Swimmers win Sopris meet

Steamboat Sailors take team title for first time

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Steamboat Springs swim coach Essi Kenttala waited more than a week for the Sopris swim meet results to arrive from Carbondale, but she couldn't have been more pleased with them.

"We won the meet," she said. "We won the Sopris meet, and we've never done that before. They have fast swimmers there, so that was huge."

The Sopris meet was held on Father's Day weekend in Carbondale. Steamboat narrowly won, defeating host Sopris -- the usual winner -- by a mere seven points. Rangely was in third.

"It's a fun meet, and it's a beautiful place," Kenttala said. "They make a coaches and parents relay. I was excited to swim. Kids love to see their coaches swim."

Kenttala was a part of four relays, but the highlight of the meet for Steamboat was the overall title the team of 67 swimmers brought back to the Yampa Valley. Steamboat took members of its training and competition teams.

"We were the biggest team," Kenttala said. "Other teams were like, 'Where you do find all those swimmers?' It was awesome to get both our teams together. When we were there, Steamboat's kids were for all the Steamboat kids. That's the biggest team we have ever had."

Cole Worsley, 13, led the way for Steamboat, winning four events and taking second in another. Worsley won the 800-meter freestyle event in 11 minutes, 16.81 seconds, an improvement of 52.67 seconds from his previous best time.

Worsley also won the 100 freestyle, the 50 freestyle and the 200 individual medley. He finished second in the 100 breaststroke.

Blake Worsley, 16, won the 200 freestyle, the 50 freestyle and the 100 backstroke. He also finished second in three other events, including a second-place result in the 800 freestyle. In that event, he cut 31 seconds from his previous best time.

Steamboat doesn't have the opportunity to swim distance events often, particularly events as long as 800 meters, but the young athletes fared well in Carbondale.

In addition to the Worsley brothers' top finishes, several other Steamboat swimmers posted great times in their distance races. Vladan Chase, 12, was second in the 800 freestyle in 14:56.47. Charlie Stoddard, 13, was third in the 800 freestyle in his age division with a time of 11:42.59. Kyle Steitz, 14, was first in the 400 freestyle in 5:53.51.

Michelle Lichtenfels, 13, was third in the 400 freestyle.

The age divisions are divied up into the following groups: 8-and-under, 9-10, 11-12, 13-14 and 15-and-over.

Paul Rose, 15, finished no lower than sixth in any of his six individual events. The top six finishers scored points in the Sopris meet. Rose picked up third-place finishes in the 200 freestyle, 100 backstroke and 100 breaststroke.

Like Rose, Patrick Weston, 10, finished no lower than sixth in any of his six individual events.

Weston won the 50 breaststroke and took second in the 100 breaststroke. He also placed third in the 50 freestyle and the 50 butterfly.

Cameron Osteen, 12, placed second in the 100 breaststroke and third in the 200 breaststroke. Alex Bennett, 12, was second in the 50 freestyle and third in the 200 breaststroke. Bennett dropped 34.67 seconds off his previous best time in the latter event.

Hestia Chase, 16, picked up two third-place finishes in the 100 butterfly and the 50 freestyle.

Emily Stout, 13, was third in the 200 breaststroke, improving by 14 seconds to finish in 3:18.28.

Gracy Whelihan, 10, finished second in the 50 butterfly and 50 breaststroke and was third in the 100 breaststroke.

Olivia Rose, 8, was third in the 25 butterfly, taking 7.09 seconds off her previous best time in the sprint event.

Christopher Finch, 12, was third in the 100 breaststroke in 1:47:71, shaving 13.57 seconds off his previous best time.

Casey Weston, 8, placed in the top three in four events in the youngest age division. He won the 50 breaststroke, took second in the 25 breaststroke and finished third in the 25 butterfly and the 50 freestyle. In the 50 freestyle, Weston took 22.07 seconds off his previous best time.

Mailia Fraioli, 7, finished second in the 25 butterfly in 25.50. Penn Lukens, 9, was third in the 100 backstroke. Lucy Newman, 9, also took a third in the 50 breaststroke.

The Steamboat swim team has the weekend off from competition but is scheduled to make an appearance in the Fourth of July parade, Kenttala said.

The next meet for Steamboat is July 9 through 11 in Craig. Kenttala said she hopes to take more than 70 swimmers to that meet.

-- To reach Melinda Mawdsley call 871-4208 or e-mail mmawdsley@steamboatpilot.com

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