Aspen Speedos shine at Pioneer Open in Denver |

Aspen Speedos shine at Pioneer Open in Denver

Jon Maletz
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

DENVER – After his team’s performance at this past weekend’s Colorado Swimming Pioneer Open at Denver University, Aspen Speedos head coach Gordon Gerson could not help but gush.

“They performed spectacularly,” he said Tuesday. “I normally look at swims [and categorize] them as outstanding or OK – there’s kind of a gradation. The vast majority were at the outstanding level. They either matched my high expectations or exceeded my expectations. … This is a tribute to all the hard work, all the miles they swim.”

In 50 total events, eight Speedos logged 45 personal bests. The effort propelled Aspen to a 16th-place finish in a 34-team field that included many of the state’s top young swimmers.

“For a big championship, we usually taper for two to three weeks,” Gerson said. “[Before the Pioneer Open], the kids kind of rested for a few days. They didn’t go into the meet dog tired like they have for a few of the others.”

It showed.

Jack Bowers finished in the Top 9 in eight events. The 10-year-old’s weekend was highlighted by fourth-place results in the 50-yard freestyle, 50 backstroke and 100 butterfly.

Max Bryant scored points in each of his seven events, finishing with six Top 10s. The 14-year-old took second in the the 200 breaststroke – Gerson called it the swim of the meet – and dropped about 6 seconds off his previous best in the process.

Fellow 14-year-old Kelcie Gerson wound up third in the mile, seventh in the 100 backstroke and scored points and logged personal bests in all seven of her events.

Her greatest effort might have come in the 100 freestyle, coach Gerson said.

“She really stepped up. … I don’t think she’s ever scored points [in that race] at the state level,” he added. “She finished 15th and was seeded somewhere up in the 30s. It was shocking that she even made the consolation finals.”

Kelli Callahan posted personal bests in all but one of her swims. The 12-year-old broke three team records (50 and 100 breast, 100 individual medley) and took ninth in the 100 freestyle.

Nine-year-old Sam Richie scored points in two events – he was 14th in the 200 individual medley and 15th in the 200 freestyle (the Top 16 score) – and 10-year-old Davy Brown finished 15th in the 100 individual medley.

“I want to give special kudos to Jack, Davy and Sam. It can be pretty intimidating going to a meet like this,” Gordon Gerson said. “Jack and Davy had all best times. They really went out and raced hard and were not affected by the environment they were swimming in.”

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