Aspen Swim Club wins opening meet of winter short-course season
The Aspen Swim Club got its short-course season underway with its Oct. 13 and 14 home meet at the Aspen Recreation Center pool.
The Speedos won the meet with 672 points, with Steamboat Springs coming in second (348 points) and Avon in third (288 points). Aspen coach Gordon Gerson said the team hasn’t lost its own meet in about eight years.
“It was fun. It’s always nice to host the first meet of the season here, get the kids a lot of experience,” he said. “Steamboat always brings a large crew to the meet. Avon is getting a lot better. They didn’t even have a team a few years ago. I’m impressed with what they are doing down there. It should be a good season.”
William Jones, 12, led Aspen in scoring. He won five of his events, with a pair of seconds and a pair of thirds, as well. Jones has quickly become one of the top up-and-comers for the program.
“It’s amazing to me how far he’s come,” Gerson said. “I think it was about April of 2017 that he barely knew how to swim. He’s the best swimmer in our age-group lane now, so he’ll be moving up to the senior lane before too long.”
Cole Petersen, 17, was next in terms of scoring for Aspen. He finished with four first-places, three seconds and two thirds.
“Cole had a pleasantly surprising meet,” Gerson said. “He’s had a fair amount of illness so far to kick off the season.”
Gavin Boggs, 10, was third in scoring. He collected five wins and a pair of seconds. He broke the previous pool record in both the 50 breast, which he won, and the 200 free, which he came second in.
Gerson’s surprise swimmer at the meet was 13-year-old Lillian Huggard, who had impressive time drops in all of her events.
Other Aspen swimmers with wins include Gunner Boggs, Lillie Boggs, Davy Brown, Shea Card, Andrew Gieszl, Maya Khan-Farooqi, Kayla Tehrani and Penelope White.
Aspen swimmers without a win but at least one top-three finish include Jacob Barrow, Max Calliham, Alexander Conder, Adam Gieszl, Carmen Gonzalez-Bringas, Nadav Hahn, Lillian Huggard, Laila Khan-Farooqi, Emily Kinney, Whitney McManus, Luna Murray, Eddie Zane and Thomas Zane.
Aspen is next scheduled to compete Nov. 2-4 at the Montrose Fall Open.
Last hurrah for Gerson
Gerson recently announced he would step down as the head coach of the Aspen Swim Club in March, following the conclusion of their short-course season. A cardiologist in the valley, Gerson has been involved with the club for more than a decade.
“It was fun to win my last home meet,” Gerson said. “We are looking at hiring from within right now and hopefully we can succeed at that.”
A parent-run board will decide Gerson’s replacement.
A call for swimmers
Gerson said the team is looking for more girls this season, especially those 10-and-under, an age group where the team is thin.
“We don’t have a whole heck of a lot 10-and-under girls. We got a lot of 10-and-under boys,” Gerson said. “Which is really quite different from years gone by.”
In a titanic battle of 35-year-old local superstars, John Gaston outdueled Simi Hamilton on Saturday to win the fourth iteration of the Snowmass 50 mountain bike race.
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