Team Lightning places second

Three swimmers take top honors in age division

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— Three Steamboat Springs swimmers took top honors in their age division en route to Team Lightning placing second overall at a recent meet in Meeker.

Summer Smalley finished with 20 points in the 8-and-under female division, Charlie Stoddard was the top male in the 11-12 division with 53 points, and Korie Steitz came out first in the 15-18 female division with 36 points.

"It was probably my best meet of the year," Smalley, 8, said. "It's my second year on the swim team. I really like it."

In addition to the three individual winners, several Steamboat swimmers finished in the top five overall often behind their own teammates. Gracy Whelihan and Lucy Newman came in third and fourth in the 8-and-under division after Smalley.

Cole Worsley, 11, was just three points behind Stoddard for second-place in the 11-12 male division. In the 11-12 female division, Lauren Letson, Erica Gale and Emily Stout came in third, fourth and fifth, respectively. Hestia Chase, 14, was second in the 13-14 female division.

"It was a really good meet," said head coach Essi Kenttala. "They keep doing well and that's awesome. It's a great feeling when they do this well."

Kenttala said 40 swimmers represented Steamboat in Meeker's three-day meet June 21-23 and results showed that, while the top finishers posted great times in several events, numerous Team Lightning swimmers hit the wall first.

According to Meeker's relay results, Steamboat's A 200-meter freestyle relay in the 9-10 female division finished first with a 3:06.35. Team members were: Kiersth Henry, 10, Charlotte Letson, 10, Emma Lichtenfels, 9, and Anna Gale, 9.

Individually for Steamboat Courtney Garth, 10, was tops in the 50-meter butterfly, in 43.57. Christopher Finch, 10, finished first in the 50 freestyle and 50-meter breaststroke. Whelihan, 8, won the 25-meter backstroke in 25.12. Gale, 11, was tops in the 200-meter free in 2:55.40. Chase was victorious in the 100-meter fly in 1:22.59. Letson, 12, hit the wall first in the 200 individual medley and the 50 and 100-meter breaststroke. Worsley won the 200 medley and the 50, 100 and 200-meter free. Smalley was victorious in the 25-meter fly in 25.99.

In addition, Stoddard was tops in the 100 medley, the 100 back, the 400 free and set a Meeker pool record in the 100-meter fly with a time of 1:34.28. Steitz recorded first-place finishes in the 400 medley, the 200 back, the 400 free and the 200-meter free. It was also her first high point female finish.

"I was psyched," Steitz said. "I'm swimming against a lot of older people so I thought it'd be hard, but I guess I'm doing well."

Steitz attributes her success to the conditioning and strength training she did during the ski season and the hard work she continues to put in during the summer.

"We lift weights and go up to the workout room (at the Health and Rec Center) and run on treadmills," Steitz said. "Once a week we do it before practice, but other times my friends and I go upstairs and workout after practice."

Kenttala said the swimmers will continue to train hard for the next two weeks before they begin to taper, which often leads to even further improvements in times.

To reach Melinda Mawdsley call 871-4208

or e-mail mmawdsley@steamboatpilot.com

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