Kelcie Gerson to swim at Columbia University | AspenTimes.com

Kelcie Gerson to swim at Columbia University

Dale Strode
The Aspen Times

Kennidy Quist and Kelcie Gerson celebrate a recent race with big smiles. Gerson this week signed to swim at Columbia University in New York City next year.

Kelcie Gerson will be swimming in a different world next year.

Gerson, the Aspen High School senior and longtime member of the Aspen Speedos swim club, will be swimming at sea level instead of 8,000 feet.

And she'll be in a more urban setting that her current Colorado meet locations — she'll be swimming in New York City.

Gerson this week completed arrangements to swim for Columbia University next season.

“I have pretty high expectations for these guys. But I would have to say it went better than my expectations.”
Aspen Speedos coach Gordon Gerson

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She greeted the news with, of course, a big smile.

"It is a super-nice relief," Gerson said at practice this week at the Aspen Recreation Center pool. "I'm pretty lucky. My top choice was Columbia, and they were interested in me, too."

Gerson, who competed last weekend at the multistate Gulf Coast Senior Championships at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, said that once she saw collegiate swimming as a realistic goal, she aimed for Division I.

"That's what I've been working toward," said the multi-event swimmer who excels at the backstroke, among others. "Swimming at D-I."

Gerson is the daughter of Elaine and Gordon Gerson (the Aspen Speedos longtime head coach).

She said she's excited about swimming at sea level next year after her final season of mountain swimming.

"Hopefully, it will help a lot," Gerson said. "I'll be able to train harder, and hopefully I'll be able to get faster."

She said the training schedule at Columbia is very similar to her current training regimen with the Speedos.

"So that shouldn't be too mcuh of a transition," she said, adding that in the meantime, "they wanted me to continue my training here, continue training hard with the club."

Along with her swimming future, Gerson is equally enthused about her academic future.

"I plan to study engineering, probably biomedical engineering," Gerson said, with a smile, of course.

dstrode@aspentimes.com