Steamboat swimmers excel at state meet
Five Steamboat Swim Team members compete at state meet in Grand Junction
GRAND JUNCTION — Five members of the Steamboat Springs Swim Team, four girls and a boy, recently traveled to Grand Junction to compete in the Colorado State Swim Meet. The girls earned a 16th-place finish among team standings.
“I think we have one of the strongest small-market or small-town teams in the whole state,” said Bryan Ladrow, Steamboat Springs swim team coach. “We beat everybody except for the Front Range team. We got a lot of talent.”
Twelve-year-old Kelsey Bryant led the way, taking sixth or better in five events.
She made the finals in the 50-meter freestyle with a preliminary time of 29.08 seconds. In the finals, she placed second overall with a time of 28.7.
Bryant also earned second in the 50 breaststroke with a time of 36.72 seconds, and the 100-meter freestyle in 1:03.16, good for third. Additionally, she placed fifth in the 100 breaststroke and sixth in the 200 freestyle. She also swam the 200 individual medley in 2:38.91, good for 10th. Her lowest finish was in the 50 butterfly in which she placed 11th.
Bryant teamed up with Ivy Ladrow, 11, Grace Felinczak, 11, and Zoe Anfang, 11, to compete in the girls 12 and younger 200 freestyle relay, in which they took 15th with a time of 2:08.9. The same combination took 21st in the 200 medley relay.
“Our free relay did really good,” Bryant said. “We all went our goal times for each 50, and everybody’s dive wasn’t too early or too late. It was just really good.”
Ladrow swam a personal-best time of 32.17 seconds in the 50-meter freestyle on day one, placing 49th. She also finished 55th in the 100 freestyle.
“I really liked how everybody was cheering for me, and the team was there,” Ivy Ladrow said. “I wanted to support them.”
Anfang competed in just one individual event, the 200-meter breaststroke, stopping the clock at 3:19.08, earning 25th.
“Anfang was the last seed, the last person to make the qualifying time, and she moved all the way up to 25th place, almost placing in the top 24,” Bryan Ladrow said. “Her swim in the 200 breaststroke was phenomenal.”
At 11 years old, Anfang and Ivy Ladrow were some of the younger people in their events, which primarily features 12-year-old swimmers.
“It was a little nerve-wracking,” Ivy Ladrow admitted. “But after I was done, I felt really accomplished.”
Meanwhile, 12-year-old Peyton Dike competed in four events, earning a personal-best finish of 31st place in the 50 breaststroke with a time of 42.94. He also took 43rd in the 50 freestyle and 53rd in the 50-meter butterfly, while taking 70th in the 100-meter freestyle.
“This is the first year we brought a male to the meet with Peyton,” Bryan Ladrow said. “We don’t have as many boys swimmers, and Peyton showed a ton of improvement this year and was able to qualify for state for the first time ever in his swimming career.”
Dike also swam in the 100-meter breaststroke, but he false started. Bryan Ladrow said he was confident Dike would have finished in the top 24 if he hadn’t twitched ahead of the race.
Bryant still not done
In August, Bryant will travel to Oregon to represent the state of Colorado in the Western Zone Age Group Championships from Aug. 7 through 10. She will be one of a small group of swimmers aged 11 through 14 representing Colorado in a competition that features athletes from 13 states.
“I had to make a certain amount of times then I had to apply to even get in. Then, they told me that I got in,” she said.
While she’s not sure which events she’ll be put in, she said her strongest stroke is freestyle.
“She has a lot of dedication. She worked extremely hard this year,” Bryan Ladrow said. “She never misses practice. She’s just got a real inner drive to be good.”
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