Swim team close with third-ranked Demons
About halfway through the Moffat County High School-Glenwood Springs swim duel, Glenwood Springs coach Lynne Cassidy Swingert was a little nervous. Her third-ranked Demons were clinging on to a lead over the unranked Bulldogs, but it was a slight one.
“I don’t think she was expecting it to be that close,” said MCHS Coach Ed Stehlin. “There were several races that could have gone our way and just barely didn’t and that made for about a 15-point swing in her favor.”
When the final points were tallied, the score was farther apart than what Stehlin said it appeared. The Demons won the duel, 64-38.
The Bulldogs had three first-place finishes in the 12 event meet. Senior Chloe Gilchrist won the 200-meter individual medley with a time of 2:48.34. Senior Nicole Vorhies was the champion in the 500 freestyle and senior Jenna Waite was victorious in the 100 backstroke.
In each swimming event, there were two swimmers from each team and the Bulldogs only had one third/fourth-place finish as they finished in front of at least one Demon in every other race.
Stehlin said his relay teams continued to inch closer to state qualifying times. The 200 medley (Waite, Gilchrist, Kallie Murphy and Miranda Hillewaert) led off the meet with a second-place finish and a time of 2:22.22, two seconds from state qualifying. The second medley team for the Bulldogs (Vorhies, Jada Hastings, Cassie Owens, Sari Maneotis) finished in third – four seconds behind the Bulldogs top relay team.
In the 200 freestyle relay, the Bulldogs finished second and third again with the first team (Hillewaert, Owens, Murphy, Cara Conci) two seconds from qualifying with a 2:07.97.
The 400 freestyle relay team (Hillewaert, Gilchrist, Waite Julie Strahan) improved its swimming with a second-place finish and time of 4:45.78.
“At this point in the season, we just want to see improving times,” Stehlin said. “We had 15 more PRs and those weren’t just from our young swimmers, we had several among our veterans.”
One of the veterans Stehlin noted who swam well was senior Kallie Murphy, who swam to three personal records in the 100 freestyle, 100 breaststroke and 50 freestyle.
“I felt pretty good about my performance as well as the team,” Murphy said. “We swam faster this week, which is pretty good after how hard we worked last week in practice.”
Stehlin said he had given the team a hard workout Thursday and that made their swimming even more impressive.
“They had a long kick set on Thursday so they worked their legs a lot,” he said. “You could see toward the end of some of their races that they were losing their legs, but it’s early in the season and that’s a good thing.”
The team travels to the Montrose relays Saturday and Stehlin said he believed with their continued improvement, as well as the return of All-State swimmer Heather Whiting from injury, the Bulldogs would return with some state-qualified relay teams.
“Montrose is a fast pool and we keep improving to that time barrier,” he said. “With the return of Heather and the way the girls are swimming, we should swim some qualifying times.”
David Pressgrove can be reached at 824-7031 or email@example.com
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