Steamboat swim team opens winter schedule with strong times at Glenwood | SteamboatToday.com

Steamboat swim team opens winter schedule with strong times at Glenwood

Austin Colbert





Steamboat Springs swimmer Katherine Knapp​ competes at the Sopris Deep Freeze over the weekend in Glenwood Springs. Knapp was fourth on the team with 55 points, including five first-place finishes.

— The Steamboat Springs swim team opened its winter season Saturday and Sunday at the Sopris Deep Freeze in Glenwood Springs, where a small field of kids held its own against many other Western Slope teams.

Steamboat took eight girls and two boys, ages 9 to 13, to the meet with the girls' team finishing third out of seven teams with 363 points. Aspen Swim Club won with 706 points, with Team Sopris taking second with 444 points.

Steamboat placed fifth overall, boys and girls combined, with 389 points.

"I am thrilled with the results. We were really small. We only brought 10 kids with us," said Steamboat swim team coach Patti Worsley. "These kids really got up there and competed. They were working hard. Their dedication and training really paid off. They went out there to do well, and they did great. I was very excited with the performances of the team."

Jenna Smith, who has already been recognized as one of the top young swimmers in the region, led Steamboat with 72 points and 10 first-place finishes. Saige Lottes was close on her heels, however, with 63 points, including six first-place finishes, one second and two thirds.

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Rylee McLouth had 58 points with four first-place finishes, Katherine Knapp had 55 points with five first-place finishes, Bella O'Reilly had 34 points and one first-place finish, and Grace O'Reilly had 24 points with nine top-eight finishes.

Amanda Dietrich chipped in with five top-eight finishes, with Kirsten Van Maurik knocking down three top-eight finishes.

For the boys, Riq Rogers had 26 points with eight top-eight finishes, and Mohammed Alnajdawi had seven top-16 finishes.

"Their performances in the pool far exceeded my expectations," Worsley said. "They are true competitors."

The Steamboat swim team has a busy schedule coming up, including back-to-back trips to the Front Range. The squad will compete at the CUDA Pentathlon this weekend in Thornton, before two swimmers — Smith and Lottes — will attend the challenging CSI Pioneer Open at Denver University the following weekend.

Steamboat also had other swimmers qualify for the latter meet, but many decided they wouldn't attend given the busy winter schedule.

"In the winter season this year, we've grown the team," Worsley said. "It was 12 swimmers last year. We've got 24 this year, so it's kind of exciting. We've got five full-time swimmers, and the rest are all part time. Some of them travel and some of them don't because they are still very young."

The Steamboat swim team also started an introductory group this winter with many inexperienced swimmers from ages 7 to 13.

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