Swimming laps around the competition
The first home swim meet was a memorable one for Moffat County senior Joe Hayes.
“I had just raced and I forgot I had put my shorts back on,” the first-year swimmer said. “I didn’t realize I had them on until they were around my feet and keeping me from kicking.”
Hayes was wearing shorts over his uniform for the first 15 meters of the 50-meter freestyle. The shorts were floating in the pool after the race was finished.
Hayes raced in two of the first four events and had to throw up after the short incident.
Hayes’ challenges weren’t representative of the overall efforts of the Bulldogs.
They won all 12 events, had six state-qualifying performances and outscored Montezuma-Cortez and several members of the District 51 team by more than 100 points.
“It’s the first time I’ve heard of us winning all events,” senior Zach Vorhies said. “It was a good meet.”
Vorhies’ thoughts about the meet may have been different if he had been asked immediately after the 400 freestyle relay.
He anchored the final event immediately after swimming the 100 breaststroke, which came two events after he was in the 500 freestyle.
“My arms were on fire,” he said. “The 500 killed me.”
Vorhies, senior Nick Ruckman and senior Blake Worsley won all four events in which they swam. Worsley one-upped the other two with four state-qualifying swims.
“That kid was amazing,” Vorhies said. “He’s just going to get better.”
The senior from Steam-boat Springs showed what swimming year-round can do.
As a junior, he didn’t qualify in any individual events for state. After last year, he trained throughout the summer, fall and winter, and in his first high school meet Saturday, he qualified in four individual events.
He qualified in the 200 individual medley, 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke.
He defeated teammate and three-time state qualifier senior Chris Compton in the backstroke by .64 of a second, the meet’s closest finish.
Worsley led off in the 200 freestyle relay and not only qualified, but broke a school record in the 50 freestyle with his swim.
By leading off a relay, the time swam can count toward an individual time.
“Next week, they’ll have more rest and the times will be faster,” coach Jim Vorhies said. “But it was a good start.”
Coach Vorhies shuffled some swim-mers in the re-lays to see whe-ther he could get them a trip to Loveland for state.
The plan worked in two of three relays.
Lee Laneau joined state veterans Compton, Vorhies and Ruck-man in the 200-medley relay for a qualifying time of 2 minutes, 2.45 seconds.
Abram Bologa swam in the 200-freestyle relay with Ruckman, Worsley and Andy Key to earn his first trip to state.
Next week,the Bulldogs will be on the Front Range at Cheyenne Mountain in Colorado Springs. More teams and competition will be there.
Junior diver Aaron Kawcak had no competition in his first full meet.
His score of 128.60 was 50 points away from a state-qualifying score.
Next week, he will perform 11 dives instead of the six he performed Saturday.
“It would have been nice to see how other divers did,” he said. “But for me, I did some things well that I can build on.”
Kawcak was back on the springboard after blacking out in his last practice after hitting the water hard while attempting a double somersault.
During the meet, he rotated too much on the dive, but he remembered it all so it was a better result than the last time he attempted it.
Other winners for the Bulldogs were: Key, 200 freestyle; Ruckman; 50 and 100 freestyle; 400 freestyle relay team (Kurschner, Compton, Vorhies, Laneau).
David Pressgrove can be contacted at 824-7031 or email@example.com
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