Swimmers ready for cold competition

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— An unnaturally cold week in Steamboat Springs may give the Steamboat swim team an edge as it plunges into chilly waters today in Carbondale.

"The cold weather has helped the kids prepare," said coach Essi Kenttala.

"Sopris is going to be really cold. It's the coldest water we'll compete in."

Sopris, which is the host team of a two-day meet in Carbondale, will join Steamboat and six other teams from around the region.

The Steamboat team, also known as Team Lightning, comes off a June 9 meet in Rangely.

At the Rangely Invitational, Steamboat's Tina Roberts placed first in the girls' 13-14 division in four events.

Roberts won the 100-yard freestyle in one minute and 1.03 seconds.

She completed the 50-yard freestyle in 28.28 and did the 200-yard individual medley in 2:37.59.

Her time in the 100-yard backstroke was 1:13.13.

Kenttala said Roberts is one of several swimmers on the Steamboat team with high hopes of making it to a set of championships in Hawaii known as the Zone, which is in August.

Five Steamboat swimmers have already qualified for the state championships in Colorado Springs in July, Kenttala said.

One of those swimmers is Heather Whiting, a competitor in the girls 13-14 division who races in the 200 individual medley, 200 breast stroke, 100 breast stroke and 100 butterfly.

Charlie Stoddard, Kyle Steitz, Cole Worsley and Michael Weston have qualified in the boys 9 and 10 relays, Kenttala said.

Blake Worsley, a 13-year-old Steamboat swimmer, said he is hoping to qualify this weekend for the state championships in Colorado Springs.

Kenttala said Worsley is a hopeful to make it to the Zone. Worsley competes in the 100 freestyle, 50 freestyle, 200 individual medley, 100 backstroke and 100 breast stroke.

"I'm really close in my 50 freestyle time," Worsley said. "My goal is to improve on my strokes and maybe get closer to Zone time."

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