Backstroke latest entry in growing list of state qualifiers for Moffat County swimming
CRAIG — Even as the Moffat County High School boys swim team moves forward, going backward has its advantages.
MCHS’s Cody Evaristo checked off an individual state qualification during Friday’s Glenwood Springs Demon Invitational with a state-worthy time in the 100-yard backstroke at 1:02.41, just past the 1:02.50 needed to qualify. Besides getting his best time to date — as did teammate John Cutler, in sixth — Evaristo earned third in the race for the second straight week.
The Bulldogs, who were third, overall, behind the hosting Glenwood squad and the District 51 crew, had their best placement in the 100 breaststroke, as Steamboat Springs’ Brooks Birkinbine got the silver after a week off from the sport.
The breaststroke is one of three solo events in which Birkinbine has achieved state times, including the 200 and 500 freestyle, as well as the 200 medley relay with Evaristo, Jacob Briggs and Nathan Cooper, and the 200 free relay with Briggs, Cooper and David Prescott.
Taking on the lengthy group effort of the 400 free relay were Birkinbine, Briggs, Prescott and Brandon Beason, who turned in the team’s best time of the season, 3:57.51, and placed fourth.
Prescott, Birkinbine, Evaristo and Briggs also took third in the Demons’ 200 free relay, while Evaristo, Ethan Powers, Beason and Cutler took fifth in the medley.
Briggs, who also dove back in after a week’s vacation, took the bronze in the 100 free at Glenwood, seeking to make it to state after also qualifying in the 50 free earlier in the season. Birkinbine followed in fifth in the 100, Prescott 10th, Cutler 11th, Beason 12th and Ethan Powers 14th.
Prescott was sixth in the 50 free, Ethan Powers 12th, Karson Cox 13th and Derek Powers 16th.
In the 200 free, Briggs was fourth, Evaristo fifth and Cox eighth.
MCHS swimmers will next take on the Western Slope Conference Championships May 11 and 12.
With players finding themselves in new parts of the field Saturday afternoon, the Moffat County High School soccer team had more than a few difficulties against its latest opponents, though if there was one takeaway for their coach it was the benefit of Bulldogs getting new perspectives.