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Aspen Speedos shine at Indy meet

Jon Maletz
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

INDIANAPOLIS – The Aspen Speedos routinely have proven they can compete with the state’s top swimmers.

They stack up quite well against the nation’s best, too.

Despite having the second-smallest contingent with five swimmers, Aspen logged a 16th-place finish out of 28 teams representing 10 states at this past weekend’s Carmel [Ind.] Swim Club Winter Invitational at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis’ IU Natatorium.

“It’s thrilling to go to a big meet and to meet or exceed your expectations,” Speedos head coach Gordon Gerson said Tuesday.

“You can never predict an individual’s development, but their times are on par with some pretty talented individuals in their respective age groups. To be totally honest, I think Kelcie [Gerson] and Max [Bryant] are among the best 14-year-olds Western Colorado swimming has ever seen.”

Bryant led the team with second-place finishes in the 400 individual medley, 500 freestyle, 200 IM, 200 butterfly, 200 backstroke, 200 breaststroke and 50 freestyle. He also took third in the 100 backstroke.

Bryant led after the 50 freestyle prelims, but he slipped on the starting block in the finals and could not make up the time lost. Still, he scored the second-most points in his age group, which comprised 75 swimmers.

“The bottom line is there was a guy there from Wisconsin who was better than Max, and Max was clearly better than everyone else,” Gerson said. “His times were phenomenal.”

Kelcie Gerson excelled, too. She logged the eighth-highest point total out of 150 swimmers in her age group. Despite being seeded no higher than 12th in any event, Gerson wound up with five top-seven finishes, including a fifth-place result in 200 backstroke.

Gerson scored points and improved her times in all eight of her events.

“With only one exception, [Kelcie and Max] each swam faster in the finals than they did in the prelims. … That was sort of an amazing thing,” coach Gerson said. “They did 14 swims over a 48-hour period. It’s a tribute to how hard they’re working to be able to keep up that level of performance in that many hard swims in that short a period of time.”

Jack Bowers scored points in every one of events, while Michael Zimet recorded personal bests in five of seven races – not bad for a swimmer who missed 10 days of practice during the holiday break because of the flu.

“He has clearly reaped the benefits of all the hard training he’s done since then,” Gerson said.

Claire Collier posted new best times in three of her six events, including both the 100 and 200 backstroke.

“There are always positives to be gained from going up against bigger competition and a different environment,” Gerson said. “I think it was fun for all the kids.

“We’re on a good run right now, that’s for sure.”

jmaletz@aspentimes.com


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