Swim team ready to make splash at weekend meet

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— Missing nearly 50 of its swimmers, Steamboat Springs will travel to its fourth meet of the season Friday in Grand Junction.

"I think Grand Junction is a long meet so I can kind of understand why a lot of people are not going," said Christy Warner, Steamboat assistant coach. "It's a long drive and some of the swimmers are just (competing) one day. A little break is not going to hurt."

Warner will travel with about 20 swimmers who will take part in the meet Friday through Sunday.

The goal, Warner said, is to try to get more swimmers qualified for the state championships in July.

"I just want the kids to do some of their best times and maybe qualify," Warner said.

Five individuals from Steamboat already have qualified for state, including Charlie Stoddard who earned a first-place finish in the boys 9-10 division last weekend in Carbondale.

Stoddard led Steamboat to a second-place overall finish at Carbondale.

Sopris, the host team, won first place.

Stoddard placed first in his division in the 800-meter freestyle, 200-meter breast stroke, 50-meter fly, 50-meter backstroke, 100-meter freestyle, 100-meter backstroke and 100-meter individual medley.

He qualified for state in the 100 backstroke with a time of 1:34.91.

"I wasn't expecting to do it in the hundred back (stroke)," Stoddard said. "But I realized I was pretty close and I was pretty sure I could do it."

Earlier this year, Stoddard, Kyle Steitz, Cole Worsley and Michael Weston qualified in the boys 9-10 medley relay.

Heather Whiting, who competes in the girls 13-14 division, qualified in the 200 individual medley, 200 breast stroke, 100 breast stroke and 100 butterfly.

Essi Kenttala, Steamboat head coach, said she was pleased with the performance of the team this past weekend.

A number of Steamboat swimmers recorded individual first-place finishes in Carbondale.

Those individuals were Charlotte Letson, Paul Rose, Steitz, Weston, Worsley, Patrick Weston, Whiting and Stoddard.

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