Aspen Speedos dive into summer season |

Aspen Speedos dive into summer season

Dale Strode
The Aspen Times
Sophia Perry of the Aspen Speedos competes in the recent swim meet in Glenwood Springs.
Courtesy photo |

The Aspen Speedos didn’t waste any time kicking off the summer competitive swim season.

The Speedos opened the new year at the annual Western Slope IMX Challenge meet at the Glenwood Springs Recreation Center pool.

“This was an IMX meet. That means all the kids have to swim different challenges during the meet,” said Lizzay Grater, an assistant swim coach with the Aspen Speedos.

“We had 52 swimmers in the meet. They all have to swim different strokes,” Grater said of the early season meet that is designed to expand the swimming horizons for the junior swimmers.

Swimmers are required to enter events that they usually don’t swim.

She said four Aspen Speedos won the overall challenges in their age categories in Glenwood Springs.

She said Lillie Boggs won her challenge as did Gracie Brown, Maddie Mechling and Kennidy Quist.

“Because there are categories you have to do, it definitely encourages trying a little big of everything,” Grater said. “The really well-rounded swimmers really stand out in a meet like this.”

Mechling, for example, won the girls 11-12 500 freestyle and the 100-yard butterfly. She finished second in the 100 breast.

Maddie Mechling also finished first in the girls 11-12 1000-yard freestyle event, and she won the 200 freestyle race. She also collected first-place finishes in the 50 butterfly and the 100 back.

Boggs won the girls 8-and-under 25 butterfly as well as the 50 freestyle. She also won the 100 individual medley in Glenwood Springs.

Brown’s victories included a win in the girls 8-and-under 25 breast.

Quist’s finishes included a second in the girls 13-and-over 100 butterfly and the 100 breast.

A number of other Aspen Speedos had top-three individual events in Glenwood Springs, including Charlie Mechling, Cole Petersen, Micah Sanders-Silva, Kayla Tehrani, August Richie, Lewis Brown, Haver Muss-Nichols and Clare Anderson.

For other Speedos, last weekend’s meet was a first.

“We had some brand new swimmers who have never competed before,” Grater said. “It’s exciting to see kids in their first meet. And it’s exciting for them, too.”

She said the younger swimmers work hard in practice and finally get to show their mettle in a meet.

“It’s nice for them to get some competition under their belt,” said Grater, a former competitive prep swimmer who played water polo at the University of Virginia.

“I like coaching, and I like the sport of swimming,” said Grater, who has worked with head coach Gordon Gerson and the Speedos for four years.

“We’re really excited to have more swimmers out this season,” she said.

The younger Speedos are gearing up for a big meet in Grand Junction in two weeks.

“We’re looking for some state-qualifying times at that meet,” Grater said, adding that the Grand Junction pool is one of the fastest in the region. Plus, she said, Front Range swimmers will be at the meet to speed things up.

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