Moffat County swimmers take 3rd at Summit, keep moving toward state |

Moffat County swimmers take 3rd at Summit, keep moving toward state

Moffat County High School's Jaycee Holman swims with purpose during a team practice at the MCHS pool. The girls swim team recently placed third at the Summit Invitational and will attend a meet in Montrose on Friday.

Midway through their season, the members of the Moffat County High School girls swim team are getting stronger and stronger.

The Summit Invitational on Saturday saw great results for MCHS swimmers, who finished third overall as a team and picked up first-place honors in four events.

In the 200-yard freestyle relay, Micah Espinosa, Marissa Hulstine, Bailey Kurz and Alex Samuelson won with a time of two minutes, 3.21 seconds. Elsewhere, Kurz won the 200-yard individual medley at 2:48.91, Espinosa was first in the 100-yard breaststroke (1:22.44), and Alex Samuelson got the gold in the 50-yard freestyle (28.98).

The Bulldogs also got four second-place finishes as runners-up in the 100-yard butterfly (Jaycee Holman, 1:32.52); 200-yard IM (Allie Dilldine, 3:02.44); 200-yard medley relay (Kurz, Espinosa, Hulstine and Alex Samuelson, 2:19.62); and 400-yard freestyle relay (Dilldine, Holman, Espinosa and Natelyn Singleton, 5:11.95).

Additionally, Hulstine garnered two third-place wins in the 200- and 500-yard freestyle (2:28.01, 6:39.76), while Kurz took the bronze in the 100-yard backstroke (1:14.94).

Emma Samuelson, Karmen Christopher and Kayla Nash also contributed in events that saw the team get as high as fourth place and many members reached personal bests, shaving off seconds on their times as they work toward qualifying for the state event next month.

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"We're right there, man," said coach Jeff Wert, of the increasing chances for state. "The team is doing well, they're sticking together, and they're a great group of girls. They're pushing themselves as hard as they can."

This week, expectations during practices have intensified, and two sounds are prominent reverberating off the walls of the MCHS pool: splashing and Wert's voice reminding his team what's at stake.

Initially, this weekend was supposed to be a small home meet — the only one of the season — but instead, Moffat County girls will return to Montrose. Competing against larger schools brings out the best in the group, Wert said.

Kurz, an MCHS junior, agreed with this assessment.

"I think it'll be better for us to go against more teams, because our home meets are usually just one or two other teams," she said.

Kurz said her biggest challenge this year has been to maintain her endurance for the IM while still perfecting her technique in other events.

Qualifying for state in both individual events and relays would be ideal, said Alex Samuelson, but either would be good for her as she aims for a senior season complete with a trip to the big time.

"It's a big deal to qualify as a relay because it's more of a team thing, but it'd also be rewarding to do it in my own event," she said.

Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or or follow him on Twitter @CDP_Sports.

Moffat County High School swim results from Summit Invitational

Swimmer(s) — Time, Place

50-yard freestyle

Alex Samuelson — 28.98, 1

Emma Samuelson — 31.79, 6

Karmen Christopher — 36.87, 11

100-yard backstroke

Bailey Kurz — 1:14.94, 3

Natelyn Singleton — 1:21.37, 5

Allie Dilldine — 1:23.96, 6

100-yard breaststroke

Micah Espinosa — 1:22.44, 1

Emma Samuelson — 1:30.32, 4

Natelyn Singleton — 1:38.69, 5

100-yard butterfly

Jaycee Holman — 1:32.52, 2

100-yard freestyle

Alex Samuelson — 1:05.69, 4

200-yard freestyle

Marissa Hulstine — 2:28.01, 3

200-yard individual medley

Bailey Kurz — 2:48.91, 1

Allie Dilldine — 3:02.44, 2

Kayla Nash — 42.52, 16

500-yard freestyle

Marissa Hulstine — 6:39.76, 3

200-yard freestyle relay

Marissa Hulstine/Micah Espinosa/Bailey Kurz/Alex Samuelson — 2:03.21, 1

200-yard medley relay

Bailey Kurz/Micah Espinosa/Marissa Hulstine/Alex Samuelson — 2:19.62, 2

Allie Dilldine/Emma Samuelson/Jaycee Holman/Karmen Christopher — 2:43.12, 4

400-yard freestyle relay

Allie Dilldine/Jaycee Holman/Micah Espinosa/Natelyn Singleton — 5:11.95, 2

— Overall, the team finished third out of four in the meet.