Aspen Swim Club dominates Glenwood Springs meet, heads to Las Vegas next
The team aspect is something rarely talked about in swimming, but Aspen Swim Club coach Gordon Gerson harps on it a lot with his athletes.
And over the weekend at a meet in Glenwood Springs, it was obvious the team had been listening.
“My favorite thing at this meet was how much the kids were on the side of the pool cheering for each other,” Gerson said. “When we can foster that environment at every meet, it’s going to be successful. And it was the best I’ve ever seen us do at that. Honestly, the only thing I talked about in the pep talk was getting out there and supporting each other and they all did a great job.”
The excitement on the side of the pool helped produce big results in it, as Aspen went on to easily win the Sopris Deep Freeze Invitational Saturday and Sunday, hosted by Team Sopris. The small Western Slope meet was more of what Gerson calls “race practice” for the older swimmers, while getting the young swimmers invaluable experience in competition.
The Aspen girls finished with 912 points, well ahead of second-place Maverick Aquatics’ 460 points. The Aspen boys finished with 773 points, beating Team Sopris (505 points) and Avon Swim Club (364 points).
“It was a very positive experience,” Gerson said. “We had a lot of kids there and by in large they swam really well and showed payoff from the hard work they’ve been doing.”
Standouts again included the Boggs family, with 10-year-old Gavin Boggs winning all five of his events and 12-year-old Lillie Boggs winning all eight of her events.
“I think Lillie Boggs had an insane meet,” Gerson said. “Lillie is putting up some pretty spectacular times for a 12-year-old.”
The Somers family was equally as impressive, with 8-year-olds Calvin and Olivia combining to win all 15 events they swam, with 17-year-old Connor finishing with a pair of wins to go with two second-place finishes. Wyatt, 14, also had an impressive meet, but competed as an unattached swimmer.
“Calvin and Olivia are starting to break some team records for 8-and-unders,” Gerson said. “They’ve got a ton of natural talent and hopefully they are in for the long haul.”
Other notable swimmers include Davy Brown, 17, who had seven firsts and one second; Shea Card, 14, who won eight races; Cole Petersen, 16, who had six firsts and two seconds; and Micah Sanders-Silva, 12, who had six firsts and two seconds.
Other swimmers with at least one victory include Max Calliham, Emily Driscoll, Siena Ettlinger, Sophia Greiper, Bennett Jones, Sara Michelin, Everett Olson, Lenna Persson, Andrew Sprenger, and Kayla Tehrani.
“It all bodes really well heading into Las Vegas for my crew,” Gerson said.
The Speedos next compete at the 2017 Las Vegas Super Finals from Nov. 30 to Dec. 3 at the Pavilion Center Pool in Las Vegas. Aspen is taking about a dozen of its older swimmers to the meet, which will be a good litmus test for the team as it reaches the midpoint of its short-course season.
The invite-only meet includes some of the top clubs out west, including the host Sandpipers.
“It’s not like this is a meet we are going to win,” Gerson said, referencing the team’s small roster. “This is more a meet to see where each kid is individually and maybe for some of the younger kids make some state qualifying times.”
For the swimmers not going to Las Vegas, their next meet won’t be until early January in Grand Junction.
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American riders invited to compete in X Games from Jan. 29-31, who have continuously tested negative while in mandatory quarantine in Austria, are expected to compete at the event later this month in Aspen.