Aspen Speedos collect state titles, regional zone honors |

Aspen Speedos collect state titles, regional zone honors

Dale Strode
The Aspen Times
Kennidy Quist of the Aspen Speedos glides through the water during a recent competition. Quist excelled recently at the Florida Senior Championships as well as the Western Zone Championships in Clovis, California.
Courtesy photo |

The Aspen Speedos raced into the closing meets of the swim season with major momentum and unprecedented results.

The younger of the Aspen swim club competitors, who had met qualifying standards, competed last week in the Colorado State Championships at the Air Force Academy north of Colorado Springs.’

“All things considered, we did really well. Davy (Brown) and Maddie (Mechling) led the way at state,” said longtime Aspen Speedos head coach Gordon Gerson. “Davy Brown … won the 13-14 girls 200 backstroke state championship.”

He said she became the third Aspen Speedos swimmer to win a state title, joining Max Bryant and Charlie Mechlling.

Gerson said the Speedos took only the younger swimmers to state because the older swimmers were prepping for the Senior Zone Championships in Clovis, California, held later last week.

Gerson said Davy Brown and Maddie Mechling teamed with Hannah Freeman and Sophia Perry to start the scoring for the Speedos at state. They finished 15th in the 400 freestyle relay in the 7,200 feet of elevation at the Air Force pool.

“They all had really nice splits,” Gerson said.

He said Davy Brown finished fourth in the 100 backstroke in a lifetime best at state. She was fifth in the open girls 400 individual medley.

She also finished ninth in the 200 freestyle with yet another lifetime best.

To win her 200 backstroke state title, Brown passed the race leader on the final lap.

She added a fourth in the 200 IM and a 14th in the 400 free.

Maddie Mechling was sixth in the 200 free, 15th in the 100 back and ninth in the 50 free, winning the consolation final in 28.47 seconds.

“That’s a righteous time right there,” Gerson said.

Mechling also was fourth in the 400 free, fourth in the 800 free and third in the 100 free in her 13-14 division at state.

Gerson said young Micah Sanders-Silva (10 and unders) had a strong state meet.

In the 50 breast stroke, he was seeded 29th but rallied to win his heat.

His time beat three other entire heats, and he finished fourth overall among the young swimmers.

“He had a similar thing in the 100 breast stroke,” Gerson said, finishing sixth.

Sanders-Silva also teamed up with Haver Muss-Nichols, TJ Rickard and Eddie Zane (age 8) to finish 12th in the 10-and-under 200 medley relay at the state championships.

Sanders-Silva also added a 14th-place finish in the 100 back.

Aspen’s Cole Petersen collected a bundle of state finishes.

He was 14th in 100 breast, 15th in the 400 IM, eighth in the 200 breast, 12th in the 800 free and 12th in 200 IM

“Overall, I was really happy,” Gerson said.

He said the older qualifiers then headed to Clovis, California, for the prestigious Senior Zones at Clovis West and Clovis North high schools.

“We had not scored in this meet previously,” Gerson said. “But this go-round we did so well, the girls came in 13th (150 teams).”

He said Kennidy Quist, who had competed in the Florida Senior Summer Championships a week earlier, bolstered the Aspen Speedos relay teams at the big Senior Zones meet in California.

Still, she finished third in the 100 freestyle individually.

“All three of the girls relays placed in the top 10,” Gerson said.

She swam with Charlie Mechling, Samantha Terranova and Kelcie Gerson to finish eighth in the 800 freestyle relay.

The Aspen Speedos coach said the same quartet finished seventh in the 400 medley relay and 10th in the 400 free relay.

“Kennidy did a lifetime best leading off the 400 free relay, Gerson said. “They all had personal-best splits.””

Other top zone finishes for the Speedos included Max Bryant, who was 12th in the 200 individual medley.

He came to the meet from Hawaii where he had been vacationing. But in Hawaii, Bryant also won a 1,000-meter open-water swim while there.

“He led wire-to-wire,” said Gerson, who offered some open-water advice for Bryant before his race.

Terranova added a 15th in the 400 IM in a lifetime best at state.

“Sevi Multin had a nice time drop in his 100 fly (at zones),” Gerson said. “Hannah Freeman had a nice swim in the 400 free.”

The week before California, Gerson said Quist, 16, dazzled in the Florida Senior Summer Championships at Indian River State College in Fort Pierce, Florida.

Quist, at Florida, finished second in the 50 free, second in the 100 free, third in the 100 breast, third in the 200 free, fourth in the 200 breast and sixth in the 100 free.

The Speedos will take a brief hiatus before returning to swim practice Aug 24. Gerson said any youngsters interested are invited.

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