Steamboat Springs swim team wins at Aspen meet
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — When the Steamboat Springs swim team embarked for the Ned Mechling Memorial Aspen Invitational ahead of Saturday, Oct. 12, it left with the most swimmers ever.
A whopping 56 swimmers traveled to the largest fall meet of the season, where the girls won with 2,669 points. Aspen took second with 1,842.5 points, making Steamboat’s margin of victory a massive one. The boys team took third with 1,098 points while Aspen won with 2,450.
Head coach Patti Worsley said the team’s success goes back to the coaching staff.
“We have great coaches, eight different coaches, all different walks of life, a lot of different experiences,” Worsley said. “They just bring a lot to the team that offers a lot for these kids to learn different life experiences and different techniques. … The kids work hard. They’re dedicated.”
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Worsley also said she’s sure the team has won the meet before but not for a long time.
The invite hosts swimmers ages 6 to 18, with Steamboat bringing athletes ranging from 6 to 15 years old.
Kelsey Bryant, 13, won eight of her races, breaking an Aspen pool record in three. She won the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 26.2 seconds, the 100 freestyle in 57.12 and the 50-yard breast stroke of 33.19 seconds.
The meet wrapped up Sunday, on Bryant’s birthday where she competed in her last races in the 11-12 division.
Millie Kassar, 8, won all eight of her events as well in the 8-and-under division. She got gold in the 25 freestyle, 25 breaststroke, 25 butterfly, 50 freestyle, 50 breaststroke, 50 backstroke, 100 freestyle and the 100-yard individual medley.
Zoe Anfang, 12, won the 100-yard butterfly in the 11-12 division with a time of 1:14.45, trimming 15 seconds off her personal-best time.
“I think one of the highlight performances for me was from Zoe Angang when she dropped 15 seconds in her 100 fly time,” Worsley said. “Her 100 fly looked just beautiful. That surprised me.”
In the same division, Ivy Ladrow, 12, won the 100 backstroke in a personal-best time of 1:14.75, while Andy Madden won the 200 freestyle in 2:42.96. He also won the 50-yard butterfly with a time of 36.74.
Makinly Long, 10, took first in the 9-10 100-yard backstroke in 1:48.56, while Rylyn Blonder, 6, earned first in the 25 freestyle, 25 backstroke, 50 freestyle and the 100-yard freestyle.
Many kids earned top-three finishes, and the relays excelled as well.
“We got some kids who really stepped up this time and dropped a lot of time,” Worsley said. “The technique looked great, just lots of positive comments from parents and other teams there saying how great our technique looked. Our kids were swimming fast. It was a real great atmosphere and a boost to the team.”
The first three-month winter program is about to kick off. Older swimmers will travel to the Pikes Peak Invite in Colorado Springs, while the younger swimmers will attend the Sopris Invite on Nov. 9 and 10.
As far as Worsley knows, the Steamboat Springs swim team is the only mountain town team that regularly practices outdoors, even in the winter. If it’s below zero, the swimmers have to wait to get in the pool until the air temperature reads zero. Other than that, they swim in the Old Town Hot Springs pool year round.
She thinks that experience is one that makes her swimmers unique.
“Our swimmers are tough, committed and fast,” she said. “And their dedication is paying off in and out of the pool.”
Download the full results below.
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