Swimmers soar at Western Slope championships | SteamboatToday.com

Swimmers soar at Western Slope championships

Saige Lottes, Zoe Anfang and Jenna Smith all earned high-point honors in their respective age divisions at the Western Slope Championships in Grand Junction.

The Steamboat Springs Swim Team weighed in as one of the smallest teams at the annual Western Slope League Championship meet last month in Grand Junction.

The squad took 24 athletes to the meet at the El Pomar Natatorium.

They may have been small in number, but the team swam to outsized results. Against 16 other teams, Steamboat ended up sixth with 127.5 points. On top of that, the squad had three athletes — Zoe Anfang, Saige Lottes and Jenna Smith — achieve high-point winner status in their age divisions.

Anfang won seven events in the 8-and-under division — the best meet of her young career.

She said she tried out other sports but found her home in swimming.

“I just think it’s my sport because I tried the others, and they’re just too hard,” she said. “Swimming is hard, too, but it’s the fun kind of hard.”

She said her favorite events are breaststroke and backstroke.

“In backstroke you can breathe whenever you want, and breaststroke is kind of calming,” she said.

Lottes finished with six first-place finishes, two second-place finishes and two third-place finishes in the 11-12 age division.

Jenna Smith, meanwhile, had six first-place finishes, two seconds and one third.

“We’re a pretty small team compared to some others, so to have three high-point winners was a pretty great accomplishment,” coach Patti Worsley said.

That trio helped lead the girls team to a third-place finish, behind Aspen and the home team, Maverick Aquatics.

Worsley said her swimmers, up and down the roster, logged strong results.

Qualified swimmers included Ashley Anfang, Jackson Bathke, Brooks Birkinbine, Kelsey Bryant, Amanda Dietrich, Annika Fahrner, Grace Felinczak, Lauren Fullerton, Caroline Henninger, Katherine Knapp, Rylee McLouth, Althea Ort, Annika Ort, Anna Rhodes, Riq Rogers, Emma Russell, Grace Schoen, Travis Seitz, Douglas Smith, Sam Thomas and Mattie Welch.

“The swimmers competed with such determination and their technique looked great,” Worsley said. “It was great to see some of our young and newer swimmers experience the excitement of qualifying and swimming numerous events at their first league championships.”

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

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