Times keep plunging for Moffat County swimming at state preliminaries | CraigDailyPress.com

Times keep plunging for Moffat County swimming at state preliminaries

Moffat County High School swimmer Alexa Neton kicks up a wall of water in her final turn during the 200-yard freestyle relay race at Southwestern Conference League Championships. The relay team of Alexa and Molly Neton, Kelsey McDiffett and Katelynn Turner lowered their time even further during the state championship preliminary round.

Despite uncertainty about the future of their team, Moffat County High School girls swimming stayed focused and speedy Thursday in Thornton during the preliminary round of the 3A CHSAA State Championships.

The MCHS 200-yard freestyle relay set another season best as the top-tier competition commenced, hitting a time of one minute, 54.95 seconds.

Sisters Molly and Alexa Neton, Kelsey McDiffett and Katelynn Turner attended the championships on behalf of MCHS, with Alyssa Chavez and Meeker’s Jeni Kincher alternates for the Bulldogs.

The race began and ended with the Netons as Molly dove in for the start.

“There was a lot of pressure, but it all worked out really good,” Molly said.

McDiffett swam the second leg and Turner the third, while Alexa brought it home as the group’s anchor as they placed 20th among 26 teams.

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“All the girls worked really tightly together,” Turner said of their fastest finish yet in the relay.

The placement was the best of the day for the Bulldogs though not the only race in which they lowered their times.

McDiffett began the day in the 200 individual medley, shattering her best time by nearly four seconds, clocking in at 2:31.87 for 26th in a field of 38.

She later ended the day in the 100 breaststroke, keeping pace with her seed time of 1:18.38, finishing at 1:18.66 and ranked 25th of 33.

In the 100 backstroke, Molly Neton didn’t quite reach the same personal best 1:08.31 she hit at the previous weekend’s league meet, but maintained a time of 1:09.36 for 28th of the 34 state qualifiers.

“It was a slower pool than Mesa, so a lot of people were adding times,” she noted of the difference between Thornton’s Veterans Memorial Aquatic Center and Colorado Mesa University’s El Pomar Natatorium.

Though MCHS remained short of qualifying for finals, the positive results were a welcome respite from the difficult news earlier in the week.

The team learned that a time hit at the Southwestern Conference League Championship believed to be a school record in the 200 free relay was inaccurate. The record of 1:50.45 was set in 2006 during the state meet but was never acknowledged on the pool’s record board.

“As a team, we would not want to discount what the previous relay team accomplished,” coach Meghan Francone said.

Even more troublesome information that hit swimmers was the news that the MCHS pool facilities will close later this year, with the girls and boys swim teams afloat as a result.

Francone said swimmers surged past the potential downer to give some of their best performances of the season.

“Talk about true strength for an athlete,” she said. “Resilience was their goal today, and they definitely proved they could still show they were Moffat County proud.”