Aspen Speedos impress on Front Range |

Aspen Speedos impress on Front Range

Jon Maletz
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

Sam Richie and his Aspen Speedos teammates did not appear intimidated by the big pool or the big competition this past weekend in Thornton.

Competing against some of the state’s most promising young swimmers, Richie picked up nine victories – including two in events he had never swam – in 12 events, securing a high-point title among 9- and 10-year-old boys.

The feat is believed to be a first for an Aspen swimmer in any division at a Denver-area meet, Aspen head coach Gordon Gerson said Tuesday.

“You couldn’t tell how dominant he was during the meet because (the 9- and 10-year olds) were swimming with 11- and 12-year-olds, but he had a really great meet,” Gerson said. “He’s getting really close to making a lot of zones cuts, which is the highest level for someone his age.”

Here are some highlights from Thornton:

• Lewis Brown finished third in the high-point standings among 8-and-younger boys. His weekend was highlighted by two second-place finishes in the 200-meter IM and 200 freestyle and a third in the 100 freestyle.

“Both those guys (Brown and Richie) get in the water and try so hard,” Gerson said. “There’s no give-up in either of them.”

• Charlie Mechling won the 13-14 girls 50 breastroke and 100 freestyle and logged three other top-five finishes in the 200 backstroke (third), 100 butterfly (fourth) and 100 breaststroke (fourth).

• Everett Olson scored points in 10 of his 11 events, winning the 9-10 50 backstroke, taking second in the 200 backstroke and winding up third in the 100 backstroke. The top 10 finishers in each discipline were awarded points.

• Competing in a 15-and-up division that included some swimmers in their 20s, Max Bryant managed to log six top-four finishes. The 15-year-old recorded third-place finishes in the 200 butterfly (2 minutes, 18.65 seconds) and the 400 freestyle (4:26.87).

“He’s gaining more confidence,” Gerson said of Bryant. “He knows he can go out and race with the big guys. I think there was an intimidation factor, but he’s starting to show he can overcome it.”

• Kelcie Gerson finished in the top 10 in five of eight disciplines, including two fifths in the 400 IM and 100 backstroke

• Jackson Landis cracked the top 10 three times and established new personal bests in 10 of his 12 races.

• Kelli Callahan logged six top-10s, highlighted by a third in the 400 freestyle.

“She just seemed to get stronger as the meet went on,” coach Gerson said.

• Eva Cherry finished with three top-10s in six events, including a fourth in the 100 freestyle.

• Nathan Cherry posted eight best times and four top-10s in eight events.

• Maddie Mechling, who missed the meet’s first two days because of an Ex-Ed trip, recorded two top 5s in three swims Sunday.

• Kelcie Gerson teamed with Hannah Peterson, Charlie Mechling and Callahan to take fourth in both the 400 medley and 400 freestyle relays.

In addition to Thornton, the Speedos sent eight swimmers to a meet in Gunnison. Here are the highlights:

• Emily Driscoll won the 11-12 girls 500-yard freestyle.

• Hannah Freeman logged two second- and three third-place results and finished in the top five in all eight of her events.

• Reed Kulberg also finished in the top five eight times, highlighted by three seconds and three thirds.

• Thomas Mellenthin logged five top fives, including two thirds.

• Cole Petersen finished second twice, third once and established personal bests in all eight of his events.

• Andrew Springer finished third or fourth in all eight of his events.

• Ashley Springer logged four top fives, including a second in the 50 breaststroke.

“It was helpful for the big kids to get as much long-course experience as they can and for the younger kids to compete in a less-intense setting,” Gerson said.

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