Aspen Speedos win Western Slope Championships
The Aspen Times
The Aspen Speedos made the biggest splash of the season at the biggest regional meet of the season.
The Speedos won the title at the Western Slope Championships in Grand Junction last weekend, taking the top spot in the summer junior swim meet for the first time in program history.
“We’ve never won in the summer. There’s been a winter championship, but never in the summer for us,” said Speedos head coach Gordon Gerson.
“We started out on Friday morning when our 8-and-unders got us a 300-point lead,” Gerson said. “We never looked back.”
The Speedos totaled 2,860 points to defeat 16 other club swim teams from across the Western Slope. Perennial power Montrose was second with 2,550 points.
The Sopris swim team from the Roaring Fork Valley finished third.
“Every swimmer we had scored in some capacity,” Gerson said. “In relays … or individual events.”
“I was really proud of the little guys,” he said, adding that the youngest swimmers did a good job of focusing and concentrating during the relays, where points count double.
“We had no false starts … no DQs. They all paid close attention,” Gerson said.
The Speedos 8-and-under relay teams dominated, winning Western Slope titles in the 100 freestyle relay and the 100 medley relay.
The teams included Andrew Sprenger, Micah Sanders-Silva, Andrew Perley, TJ Rickard and Finlay Lauer.
Sprenger, who swam in both relays, was the leading-points swimmer in boys 8-and-under for the Western Slop Championships, Gerson said. Sanders-Silva and Rickard also swam on both first-place relay teams for Aspen.
Sprenger won the 25 breaststroke and finished second in the 100 individual medley, the 25 freestyle and the 25 backstroke.
Gracie Brown, age 7, just missed top points honors in the 8-and-under girls division. She won the 100 freestyle, was second in the 100 IM and the 50 free and finished third in he 25 back.
Sanders-Silva had a bundle of top finishes, including seconds in the 100 freestyle, 25 butterfly and 25 breast.
Lillie Boggs finished second in the 100 fly and third in the 100 IM in the youngest division.
Perley added thirds in the 25 back and 25 fly.
Parker Boyd also collected points in the girls division for the Speedos, Gerson said.
With a big summer roster, the Speedos also fielded a second relay team in the boys events.
The team included James Mellenthin, Lauer, Riggsy Klika, Haver Muss-Nichols and Perley, in various combinations.
They were third in the 100 freestyle relay and third in the 100 medley relay.
Gerson said the Speedos really worked together as a team at the Western Slope Championships.
“They were out there cheering for each other. We’ve been pushing hard on the team aspect of swimming, even though it’s an individual sport,” Gerson said.
Among the older swimmers, Aspen’s Max Bryant was the top swimmer at the meet.
“Max entered nine events and he won eight,” Gerson said of the Aspen 17-year-old. “He scored the most points in his age group, and he’s not fully rested.”
Bryant will swim next week in the state championships before the Junior National Championships.
“He showed a certain level of domination,” Gerson said.
Based on his times, Bryant is seeded No. 1 in the state in the 400 individual medley and the 200 butterfly.
Davey Brown the Aspen girls in the 11-12 division with three first places — 400 IM, 100 back, 200 IM. She also was second in the 200 back and 400 freestyle.
The girls 11-12 relay teams finished third and will go to state. The teams include Davey Brown, Maddie Mechling, Hannah Freeman and Gali Aviram.
Charlie Mechling missed high point honors in her 15-older division by a single point.
She won the 200 freestyle, the 200 back and the 100 free. She was second in the 100 back and 200 IM. And she was third in the 100 breast, 100 fly and 50 free.
She also teamed with Kelcie Gerson, Claire Collier and Kelli Callahan to win both relay events in their age group — the 400 free and the 400 medley.
Gerson also won the 100 back among the older girls. She was second in the 20 back and third in the 200 IM.
Maddie Mechling added firsts in the 200 freestyle and 400 freestyle, second in the 50 back and 100 fly and third in the 200 back, 100 back and 50 fly.
Cole Petersen scored in a half-dozen events, led by his second-place finish in the 200 breast.
He had thirds in the 400 IM, 200 back, 100 IM, 200 IM and 400 freestyle.
Other top honors went to Hannah Freeman and Sevi Multin, who recently rejoined the team. Multin was second in the 13-14 boys 100 fly and 200 fly.
“Special props last weekend to Eelan Aviram,” coach Gerson said “He just started swimming this year. He made three state-qualifying times at this meet.”
He won the 50 freestyle. He also finished second in the 50 breast and third in the 100 breast, 100 free, 200 free and 200 IM.
Lewis Brown, Spencer Perley, Oliver Semple and Aviram teamed for a pair of second-place relay finishes in the 9-10 boys division.
Brown also won the 100 free with seconds 200 free, 100 back and 100 fly.
The Speedos also totaled points from the relay team of Andrew Perley, Harry Valentine-Wilson, Spencer Perley and Lochlan Lauer.
Other Speedos adding to the Aspen point total included Emily Driscoll, Lillie Arthur and Thomas Mellenthin.
“The kids are all thrilled,” Gerson said. “And the coaches are very happy.”
A total of 14 Aspen Speedos will make the trek back to Grand Junction and the aquatic complex at Colorado Mesa University for the state meet next weekend.
Gerson said the Speedos girls 400 medley relay team also will be seeded No. 1 for the state championships.
The state’s top 16 swimmers in each event will swim for a spot in the championship finals or the consolation finals at the state championships.
The Speedos finished in the top 15 at the state meet a year ago.
“We hope to make it back in that grou this year,” the Aspen Speedos head coach said.
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