Aspen Speedos strike it rich at Silver, State
The Aspen Times
The new generation of Aspen Speedos set new standards at the state swimming championships for club swimmers this month.
The Speedos, Aspen’s youth swim club, made their big splashes at the State Age Group Swimming Championships in Thornton and the Silver State Championships at the University of Denver.
“We’re on a new generation of swimmers. These are not the names I’m usually talking about,” Aspen Speedos coach Gordon Gerson said. “We’ve got a new crew coming along.”
The Aspen Speedos who had met qualifying marks competed in the U14 state championships at the Veterans Memorial Aquatic Center in Thornton, one of the premier swim venues in Colorado.
“The 14-and-under state championships is the elite meet for 14- and-unders in the state,” Gerson said. “And we swam well.”
With but a few swimmers, the Speedos still finished 25th in the state championships – the top showing for Western Slope entries.
“Maddie Mechling moved into a whole new realm,” Gerson said of the Speedo sixth-grader who reached new heights at the state meet.
“She just turned 12 in December … with the better part of a year in her (age 11-12 age division),” Gerso said.
Mechling finished eighth in the 500 freestyle in 5:30.56.
“That’s an amazing time for a barely 12-year-old,” the longtime Aspen Speedos coach said.
Mechling also finished sixth in the 200 freestyle and 10th in the 100 freestyle.
She added a 16th in the 200 backstroke in Thornton.
She teamed with Kennidy Quist, Emily Driscoll and Davy Brown to give the Aspen Speedos a 17th-place finish at state – setting a team record in the process.
Mechling added a ninth in the 100 backstroke and a 14th-place finish in the 50 freestyle.
Gerson said Mechling showed resilience all weekend coming off a season of race-based training with the Speedos.
“She swam just as well Sunday as she did Friday morning,” Gerson said. “I’m really excited about her meet.”
Quist, coming off illness, rallied and improved her times in Thornton.
“She went faster at this meet than she did at the high school state meet,”Gerson said. “She had some nice finishes,” Gerson said, adding that her 13th in the 100 breast stroke was on her best time ever.
“She came in 12th in the 50 free, and she was on that relay,” Gerson said.
Quist also finished eighth at state in the 100 free, competing in her last 14-and-under state championships.
She’ll head to the Sectionals in Wisconsin this week with the Speedos.
“Everett Olson didn’t score any, but he had a great meet nonetheless,” Gerson said. “I think he had best times in every event but one, and he swam in six events.”
He was 24th in three races – 200 back, 200 individual medley and 100 freestyle.
Olson swam a huge schedule in Thornton. He just turned 12.
“I think for where he is in his swim development, he’s doing fantastic,” Gerson said.
He was joined by Saverio Multin at the meet. Multin’s top finish was a 19th in the 200 fly.
Sam Richey, recovering from illness, added a 20th in the 200 free, a 22nd in the 100 free and a 23rd in the 200 IM.
“And he’s another young 12-year-old,” Gerson said.
One week before the state championships at Thornton, several Aspen Speedos competed in the annual Silver State meet at the DU pool.
“Silver State is a tough meet to qualify for on its own,” Gerson said.
“Nathan Cherry had a great meet,” the Speedos coach said. “He swam in seven events and dropped substantial amounts of time in six of them.”
Cherry was 19th in the 200 free, 21st in the 100 free and 16th in the 100 breast stroke.
“Nathan has become more interested in swimming this year. He’s stepped up his effort in practice,” Gerson said, “and he’s dropping huge chunks of time.”
Aspen’s Derek Brown, who just turned 10, swam in seven events at Silver State. His top finish was an 11th in the 200 freestyle. He was 22nd in the 50 free.
Davy Brown, a new 13-year-old in the 13-14 age division swam seven events at DU. Top finish was a seventh in the 200 individual medley; also finished ninth in the 400 IM and 10th in the 50 free.
“Hannah Freeman had some nice time improvements,” Gerson said. “She’s an eighth-grader. She’ll be a big help for the high school team next year.”
Cole Petersen’s best finish at Silver State was an 18th in the 200 breast stroke.
“He also had a huge time drop in the 400 IM (24th place),” Gerson said.
Paige Quist of the Speedos, who just turned 11, placed 26th in the 200 freestyle “with a big time drop,” Gerson said.
The Aspen Speedos will head to two meets again this weekend.
The younger swimmers will compete in Evergreen.
The club’s top swimmers will head to Sectionals at Pleasant Prairie, Wis.
That squad will include Charlie Mechling, Kennidy Quist, Kelly Callahan and Kelcie Gerson.
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