Moffat County swimmers balance competition with service work
As the final stretch of the season comes up, Moffat County High School swimmers are keeping pace as they refocus their efforts in the pool and within the community.
MCHS girls finished fifth Saturday at the Glenwood Springs Demon Winter Invite, narrowing down their finishes in multiple races as they look toward the league finals and beyond.
Alexa Neton continues to chase state qualification in the 50- and 200-yard freestyle events, gaining the team’s best results of the season to date in each during the weekend, placing eighth in the 50 with a time of 28.92 seconds and sixth in the 200, 2:22.28.
She is just over one second from the 3A state time of 27.8. In the 50, Katelynn Turner placed 11th and Jeni Kincher 13th, with Alyssa Chavez and Ellina Jones each hitting their fastest times in 19th and 21st.
Mackenzie Anderson likewise hit her best time in the 200 in 19th, and Jones reached a best in the 100 free at 1:10.31 and 18th place, with state-qualifier Molly Neton ranking 11th.
Kelsey McDiffett got back in the swing of things in the 100 butterfly for the first time since the team was in Glenwood in December, trimming about 1.5 seconds for 1:17.15 and seventh place. She also gained her best time of the season in the 200 individual medley (2:38.94) for fifth, with Molly Neton right behind in sixth (2:40.14).
At 12th and 3:22.04 in the 200 IM, Allison Jacobson chopped a full 15 seconds off her last time in the race in November.
Turner led the team with 11th in the backstroke, in which Chavez and Anderson each hit their season bests, while Kincher brought her time in the 100 breaststroke to a personal best 1:29.56.
In relays, Kincher, Jacobson, Jones and Chavez were the lone Bulldog foursome in the 200 free, placing eighth (2:09.76).
Having already clinched state in the free event, Turner, McDiffett and the Netons placed seventh (2:15.99) in the medley, in which Anderson, Kincher, Chavez and Jones were 11th (2:34.58).
However, it was the 400 free relay where the team saw its best placement, as Turner, McDiffett and the Netons were fifth (4:21.2).
“We had some great cuts by girls, and we still have our sights set on qualifying two more relays for state and some more individual events,” coach Meghan Francone said.
Swimmers will have a week off from competition as they keep up with their training leading up to the Southwest Conference Championships Feb. 1 and 2 at Colorado Mesa University.
Apart from the water, MCHS girls spent last week volunteering as well as practicing. The team performed a clean-up of the Craig Fire/Rescue facilities, with firefighters later providing a tour of the headquarters.
“We are grateful to the fire department to allow us to come in and give back in a very small way,” Francone said.