Moffat County swim relay team rallies to qualify for state at Glenwood meet
GLENWOOD SPRINGS — If there’s one thing Moffat County High School swimmers have learned in the past year, it’s that there’s no time to waste to get where you want to go, a mindset that served them well Friday afternoon.
After three meets, the MCHS girls aquatics team is already state-bound after reaching a qualifying time for February’s 3A championships during the Glenwood Springs Demon Meet.
It’s back to the big time for Kelsey McDiffett, Katelynn Turner, Molly Neton and Alexa Neton, whose 1:55.4 in the 200-yard freestyle relay earned them third overall in the day’s group race as well as a slot at state by beating out the requisite 1 minute, 56 seconds.
The same foursome swam the relay at state last season, and their best time so far this winter was less than a half-second behind the best they set for themselves (1:54.95) to conclude the 2017-18 schedule.
Bulldogs achieved their state quals late in the season last year — including the 200 free relay, 200 individual medley, 200 breaststroke and 100 backstroke — and with one race already down at this point, Turner expects there’ll be more to come from the team.
“It was tough, but we finally got it and made the cuts we needed from last weekend,” she said.
With new season bests set throughout the Glenwood meet, swimmers were narrowing the gap more and more to get closer to state in individual races.
At fifth place in the 50 free, Alexa Neton’s 29.08 got her all the closer to the short race’s 27.8 standard. She also is eyeing the 200 free individual race where she placed 10th Friday.
Sister Molly also is on track to be back in the mix at state in the 100 back, sixth in Glenwood at 1:11:95 to get nearer the 1:10 needed.
Besides being the only member of the team to swim the 100 butterfly race this season — placing eighth Friday — McDiffett was fifth in the 100 breast at 1:23.47, within three seconds of returning to state.
McDiffett and Molly will also both be looking at making it in the 200 IM, as the senior Neton set the new season low for the one-girl medley at 2:41.07 to get moving toward state’s 2:36.
The McDiffett/Turner/Neton/Neton combination in the 200 medley relay is also setting hopes on state, ranking fifth in Glenwood at 2:14.33.
MCHS swimmers had new season bests and marks to beat across the board — Turner (100 back); Alyssa Chavez (100 breast); Ellina Jones (50 free, 200 IM); Allison Jacobson (100 free, 100 breast); and Mackenzie Anderson in the 100 free.
Anderson and Anna Cooper are the newest members of the team as freshmen, and the two are advancing rapidly week by week.
Even as she gains proficiency in the sport, particularly the freestyle motion and backstroke, Anderson said she feels right at home in the group.
“I really love it,” she said. “I just feel like the whole team makes me feel so good about myself.”
With Moffat County High School varsity football yet to compete on their own home field, the Bulldog Proving Grounds have nonetheless already hosted a pair of MoCo victories this season.