Steamboat Springs Cole Worsley's motivation is simple. He's reminded of it every time he looks at his watch or a clock on the wall.
"When he gets to state, he will want to win, but his greatest motivation is time. He's set a goal for himself and making that time is the only thing he's focused on right now," Cole's coach and mother, Patti Worsley, said.
Since finishing second in the 50-yard freestyle at last year's Colorado state high school swimming meet, Cole has been determined to improve his times and his standing among the state's top swimmers.
"If I place second at state and finished under 21 seconds I would still be incredibly happy," Cole said. "Finishing under 21 seconds has been my goal since I was little and it's what I've been working for since I started swimming."
Currently ranked second in the state in the 50-free, Cole has been working hard to get his time under that of the state's defending 50-free state champion, Silver Creek High School senior Nick Koerner.
Koerner is the favorite to repeat in several events this season, and beat Cole at last year's state championships to earn that title.
"My times are faster than they were last year," Cole said. "But he's fast, and I'm sure his times are also getting faster."
The idea of breaking the 21-second mark, and beating Koerner, has driven the Steamboat swimmer not to rest this off-season.
He has continued to work in the weight room and in the Old Town Hot Springs pool - good weather or bad.
Two weeks ago, Cole Worsley was rewarded for his dedication at a league meet in Denver, where he set a new personal mark of 21.78 seconds en route to winning the 50-free. It was a huge improvement on his previous best time of 22.13. He also won the 100-freestyle, was third in the 100-butterfly and placed in the top 15 in the 200 individual medley.
"It was a big meet for Cole," Patti Worsley said. "He had personal best times in three of the four events. It shows how hard he has been working."
It's good news for the local swimmer as he moves closer to the Feb. 18 start of the high school swimming season. Cole, a junior at Steamboat Springs High School, will compete with the Moffat County High School team along with a couple of other Steamboat swimmers. Steamboat Springs High School does not offer a swimming program.
Patti Worsley coaches the Moffat County team. She said she is also hoping to have Steamboat's Cody Poirot and Kyle Steitz on board when the season opens. She said Moffat County has several promising young swimmers, and that the team should be a contender once again this season.
Cole will not wait for the start of the high school season to race competitively. He plans to race in the regional Speedo Invitational, Jan. 30 to Feb. 3 in Plano, Texas.
"Cole has been very dedicated this season," Patti Worsley said.
She said Cole has trained year-round in the past, but this is the first time he's continued to compete in other meets during the winter season. She feels it will give him an edge against Colorado's high school field.
"The best way to improve your times is by going to meets," Cole said. "Nothing pushes you more than having someone in the lane right next to you. You want to beat them. I've been training non-stop since June : my biggest goal is just to get faster."