ASPEN - Competing against teams more than three times larger, the Aspen Speedos' head coach said his team's fourth-place finish out of seven was the best it could do.
Despite the lack of manpower, the Speedos won a bevy of events.
"We swam really well," coach Gordon Gerson said. "I'm starting to sound like a broken record, but we had some illnesses. ... But we won tons of events."
The three-day meet last weekend in Grand Junction was something many of Gerson's swimmers had never experienced before. The format featured morning preliminaries and evening finals.
Highlighting the meet was 16-year-old Max Bryant, who won eight of his nine events.
"Max was either on his best times or getting close to his best times," Gerson said. "It just shows when we get to the championship meet, he's going to do pretty well."
Claire Collier also turned in a number of impressive performances, winning six of her nine events, including a 50-yard freestyle in 24.9 seconds.
"Claire has worked harder this year than any other year," Gerson said. "I knew she had a shot at going under 25 seconds and just went out and crushed it."
Charlie Mechling won seven of her nine events competing in the 13- to 14-year-old division, tallying second place in her other two events.
"Charlie works super hard in practice, and in a lot of her wins, she hardly had a lot of competition," Gerson said.
Despite fighting flu-like symptoms throughout the weekend, Davy Brown finished second in three events to go along with a third and a fourth in two others. Maddie Mechling, Brown's training partner, placed first three times in the meet along with a handful of best finishes.
Micah Sanders-Silva, 8, won five of seven of his events.
"I'm really happy with most of the swimmers in where they are at this point in the season," Gerson said.
Aspen next competes Feb. 10 at Glenwood Springs.