Aspen Swim Club dominates home meet, heads to Grand Junction this weekend
As has become custom, the Aspen Swim Club rolled to an easy victory in its lone home swim meet of the summer June 9 and 10 at the Aspen Recreation Center pool.
The Speedos finished with 914 points, with Maverick Aquatics of Grand Junction finishing second with 313 points and Steamboat Springs third with 285 points.
“It was a pretty dominant performance that we’ve come to expect in the home meets,” Aspen coach Gordon Gerson said. “It wasn’t always the case, so we don’t take it for granted. There was a lot of good, fast swimming. And swimming in our pool at 8,000 feet is not always the fastest thing in the world.”
Aspen had nearly 60 swimmers compete in a field that included 10 teams. The athletes included everyone from first-time competitors to collegiate swimmers back home for the summer. Big picture, it was still more about fine-tuning some things as the bigger summer events pull closer.
“It’s a great meet for young kids. You don’t have to travel and you get to have some competition experience,” Gerson said. “We had several kids where it was their first meet.”
Aspen had a long list of standout performances. Highlights include 10-year-old Gavin Boggs winning seven of his nine events, while finishing second in the other two. William Jones, 12, had three first-place finishes and six seconds in his nine events. Young Whitney McManus, 8, won four times in the 7-8 age group.
Back from her freshman year at Harvard, former standout Kennidy Quist got back in the pool with the Speedos, winning all three events she competed in. Kelli Callahan (two firsts, three seconds), L.J. Fetzko (two firsts, two seconds) and Charlie Mechling (one second) also competed for Aspen. Each is back from their respective collegiate programs for the summer.
“Summer for the college kids can be used for various reasons. I’m a believer in using it to sharpen some racing skills,” Gerson said. “The theme of this meet was more about the team effort … and getting the younger kids some more racing experience.”
Other Aspen swimmers with at least one race win at the home meet include Kelly Boggs, Lillie Boggs, Davy Brown, Shea Card, Andrew Gieszi, Bennett Jones, Maya Khan-Farooqi, Sara Michelin and Cole Petersen.
Last week, Aspen traveled to its annual training camp in Grand Junction, a place it heads back to this weekend for competition. Beginning Thursday is the Grand Junction Invitational, a respectably large meet that will provide some key training for the end-of-season championship push, which is fast approaching.
This weekend’s meet runs through Sunday and includes both prelims and finals.
“We use this to set up the rest of the season. It’s more for the big kids,” Gerson said. “It’s their last chance to get qualifying times before we focus on the big meet they are going to at the end of the season, be it states or zones or Western Slope championships.”
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It’s that time of year — hikers and mountain bikers must be aware that seasonal closures are taking effect on multiple trails in the area for the winter for the benefit of wildlife.