Aspen Speedos push Montrose to the limit
The Aspen Times
The Aspen Speedos applied the pressure — water pressure.
The Aspen swim club swimmers pushed host Montrose to the limit last weekend in the two-day Montrose Marlins Fall Invitational.
In spite of half the number of competitors, the Aspen Speedos finished a close second to Montrose.
“I was very happy with the way we swam,” Speedos head coach Gordon Gerson said. “We had 35 swimmers there; they had 70.”
The Marlins also protected their home water — again.
“Montrose is a good team. I don’t recall them ever losing their home meet,” Gerson said. “But we came close.”
The Aspen and Montrose swim clubs enjoy a friendly rivalry, Gerson said, adding to the fun of the Marlins’ fall meet.
He said the Speedos made a big splash at the meet with several pool records, including a couple of relay records by the younger girls and the older girls.
“Our big girls relay team won — Charlie Mechling, Kelli Callahan, Kennidy Quist and Samantha Terranova. They broke the senior girls 200 free relay the first day,” Gerson said.
He said the Montrose pool, more than 20 years old, has a lot of history that featured a lot of great swimmers over the years.
“There have been a lot of good swimmers in that pool,” Gerson said. “Maddie Mechling … I don’t know how many pool records she broke, but she broke a ton of them.”
Mechling won all eight races she swam individually. A couple of pool records she broke had been set by former Aspen Speedo swimmer Kelcie Gerson, the daughter of the head coach. She’s now swimming at Columbia University in New York.
“Davy Brown broke pool records; Gracey Brown broke a pool record,” Gerson said, adding that Kayla Tehrani, Ava Cherry, Lillie Boggs and Gracey Brown teamed to break the 100 freestyle relay record at the Montrose pool.
Gerson said the Speedos had contributions from every swimmer last weekend.
“Lelia (Arthur) was there the first day,” Gerson said. She finished first in the 15-and-over 50 backstroke.
“Little Gavin Boggs was pretty much unstoppable in the 6-and-unders,” the Aspen head coach said. “He keeps getting better and better. He also got two seconds and four thirds in 8-and-under events.”
Lillie Boggs, age 9, picked up a second place in the 25 backstroke. “She also got a second in the 100 back and a third in the 50 back.”
Davy Brown posted seven firsts and one second.
Derek Brown, age 10, finished with two firsts, three seconds and three thirds at the Montrose meet.
Gracey Brown, age 8, had eight swims, eight wins and a pool record.
She also was part of the 10-and-under pool-record relay team as an 8-year-old.
Gerson said Kelli Callahan had a strong meet. The 16-year-old finished first in the 50 butterfly and the 100 butterfly. She also finished first in the 100 individual medley — three firsts and five thirds.
Aspen’s Ava Cherry, in her last meet as a 10-year-old, finished second in two events and swam on the record relay team.
“Nathan Cherry … he only got eight firsts out of his eight swims,” Gerson said with a huge smile. “He’s the dominant 12-year-old right now. But that 13th birthday is just around the corner.”
He’ll move up to the next division when he turns 12.
“I was especially proud of Emily Driscoll,” Gerson said. Training with the older swimmers for the first time, she posted two firsts, a second and four thirds.
In other highlights, Maia Ettlinger won the 25 breast as an 8-year-old. She added five seconds, a third and a fourth.
“Hanna Freeman (14) … in her last event, the 400 free, she dropped six seconds and won it,” Gerson said. She ended up with two firsts, two seconds and a third.
“James Mellenthin (8) stepped up for a third-place finish (100 breast),” Gerson said.
Everett Olson and Cole Petersen rejoined the Speedos for the meet after two weeks in Japan on an exchange program. In spite of no training for two weeks, the two posted solid results, Gerson said.
“They both swam hard and had some pretty good swims, all things considered,” Gerson said.
Olson (13) had a pair of seconds and a fourth.
Petersen (13) had two firsts, two seconds and three thirds.
Sophia Perry (12) added a second, two thirds and three seconds in 11-12.
Aspen’s Kennidy Quist won the 50 breast and set a pool record on the relay team. She was second in two other races and also had a third place.
“Micah’s only 9. He’s making his presence known in the 9-10 (division),” Gerson said of Micah Sanders-Silva. He won four events and added two second-place finishes.
Connor Somers (14), a recent addition to the team from California, swam to five first-place finishes and two seconds.
“His brother Wyatt won the 100 back for the 11-12,” Gerson said. He also added a second and a third.
Gerson said Kayla Tehrani (10) showed a lot of big time improvements as she won eight events.
He said young Eddie Zane’s “boundless enthusiasm” was rewarded with four first places and a third as a 7-year-old in the 7-8 division.
Other Speedos who competed in Montrose include Audrey Elder, Isabelle Elder, Nathan Levey, Taylor Pattillo, Paige Quist, Adelaide Ryerson, Oliver Semple, Harry Valentine-Wilson, Audrey Woodrow and Ella Zane.
“I’m very happy with the kids,” Gerson said. “And I felt like the coaches have stepped up their games with our additional swimmers. It continues to go very well.”
Two Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteer projects are scheduled to assist with finish work, rock armoring and seeding of disturbed areas, according Ted O’Brien, manager of Pitkin County Open Space and Trails Resource and Trails. The events will be led in collaboration with Open Space and Trails and the Roaring Fork Mountain Biking Association.
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