Smith shines again for Steamboat swim team
Steamboat Springs — Jenna Smith’s strong season in the pool doesn’t seem to be slowing down.
The 12-year-old Steamboat Springs swimmer put together another strong showing last weekend at the CSI Pioneer Open, held at the University of Denver. With 26 teams competing, it was one of the more competitive events of the winter season for the Steamboat Swim Team.
Smith wasn’t fazed, making the finals in all seven events in which she competed and taking first place in three.
“She is mentally prepared, physically prepared and just ready to get out there and swim,” SSST coach Patti Worsley said. “It’s really nice to watch her get up on the blocks and just get out there and swim. She is just very confident when she gets up there.”
Smith took first in the 100-yard freestyle in 54.63 seconds, a time that ranks 16th nationally for her age in the current short course yards season. Her first-place time of one minute, 0.59 seconds in the 100-yard backstroke ranks 13th nationally.
She also took first in the 200 freestyle in 1:59.84.
Second-place finishes included the 100-yard butterfly (1:01.56), 100-yard breaststroke (1:10.60), and 50-yard freestyle (25.33 seconds). Smith took fourth in the 100-yard IM in 1:03.74.
Most importantly, Smith’s times qualified her for March’s sectional meet at the University of Iowa in the 50 free, 100 free, 100 backstroke, 200 backstroke and 100 butterfly. She missed qualifying in the 100 breaststroke by .10 second and the 200 free by .40 second.
“Sectionals are usually events for older swimmers. So to be qualifying for that level of event at her age is quite an amazing feat,” Worsley said. “She is giving Steamboat a little name on the map there in the big world of swimming.”
Worsley said she doesn’t know if Smith will compete in sectionals. She is also waiting to find out if she made the Colorado team for the Midwest All-Star Championships, to be held Jan. 9 and 10 in Nebraska. The CSI Pioneer Open was a last-chance qualifier for the all-star competition, with team announcements expected in the next couple of weeks.
Also competing in Denver last weekend was Steamboat’s Saige Lottes, who qualified for five events but ended up competing in only three. Lottes posted some of her best times of the season in each event, with Worsley saying her 32nd-place time of 1:01.91 in the 100 freestyle was nearly two seconds faster than her previous best.
She also took 43rd in the 50 butterfly in 31.99 seconds and 41st in the 50 freestyle in 29.12 seconds.
Steamboat has five swimmers competing in Fort Collins this weekend, their final meet before the holiday break. They’ll return to the pool with a meet in Grand Junction on Jan. 9.
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