Steamboat swimmer fifth in age division at Far Western Championships | SteamboatToday.com

Steamboat swimmer fifth in age division at Far Western Championships

Austin Colbert

Steamboat Springs swimmer Jenna Smith, 12, seen here with coach Patti Worsley, finished fifth overall in the 11-12 year old girls' division of the Speedo Short Course Far Western Championships in Pleasanton, California, last week. Smith ranks in the top 30 nationally for her age group in both the 200-yard backstroke and 100-yard freestyle events.

— Steamboat Springs Swim Team member Jenna Smith continues to up the ante in her young career. The 12-year-old competed at the Speedo Short Course Far Western Championships in Pleasanton, California, from March 31 to April 3, where she finished fifth overall in the 11-to-12-year-old girls' division.

Smith swam in seven events and made the finals in each. Competition included 146 teams from the western United States, representing eight different states, and each swimmer had to qualify for each event in order to compete.

"Swimming outside all year long in Steamboat makes you tough and prepared to compete in any sort of conditions," Steamboat swim coach Patti Worsley said in a news release. "It was exciting to watch Jenna achieve such tremendous success at such a high level of competition. She is an inspiration to all athletes who compete in a small program."

Smith's lone first-place finish came in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 53.49 seconds. She also had two second-place finishes in the 100-yard backstroke (59.42 seconds) and 200-yard backstroke (2 minutes, 9.31 seconds).

Those times place her at 23rd in the nation among 12-year-old girls for the 200-yard backstroke and 27th nationally in the 100-yard freestyle.

Other finishes for Smith included fourth in the 50-yard backstroke (28.29 seconds), fifth in the 50-yard freestyle (25.52 seconds), fifth in the 100-yard individual medley (1:01.84) and seventh in the 100-yard butterfly (1:00.92).

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Her times in all three backstroke events place her as the fastest 11- or 12-year-old girl in Colorado and the second fastest overall.

"I learned that there is no limit to what I can do, and as long as I focus and believe in myself, I am capable of swimming with the best girls out there," Smith said in the news release. "It doesn't matter where you come from, or how big your team is. It's about your passion, determination and dedication."

Next for the Steamboat swimmers is a fun dual meet against the Sopris Swim Team on Sunday at the Old Town Hot Springs pool in Steamboat Springs.

To reach Austin Colbert, call 970-871-4204, email acolbert@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @Austin_Colbert