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Swim team already ahead of record pace last season

David Pressgrove

Going into the season-opening swim meet at Breckenridge, Moffat County High School girls coach Ed Stehlin had two hunches that his team was swimming well for so early in the season and that senior Jenna Waite should swim freestyle for the first time in two years.

Both hunches proved to be correct.

“We are swimming at the level where we were at mid-season last year,” he said. “Watching Jenna in practice, she looked strong in the free so I asked her if she would just try it in the first meet.”

Waite,, who switched from freestyle to backstroke her sophomore year, and senior Miranda Hillewaert were within one second of qualifying in the 50-yard freestyle with respective times of 28.1 seconds and 28.2 seconds.

Waite and Hillewaert teamed with seniors Kallie Murphy and Chloe Gilchrist for a seventh-pace finish in the 200 medley relay that was 1.8 seconds from qualifying for state.

The other two relay teams the 200 freestyle of Hillewaert, Danyelle Harmon, Julie Strahan and Cara Conci, and the 400 freestyle of Nicole Vorhies, Conci, Strahan and Gilchrist finished sixth and fifth respectively, with the 200 freestyle three seconds from a state qualifying time.

The top individual finishes for MCHS were from senior diver Janie Dunckley and Murphy in the 100 breaststroke with sixth place finishes.

“Our sprints were strong,” Stehlin said.

“Swimming at 9,000 feet though, our distance races struggled, but they’ll come along at lower elevations and later in the season.”

Other top-10 finishes for the Bulldogs came from Strahan and Vorhies in the 200 freestyle, Gilchrist in the 200 intermediate, Murphy in the 100 freestyle, Gilchrist in the 500 freestyle and Waite in the 100 backstroke.

In the process of swimming 15 personal bests, the Bulldogs finished seventh in a 12-team field that consisted of Class 4A’s third-ranked Glenwood Springs and fourth-ranked Golden as well as 5A Grand Junction.

“Glenwood swam away with the meet and they are going to be pretty tough,” Stehlin said.

“By the time February rolls around, we’ll be a pretty salty team ourselves.”

David Pressgrove can be reached at 824-7031 or dpressgrove@craigdailypress.com.


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