing at the Western Slope League relays today in Grand Junction.

The girls swimming team heads to its first big meet this weekend, on just the second weekend of the season.

Moffat County High School will compete at the Western Slope League Relay Meet today at Colorado-Mesa University in Grand Junction. While the Bulldogs will not be in the mix atop the standings, the meet will still serve as an indicator to how good this year's team could be.

Head coach Meghan Francone was excited about her team's increased numbers this season, because she felt it would translate to more success in relays by the time the postseason comes into play. Today's meet will be the team's first good indicator whether that's true.

"We won't have all of our girls at this meet," Francone said. "Some of our top swimmers won't be there, but it gives our swimmers who are newer an opportunity to step up and we'll see as coaches how they perform."

The Bulldogs swam in two meets last weekend, placing third out of five in Glenwood Springs and second in a tri-meet at Aspen High School.

Francone liked what she saw on weekend one.

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"They did well," she said. "It's always interesting to see the first meets of the year to see where our strengths and weaknesses are. But for first meets of the year, we were very, very happy."

The winner of both those meets was Montrose High School, which will one of the favorites at the WSL relays today.

While many of their points in the first two meets came from individual performances (Eryn Leonard, Allie Dilldine, Micah Espinosa and Bailey Kurz all had top-three finishes last week), that won't be an option this week. Every event is in teams of four.

That won't necessarily hurt the Bulldogs, though. In Aspen, they took second to Montrose in every relay and placed a second relay team in the top five in 200 freestyle and 200 medley relays.

In addition, the relay meet is a fun one that gives swimmers a chance to compete in events they won't see the rest of the year, because they are not events at the state championships.

"There's only three qualifying (Colorado High School Activities Association) relays," Francone said. "The 200 free, 200 medley and 400 free. We will do those and have an opportunity to qualify in those, but then they also have fun ones like a back-breast relay, or a crescendo where it's 50 (meters), 100, 150, 200.

"Not all the girls will be able to have a spot on a relay (later in the season), so it gives everyone a chance to try that."

Nate Waggenspack can be reached at 875-1795 or Follow Craig Daily Press sports coverage on Twitter at @CDP_Sports.