Aspen Swim Club wins fifth straight WSL summer championship
Another summer, another Western Slope League championship for the Aspen Swim Club.
Over the weekend in Grand Junction, the Speedos wrapped up their fifth straight WSL title, dominating a meet that is considered to be the highlight of the long-course season for teams this side of the Rockies.
“The summer championships are considered in most of swimming to be the big one,” said Aspen coach Gordon Gerson, comparing the recent meet to the WSL winter championships. “Obviously real happy about that. It’s become a nice tradition that we’d like to continue. It’s interesting to me how it’s really across the board a team effort.”
Aspen finished the three-day meet with 3,846.5 points, while Montrose was second with 2,442 points. The meet started Friday with the 8-and-under swimmers, Aspen’s 404 points giving it a slight edge over Gunnison (382 points) heading into the weekend.
“It’s great having a nice crew of 8-year-olds putting us out to the lead and then having the rest of the team take over,” Gerson said. “I don’t want it to be hypercompetitive for the 8-and-unders, but on the other hand I want them to feel like they are a part of the team.”
Aspen had 10 different swimmers finish with at least one race victory. The standout was 14-year-old Shea Card, a soon-to-be freshman at Basalt High School, who won eight of his nine events to go with one second-place finish.
Right on his heels was recent Aspen High School graduate Kennidy Quist. The Harvard-bound swimmer won six of her seven events, a lone second place keeping her from the sweep.
Other Aspen winners included Gavin Boggs, Davy Brown, Kathryn Jones, Cole Petersen, Micah Sanders-Silva, Andrew Sprenger, Kayla Tehrani and Eddie Zane.
Aspen swimmers who didn’t win but still recorded a top-three finish included Lillie Boggs, Kelli Callahan, Emily Driscoll, L.J. Fetzko, Hannah Freeman, Laila Khan-Farooqi, Emily Kinney, Charlie Mechling and Penelope White.
“We had across the board contributions at almost every age group. In particular we dominated in the senior girls,” Gerson said. “Lots and lots of lifetime bests. But we still have a lot of kids with swimming yet to go.”
For a majority of the Aspen swimmers, the WSL championships were the end to their summer season. For the rest, the stage is about to get a lot bigger.
Gerson is taking six — Mechling, Callahan, Freeman, Driscoll, Tehrani and Card — to the 13-and-over state championships in Fort Collins, beginning Friday. The 12-and-under state championships start a week later, also in Fort Collins.
“For us, the most important team meet is Western Slope, and then it becomes what is best for the individuals,” Gerson said. “It’s about everyone spreading their wings and doing their best.”
A select few will get to compete at Futures in Texas in early August. Quist also is qualified to compete at Junior Nationals in New York from Aug. 8 to 12.
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