Swimming successes stem from yoga, Pilates

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— He's only 12 years old, but Steamboat swimmer Cole Worsley is sold on the value of Pilates and yoga.

"We started doing it at the start of this season, and I'm swimming a lot faster," Worsley said.

He is also winning more consistently, thanks to his newfound secret and a lot of hard work in the pool this season.

Last weekend in Meeker, Worsley swam to first-place finishes in five events including the 100-meter individual medley, 100-meter freestyle and the 50-meter freestyle. He also topped the 50-meter and the 200-meter backstrokes.

The veteran swimmer said Pilates has made a huge difference in his backstroke. He credits it with helping him trim nearly five minutes from his previous week's time.

"It just loosens up the muscles and allows you to work a little harder in the pool," Worsley said. "It's made a huge difference in my swimming this season."

Worsley won the high-point award for the 11- and 12-year-old boys last weekend -- it was the second time he's won the honor at a meet this year.

"That's the most I've ever won in a single season," said Worsley, who garnered two high-point awards over the course of last season.

The difference is this year Worsley still has three more meets to improve his mark.

His teammate Kyle Steitz also won the high-point award for the 13-14 boys division. He scored first-place points in the 400-meter individual medley, 200-meter breaststroke, 400-meter freestyle, and 100-meter backstroke.

Steamboat finished second in the team standings behind Rangeley.

Coach Essi Kentalla said her team might have won the meet if not for the mixed relay events that turned out to be the difference.

"We don't spend a lot of time on events like that," Kentalla said. "They are usually just for run. They are not Junior Olympic events and normally don't count at meets."

Unfortunately for the Steamboat team the mixed points did count in this meet, and proved to be the difference in the final tally.

"We're not upset," Kentalla said. "It was a great meet for us, and that's something we can't control."

Among Steamboat's first-place finishers in Meeker were Hestia Chase (15-18 girls 50-meter freestyle), and Lauren Letson (13-14 girls 100-meter breaststroke).

Lucy Newman won the 25-meter breaststroke and 25-meter butterfly in the girls 8-and-under division. Korie Steitz won first-place medals in the 400-meter individual medley and 400-meter freestyle in the girls 15-and-over division.

Kentalla also got standout showings from Tina Roberts, who won all four events she entered in the girls 15-and-over division; Paul Rose, who won six events in the boys 13-14 division; and Charlie Stoddard, who took first in five events in the boys 11-12 division.

Kentalla also noted the showing of 10-year-old Anissa Corser who came from nowhere to record seven top-five finishes in the meet.

The young swimmer's top showing came in the 50-meter freestyle, where she was second. She also took third in the 100-meter freestyle.

"This was her meet," Kentalla said. "I'm not sure where it came from, but it was an awesome performance."

The Steamboat swim team is coming off of a second-place finish at the Sopris Barracuda Invitational swim meet June 13-15.

Steamboat's Emma Lichtenfels, Newman, Stoddard, Blake Worsley and Cole Worsley all earned first-place finishes at the meet.

This weekend the team will head to Rangeley for another meet.

Worsley, who has qualified for four events in the Junior Olympics, is setting his sights on a few more invitations.

"I'm just a second off in most of my events," Worsley said. "Every week my goal is to qualify in a few more."

This week the list will include the 50-meter butterfly, 50- and 100-meter breaststrokes and the 200-meter freestyle events.

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