Swimmers ahead of schedule with win | CraigDailyPress.com

Swimmers ahead of schedule with win

Compared with times from last year, the Moffat County girls swim team is already in January.

The Bulldogs swam three state-qualifying times Friday at the Moffat County pool in a dual against Grand Junction Central. Last year, the first qualification didn’t come until after winter break.

“It takes some pressure off to qualify so early,” said sophomore Kelsey Conci, who was a part of all three qualifications. “In the past, teams haven’t qualified for state until the regional.”

Conci qualified in the 50-meter freestyle with a time of 29.43 seconds. She joined her twin sister, Caitlin, and seniors Katie Gainor and Ashleigh McDonald to qualify for state in the 200-medley relay. The other qualification came in the 200 freestyle relay with both Concis, Gainor and junior Vanessa Murray.

“It’s great to qualify so early,” coach Jennifer Zimmerman said. “It allows flexibility in other events for us the rest of the year, and it takes pressure off of them, but I think they’ll still pressure themselves to improve.”

The Bulldogs won nine of the 12 events and won the dual, 165-80, against Central.

“It’s good to get a win under our belt,” Zimmerman said. “If we swim like we did (Friday), we could pick up another win (today).”

Moffat County divers Putt Slonksnes and Tiffany Woodbury competed in their first individual competitions Friday night. Slonksnes won the competition with 109 points, and Woodbury earned 63.05 points.

“Both divers are putting their best effort into everything,” coach Dave Fix said. “This is the second year we’ve taken divers from zero experience into competition. They are a lot further along than last year’s group.”

The Bulldogs finished first in all three events in which they qualified for state. Other first-place finishes were: Alyssa Pierson, 200 freestyle; Gainor, 200 individual medley; Caitlin Conci, 100 backstroke; McDonald, 100 breaststroke; 400 freestyle relay (Meghan Innes, Pierson, Clarissa Dilldine, Katie Knez).

Today, the Bulldogs try to continue their improvement with a meet against Glenwood Springs, Aspen and Central.

“With more competition, I think the girls will swim even faster Saturday,” Zimmerman said. “We’ll change some things around tomorrow and see if we can get some of our other swimmers who are close to qualify.”

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