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Lightning swimmers take 2nd

Worsley brothers to compete at JOs

Melinda Mawdsley

The Steamboat Springs swim team scored 2,538.5 points in last weekend’s meet in Meeker. Only Rangely finished better, with 2,750, as the two teams swam away from the rest of the field in the Meeker Makos Splash 2004 competition in Meeker.

Once again, with 44 swimmers in attendance, Steamboat Springs’ Team Lightning was the largest team at the meet. But a few regular competitors were unable to attend the meet in Meeker, which may have played a role in the final results.

Rangely had the second largest team, Team Lightning coach Essi Kenttala said.

Steamboat had 40 individual and relay first-place finishes in the three-day meet and was dominant in the 9-10 age division, where seven of the top 10 female swimmers were from Steamboat Springs. Three of the top seven boys in the same age group were from Steamboat.

Gracy Whelihan, 10, and Penn Lukens, 9, scored a combined 223 points for Steamboat in the 9-10 age division and each finished second individually in their gender classification.

Lukens won the 100-meter freestyle, the 100 backstroke and the 50 backstroke. He took second in the 200 freestyle, the 100 butterfly and the 50 freestyle. He took third in the 50 fly. At age 9, Lukens swam a total of 800 meters in the three-day meet.

Whelihan, who has been one of Steamboat’s most consistent swimmers this season, won the 200 individual medley, the 50 butterfly, the 50 freestyle and the 50 breaststroke. She took second in the 50 backstroke and the 100 breaststroke. She finished third in the 100 freestyle, capping off an impressive three days in Meeker.

But Lukens and Whelihan were just two of the more than two dozen Steamboat swimmers who either finished in the top three or improved times from earlier in the season.

Malia Fraioli, 8, won the 25 butterfly and the 25 freestyle, and took third in the 25 breaststroke. Fraioli is on the training team and only trains twice a week, but she has fared well in recent meets.

“She is a natural swimmer,” Kenttala said. “We wish she would like mornings and start swimming with the competitive team.”

Lucy Franklin, 10, picked up two titles in the 100 backstroke and the 50 backstroke.

Oliva Rose, 8, won the 100 freestyle and the 50 freestyle. She finished second in the 25 butterfly and the 100 individual medley. Paul Rose, 16, touched the wall first in the 200 freestyle, the 400 freestyle and the 1,500 freestyle. He was third in the 100 freestyle.

“We found out Paul is a long-distance swimmer,” Kenttala said.

Cole Worsley, 13, won five individual titles: the 200 individual medley, the 100 freestyle, the 100 butterfly, the 50 freestyle and the 200 freestyle. He was third in the 100 backstroke.

Blake Worsley, 16, received exciting news when he touched the wall in his short-distance freestyle events and realized he qualified for the Junior Olympics. Worsley has been trying to drop times in his 50- and 100-meter freestyle events during the last several weeks and finally broke the qualifying barrier.

Worsley won the 100 freestyle in 57.33 seconds and was first in the 50 freestyle in 26.28. He finished third in the 100 butterfly and the 100 backstroke.

“It’s extremely hard to make JO’s when you get to be older than 15, or even 13,” Kenttala said.

Cole Worsley qualified for the Junior Olympics previously.

Alex Bennett, 12, won the 100 freestyle and took second in four other events: the 100 breaststroke, 50 freestyle, 50 backstroke and the 50 breaststroke. Lucy Newman, 9, won the 100 breaststroke and was second in the 100 individual medley and the 100 backstroke. She also finished third in the 200 individual medley.

Natalie Pearl, 10, won the 200 freestyle and was third in the 100 backstroke. Emily Stout, 13, touched the wall first in the 200 breaststroke and the 100 breaststroke. She was also second in the 200 freestyle and third in the 100 freestyle.

Molly Dierdorff, 10, took second in the 50 and 100 freestyle and the 100 butterfly. Cole Henry, 7, another training team member, was second in the 25 breaststroke. Max Lambek, 9, finished second in the 50 breaststroke. Michelle Lichtenfels, 13, finished second in four events: the 200 individual medley, 200 breaststroke, 400 freestyle and 200 butterfly.

Cameron Osteen, 12, was second in the 100 breaststroke and third in the 50 butterfly. Kelsey Pierson, 13, finished second in the 100 breaststroke and was third in the 1,500 freestyle and the 200 breaststroke.

Luke Hotthenroth, 14, finished third in the 200 butterfly. Kenttala said she has been particularly pleased with Hotthenroth’s progression and work ethic this summer.

“His 200 fly was an incredible swim,” she said. “It was his second time to do it. He loves it. We’ve had kids swim for years that won’t do it. He wants to challenge himself. He’s a good example for everyone.”

Emma Lichtenfels, 11, placed third in the 400 freestyle. Brittany Long, 13, was third in the 100 breaststroke. Kristy Marshall, 15, swam to a third-place finish in the 100 and 200 freestyle.

Alyssa Pierson, 15, was third in the 1,500 freestyle, cutting 30.12 seconds off her previous best time to finish in 24:23:61. Sara Stout, 8, finished third in the 100 individual medley. Evan Weinman, 8, another training team member, was third in the 25 breaststroke.

Sierra Weir, 13, was third in the 100 butterfly.

A number of Steamboat’s relays also took first and second in Meeker.

The next competition for Team Lightning is the Western Slope Championships. A large number of swimmers qualified but because the meet is in Durango, an eight-hour drive from Steamboat, only three swimmers are attending.

Erik Haines, 12, Cameron Osteen, 1,2 and Kristy Marshall, 15, will represent Steamboat.

— To reach Melinda Mawdsley call 871-4208 or e-mail mmawdsley@steamboatpilot.com


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