Off the blocks


— Tina Roberts likes to win.

You can see it in her eyes when she's on the ski slopes in the winter, and her swim coach sees it when she's in the pool each summer.

Roberts' winning attitude seems to be spreading among her teammates this year. On Saturday, the Steamboat Springs swim team raced to a first-place finish in its only home appearance of the season, recording 30 first-place finishes in the process.

It was the second-straight year the home team has won the meet. Craig placed second and the Grand Valley Wave team came in third. The meet was the first of the season for Western Slope swimmers.

"It's a nice way to start the season," Roberts said. "It's always fun to swim at home and it's even better when you win."

Roberts was one of six Steamboat swimmers who earned high-point honors at the meet. Lucy Newman (8-and-under), Patrick Weston (9-10), Cole Worsley (11-12), Paul Rose (13-14) and Blake Worsley (15-18) also collected awards for their efforts in the pool.

"It's the most high-point awards we've ever taken at a meet," coach Essi Kenttala said. "I'm very happy with the way our athletes swam, and we are hoping to carry that momentum into our next few meets."

Kenttala said more than 70 swimmers from Steamboat competed in the meet. The Steamboat Springs Health and Recreation Association pool hosted eight teams and more than 600 swimmers Saturday.

Steamboat collected 22 individual wins and eight first-place finishes in relay events.

Top finishers included Roberts, who placed first in the 50-yard freestyle, the 100-yard freestyle and the 200-yard individual medley. She trimmed more than a second off of her time in the 100.

Teammate Kori Steitz, 16, placed first in the 200-yard freestyle; Hestia Chase, 15, won the 100-yard butterfly; and Emily Stout, 12, won the 100-yard individual medley.

Eight-year-old Lucy Newman won the 25-yard butterfly, 25-yard breaststroke and 25-yard freestyle.

Blake Worsley set the pace for the boys team with first-place finishes in the 50-yard freestyle and the 100-yard freestyle in the 13-and-over division.

Nine-year-old Patrick Weston took a first-place in the 50-yard butterfly and 12-year-old Cole Worsley won the 50-yard and 100-yard freestyle events.

Paul Rose won the 100-yard breaststroke, 100-yard freestyle and 200-yard individual medley in the 13-and-over division.

Charlie Stoddard collected top honors in the 12-and-under division in the 100-yard individual medley, 50-yard butterfly and 50-yard backstroke.

The Steamboat team also collected first-place finishes in the boys 13-and-over 400-yard medley, the girls 13-and-over 400-yard freestyle, and the boys 13-and-over 400-yard freestyle.

In the 11-12 age group, the Steamboat girls and boys 200-yard medley teams also earned first-place medals, as did the boys 8-and-under 100-meter freestyle and the girls 11-12 200-meter freestyle.

Kenttala said there were many other notable finishes at the meet, including top showings from Emma Lichtenfels, Michelle Lichtenfels and Lauren Letson. Kyle Steitz, Jack Pietig and Emily Birch also took home second-place finishes from the meet.

Roberts said it helped that the team was at home for the first meet of the season. The swim team veteran said the home water helps the younger swimmers relax and helps the team swim faster as a whole.

"It's a lot easier when you don't have to travel and it's a big deal for some of the younger swimmers," Roberts said.

The team will look to continue its winning ways when it travels to Grand Junction this weekend for a meet hosted by the Grand Valley Wave team. Kenttala expects about 30 Steamboat swimmers to make the trip.


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