Steamboat swimmers near end of season |

Steamboat swimmers near end of season

The Steamboat Springs Swim Team took time for a busy part of its schedule this week for a small competition in its home pool, an intra-squad swimming scrimmage, and afterward, the team took time for something else.

Getting athletes out for the squad isn't a problem, coach Patti Worsley said. Getting all those kids at the same place at the same time for a photo, however, is an annual struggle.

This week, she managed to rope 54 kids into the team photo after the team's mini meet.

Afterward, the squad was back to work, preparing for a big weekend of races at Aspen this weekend.

"They've been swimming really well — strong performances — and it's been great to see them competing," Worsley said of her squad.

Most of her athletes are fresh out of school this week, but many are also approaching the end of their season. The races in Aspen mark one of the final regular season events of the current swimming season.

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"We're really looking forward to it," she said.

The team has put together plenty of success this spring.

The squad competed last month with 34 swimmers at an event in Glenwood Springs. It got plenty of stand-out performances. In the open sprint individual medley, a massive relay event for 10-year olds with six different races, Grace O'Reilly placed first, Kelsey Bryant was third and Amanda Dietrich fourth.

On the open mid-distance IM, Katherine Knapp, 12, was third. One age division up, Grace Schoen, 13, was 13th, and on the boys side, Brooks Birkinbine, 16, was second.

Elsewhere, Grace Felinczak, 10, was fifth in the sprint distance IM and Katharina Cosby, 9, was sixth. Cash DelliQuadri, 9, was second.

In a Denver event, Steamboat also came away with strong performances, despite taking just five swimmers. Annika Fahrner, 16, placed 10th in the girls 100-meter breaststroke. Jenna Smith, 13, was second in each of her four events — the 100 freestyle, 100 butterfly, 100 backstroke and 50 freestyle. Grace O'Reilly, 11, was eighth in the 50 backstroke and 100 backstroke.

Grace Schoen, 13, and Rylee McLouth, 12, all cut time, as well.

The team next sent six swimmers to another Front Range meet, the Cuda/Star meet in Thornton.

There, Smith won the 50 and 100 freestyle races, then was second in the 100 backstroke and 200 individual medley and third in the 200 freestyle.

Smith's times have helped her fight her way up the regional and national rankings. She currently has the fastest time in the 50 freestyle for 13-year-olds in the Western Zone, which slots her with the 11th-best time in the United States.

Kelsey Bryant raced in six events, placed sixth in three, then ninth, 10th and 12th in the others.

Fahrner was sixth in the 200 breaststroke. Dietrich cut time in all six of her events, then placed ninth in the 200 freestyle and 15th in the 200 individual medley. Knapp also cut time in all six of her events and placed ninth in the 200 breaststroke and 12th in the 100 breaststroke.

So far, Steamboat has seven athletes qualified for state.

Smith has made the mark in more than 10 events. Bryant has qualified in eight, Dietrich in seven, O'Reilly in four, Fahrner and Knapp in two each and Saige Lottes in one.

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253, email or follow him on Twitter @JReich9