Steamboat swimmers head to Thornton for State Swimming Championships |

Steamboat swimmers head to Thornton for State Swimming Championships

— This week, Annika Fahrner, Avery Harrington, Parker Kortas, Jenna Smith and Lily Starkey travel to Thornton to compete in the CSI Colorado State Championships swimming meet.

“My goal is to drop time,” Smith said.

It’s a goal she shared with every other swimmer who will be making the trip this weekend to compete in the biggest meet of the winter season.

“This is a really big week. It’s what we have been working for all year,” Starkey said of the meet. “What I really want is for our whole team to do well.”

Starkey will be swimming the butterfly in the 400-yard medley relay. Harrington will kick things off in the relay by swimming the backstroke position, Kortas will follow in the second slot swimming the breaststroke, Starkey will take her turn in the third leg, and Fahrner will bring it home by swimming the freestyle in the final leg. Smith is listed as the alternate on the team.

However, Smith is going to be busy this weekend competing in seven individual events including the 50-yard breast, 50-yard butterfly, 100-yard breast, 50-yard back, 100-yard freestyle, 100-yard back and 50-yard freestyle.

Harrington also will compete in seven events including the 100-yard breast, 100-yard butterfly, 50-yard freestyle, 200-yard breast, 100-yard back, 200-yard back and 100-yard freestyle.

Kortas will only swim in two events at the state championships despite the fact that she qualified in several other events. She will be headed to a larger sectional meet the following weekend, and the coaches want to hold her back for those events, which will take place at the University of Iowa March 14 to 15.

“I haven’t tapered,” Kortas said. “That’s going to make it harder to swim fast this weekend, but we are hoping it will pay off when I get to sectionals.”

Fahrner is also only swimming in two events, but she will be plenty tired by the end of the weekend. Fahrner is competing in the mile freestyle event in addition to the relay.

“I’m the only real distance swimmer on the team,” Fahrner said. “My main goal is to swim really fast.”

Coach Patti Worsley said this meet is the highlight of the winter season for her young swimmers. The past several months the team has faced freezing temperatures to train in the Old Town Hot Springs outdoor pool

The swimmers are not sure if the hard training conditions will make them go faster, but they do think they will stay warm competing indoors.

To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966

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