Two for the road

Steamboat swimmers drive to Craig, make waves and qualify for state

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— Cole Worsley was looking forward to a relaxing spring break.

Unfortunately, the Steamboat Springs High School sophomore is now looking at some of the most intense training of his swim season.

"Today's going to be long - probably 6,000 meters," Worsley said, detailing his rigorous, two-a-day practice schedule during the break.

For the lack of a Steamboat boys swim team, Worsley and junior Kyle Steitz make the haul to Craig two to three times a weeks to train with and compete for the Moffat County High School team.

And based on their results this season, Worsley and Steitz have been making quite an impact for the Bulldogs. Worsley has already qualified in four events (the 50-meter freestyle, 100 free, 200 free and 100 butterfly) for the 2007 Colorado High School Activities Association State Swimming Championships, May 17 to 19 in Fort Collins. Steitz has qualified in the three relays - the 200 and 400 free and the 200 medley.

The pair excelled at the Jefferson County Invitational, Friday and Saturday in Arvada, featuring a competitive mix of 19 Class 4A and 5A schools.

Worsley took second in the 50 free finals (22.70 seconds) and fourth in the 100 free (50.55).

"Those are my best times for the high school season," said Worsley, a swimmer who trains year round and has his sights set on USA Swimming Sectional Championship qualification. "This is the most fun part of the year. In the summer, I train the most, but I like hanging out with all the kids in the high school season."

Steitz also had his personal bests of the season in both the 100 backstroke and the 200 individual medley, placing 16th and 23rd, respectively.

The four-man relay team that features Worsley and Steitz as well as Moffat County swimmers Andrew Aultman and Tyler Kalsow (who qualified for state in the 50 free) had its best times of the year in the 200 free relay and the 200 medley relay.

"It's been a really good year that has exceeded my expectations," Moffat boys swimming coach Patti Worsley said. "Most of the kids improve every meet, and it's good to see after we've been training so hard."

At the tail end of its season, Moffat County has a meet at Glenwood Springs on Saturday and a final meet at Montrose on May 4 before heading to Durango the following weekend for the league meet.

For now, Steitz and Worsley have just more than a week of hard training, splitting swims between Old Town Hot Springs and Moffat County, before they begin tapering workouts heading into their runs at state.

"It's going to come down to how well I taper and how I work on my starts and turns," said Worsley.

He placed 9th in 50 free at the state meet last year.

- To reach Dave Shively, call 871-4253

or e-mail dshively@steamboatpilot.com

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