Moffat County swimmers stay wily at Wildcat Invite
Even with unexpected changes, Moffat County High School swimmers have been coming through in the final weeks of the season.
MCHS took eighth place among teams at Saturday’s Wildcat Invitational, hosted by Fruita Monument, with shifts in some events giving younger Bulldogs the chance to step up as they dove in.
The varsity relay group was without Meeker swimmer Jeni Kincher during the meet thanks to an injured knee. However, coach Melany Neton worked Anna Cooper into the rotation for the team’s first race of the day, the 200-yard medley relay.
The result — the team’s fastest time yet this season in the medley.
Ellina Jones led off in the backstroke portion, Kelsey McDiffett swimming the breaststroke and Cooper the butterfly before Alexa Neton finished up in the freestyle.
“She swam a beautiful fly,” coach Neton said of Cooper’s leg of the race, which brought the season-best to 2:13.47, a full second faster than a week before in Gunnison and coming ever closer to the 3A state time of 2:10.
The medley group placed ninth in a sizable field, though the 400 free relay team of Jones, McDiffett and Neton were fourth with Sarah Johnson taking Kincher’s place in the lengthier effort.
Elsewhere, Jones overtook Kincher’s previous mark in the 100 free race, clocking in at a team best of 1:05.5 for ninth place at the Wildcat.
Alexa Neton outdid herself twice in both the 200 and 500 free events, placing eighth and ninth, respectively, leading the team in each at times of 2:22.34 and 6:35.26, while McDiffett stayed on par with past times in the 100 breaststroke and 100 fly at ninth and 11th.
In terms of personal bests, Johnson brought her times down in both the 50 free and 100 breast races, while the return of Alison Jacobson to the pool saw her hit her bests this year in both the 100 breast and 200 individual medley.
The 50 free event also saw Alexei Reyes trim more than six seconds from her best and Cristiann Reyes nearly two seconds, the best so far for each.
Among the biggest time drops for the day were the Bulldogs’ secondary relay teams — the 200 medley group of Eliana Mack, Johnson, Jacobson and Alexei Reyes were a full seven seconds faster to place 13th, while the 400 free grouping of Cooper, Jacobson, Mack and Cristiann Reyes took 14th to stay on track with the JV time set during Jan. 18’s Demon Invite.
Cooper, the Reyeses and Mack also set a new mark with 15th in the 200 free relay.
Bulldog swimmers will next head to Colorado Mesa University in the coming weekend for the Southwest Conference Championships, a two-day event that is their final opportunity to qualify for state in additional races, having already qualified in the 200 free relay and McDiffett solo in the 100 breast and 200 IM.