Moffat County girls within seconds of state times after return to pool in opening meets
Moffat County High School girls swimming is already making waves.
MCHS aquatic athletes dove in with glee this weekend with back-to-back competitions giving them a showcase for their talents.
Friday saw the Bulldogs at the Delta Invitational, where they picked up third place in both the 200-yard medley and 200 freestyle relays.
The foursome of Katelynn Turner, Molly Neton, Alexa Neton and Kelsey McDiffett came close to reaching their previous bests in both the races, clocking in at 2:12.06 in the medley and 1:57.11 in the free, the latter of which the group competed in at the state championships for the 2017-18 season.
Individually, Molly Neton took fifth in Delta’s 100 free (1:04.34) with Turner seventh (1:06.35). The two also led in the 100 backstroke with fourth for Molly (1:13) — who went to state for the style last season — and eighth for Turner (1:20.52).
Alexa Neton earned eighth in the 500 free (6:34.39), while McDiffett took the bronze in the 100 breaststroke (1:25.97), in which she went to state last season, as well as 10th in the 200 individual medley (2:45.46).
Also ranking highly was Meeker’s Jeni Kincher for the Bulldogs, at fourth in the 50 free, trimming her personal best to 29.94 seconds.
Kincher also began the team’s second 200 free relay, as she, Alyssa Chavez, Anna Cooper and Ellina Jones gained seventh. Jones, Chavez, Kincher and Allison Jacobson were ninth in the 200 medley.
The following day in Grand Junction was all about the group effort with the Southwestern Conference Relay Meet, where MCHS placed seventh among 10 teams.
In placement, Bulldogs had their best results in the 200 butterfly/free relay, as the Netons, Turner and Chavez got third.
They also took fourth in the 200 back relay (Neton, Jacobson, Cooper Turner) and the 200 breast relay (McDiffett, Jones, Chavez, Kincher).
In the 200 medley and 200 free, the Netons, Turner and McDiffett garnered fifth in each race, bringing their season best in the 200 free down to 1:56.79, within less than one second from state qualification.
“Some really exciting moments,” said coach Meghan Francone. “We really cleaned up a lot of technical things. They’ve really come up to that challenge.”
While the seasoned swimmers got back into their patterns of success, Francone noted that freshmen Cooper and Mackenzie Anderson did great in their first competitions for Moffat County with no disqualifications for the relay meet.
“Mackenzie, she was directly under an official who watched her like a hawk, and she came out of it like a champ,” Francone said.
MCHS next swims Dec. 7 in Glenwood Springs, and Francone expects to see continued success as a few shifts in order for relays are on the docket.
“We’ve got girls who are really close (to state) in a lot of individual races, so we want to get them in all those races, too,” she said.