Liza Stout, purple swim cap on, sat with her feet in the water, eating a bagel.
She found just enough time to grab a bite to eat between two of her six events Saturday at a swim meet hosted by the local Team Lightning at the Steamboat Springs Health and Recreation Center.
Stout is just 10, but this is her fifth year on Team Lightning, the swim team that is quickly become one of the more popular summer activities for children in Steamboat.
"When I started, there were 11 on the team," Stout said.
Now, she doesn't even know everyone on her 80-member team. Swimmers have to be divided into groups for practices because the Health and Rec pool isn't big enough for all of them to swim at once.
Essi Kenttala took over the program four years ago and with the help of her assistants has turned Team Lightning into a competitive force in Northwest Colorado, despite the fact that Steamboat does not have a year-round program.
That might not be a bad thing because a large number of the team's members are heavily involved in winter sports, namely cross-country skiing.
"There are a lot of us on the team," Molly Newman said. "The coaches say swimming and cross country go together."
Newman has been on the team for five years and enjoys the social aspect of Team Lightning. She not only gets to hang out with her Steamboat friends, but she has picked up new friends in places such as Rangely and Craig.
The meet Saturday is the only home meet of the year at Health and Rec. Seven teams and nearly 200 swimmers came to Steamboat for the event.
People screaming words of encouragement at the churning water replaced the normally laid-back atmosphere poolside.
The 9- and 10-year-olds, along with the 13-and-over swimmers, competed in the morning session, while the 8-and-under and the 11- and 12-year-olds took to the pool in the afternoon.
It was Team Lightning's first meet of the season, but the swimmers have been practicing hard for over a month, captain Blake Worsley said.
A complete list of the results from Team Lightning's Invitational Swim Meet was not available Saturday night.
--To reach Melinda Mawdsley call 871-4208
or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org