Whiting, teammates find success at Western Slope champs

Small group of local swimmers now turn attention to Junior Olympics

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Heather Whiting was happy with her two first-place finishes at last weekend's Western Slope Championships in Montrose, but the 13-year-old Steamboat swimmer realizes that time is running out.

"My goal is to make it to the consolation heat at this weekend's Junior Olympic Championships and hopefully make my zone times," Whiting said.

Whiting is one of six local swimmers who will head to Denver this weekend to swim in the Junior Olympic Championships. She joins Blake Worsley and Kyle Steitz as the team's only competitors in individual events.

Whiting will also be teamed up with Christina Roberts, Korie Steitz and Hanna Gary on a relay team that will compete in the individual medley.

"It' really nice to go to the Junior Olympics as part of a team,' Whiting said. "Normally you are all by yourself it's a lot more fun to go with friends."

For many of the members of the local swim team, the Western Slope Championships marked the end of the season.

A few will go to this weekend's Junior Olympic Championships and a few more swimmers will advance to the Silver State Championships, scheduled for the following weekend.

Whiting highlighted last weekend's results by winning the 100-meter breaststroke with a time 1 minute, 22.03 seconds and the 200-meter breaststroke with a time of 3:01.35.

She was also eighth in the 100-meter backstroke, fourth in the 200-meter individual medley and seventh in the 50-meter freestyle, eighth in the 100-meter freestyle and second in the 100-meter butterfly.

"The competition was pretty tough in some of the events," Whiting said. "I'm pretty happy overall, but I know I can do even better."

Other top finishes included the girls 13-14 400-meter medley relay team, which qualified to swim in this weekend's championships. That squad of Steitz, Whiting, Gary and Roberts finished with a time of 5:24.55, beating the qualifying time of 5:40.89.

Steamboat's 10-and-under 200-meter freestyle relay team topped its division, but just missed qualifying for the junior Olympic.

The Steamboat team of Steitz, Michael Weston, Charlie Stoddard and Coleton Worsley came from behind to win the race with a time of 2:44.14. That time was four seconds shy of making the Junior Olympic cutoff.

For complete results, see page 3C.

To reach John F. Russell call 871-4209 or e-mail jrussell@amigo.net

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