Margarte Lichtenfels, from left, Taylor Harrington, Hannah Mihaich and Marley Loomis are excited after winning the girls 400-yard freestyle relay at the Aspen Leaf Invitational during the weekend. It was the first time the Steamboat Swim Team had competed in the fall event.

Sara Barry/Courtesy

Margarte Lichtenfels, from left, Taylor Harrington, Hannah Mihaich and Marley Loomis are excited after winning the girls 400-yard freestyle relay at the Aspen Leaf Invitational during the weekend. It was the first time the Steamboat Swim Team had competed in the fall event.

Steamboat swim team competes in Aspen

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— The Steamboat Springs Team Lightning Swim Team competed in the Aspen Leaf Invitational on Oct. 10 and 11 for the first time in team history.

The normal summer league team took 17 swimmers down to compete against teams that train year round.

Steamboat was led by a slew of strong finishes.

Parker Kortas, swimming in the 8-and-under division, picked up wins in the 50-yard freestyle, 50 breaststroke and 25 fly.

Sarah Kite finished first in the girls 11- and 12-year-old 50 fly. The girls 100-free relay team also finished first.

On the boys side, Frank Ruppel, who dominated the 11- and 12-year-old division, led Steamboat. Ruppel finished first in the 100 back, 200 back, 100 breast and 50 fly.

Also picking up a first-place finish on the boys side was Brooks Birkinbine in the 50 back.

"Our kids practiced all fall in our outdoor pool in sometimes rain and fall snow," coach Sara Barry said in an e-mail. "They were ready to compete, and all the kids took time off their events. I was so proud of them and not to mention how fun it was to compete against year round swimmers. It was an amazing weekend."

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