Lightning team earns 4th at championships

Steamboat swimmers stroke to strong finishes in Grand Junction

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Team Lightning individual results

Top three finishes at the 2009 Summer Western Slope Championships

(For ages 8 and younger, all distances are in meters. For ages 9 and older, all distances are in yards.)

Boys 9 to 10 years old, 100-yard freestyle

3. Luke Borgerding

Boys 10-and-younger 50 free

3. Luke Borgerding

Girls 15-year-old 200 backstroke

1. Amy Brodie

Girls 15-year-old 100 back

3. Amy Brodie

Girls 15-year-old 100 butterfly

3. Amy Brodie

Girls 11 to 12 50 back

2. Katie Brodie

Boys 11 to 12 50 breaststroke

2. Brenden Carta

Boys 11 to 12 100 breast

1. Brenden Carta

Girls 9 to 10 200 free

2. Keala Fraioli

Girls 10-and-younger 50 breast

1. Fraioli

Girls 9 to 10 100 breast

1. Fraioli

Girls 11 to 12 400 free

3. Margaret Lichtenfels

Girls 13 to 14 100 breast

3. Lucy Newman

Boys 9 to 10 100 free

2. Frank Ruppel

Boys 10-and-younger 400 free

3. Ruppel

Boys 10-and-younger 50 back

1. Ruppel

Boys 9 to 10 100 fly

1. Ruppel

Boys 9-10 200 IM

2. Ruppel

Boys 10-and-younger 50 free

2. Ruppel

Boys 10-and-younger 50 fly

2. Ruppel

Boys 9 to 10 100 back

1. Ruppel

Girls 11 to 12 50 fly

3. Samantha Terranova

Girls 11 to 12 100 back

3. Terranova

Girls 8-and-younger 100-meter free

2. Amanda Walker

Girls 8-and-younger 25 back

3. Lucy Wilson

Boys 8-and-younger 25 back

1. Johnathon Kaminski

Girls 8-and-younger 25 fly

1. Reilly Mewborn

2. Avery Harrington

Boys 8-and-younger 25 fly

1. Ben Hoefer

Girls 8-and-younger 50 free

3. Amanda Walker

Boys 8-and-younger 50 free

3. Teague Burger

Girls 8-and-younger 25 breast

2. Avery Harrington

3. Parker Kortas

Boys 8-and-younger 25 breast

2. Johnathon Kaminski

Girls 8-and-younger 100-meter individual medley

2. Avery Harrington

Girls 8-and-younger 25 free

1. Amanda Walker

Boys 8-and-younger 25 free

1. Johnathon Kaminski

— Steamboat Springs Team Lightning coach Essi Kenttala gets asked all the time at meets how her team is able to compete with year-round clubs on a regular basis.

Kenttala said the way Steamboat is able to compete - most recently shown by a fourth-place finish during the weekend at the 2009 Summer Western Slope Championships in Grand Junction - has to do with the dedication of the multiple coaches and the willingness of the Old Town Hot Springs to allow Steamboat to practice at the facility.

"We're always thankful to the Old Town Hot Springs for providing us great possibilities to swim," she said. "They're very supportive of us. But our secret is our coaching. Every single one really cares about these kids and wants them to do their best."

Steamboat took 63 swimmers to Grand Junction to compete against many larger and year-round teams.

Montrose finished first with 2,925.5 points. Team Sopris Swimming finished second with 1,901.5 points, Grand Junction finished third with 1,840.5 points and Steamboat finished fourth with 1,770.5 points.

"The coolest thing is, all three teams that finished ahead of us were bigger teams than we were," Kenttala said. "I was blown away by how well we did."

Maybe the most impressive thing and brightest sign for the future was that Steamboat won the 8-and-younger portion of the meet.

Paced by several strong relay teams and individual performances, Steamboat's 8-and-younger team bested Montrose by more than 60 points.

Racing in high temperatures that reached more than 100 degrees, Kenttala said it was tough to stay hydrated.

Although the Western Slope Championships concluded the season for most of Team Lightning - Frank Ruppel and Keala Fraioli will swim in Thursday's Junior Olympics in Fort Collins - Kenttala said this was one of the best years for the team.

"I would like to say that our Ski Town USA could be called Swim Town Colorado during the summer," she said. "We are very proud to be one of the best summer swim teams, if not the best in Colorado."

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