Fort Collins As the level of competition rose Thursday at the 4A state championships swim meet in Fort Collins, the times for Moffat County High School boys swim team seemed to drop.
All five Bulldog swimmers recorded personal best times in the preliminary individual and relay events at the Edora Pool Ice Complex in Fort Collins.
"I think I was more nervous than they were," MCHS coach Patti Worsley said.
"I was asking myself 'did they taper enough? Are they ready?'"
Judging by the deluge of personal record times, the answer appears to be a resounding and emphatic yes.
The 400-yard relay squad of Tyler Kalsow, Andrew Aultman, Kyle Steitz and Cole Worsley continued to cut chunks off their time.
After dropping three seconds off their previous best last week at regionals, the Bulldogs cut off six more seconds Thursday afternoon.
The teen quartet was seeded in the race based on their personal best time of 3 minutes, 39.97 seconds, and then went out and clocked 3:33.75 to end the first day of competition.
Cole Worsley, one of two Bulldog swimmers who attends Steamboat Springs High School, used his fastest 50-yard freestyle ever (22.13 seconds) to land himself in first place after the preliminary round.
Kalsow clocked a personal best time of 23.54 after being seeded in the first round of competition in 23.97 seconds.
"My mom told me Tyler's time, and I didn't want him to beat me," Cole Worsley said.
The 200 free relay of Kalsow, Trenton Taylor, Steitz and Cole improved their time by three seconds.
The foursome was seeded in their heat with a time of 1:37.92, and improving their time, stroking 1:34.83 for 11th place.
"Isn't this amazing?" Patti Worsley exclaimed with a large smile afterward.
Steitz, another Steamboat Springs High School student, was pumped up after helping the team.
"It was fun," Steitz said. "We were excited before the race. My main motivation was to advance to the finals Friday. This atmosphere is just awesome."
The top 16 teams advance to Friday's finals.
In the 100 free, Cole came in first place overall in the preliminaries with a time of 48.02 seconds. He entered the race seeded in a time of 49.22
Cole said the pool was a contributing factor to his improved time.
"In some pools, you just feel slow, but this one gives you a fast feeling," Cole said.
Today, Cole - in 50 free and 100 free - the 200 free relay and the 400 free relay advance to the final day of 4A state competition.
Drew Turner can be reached at 824-7031, ext 211, or email@example.com