Aspen Speedos dominate slope championships
The Aspen Times
The numbers, for the Aspen Speedos, made a big splash last weekend at the winter Western Slope swimming championships in Grand Junction.
The Speedos dominated the two-day championships at Colorado Mesa University, setting a record for points in the current format of the youth swim meet.
“That speaks for itself,” said Aspen Speedos head coach and director Gordon Gerson. “That’s the most points anyone has scored in this meet.”
He said the turnout and the support of parents are critical in a travel weekend for a big meet.
“We couldn’t do this without our youngsters,” Gerson said. “They provided valuable contributions. And the big kids really showed up and ruled the roost.”
The Speedos advanced out of the preliminary heats in big numbers. Several finals featured multiple Speedos battling for top honors in the meet officially called the MAValanche Invitational.
Plus, Gerson said, the Speedos demonstrated major time improvements in events all across the board.
“Lillie led the way,” he said of 10-year-old Lillie Boggs. He said the 10-and-unders could swim more events than the older swimmers. She took advantage, swimming in nine events. She won the 100 butterfly, the 100 breast, the 50 fly, the 50 freestyle and the 200 individual medley. She also finished second in the 100 back, the 100 free, the 50 breast and the 500 free.
“She scored 168 points, which was the most for the team,” Gerson said.
Teammate Cole Petersen, 14, went 8-for-8 in Grand Junction, winning the 100 breast, the 100 fly, the 100 free, the mile, 200 breast, 200 free, 500 free and 200 IM.
He also swam on a pair of Speedos’ relays that broke team records over the weekend. Petersen was joined by Sevi Multin, Nathan Cherry and Shea Card on the winning relay teams.
“Maddie (Mechling) was 7-for-7,” Gerson said. She won the 100 back, the 100 free, the 200 breast, the 200 free, the 200 IM, the 50 free, the 500 free and the 50 back.
She also broke the Speedos’ team record in the 100 back. She just turned 14.
She was on two winning relay teams as well.
She teamed with Kennidy Quist, Davy Brown and sister Charlie Mechling to win the 400 free relay in a most impressive time, Gerson said.
And she joined Kelli Callahan, Emily Driscoll and Hannah Freeman to win the 200 medley relay.
Kennidy Quist had a dominating performance and even added a new event. The 16-year-old finished first in the 500 free, first in 100 breast, first in 100 free, first in the 50 free, first in the 100 fly and first in the 200 IM — “all really nice swims,” Gerson said.
She added the 100 backstroke to her repertoire for the first time – finishing second.
“Sevi Multin joined us for the holidays, and he worked out with us over the holidays, and he’s gotten a lot better,” Gerson said, pointing to the 15-year-old’s results in Grand Junction.
He won the 200 butterfly and finished second in the 100 fly, the 200 free, the 500 free and the 200 individual medley.
Multin also finished fourth in the 200 free and the 50 free.
“He just gets out and races,” Gerson said.
Parker Boyd moved up and is improving, the Speedos’ coach said, adding that she swam on an older girls relay team as a 10-year-old. They finished fourth.
Boyd finished second in the 100 individual medley. She added a fourth in the 100 fly, a fifth in the 50 fly, a fifth in the 50 breast as well as sixth-places finishes in the 50 free and the 100 breast. She was seventh in the 100 back and eighth in the 50 back.
“Across the board, solid effort,” Gerson said. “She’s working at it.”
Davy Brown, in addition to a winning relay finish, won the 100 back and finished second in the 200 back and the 400 IM.
She also finished fifth in the 100 free, fourth in the 200 breast and fifth in the 50 free. She’s 15.
Sister Gracey Brown, 9 competing in the 10-and-under, won the 200 breast and the 200 free.
She added a third in the 200 back, a fourth in the 50 back and a fifth in the 100 free. She also swam on a big girls relay team that placed in Grand Junction.
Derek Brown won the 500 freestyle and added second places in the 200 IM and the 200 breast.
Brown also was third in the 200 free, fourth in the 100 back, fifth in the 100 free and seventh in the 50 free.
He was part of a winning 200 free relay team with Micah Sanders-Silva, Owen McLernon and Harry Valentine-Wilson.
Nathan Cherry, 14, recorded numerous high finishes.He finished third in the 100 free, the 200 free and the 400 IM. Cherry was fourth in the 200 breast and fifth in the 100 breast. He also joined Cole Petersen, Shea Card and Sevi Multin to win the 400 free relay.
Plus, he had time drops in every race, according to Gerson.
“Emily Driscoll worked really hard at distance camp. She’s worked very hard,” Gerson said.
She posted time drops across the board. She led the way with a fourth in the 400 individual medley and a third in the 200 butterfly. She was sixth in the 100 back.
“The 100 back was a revelation for her,” Gerson said. “That’s a potential new event for her. This is all a tribute to her hard work.”
Owen McLernon, on a winning relay team, also won the 200 freestyle in Grand Junction in the 11-12 category.
He also finished second in the 100 back, the 100 butterfly and the 100 free. He added a third in the 50 free.
“It was a very solid meet for Owen,” Gerson said.
Charley Mechling’s weekend finishes included relay wins and an individual win in the 200 freestyle (15 and over).
She was second in the 50 free and the 100 free.
She also was third in the 100 fly and the 200 IM.
“All solid swims,” Gerson said.
Haver Muss-Nichols, 10, finished second in the 100 fly, second in the 200 free, third in 100 back, third in the 100 breast, third in the 200 IM, fourth in the 50 breast, fifth in the 100 free and sixth in the 50 free.
“Sophia (Perry) has been working hard,” Gerson said.
Perry finished third in the 200 breast as a 13-year-old in the 13-14 division.
She also was fifth in the 500 free, the 100 fly, the 100 free, the 200 back and the 500 free.
Micah Sanders-Silva, a recent 11-year-old, won three races in Grand Junction. He finished first in the 200 IM, the 50 back and the 50 breast.
He also was second in the 200 free, the 50 fly and the 50 free.
“That was a solid performance for a youngster in the age group,” Gerson said.
He said Kayla Tehrani, 11, had an outstanding meet last weekend.
She won the 50 butterfly and the 50 freestyle.
And she was second in the 100 back, the 100 free, the 200 IM and the 50 breast as well as third in the 500 free.
“She made a lot of Silver State (time) cuts and state cuts,” Gerson said.
Harry Valentine-Wilson, along with his relay finishes, won the 200 breast at Colorado Mesa University.
He was second in the 200 breast, fourth in the 200 IM and fifth in the 200 free.
“Estelle White and Pen White had real nice meets,” Gerson said. Pen is 8; Estelle is 10.
Estelle White finished third in the 200 free and the 100 fly.
Pen White added a third in the 50 fly and three fifth places — 100 back, 50 back, and 50 free.
Sara Michelin of the Speedos, 8, was third in the 100 back and the 50 back.
Gavin Boggs, who split the weekend with junior hockey, competed one day and won the 200 IM for 8-and-under. He was second in the 50 fly, the 100 free and the 200 free.
“Mahaila Bouman also had a nice meet,” Gerson said. She was fourth in the 100 breast and the 50 breast.
She added a pair of sixths as well.
Kelli Callahan rebounded with strong races in Grand Junction, he said.
Callahan, 18, finished fourth in the 100 fly and 500 free and fifth in the 200 breast.
“Ava Cherry gets props because she has been working so hard,”Gerson said of the 12-year-old.
Emily Kinney added three thirds for the Speedos. She was third in the 100 breast, the 200 breast and the 50 breast.
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