Moffat County’s Matt Hulstine qualifies for 4A state swim meet |

Moffat County’s Matt Hulstine qualifies for 4A state swim meet

Joshua Gordon

Matt Hulstine

Over the weekend, Matt Hulstine, a Moffat County High School sophomore, qualified for the 4A state swim meet in May.

On Monday, he was humble about the achievement.

"It felt good because it was another event to go to state in," he said.

At the Montrose Invitational on March 18 and 19, Hulstine swam the 100-yard breaststroke in 1 minute, 4.02 seconds, coming in almost five seconds under the 1 minute, 9 seconds needed to qualify for state.

Hulstine said the event has been his strongest throughout his swimming career.

"Since I started swimming in about second grade, the breaststroke has been my main stroke," he said. "I like it the best and I do it better than any of the other strokes."

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In last year's 4A state swim meet, Hulstine placed 15th in the 100-meter breaststroke.

He is already part of the MCHS 200-yard medley relay and the 400-yard freestyle relay, both of which qualified for the state meet March 12 in Grand Junction.

Despite the success, Hulstine said he still has room for improvement.

"When guys beat me, it usually comes off turns, so I want to work on turns," he said. "I can also improve on my streamlines to get tighter and more narrow off the wall."

Hulstine lead the MCHS boys varsity swimming team to a seventh-place finish out of eight teams at the invitational.

Coach Meghan Francone said the team was without seven swimmers due to injuries and previous commitments, which brought the team's point total down.

Still, Francone said the team took advantage of the weekend.

"I think Montrose was a great learning experience for the team," she said. "We have a lot of young guys who have only been through one real meet."

Francone said swimmers such as sophomore Zach Ahlmer have made big strides in the pool.

"Zach has done a phenomenal job and you can tell he wants to cut time," she said. "To come to practice is one thing, but to come and want to improve makes such a difference, and Zach is one of those swimmers.

"He is willing to learn and then apply."

Ahlmer, who is in his first year on the MCHS team, said he notices the improvement.

"I know I have been shaving seconds off my races," he said. "I am in a lot better shape and I am starting to get my technique down, which will cut off even more time."

Ahlmer said his goal for the season is to qualify for state.

"I think my best event is the 100-yard freestyle," he said. "If I can keep cutting time, my ultimate goal is to swim at state."

Francone said the team would work this week on turns, something that has held the Bulldogs back thus far this season.

"We have a lot of height on the team, but we aren't utilizing it," she said. "The turn drills will help cut times and help techniques."

The team swims next at 4 p.m. today in Grand Junction.

Coach Anita Reynolds said the team has no reason to worry about times.

"I am very proud of the team because they step up when they need to," she said. "The guys' times are right where they need to be at this point in the season."

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Individual Moffat County High School boys varsity swimming results from the Montrose Invitational on March 18 and 19:

(Name — event — time — place)

• MCHS — 200-yard freestyle relay — 1:43.88 — 7

• MCHS — 200-yard medley relay — 1:57.37 — 9

• MCHS — 400-yard medley relay — 4:43.62 — 9

• MCHS — 400-yard freestyle relay — 4:14.46 — 13

• Matt Hulstine — 100-yard breaststroke — 1:04.02 — 3*

• Matt Hulstine — 200-yard breaststroke — 2:24.96 — 3

• Matt Hulstine — 200-yard individual medley — 2:16.92 — 6

• Matt Hulstine — 100-yard individual medley — 1:05.13 — 6

• Colter Tegtman — 50-yard breaststroke — 34.44 — 8

• Colter Tegtman — 100-yard backstroke — 1:09.14 — 15

• Charlie Griffiths — 200-yard freestyle — 2:14.98 — 10

• Charlie Griffiths — 50-yard freestyle — 26.68 — 13

• Charlie Griffiths — 500-yard freestyle — 6:39.14 — 15

• Kevin Murray — 50-yard butterfly — 31.20 — 11

• Dalton Kendall — 50-yard backstroke — 36.37 — 17

• Dalton Kendall — 100-yard freestyle — 1:07.88 — 18

  • 4A state qualifier