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Double duty for Aspen Speedos swimmers

Dale Strode
The Aspen Times

The Aspen Speedos performed double duty last weekend.

The Aspen youth swim team split into two groups, competing in two different meets across Colorado.

The younger swimmers competed in the Gunnison Invitational at the Gunnison Community Recreation Center pool.

The older swimmers competed in the CUDA-STARS Long Course Open at the Veterans Memorial Aquatic Center in Thornton.

“We had a great meet at Gunnison. We took eight kids in the 10-and-under division,” said Speedos assistant coach Jenny Roeder.

“Lillie Boggs got the high-point (award) for the 8-and-under girls,” Roeder said. “Micah Sanders-Silva got second place, and Andrew Sprenger got third place for individual points for the 8-and-under boys.”

Boggs finished first in four of the eight events at Gunnison. She had two seconds and two thirds.

Roeder said Harry Valentine-Wilson dropped his best time in a number of races at Gunnison.

Aubrey Elder, James Mellenthin, Thomas Mellenthin and Kayla Tehrani also competed in the Gunnison races, representing the Aspen Speedos.

In addition, Taylor Pattillo, Sophia Perry and Isabelle Elder competed for Aspen in the 11-12 age division at the Gunnison event.

“We had a lot of fun. And they are getting stronger, faster and better all the time,” Roeder said.

“The most fun part of the meet was the team dinner we do in Gunnison,” the Speedos coach said. “We go to Garlic Mike’s. All the parents are there. And the kids get to run around in the backyard at the restaurant.”

The older swimmers, meanwhile, traveled to their first long-course meet of the season, held in a 50-meter, Olympic-size pool in Thornton.

Max Bryant, 17, led the Speedos at the big meet in the Denver-metro area.

“Max got first in the 50 fly and second in the 50 breast,” said Speedos head coach Gordon Gerson. He said Bryant, an experienced swimmer, isn’t expecting super-fast times this early in the season. But he logged quick times nonetheless, Gerson said.

Several other Aspen swimmers participated on a limited scale in Thornton because of final exams and other commitments — including a big youth lacrosse tournament in Denver.

“Nathan Cherry was a dual sport athlete last weekend. He played with the Aspen lacrosse team,” Gerson said. “He did get some swimming in one day for us. And he had a best time. He was really multitasking.”

Gerson said the long course meet is different because of the length of the Olympic-sized pool.

“It’s a different style of swimming. You can almost get lost out there,” Gerson said.

Other solid finishes for the Speedos came from 7-year-old Gracey Brown along with Derek Brown (9) and Davy Brown (12).

Ava Cherry, Emily Driscoll, Hannah Freeman, Kelcie Gerson, Charlton Mechling, Madelyn Mechling, Everett Olson and Cole Peterson also competed in the long-course event at the Veterans Memorial Aquatic Center in Thornton.

“Davy had a great meet. It was her first long-course meet ever,” coach Gerson said. “Hannah made her first two state cuts. Cole Peterson made his first two state cuts.”

He said the Speedos have 10 swimmers already qualified for state championships in individual events.

“I don’t recall us having 10 kids already qualified by this time,” Gerson said.

dstrode@aspentimes.com


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