Steamboat wins at Sopris

Brodie, Baden win individual divisions in Glenwood meet

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— Amy Brodie earned her high points award.

The 12-year-old Steamboat Springs Swim Team member competed in the maximum eight events en route to scoring 93 points in Glenwood Springs last weekend.

The Sopris Invitational pool featured a scoreboard that tracked the high points, so Brodie knew she was in position to win. But the lack of suspense didn't diminish her excitement about winning the 11- to 12-year-old female division.

"To be in the high points, you have to be well-rounded," Brodie said.

She won the 200-meter individual medley and took second in the 100 freestyle. Brodie also teamed up with some of her fellow swimmers to win two relays.

"The 200 IM is a long race," Brodie said. "I led the whole time, but I kind of got to rest in the (breaststroke portion)."

The individual medley requires a swimmer to swim 50 meters of each stroke, so the swimmer needs to be confident and capable in each stroke. Brodie is best at freestyle and backstroke, but she said she enjoys swimming the butterfly and breaststroke.

Brodie and Nik Baden, 8, were Steamboat's individual winners, but the Steamboat team won the three-day meet, scoring 2,383 points.

The home Sopris team -- Glenwood Springs and Carbondale -- was second with 2,198 points. Steamboat was one of five teams with 50-plus swimmers, so coach Essi Kenttala was ecstatic about Steamboat's performance against clubs from Grand Junction and Montrose.

"I can't tell you how excited I am about our team," she said.

Steamboat won 17 races, including relays, between June 16 and 18. With the final day of the meet falling on Father's Day, Steamboat didn't field a full team for the whole meet.

Baden took first in the 100 individual medley, and Frank Ruppel won the 25 backstroke, the 50 breaststroke and the 100 breaststroke. Joe Borgerding won the 25 breaststroke. Kane Park won the 25 breaststroke, and 8-and-under boys won the 100 freestyle relay and the 100-medley relay.

In addition to Baden, four other Steamboat boys placed in the top 10 in the youngest boys division.

"Swimming is great cross-training for any sport and easy on your body," Kenttala said. "I'm so glad that our 8-and-under boys know that; so does our 11-to-12 boys group. In other age groups, we miss boys."

Keala Fraioli won the 25 breaststroke, and the 8-and-younger girls won the 100 freestyle relay and the 100 medley relay.

Maddie Ruppel won the 100 breaststroke in the 9-to-10 division. The girls in the 9-to-10 division also won the 200-medley relay.

Emma Lichtenfels didn't win the 100 breaststroke, but her time of 1 minute, 24.30 seconds qualified the 13-year-old for the Junior Olympics later this summer.

Teammate Lexie Ruppel won the 200 backstroke, and the 400 freestyle and 400-medley relay teams won in the 13-to-14 division.

Steamboat's next meet is from July 7 to 9 in Craig.

"I hope we'll send the whole team -- 107 swimmers -- to Craig," Kenttala said. "It's close and well-organized; that serves all ability levels."

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

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