Moffat County swimming ready for league meet | CraigDailyPress.com

Moffat County swimming ready for league meet

Nate Waggenspack

Dean Wagner pushes through a butterfly lap at Moffat County practice Thursday. The Bulldogs are headed to the Western Slope League meet this weekend, the final meet of the season for several MCHS swimmers.

— Moffat County will not be a factor in the team-scoring contests the rest of this swimming season, but the Bulldogs still have a chance to make some serious noise in the final two weekends.

The Bulldogs head to the Western Slope League Championships in Grand Junction this weekend before going to the 4A state meet May 16 and 17. The WSL meet is the final chance to swim a state-qualifying time or to improve on what they've done so far. Without a focus on scoring points or winning the meet, that improvement is the focus for the Bulldogs, Chris Kling said.

"We really just want to cut as much time as possible," he said. "So you go into (your race) trying to win your heat or swim a great time."

In the two-day meet, swimming well Friday is important. The top 16 swimmers in each event get to come back and swim again Saturday, with the top eight competing for the league championship and times nine through 16 swimming a consolation final. Even making the consolation final is valuable, as it gives those swimmers a chance to swim again and possibly drop enough time to get a state qualifier.

"It's all about state now," coach Anita Reynolds said. "The faster the time you swim, the higher seed you get at state, the better chance you have of coming back and swimming Saturday at state."

Most of the Bulldogs' times entering the league meet are in the top 16, so as long as they can match or better their previous efforts, they should be safe to make the finals Saturday. Senior Dalton Kendall is starting the meet with the best 50 freestyle time and will try to maintain his spot as a Western Slope champion.

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To prepare for their final competitions of the season, the swimmers’ training has changed this time of year. They have entered into a taper this week, transitioning from the high lap count they went for earlier in the season.

"Instead of the endurance stuff we were doing before, now it's something fast, then a long break," Kling said. "We want to get our bodies acclimatized to sprinting."

That type of training is valuable because it resembles the type of swimming athletes do at a meet, with maximum effort during their events, then time to rest between swims, Reynolds said.

"We up the intensity of the sets and then taking longer rest," she said. "You get the lactic acid up, get the heart rate up. That's the best way to have them primed for these meets."

Contact Nate Waggenspack at 970-875-1795 or nwaggenspack@CraigDailyPress.com. Follow him on Twitter at @CDP_Sports.