Speedos climb ladder at state swim meet
The Aspen Times
The Aspen Speedos took a small contingent to the state swimming championships, but they returned with big results.
“We only had three kids there, but they sure did well,” said Gordon Gerson, head coach and director of the Aspen Speedos junior swim team. “Maddie (Mechling) was spectacular.”
The recently-turned-14 Mechling led the Speedos with a second-place finish in the 200 freestyle at the state meet, missing first place by a flash — .09 of a second.
“You can’t start and stop a stopwatch that fast,” Gerson said, outlining a race where Mechling trailed by a body length as they made the final turn. “One more stroke and she would have won.”
The state meet was staged at the swim center in Thornton.
“Maddie scored 106 of our 145 points,” Gerson said. The Speedos, with only three girls, finished 18th as a team on the girls state at the youth state championships. “She had a really good swim in the 50 free to start (qualifying rounds),” Gerson said.
She also swam well in the prelims of the 100 backstroke and the 200 freestyle.
“In the 50 free (finals), she dropped more time and came in fifth,” Gerson said.
Mechling also was third in the 100 back.
“You couldn’t really ask for a better day for her,” Gerson said, adding that her times are exemplary for a 14-year-old.
She posted a 24.62 in the 50 freestyle.
She put down a 58.58 in the 100 back prelims.
Her 200 free time was 1:55.07.
“They are all pretty awesome times for a 14-year-old,” the veteran swim coach said.
Mechling also finished sixth in the 200 back in 2:08.
In the 100 freestyle, she finished fourth in 52.42.
She also won the consolation final of the 500 freestyle.
“(The 200 free) was really close,” Mechling said. “It was so intense. It was exciting to see the video.”
She said her practice regimen helped her at state.
“I’ve been working on my finishes a lot in practice,” she said. “I think that’s really been helping a lot.”
She said the state meet is fun and challenging because of the heightened level of competition.
“It’s really fun to race,” Mechling said, adding that the 100 back was also one of her favorite events at the state championships.
She was bolstered at the state meet by teammates Lillie Boggs and Kayla Tehrani.
“This was her first state meet ever,” Gerson said of Boggs, who swam in the 10-and-under category. “She had a real nice meet.”
She finished 12th in the 200 individual medley and 12th in the 100 fly.
She also was 19th in the 100 free and 17th in the 50 free.
She also had a top-10 finish in the 200 free.
“All scoring finishes for her,” Gerson said.
Tehrani, in her first state meet, competed in the 11-12 division.
She reached the finals of the 100 free, and she broke a minute for the first time in the 100 free, finishing 19th, Gerson said.
“That was cool,” he said.
Several members of the Aspen Speedos will compete next weekend at the annual Silver State meet.
Then, there will be the Bronze meet in Grand Junction.
In late March, a group of six Speedos will compete in the Far Westerns meet in California.
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The Youth Art Expo will run Feb. 27 through March 14 at the Aspen Art Museum, showcasing work by young artists from Aspen to Rifle.