Aspen Speedos shine in final Western Slope tune-up |

Aspen Speedos shine in final Western Slope tune-up

Jon Maletz
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

The summer swimming season’s championship meets are fast approaching. The Aspen Speedos appear to be ready.

Team standout Kelcie Gerson won seven of nine events and established eight new personal bests this past weekend in Montrose, propelling Aspen to a third-place finish in its final competitive tune-up before the Western Slope Championships in two weeks.

The Speedos finished behind only host Montrose and Grand Junction’s Mavericks Aquatic Club.

“It’s been years since she’s had a meet where she’s gotten so many best times. I think she came back from (watching) the Olympic Trials really enthusiastic,” Aspen head coach Gordon Gerson said of his daughter during an interview Tuesday. “She beat one of the pool records of (Montrose High graduate) Emily Stucky, who just finished her freshman year at UC Santa Barbara, and just missed others. That’s the kind of company we’re moving into now.

“The kids are really in a good position for the championship meets. I’m looking forward to seeing how it all comes together.”

Here are some highlights from the weekend:

• Sam Richie had a perfect few days, picking up six wins in six races.

“He was really hoping to make some zones times, but it just didn’t happen,” coach Gerson said. “He’ll have a couple more shots. I hope he’s not putting too much pressure on himself.”

• Max Bryant picked up three wins Friday, but he did not compete Saturday or Sunday because of an illness.

• Charlie Mechling also competed just one day but also was efficient, winding up first twice and third once.

• August Richie celebrated his seventh birthday with five wins.

• Kelli Callahan produced one of her best weekends of the season, winning four races, finishing second three times and third twice.

“This is a challenging sport in that … you have to show up to the pool day in and day out and put in a lot of time and a lot of hard work. Every once in a while, you go through a crisis of faith,” Gerson said. “I think Kelli is emerging from that.”

• Hannah Peterson won the 50 breaststroke and 50 butterfly. She also wound up third in both the 100 backstroke and 50 freestyle.

• Andrew Springer won two events and added one second- and one third-place finish.

• Andrew Perley won both the 25 butterfly and 25 backstroke, and took second in both the 25 breaststroke and 25 freestyle.

• Cole Petersen picked up a pair of third-place results in the 50 backstroke and 400 freestyle.

• Reed Kulberg finished third in both the 100 IM and 100 backstroke.

• Spencer Perley finished second in the 25 freestyle.

• Emily Driscoll took third in the 400 freestyle.

• Hannah Freeman wound up third in the 100 butterfly.

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