Aspen Swim Club wins Durango meet to open short-course season
The Aspen Swim Club opened its short-course season Sept. 23 and 24 at the Durango Fall Invite and didn’t find many challengers in the eight-team field. The Speedos scored 1,054.5 points to easily win the meet, followed in second by Durango’s 726.5 points.
“It’s fun to go to one of the other team’s houses and beat them,” Aspen coach Gordon Gerson said. “You see a lot of ones. If felt like we were winning everything, which is pretty cool.”
Gavin Boggs, Shea Card, Khalil Khan-Farooqi and Micah Sanders-Silva particularly stood out, as each swimmer went eight for eight in events swam. Lillie Boggs nearly pulled the clean sweep as well, winning seven of her eight events.
Others with notable performances include Siena Ettlinger, who had four firsts and two seconds, Bennett Jones (four firsts, four seconds), Cole Petersen (six firsts, two seconds) and Kayla Tehrani (three firsts, one second). Other Aspen swimmers who had at least one win were Hannah Freeman, Laila Khan-Farooqi, Andrew Sprenger and Penelope White.
“I don’t want to put too much weight on it. It’s the first meet of the season,” Gerson said. “Honestly, I’m just excited we got lots more good kids coming along. I’m excited for another fast season.”
The Speedos are coming off another impressively strong year in which they lost a pair of powerful swimmers. Kennidy Quist, who made Junior Nationals, graduated from Aspen High School in the spring and will swim for Harvard University this year. L.J. Fetzko, a Glenwood Springs High School product who swam for the Speedos, is competing for the University of Hawaii. The Aspen Swim Club also saw one of its part-time swimmers, Emma Cain, sign to swim with UCLA.
Next on the schedule for Aspen is its annual fall home meet Oct. 14 and 15 at the Aspen Recreation Center pool. Prior to the meet, Olympian Kim Vandenberg will teach a clinic in Aspen on Oct. 6 and 7.
After a few smaller meets on the Western Slope, the Speedos head to Las Vegas from Nov. 30 to Dec. 3 for a key early-season competition.
“As usual, we’ll try to swim fast at that and set the table for the rest of the season. I’d say this bodes well that despite graduating a couple of superstars, we will pick up where we left off,” Gerson said. “I’m hopeful we’ll have a large contingent for sectionals in Texas come March.”
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Peter Arnold’s playing career ended after high school, but his time on the ice continues a few decades later. A longtime USA Hockey official and new Aspen resident, Arnold is searching for the next generation of hockey referees among the youth ranks here in the Roaring Fork Valley.