Steamboat swim team qualifies first swimmer for state
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Following a strong weekend of competition, one Steamboat Springs swimmer qualified for the state meet.
At just 11 years old, the bottom of her age group, Zoe Anfang became the team’s first 2020 Colorado State swim meet qualifier when she won the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 2:54.08 at the Pikes Peak meet on Nov. 11.
“Qualifying for state is difficult. The times have gotten tougher and tougher,” head coach Patti Worsley said. “She works hard all the time. She’s tiny, small, but boy is she mighty. She just works really hard. It’s exciting to get the first qualifier.”
Zoe will represent Steamboat at the state championships in Thornton the weekend of March 1.
Zoe was not alone in her greatness. Kelsey Bryant also had phenomenal performance at Pikes Peak. Competing for the first time in the 13-14 age group, Kelsey continued the success she saw at the 11-12 level.
She won the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 26.63 seconds and the 100-yard freestyle in 56.88 and also trimmed off time in seven of her eight events.
“I don’t think she expected to do as well as she did,” Worsley said. “It was pretty exciting to drop time from last meet in seven of eight events … quite an accomplishment … She’s got confidence when she goes up to the blocks. She swims her heart out.”
Andy Madden, 12, also improved across the board. He put up eight personal-best times and finished in the top eight in all but one of his events.
Ivy Ladrow, 12, also cut time in seven of her eight events. She took fifth in both the 200-yard freestyle and the 100-yard freestyle with respective times of 2:19.18 and 1:02.62.
“She was never a breaststroker, and all of a sudden, she stepped up the plate and raced breaststroke,” Worsley said. “I think she took almost 10 seconds off her 50-yard time.”
In her second meet ever, 8-year-old Isla Ladrow earned fourth in the 100-freestyle with a time of 2:07.4.
Hours away in Glenwood Springs, Coach Carson Keller was with the younger swimmers at the Sopris annual Deep Freeze Invite.
“He was really happy, because he had to take care of 19 swimmers just by himself and not one of them missed an event,” Worsley said with a laugh.
Naki George, 10, finished third in the 100-yard free. In the 8-and-under 100-yard freestyle, Alexandra De Feyter earned first, while Amelia Girard took second. Millie Kasara, 8, won all four of her events, earning a personal-best time in the 25-yard breaststroke.
Longtime team member Kaden White took second in the 25-yard backstroke.
“He’s been on the team a long, long time. To get second in an event was fantastic,” Worsley said. “He works really hard.”
The team is now in a month-long gap leading up to the next meet, the Fort Collins Area Swim Team mid-season finale in Fort Collins on Dec. 13. A record 21 Steamboat swimmers are headed to the meet, which features a prelims-finals format.
“We’ve never had this many kids attend that meet,” Worsley said. “We usually have maybe, maximum 10. The interest is just growing in swim team. We’ve got a great group of coaches and really enthusiastic parents, and kids that want to swim and have fun.”
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