Strokes of genius |

Strokes of genius

Delay doesn't slow state-qualifying medley relay

An hour delay only built up the anticipation for the Moffat County High School’s 200-meter medley relay team.

“I think it just got us more pumped up,” junior Ashleigh McDonald said. “We were more ready.”

The medley is the first event of high school swim meets, and as everybody waited for a late Grand Junction Central team, the Bulldog relay was readying even more for a state-qualifying swim.

“Friday, I looked at the time and thought, ‘we can do that,'” McDonald said.

The team of freshmen Caitlin and Kelsey Conci, junior Katie Gainor and McDonald did do it.

They started the season’s only home meet of the season with a state-qualifying time of 2 minutes, 20.34 seconds. The qualifying standard is 2:20.63.

It was no secret around the pool about what had happened. The Bulldog teammates were jumping and hugging and screaming.

“That added such an adrenaline rush for everybody,” coach Jennifer Zimmerman said. “We put together that relay knowing they could be good enough to qualify the first time they swam together.”

The time was reached with Caitlin swimming the backstroke, McDonald the breaststroke, Gainor the backstroke and Kelsey the freestyle.

“We talked about them qualifying all week,” Zimmerman said. “It was great to get a qualifying time before break.”

The Bulldogs won all three relay events in the meet. The 200 freestyle team was made up of Caitlin and Kelsey Conci, sophomore Vanessa Murray and senior Sari Maneotis. The winning 400 freestyle relay team had Murray, Gainor, Maneotis and Caitlin Conci on it.

Moffat County finished second in the meet to Grand Junction 106-104. The Central team went first, second and third in the 500 freestyle event, which was just enough for the win.

Complete results for the Bulldogs were unavailable after the meet because Central accidentally took Moffat County’s totals instead of their own.

With the help of Zimmerman and several meet officials, most of the Bulldog’s top finishers were remembered.

Junior Brittnie Durham finished second in diving. McDonald was victorious in the 100 breaststroke. Kaitlin Conci won the 50 freestyle, finishing less than 1/10th of a second from a qualifying time.

Gainor was first in the 100 butterfly and Caitlin Conci was second. Caitlin Conci was also the winner of the 200 individual medley.

The home meet was the last competition for the Bulldogs before Christmas break.

“We’re still going to get them in the water over break,” Zimmerman said.

“Keeping them healthy but still in good shape is a goal during that time.”

David Pressgrove can be reached at 824-7031 ext. 211, or

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