Steamboat swimmers second in Rangely

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Behind impressive performances from several of its athletes, the Steamboat Springs swim team picked up a second-place finish at a Saturday meet in Rangely.

Thirty-eight Steamboat swimmers took part in the meet, including brothers Blake, 16, and Cole Worsley, 13, who each won their respective age divisions after placing in four individual events.

Cole Worsley was first in the 50- and 100-meter freestyle and the 200 individual medley. He finished fifth in the 100 breaststroke. His time of 25.28 seconds in the 50 freestyle was fast enough to qualify him for the Junior Olympics to be held later this summer.

Blake Worsley was first in the 50-yard and 100 freestyle and the 100 backstroke. He also finished third in the 100 butterfly.

"Blake and Cole went to a swim camp at (the University of Denver) last week, and that improved their technique," said Patti Worsley, an assistant coach and the boys' mother. "It's encouraging to see them stepping out and learning more."

Hestia Chase, 16, was Steamboat's third multi-event winner. Chase won the 100 butterfly and the 100 backstroke. She also took second in the 50 freestyle.

Christopher Finch, 12, won the 50 breaststroke. Gracey Whelihan, 10, won the 50 breaststroke. Molly Dierdorff, 10, won the 50 butterfly. Michelle Lichtenfels, 13, won the 100 butterfly and took sixth in the 100 backstroke.

Alex Bennett, 12, was second in the 50 backstroke and Vladan Chase, 12, took 33.87 seconds off his 100 freestyle time to finish third.

"The team is off to a really good start,"Patti Worsley said.

Mallory Richey, 10, was second in the 50 freestyle.

In addition to top-three finishes, several Steamboat swimmers took significant amounts off their previous best times of the season.

Emma Lichtenfels, 11, shaved 16 seconds off her previous best time in the 50 butterfly. Natalie Pearl, 10, knocked 21.55 seconds off her top mark in the 100 freestyle. Alexis Baden, 10, finished fifth in the same event, taking nearly seven seconds off her previous best time of the spring.

Kate Verploeg, 10, swam 11 seconds faster than she had all season in the 50 butterfly.

Up next for the Steamboat team is this weekend's meet in Carbondale. The meet is held at the same time as the area's Strawberry Festival, so it's always a fun place to go, Patti Worsley said.

"We have 68 kids going," she added. "This will be a great meet. It's on Father's Day so they make it a lot of fun. It's one of our favorite meets."

-- To reach Melinda Mawdsley call 871-4208

or e-mail mmawdsley@steamboatpilot.com

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