Aspen Speedos rule Western Slope meet
The Aspen Times
The Aspen Speedos started strong at the annual Western Slope Championships in Grand Junction last weekend.
And finished even stronger.
Using dominating performances from the younger age groups as a springboard, the Aspen swim club won its third consecutive title at the Western Slope Championships at Colorado Mesa University’s aquatic complex.
But the 2015 championship was the most dominant yet.
The Speedos blitzed the field of 16 teams with a total of 3,920 points (combined girls and boys).
The Montrose Marlins finished second with 2, 527 points. The Gunnison Stingrays were third (2,367), and the host Maverick Aquatics fourth (1,802).
Other swim clubs competing included Team Sopris from Glenwood Springs along with clubs from Steamboat Springs, Cortez, Durango, Telluride, Delta, Rangely, Ouray, Craig, Pagosa Springs and Salida.
“Obvously, the team goal for the season is to win the Western Slope Championships, and we did that for the third straight summer,” said Gordon Gerson, longtime head coach of the Aspen Speedos. “It was a lot of fun for the kids. We had a lot of outstanding performances, but we have swimmers with stuff left to do.”
He referred to the upcoming Colorado State Championships and the Senior Zone Championships, which will see Speedos at each event.
Maddie Mechling, Cole Petersen and Davey Brown all will be swimming a full schedule of events at the State Championships in their respective age groups.
The Speedos also qualified the boys 10-and-under relay team for the state meet as well as a pair of age 13-14 girls relay teams.
In addition, several senior Speedos have qualified for the prestigious Senior Zone Championships in Clovis, California. Those Speedos are Kelcie Gerson, Charlie Mechling, Sevi Multin, Max Bryant, Hannah Freeman, Kelly Callahan and Kennidy Quist.
Gerson said the Aspen Speedos had nearly 50 swimmers at the Western Slope Championships, including the strong numbers among the 8-and-unders.
Two Speedos won high-point awards in their divisions — Lillie Boggs in girls 9-10 and Davey Brown in girls 13-14.
“The little guys got us cranking,” Gerson said of the first-day events for the youngest competitors.
He said the Aspen 8-and-under girls relay team of Lilah Hemstreet, Mahaila Bouman, Maia Ettlinger and Evie Boney won the 100 medley relay.
The foursome of Hemstreet, Boney, Ettlinger and Pen White won the 100 freestyle relay in the same division.
The Aspen boys team of Gavin Boggs, Luka Smalls, Jackson Callahan and Eddie Zane won the boys 100 freestyle relay. The same foursome also won the 8-and-under 100 medley relay.
Gavin Boggs also won the 25 butterfly for the Speedos as well as the 100 individual medley. He was second in the 50 free.
Zane swam to a second place in the 25 backstroke and second place in the 25 freestyle in the 8-and-under boys.
He also placed third in the 25 fly and fourth in the 50 free.
For the 8-and-under girls, Lilah Hemstreet of the Speedos was second in the 25 back and third in the 25 breast.
Teammate Ettlinger finished second in the girls 8-and-under 25 fly, second in the 25 breast, second in the 25 free and third in the 50 free.
“The little guys gave us a great jump,” Gerson said of the Grand Junction championships.
Among the older swimmers, Gerson said Lillie Boggs had very consistent effort en route to the high-point honors in girls 9-10.
“She won the 400 free; she won the 200 free; she got second in the 100 fly and the 100 free,” Gerson said. “And she got third in the 50 fly.”
Davey Brown, the 13-14 high-point winner for the meet, won the 100 back, the 100 free, the 200 back and the 200 IM. She finished second in the 400 individual medley and second in the 50 free.
“That was a nice effort for Davey,” Gerson said.
Brother Lewis Brown won the 400 free.
He finished second in the 200 back in 11-12 boys. He also was second in the 200 free.
Sister Gracie was second in the 100 back and third in the 400 free.
Max Bryant, the Aspen Speedos swimmer who is swimming at SMU, won the 100 breast, the 200 free, the 200 IM and the 400 IM in an abbreviated schedule in Grand Junction.
“I will point out that he’s going against some D-II All-Americans in some of these races,” Gerson said, adding that Colorado Mesa’s swimmers competed in the Western Slope Championships.
Shea Card, 11-12, swam a partial program but scored big.
“He got four firsts … 100 back, 100 breast, 200 back and 50 breast and a pair of seconds,” Gerson said.
Emily Driscoll, battling illness, collected a third in the 200 butterfly.
“Hannah Freeman had a real nice mile,” Gerson said. “She qualified for Senior Zones in that swim. She won it for all the age groups.”
Kelcie Gerson, the Aspen Speedos swimmer competing at Columbia University, finished third in the 200 back and third in the 200 IM.
“Charlie (Mechling) had a real nice meet,” Gerson said. “She won the 50 free and the 100 free. We’re starting to see that sprinting is where she needs to be.”
Sister Maddie Mechling, with a schedule geared to the state meet this week, swam a short schedule but still won the 50 free and finished second in the 100 free and the 400 free.
She also collected a third in the 200 free and the 200 IM.
“Sevi (Multin) also had a nice meet. He’s competing against Max (Bryant) and the D-II All-Americans,” Gerson said. “He had solid races in the 100 breast with a third, 100 fly third, 200 fly third.”
The Aspen Speedos coach said Cole Petersen had an outstanding meet as he continues to improve.
He’ll compete at the state meet as well as Senior Zones.
He won the 100 breast and the 200 breast.
And he also was second in the 100 back, 200 back, 400 free and 400 IM.
And he finished third in the 100 free and the 200 IM.
Gerson said the young relay team of TJ Rickert, Micah Sanders-Silva, Haver Muss-Nichols and Eddie Zane won in Grand Junction.
Rickert, who won the 100 breast, added a second in the 100 back and the 50 breast.
“Micah had a nice meet,” Gerson said. “Micah won the 50 free and he won the 50 breast. And he had a whole slew of second places.”
Kayla Tehrani of the Aspen Speedos won the 50 breast and finished third in the 200 breast over the weekend.
“Sam Terranova had another outstanding meet,” Gerson said of the Steamboat Springs swimmer who trains and competes with the Speedos.
She was second in high-point standings among the older swimmers.
She won the 100 back, the 100 fly, the 200 back, 200 free and 400 free.
She was second in the 200 breast and the 200 IM
Aspen’s Harry Valentine-Wilson was second in the 200 breast and third in the 100 breast.
The Speedos also augmented their Western Slope point total with relay top finishes in virtually every relay event.
“It really was a good meet overall,” Gerson said.
David Stapleton is the development officer for the Aspen Valley Ski & Snowboard Club. A product of the club, AVSC sat down with Stapleton for a Q&A session in this week’s Clubhouse Chronicles.