Aspen Speedos crack top 15 at state meet |

Aspen Speedos crack top 15 at state meet

Jon Maletz
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

Seemingly every time he looked up, Gordon Gerson saw one of his swimmers in the pool at last weekend’s state championships.

“It was really nice to have a bit of a presence at the state level,” the Aspen Speedos head coach said Tuesday.

Although they brought just eight swimmers to the Air Force Academy, the Speedos came up big during four days of competition. Max Bryant picked up a win in the 200-meter butterfly and Kelcie Gerson finished second in the high-point chase among senior girls, propelling Aspen to a 14th-place finish.

The Speedos’ 426 points were more than the combined tally of the rest of the Western Slope teams.

“We had never been in the top 20 before. If you look at the list, all the teams ahead of us were from Denver and Colorado Springs and other big places,” Gordon Gerson said. “I’m really happy for the kids. They had a lot of fun supporting each other.”

Here are the weekend’s highlights:

• In addition to his win in the 200 butterfly – his second victory at the state championships in as many years – Bryant finished in the top 10 six other times. He was second in the 400 IM, third in the 200 IM and fourth in the 400 freestyle.

• Kelcie Gerson tallied seven top 10s, highlighted by a second in the 400 IM, a third in the 200 IM and fifth-place finishes in both the 200 backstroke and 400 freestyle. Her points total trailed only one swimmer, a University of Georgia All-American who swims for the Colorado Stars – the same team for which newly minted Olympic golf medalist Missy Franklin competes. (The Stars, who had 61 swimmers qualify for state, ran away with the team title.)

Additionally, Gerson teamed with Charlie Mechling, Kelli Callahan and Claire Collier to take fifth in the 400 freestyle and sixth in the 400 medley relays – the Speedos’ highest finishes ever in state relays.

• Sam Richie overcame a sore throat and fever to compile five top-six results and score points in six of his seven events (the top 16 scored). He took third in the 50 freestyle, fourth in the 200 IM and fifth in both the 100 and 200 freestyles.

• Mechling scored in five events, highlighted by a third in the 200 backstroke and a sixth in 100 backstroke.

• Maddie Mechling’s six scoring swims included a seventh in the 50 back, eighths in the 100 and 200 freestyles and a 10th in the 100 backstroke.

• Callahan wound up sixth in the 200 IM and logged five other scoring swims.

• Collier finished ninth in the 100 butterfly and 10th in both the 200 butterfly and 200 backstroke.

• Everett Olson took sixth in the 100 freestyle.

“We had lots of kids in championship finals and consolation finals. It was fun to see,” coach Gerson said.

“They were a little bit faster than the week before at Western Slopes. If everything has gone right with the taper, they should be ready to really perform their best (at Western Zones in Grand Junction) in a week.”

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