Aspen Speedos swim like sharks at home
The Aspen Times
The Aspen Speedos can change form. The junior swimmers turned into sharks last weekend, swimming in their home waters at the annual Aspen Invite.
The Speedos controlled the two-day meet at the Aspen Recreation Center (ARC) pool, defeating nine other teams to take the meet championship.
“We won our home meet, which is nice,” Speedos head coach Gordon Gerson said. “It was a good team effort.”
Two Speedos won high-point honors in their respective divisions. A total of 35 swimmers from the local swim club competed in the event.
The Speedos also scored big points in the relays, a point of emphasis in the Gerson swim program.
“The relays are really important,” Gerson said. “To me, they represent what the team is all about.”
Plus, relays count double pointsatn the invitational meet.
“Overall, I was really happy with the meet. They are where they ought to be right now,” Gerson said of his charges.
Davy Brown, of the Speedos, won high-point honors in the 11-12 girls division.
“She swam in nine events, and she won five,” Gerson said. She also had a second, two thirds and a fourth to lead her division.
Charlie Mechling, another high-point winner for the Speedos, won five events with three second-place finishes.
Max Bryant, 17, was on track to take high-point honors in his division after the first day of competition.
Bryant won all five of his races on Saturday. But he was sidelined by a migraine Sunday.
“Then, Max ended up with a spectacular week of training in Grand Junction,” said Gerson, who took the senior Speedos to a special camp at Colorado Mesa University last week.
Bryant broke the ARC pool record in the 500 freestyle by five seconds (4:54).
He also broke the pool record in the 200 backstroke. He swam 1:59.27 to break the mark set by John Thomas, who went on to a decorated swimming career at Johns Hopkins.
Kelcie Gerson, the daughter of the head coach, collected three firsts on the weekend, including the 200 breaststroke.
She added two more seconds, a fourth, two fifths and a sixth in a busy weekend.
She was third in points in her division, won by Mechling.
Kelcie Gerson also swam on the girls relay team that crushed the weekend competition and set a pool record.
Claire Collier, Kelli Callahan, Gerson and Mechling teamed to wint he 400 relay in a pool record time of 3:51.67.
Maddie Mechling added a pair of firsts for the Speedos last weekend. She was also second in two events, third in two events, fourth in one and fifth in another.
Everett Olson, swimming only one day, piled up two firsts and a second.
“He was right there in contention,” coach Gerson said. Olson headed to California for more swim training this summer.
“He had a breakthrough in the 100 fly,” his coach said.
Cole Petersen, 12, collected a total of four first-place finishes to go with two seconds and three thirds. He was second in points in his division.
Other top finishers included Micah Anders-Silva, who had two firsts, two seconds and a third.
Andrew Springer, also 8, added two firsts, two seconds and three third-place finishes.
Collier added an individual title in the 50 free to go with her relay titles at the Aspen Invite.
Emily Driscoll won the 200 butterfly. She also had two seconds and a third.
Hanna Freeman, of the Speedos, won the 200 fly.
Other top finishes came from Lillie Boggs, Gracie Brown, Lewis Bown, Reed Kulberg, Haver Muss-Nichols, Sophia Perry, TJ Rickard, Oliver Semple, Kayla Tehrani, among others.
The Speedos will not swim this weekend but will return to the pool next weekend for the Montrose Invite, followed by the Western Slope Championships in Grand Junction.
Two Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteer projects are scheduled to assist with finish work, rock armoring and seeding of disturbed areas, according Ted O’Brien, manager of Pitkin County Open Space and Trails Resource and Trails. The events will be led in collaboration with Open Space and Trails and the Roaring Fork Mountain Biking Association.
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