Aspen Speedos, Mechling: Fast in Florida

Dale Strode
The Aspen Times
Maddie Mechling of the Aspen Speedos, second in the state 200 free, competeshere in a meet earlier.
Courtesy photo |

Those pink Aspen Speedos swim caps made another big splash — this time in Florida.

Select swimmers with the Aspen Swim Club traveled to Gainesville last weekend for the 2014 Gator Swim Club Holiday Classic, a huge national-caliber swim meet with more than 1,100 youth swimmers competing.

“Things went very well,” Speedos head coach Gordon Gerson said, citing best times all across the board for the swimmers who competed in the sea-level meet in Florida.

“Maddie (Mechling) had, frankly, a historic meet,” Gerson said of the 12-year-old who has excelled against Colorado competition.

“This was her last meet as a 12-year-old … an awesome way to go out,” Gerson said after Mechling posted a first-place time in her age group in the 100 individual medley.

“At the moment, that’s the 23rd fastest time in the country for a 12-year-old,” Gerson said of Mechling’s 1:02.50.

“She was fifth in the 100 back, and she took third in the 100 free,” he said, “that 54.9 would score in most (Colorado) high school meets.”

She finished second in the 100 back, and posted a hot time in the 200 free, Gerson said.

“The 50 back was insanely fast ((28.95); she got third in that,” the veteran Aspen swim coach said. “She had an awesome meet.”

Next in terms of points in Florida was Samantha Terranova, the 17-year-old from Steamboat Springs who competes with the Aspen Speedos.

“Samantha had our next best meet. She had all best times,” Gerson said of an ambitious schedule of races in Gainsville.

She swam the mile, she swam two heats of the 500 free, and more. Terranova finished fifth in the mile, fifth in the 400 individual medley. She also was second in the 200 back.

“She works hard, training by herself or with a friend (in Steamboat),” said Gerson, who provides her the workouts and monitors her progress.

Then, in competition, Terranova pulls on a pink Aspen Speedos hat.

“You can see, her training pays off when you put the pedal to the metal,” Gerson said.

He said Davy Brown, who just turned 14, “had a pretty awesome meet.”

“To me, her 400 IM was incredibly impressive (ninth). That’s really fast,” he said. “This was Davy’s first time in a really big meet like this. All in all, she’s got to be very happy with where she’s at.”

Her best finish was a sixth in the 200 back. She also was ninth in the 400 IM.

“Kelli (Callahan) had a bunch of best times. Her best event was the 200 free; she was fifth,” Gerson said of the 16-year-old. He said she broke a minute in the 100 butterfly for the first time.

“Nathan (Cherry) had never been to a meet like this before. He capped it off with a third-place in the 400 IM (for ages 11-12),” Gerson said.

Emily Driscoll recorded all best times in Florida. Her top finish was a 23rd in the mile. She’s 14.

Charlie Mechling, 16, collected a seventh, an eighth and an 11th in Florida.

“Kennidy (Quist) had the best meet she’s had as a member of our team,” Gerson said. “She had lots of best times. Her most impressive swim was her 50 free (fifth).”

“She won the consolation final (in the 100 free),” he said after Quist swam as she was recovering from illness. “That was a nice, tough effort on her part”

He said sister Paige Quist, 12, also had a strong performance in Florida.

“She got to swim in four events there, and she had three best times,” Gerson said.