Sea Sharks prepare for final month |

Sea Sharks prepare for final month

Several swimmers practicing for postseason meets as season winds to an end

David Pressgrove

— The lanes at the Craig Swimming Complex have been less crowded this week.

But some Sea Shark swimmers still are making waves.

“We are down to the core of the swim team,” coach Meghan Francone said. “It’s the ones who have been here almost every single morning and put in the really hard work.”

With up to 70 swimmers in the pool at once for the 6:30 a.m. practices, Francone said the eight-lane pool was packed this summer.

Now, the swimmers still in the pool qualified for one of three postseason meets – the Western Slope Championships, the Junior Olympics (or statewide championship) or the Summer Club Championships.

“They’ll all be tapering soon,” Francone said. “The early-morning practices are hard on everybody, but they’ve been great.”

Among swimmers still practicing are the 9- and 10-year-old girl’s 200-meter freestyle relay. Laurel Tegtman, Ashlee Griffiths, Katelyn Peroulis and Lauren Samuelson combined to swim a Junior Olympic qualifying time this summer.

Caitlin and Kelsey Conci, who will be seniors at Moffat County High School, have also qualified for the JOs.

Francone said most of the 17 Sharks competing at the Western Slope Championships in Rangely this weekend (Friday through Sunday) are close to JO standards.

“Almost everybody is within a couple of seconds” of qualifying, she said. “It should be a fun and fast time.”

There will be a lot of familiar faces in Rangely.

“We’ve seen a couple of teams from the Front Range, but most of our competition throughout the summer is the teams that will be in Rangely,” Francone said.

With less than a month remaining in her first season as Sea Sharks coach, Francone said she’s had a fun summer.

“We had a great amount of swimmers and they were fun to be around,” she said. “I think the sport will continue to grow because the swimmers are bringing friends with them to meets and they’re having fun.”

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