Aspen Speedos fourth at Western Slope meet | AspenTimes.com

Aspen Speedos fourth at Western Slope meet

Jon Maletz
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. – The quality is there for the Aspen Speedos, just not the quantity.

Four Aspen swimmers – Sam Richie, Max Bryant, Kelli Callahan and Maddie Mechling – won high-point awards while four others finished second in their respective age groups at this past weekend’s Western Slope championships in Grand Junction. But, in a meet where the top 16 in each event earned points, a relatively small Speedos contingent had trouble keeping pace with the area’s larger squads.

Aspen, which was without seven key contributors that helped it capture the winter season’s Western Slope championship – the program’s first – tallied 2,107 points over the weekend, good for fourth place. Montrose (3,253) captured the team title, Grand Junction’s Maverick Aquatics (2,758) settled for second and Team Sopris (2,203) rounded out the top three.

“We really have a solid senior group of swimmers that are setting the example for the next group,” Speedos head coach Gordon Gerson said Tuesday. “I would love to have a few more swimmers to fill some of the gaps.

“For a lot of kids this was their last meet of the season. They performed well.”

Here are the highlights:

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• Richie captured a high-point title in the 10-and-under boys division, winning all seven of his events.

“He pretty much dominates right now,” Gerson said. “He’s turning 11 in August, but he’ll be right back at the top of the pile before too long.”

• Bryant won five of his nine events, finished second twice and fourth twice.

• Callahan followed up an impressive showing two weeks ago in Montrose with six wins, one second and two thirds.

She has won 10 of her last 18 races.

“I honestly can’t say where she’s been,” Gerson said, “but we’re really happy to have her back.”

• Mechling won four races and was runner-up four times.

• Kelcie Gerson produced three wins and three second-place finishes.

• Charlie Mechling wound up with three wins, three seconds and three thirds. She also teamed with Gerson, Callahan and Claire Collier to win the 400 medley relay.

One day later, Mechling, Gerson, Collier and coach Lizzy Grater took second in the 400 freestyle relay.

• Collier won the 200 butterfly, finished second twice and third once.

• August Richie won the 25 backstroke and wound up third in the 100 freestyle.

Additionally, he joined forces with Andrew Perley, Andrew Springer and Lewis Brown to capture the 8-and-under boys 100 freestyle relay crown.

Thomas Mellenthin then joined Richie, Springer and Brown to win the 100 medley relay.

• Davy Brown finished second twice and third twice.

jmaletz@aspentimes.com