Steamboat Springs swimmers collect top finishes at state, look forward to zones

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— Samantha Terranova was excited Tuesday as she prepared to leave Steamboat Springs for Clovis, Calif., and the Zone Senior Championships.

“This is a really big meet, and I’m excited about swimming in California.” Terranova said. “It will be fun to swim at sea level. It will be fun to see if I can drop time.”

Terranova will be the only Steamboat swimmer competing in the championships, which will feature a field of more than 1,000 of the country’s top 19-and-younger swimmers. Her first event will be Wednesday when she takes to the pool for the 800-meter freestyle. Terranova’s schedule also will include the 50 free, the 100 free, the 200 free, the 400 free and the mile free. The Steamboat swimmer also is qualified to compete in the 200 and 400 individual medley events.

Her teammate Frank Ruppel, who led the Steamboat Swim Team at last weekend’s Colorado Long Course State Championships with a second-place finish in the 100 backstroke, will compete in the Age Group Zones, but his events will not begin until next week.

Ruppel highlighted a strong showing by the seven Steamboat Springs swimmers that competed in last weekend’s Colorado State Long Course Championships. He trimmed nearly a second off his 100-meter backstroke time to finish second in the state in the 14-and-younger group. He also collected a third-place finish in the 200 backstroke and placed seventh in the 200 butterfly.

Other top Steamboat finishes included Parker Kortas, who placed fifth in the 100 breaststroke for girls ages 11 and 12. Her teammate Avery Harrington was eighth in the same race. Zoe Bartel, of the Fast swim team out of Fort Collins, won the 100 breaststroke and the 50 breaststroke.

Kortas also was 10th in the 50 breaststroke in her age group and 16th in the 100 breaststroke for swimmers in the 14-and-younger group. She was the youngest swimmer in the division, which was won by 14-year-old Morgan Friesen from the Waves swim club out of Colorado Springs.

“All of our swimmers represented us very, very well,” Steamboat coach Jill Ruppel said.

She added that many of the swimmers who competed last weekend were getting their first taste of the Colorado championships. She said they all left knowing that they belonged and are hungry to get back and improve on their showings. She also was leaving for California where she will coach Terranova and her son.

To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209 or email jrussell@SteamboatToday.com

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