Aspen Swim Club wins MAValanche, continues Western Slope dominance
The Aspen Swim Club continued its recent dominance on the Western Slope, winning the Jan. 6-7 MAValanche Invitational, hosted by Maverick Aquatics at Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction.
The prelim-final meet functions as the de facto winter Western Slope championship.
“It’s doubly nice to win it,” Aspen coach Gordon Gerson said. “Nothing at that meet really stuck out for me other than in general how well the kids did. We had done training camp a week before in Junction where they all got really wore out.”
Pushing through the fatigue, the Speedos finished with 3,170 points, well ahead of YMCA of Metropolitan Denver, which was second with 2,440 points. Maverick Aquatics was third with 1,824.5 points followed by Montrose, Durango and Team Sopris.
The highlight performance came from Aspen 12-year-old Lillie Boggs, who won all 11 individual events she competed in. She was also part of the first-place girls 400-yard medley relay team with Emily Driscoll, Davy Brown and Kayla Tehrani.
“The performance of Lillie Boggs was pretty crazy. I don’t think anyone else in the meet did all 11 events,” Gerson said. “Pretty spectacular meet. This bodes very well for her future development. She should have an outstanding state championship.”
Her younger brother, 10-year-old Gavin Boggs, returned from a recent concussion to win four events.
Brown, the star on the Aspen High School girls swimming team alongside Driscoll, had five first-place finishes and four runners-up. Cole Peterson, 16, had a win and four runner-up finishes for the boys, while 14-year-old Wyatt Somers had a pair of wins to go with his two second-place finishes.
Athletes with breakout performances include 10-year-old Nadav Hahn, who recorded a strong second-place finish in the 10-and-younger 200-yard IM. Megan Heath, 12, recorded significant time drops in each of her events.
“I bounce back and forth on how I use this meet,” Gerson said. “Sometimes I use it as a ‘where are we in the middle of the season’ thing. This time I decided to make it more of a training meet. There is not a right or a wrong there.”
While the Speedos do have plenty of upcoming meets, next being the Montrose Winter Meet later this month, most won’t see significant competition again until the state meets in Denver in mid-February and early March.
That is, outside of the AHS girls swim team, which hosts their lone home meet of the season Friday at 3 p.m. at the Aspen Recreation Center pool and will compete at the state meet on Feb. 8-10.
After that, some swimmers will likely compete at sectionals in late March.
“We don’t have a Kennidy (Quist) or an L.J. (Fetzko) this year,” Gerson said, noting the two standout swimmers from a year ago who are now competing in college, “but I think we are filling in quantity below that level, which is going to lead to the development of more of them.”
After back-to-back finals that required dramatic rallies to win, the Gentlemen of Aspen Rugby Club was able to coast to its three-peat title on Sunday in the finale of the 55th annual Ruggerfest tournament.