Youth events are Triple Crown's theme

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— Triple Crown Sports will supply local ball fields with a steady diet of softball and baseball once again this summer.

"We are very happy to have Triple Crown here in Steamboat," said Sandy Evans- Hall, executive vice president of the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association. "They are a good partner to our community."

Triple Crown will also bring numerous people to Steamboat this summer with six youth and two adult events on tap.

The first event will start June 11 when Triple Crown hosts a girls fastpitch softball camp at Howelsen Hill.

Triple Crown's Sean Hardy said there will be about 90 players and 10 college-level coaches in town for the weeklong camp. The event will come to a close with the first softball tournament of the summer, which will run from June 15-17.

"We will open with about 55 girls fastpitch teams," Hardy said. "They will share the weekend with about 40 youth baseball teams."

In fact, the theme of the summer will be youth events. Hall said the sports organization has made moves in the past couple of years to shift to more family events such as the boys baseball and girls softball tournaments.

The first youth boys baseball camp will take place June 17 and will be followed by a tournament June 22-24.

That tournament will draw about 110 youth baseball teams with players ranging in age from 10 and under to 16-year-olds.

Hardy said the camp will draw about eight top-level college baseball coaches for a full week of training.

Hardy said if locals want to take part in either the softball or baseball camps, there are still openings. To enroll, call Triple Crown at (970) 223-6644 for more information.

"We will offer reduced rates for locals," Hardy said. "We want to get local kids involved in these camps."

Adult softball will step into the spotlight on June 29-July 1 with its annual holiday tournament.

Hardy expects about 125 teams to compete for titles in Men's Class E, Men's Class D and Men's Class C softball. There will also be two divisions of women's ball and one coed class.

"It's one of our most popular tournaments," Hardy said. "It is always one of the biggest tournaments of the season in Steamboat."

Triple Crown will take a short break in the middle of July before making another big push at the end of the summer.

The first of four major events will kick off on July 25-29 with the first session of the Triple Crown World Series. This tournament will draw 125 youth baseball teams in 9-, 12-,14-, and 16-year-old divisions for a weekend of hot action on the ball field.

The second session will take place Aug 1-5 when another 125 teams come to town to battle for titles in the 10-, 11-, 13-, 15- and 18-year-old divisions.

Girls softball will return to the Rocky Mountains on Aug 7-12 with another major fastpitch softball tourney. Then the adults will take to the fields Aug. 16-19 and Aug 23-26 for the Triple Crown Slowpitch World Finals.

The final event of the summer will come on Labor Day weekend as 75-100 soccer teams come to Steamboat for a three-on-three soccer tournament.

"It's going to be a pretty busy summer," Hardy said. "But it's been pretty consistent for the past three or four years. We have exactly the same schedule that we had last summer."

Evans-Hall said Triple Crown has been a good event the past few years as it has drawn more and more families to Steamboat.

"The length of stay here is also increasing," she said. "There is no doubt they bring in a lot of people and the events would be hard for us to replace."

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