Steamboat senior Steitz excels on the slopes and in the pool | SteamboatToday.com
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Steamboat senior Steitz excels on the slopes and in the pool

Luke Graham
Steamboat Springs High School senior Kyle Steitz stands at the base of Howelsen Hill on Thursday after practice. Steitz has been training for skiing and swimming this winter. Steitz has a legitimate shot at earning state titles in skiing and swimming relays.
Matt Stensland

Steamboat Springs — No one can fault Kyle Steitz for being lazy. — No one can fault Kyle Steitz for being lazy.

— No one can fault Kyle Steitz for being lazy.

Along with classes, Steitz trains for the Steamboat Springs High School Nordic skiing team six days a week and swims at least two days a week in preparation for the spring season.

The talented athlete even played basketball through the summer, fall and part of the winter before deciding that training for three sports wasn’t fair to himself or his teams.

What makes Steitz’s schedule even more remarkable is the level at which he competes.

Steitz, a senior, has a legitimate shot at winning the individual Nordic championship at the state meet, in Steamboat Springs on Feb. 14 and 15. He also has a chance to make the podium in the 200-and 400-yard relays at the state swim competition.

“I’ve always been doing these two sports, since I was little,” Steitz said after a Thursday skiing session at Howelsen Hill. “I swam in the summer and skied in

the winter. Now they’re starting to conflict, but I like the opposites of them.”

It’s the opposites of the two sports that draw Steitz in. The lanky student admits his passion to the two sports is a bit of a conundrum, especially in a place that is known as Ski Town U.S.A. and home to world champions and Olympians on the slopes.

But swimming?

“Swimming in Steamboat isn’t really known,” Steitz said. “I’ll tell kids at school that I swim, and they’ll be like, ‘Do we even have a swim team?’ But skiing is the exact opposite.”

Still, Steitz’s work in the pool supplements his work on the snow. If he doesn’t have a ski workout lined up, Steitz is sure to get in a swimming session. Some days he’ll double up.

“We’ve had swimmers on our team in the past, and it definitely helps,” said high school Nordic coach Chrissy Lynch. Swimmers “have strong upper bodies. In cross country, it’s arms and legs. It definitely shows in his double pulls. It helps him immensely.”

Although Steitz is preparing more for skiing at the moment – Lynch said Steitz has a “very good chance” at winning a state title – Moffat County swimming coach Patti Worsley is confident Steitz will be ready come swim season.

“Because he’s such a good cross-country skier, he is always in great shape,” said Worsley, who coaches the Moffat County High School swim team. Steamboat does not have a high school swim team. “He doesn’t have to get geared up for practice. He gets back in the water at the start of (swimming season) and is ready to go.”

Steitz said he’ll focus more on skiing now, since that’s what he hopes to do at the next level.

Either way, the two coaches said Steitz’s personality and ability are the main reasons he’ll undoubtedly be successful in the future.

“I know I’m not the first coach to say this about Kyle, but what’s so great about him is he’s hard-working and has a great positive attitude,” Lynch said. “Anyone that works with Kyle would say the same things.”

– To reach Luke Graham, call 871-4229

or e-mail lgraham@steamboatpilot.com


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