Aspen Speedos thrive in Sopris Deep Freeze | AspenTimes.com

Aspen Speedos thrive in Sopris Deep Freeze

Dale Strode
The Associated Press

The Aspen Speedos set a torrid pace at the Sopris Deep Freeze Invitational.

The swimmers of the Aspen Swim Club — 60 strong — recorded some of their top times of the season last weekend as they rose to the top of the field in the annual invitational swim meet in Glenwood Springs.

"The kids were fired up, and they swam fast," Speedos head coach Gordon Gerson said. "The meet went great. Outstanding performances across the board."

He said the younger Speedos swimmers have gained experience since the team started practicing in August.

"It's mid-November now, the little guys have a lot of swimming under their belts," Gerson said. "They've refined their techniques. And they're getting faster."

The swim meet results showed drops in best times for the Aspen swimmers — consistently.

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"That's a huge percentage (with time drops)," Gerson said as he looked over the team results at a recent practice session at the Aspen Recreation Center pool.

He said even the older Speedos swimmers had time drops even though they are gearing up for fast times in upcoming big meets in Florida and Denver.

Maddie Mechling and Nathan Cherry, both 12, won all of their events as they both head into the next age division next month, Gerson said.

"They were both 8-for-8," Gerson said. "Nathan … all best times; Maddie … almost all best times."

For the record, Cherry won the 100 breast, the 100 freestyle, the 100 individual medley, the 400 IM, the 50 butterfly, the 50 free, the 200 free and the 500 free.

Mechling won the 100 back, the 100 free, the 100 IM, the 50 fly, the 50 free, the 200 back, the 200 free and the 500 free.

Gracey Brown won seven events in the 8-and-under division in Glenwood Springs.

The older swimmers, 13- and-older, were all grouped together for the Sopris Deep Freeze Invitational, hosted by the Sopris club.

Davy Brown had some top finishes against the older girls. She had a second, two thirds and a fourth as a 14-year-old.

Micah Sanders-Silva, 9, had three firsts, a second and a third in his age group. He also finished in the top 10 in two 12-and-under events.

"Samantha Terranova from Steamboat really had a great meet," Gerson said. Terranova lives and trains in Steamboat Springs and competes with the Speedos. She also trains some in Aspen. "She's training on the senior program. I expect her to have an outstaniding mile when we go to Florida. Sam got six firsts, a second and a fourth. She was dominant among the big girls at this meet."

Lillie Boggs, 9, had a second in the 50-back in the 9-10 division. She added strong finishes in the 12-and-under division as a 9-year-old, Gerson said.

"Kelli Callahan had one of the best nonchampionship meets she's ever had," Gerson said of the Aspen 16-year-old. He said Calahan had three big time drops. She ended with two firsts, a second and two thirds.

"Davy Brown, just turned 14, she more than held her own against the older girls," Gerson said. She had a second, two thirds and a fourth in a division that included 17-year-olds.

Brother Derek Brown, 10, picked up a first, a second and three thirds.

"Lelia (Arthur) didn't get a podium. But I was really proud of her effort. She had a bunch of time drops," Gerson said. The 15-year-old also is closing in on several high school girls state-qualifying times as the prep winter season begins, he said.

"Emily (Driscoll) had a great meet," Gerson said. "Look at her time drops."

Driscoll, 14, competed against the older swimmers.

"As someone who's a freshman in high school, she's knocking on the door of the state times," Gerson said.

He also credited Hannah Freeman with an outstanding weekend in the distance events.

"Little Gavin Boggs, 7, had a good meet. He's very enthusiastic. He keeps working hard," Gerson said. Boggs finished first in the 8-and-under 100 IM. He added a second, three thirds and a fourth — competing against 8-year-olds.

"Eli Cohen (8) has gotten better and better," Gerson said. "He had a first, a second and a bunch of thirds."

The Speedos coach said Maia Ettinger continues to improve in the 8-and-under girls. Ettinger won the 25 breast and the 25 fly in Glenwood Springs. She also was second in the 100 IM and the 25 freestyle.

Nathan Levey competed in two events and won one — the 50 breast for 8-and-unders.

"Lily McAllister (10) is doing quite well. She's one of the athletes who has moved here from Florida," Gerson said. She had three thirds and a pair of fourths.

Charlie Mechling, 16, jumped in the pool and collected four second places and two thirds last weekend.

"Everett Olson had several best times," Gerson said. "And Sophia Perry had a really nice meet … time drops in every event but one. And Cole Petersen continues to get better and better."

He said the Quist sisters had solid meets last weekend.

"Kennidy … is becoming a more well-rounded swimmer. Sister Paige had a lot of nice finishes, too," Gerson said. Paige Quist, 12, won the 100 fly. She added three seconds, two thirds and two fourths.

"Connor (Somers) gets faster every time he gets in the pool," Gerson said of the 14-year-old. "He's still improving his strokes … getting better all the time."

He also credited 11-year-old Devin Thomas with big time drops.

"Adelaide Ryerson .. had gigantic time drops as an 8-year-old," Gerson said. "Riley Rushing … she's only been on the team for a year now. She keeps climbing the ranks."

He said the breakout performance of the meet came from 13-year-old Taylor Pattillo.

"Taylor (Pattillo) is 13, competing against all the big kids," Gerson said. "She's really had a renewed enthusiasm this fall. Her hard work is really showing up."

She, like most of the Speedos, posted major time drops last weekend.

Even the coaching staff jumped into the picture at the Glenwood Springs meet. Assistant coach Lizzie Grater entered the 100 breast stroke in the girls 13-and-older division. She trains with the Speedos twice a week.

How did she finish?

"She swam her best time ever," Gerson said after Grater, 27, won the event — to the delight of the Speedos' squad. "Even big kids can learn from this system."

dstrode@aspentimes.com

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