Aspen Swim Club a strong fourth in difficult Grand Junction invite
Competing against some of the state’s heavy hitters, the Aspen Swim Club finished fourth in the June 21-24 Grand Junction Invite, held at Colorado Mesa.
The 19-team meet, which included teams from out of state, was won by Boulder’s Flatiron Swimming (5,032 points), while Fort Collins was second with 3,959.5 points and Mission Aurora third with 1,782.5 points. Aspen finished with 1,446.5 points.
“That’s pretty standard for this meet,” Aspen coach Gordon Gerson said. “Flatiron and Fort Collins typically battle it out for the state championship each year and they have hundreds of swimmers on their teams. It was a good showing. I think our only team goal in this one is finishing in front of the rest of the Western Slope.”
The prelim-final meet in Grand Junction is one of the largest of the summer long-course season for the Speedos, not including the fast-approaching state and regional meets. Any individual finish in the top 10 or so is respectable by almost any standard.
Aspen had two swimmers win races, led by 10-year-old Gavin Boggs. Boggs had four first-place finishes, plus a third- and fourth-place finish. Cole Petersen, 17, had an equally strong showing with a win in the 15 and over 1,500 freestyle, a third and a pair of fourth places.
While Shea Card, who attends Basalt High School, didn’t win any of his events, the 15 year old was one of the top swimmers for the Speedos. He finished with three second places and two third places while competing against swimmers as much as five years his senior.
“This meet is about the individuals,” Gerson said, “and getting them some prelim-finals experience and hopefully getting some qualifying times for the state meet and bigger regional championship meets. In that regard, it was successful.”
Aspen’s Kelli Callahan, who swims for Puget Sound, had the only other second-place finish for the Speedos, finishing runner up in the 100 breast.
Lillie Boggs, 13, had a pair of fourth-place finishes, while Khalil Khan-Farooqi, 9, had a lone fourth-place finish. Others with at least one finish in the top 10 include Emily Driscoll, Bennett Jones, William Jones, Laila Khan-Farooqi, Whitney McManus, Kayla Tehrani and Penelope White.
The Speedos are off this weekend before a final tune-up meet next weekend at Montrose. Championship season gets going with the Western Slope championships July 13 in Grand Junction.
“We have a very solid crew coming along,” Gerson said. “I think we are set up well for the Western Slope championship.”
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Bringing the game of golf to the community, and particularly making it accessible to young players, is a focus for Steve VanDyke as the director of golf at River Valley Ranch.