Hannah Feuer doesn’t know how fast she is. “But she’s learning,” Aspen Speedos head coach Marc Teichman said Friday, the first day of the Western Slope League Championship at the Aspen Recreation Center.Feuer, 12, turned in her best result of the season in the 500 freestyle, knocking 17 seconds off her previous best to finish seventh, in 7 minutes, 1.24 seconds.
“A lot of the times in these meets, especially over longer distances, it’s about getting the kids to trust in their training and trust in their strength,” Teichman said. “[Hannah] started going faster on her third lap than she did on her first. She was fast today, but she still doesn’t know how fast she can be. And it’s the same thing with a lot of the kids. It’s about getting them to trust themselves.”Feuer’s personal best was just one of many strong swims for the Speedos in their home pool: Kelcie Gerson, 10, is one who already has figured out how fast she is. Already qualified for multiple events at states, Gerson won both the 100-yard freestyle and the 500 free in her under-10 age division. She finished the 100 in 1:10.15 and the 500 in 6:48.88. Her teammate Clair Collier – another multievent state qualifier – was runner-up in the 100 free with a time of 1:13.59. Gerson’s sister Kaitlin,14, also had two top results for the Speedos, finishing fourth in the grueling 400 IM with a time of 5:43.79 and fifth in the 200 backstroke in 2:40.2. Teammate M.E. Purnell – the only other Speedos girl to swim the 400 IM in the 13-14 division – was sixth with a time of 6:21.85.
Another top result came from Ali Kerr, who was third in the 50-yard free for the 13-14 division with a time of 28.11.Hunter Bryant, who was third in the 25-yard backstroke in the under-8 division with a time of 23.58, the top individual result for the Speedos boys. Teammate Nick Morgan was sixth in the same race, in 24.47.The Speedos boys 100-yard freestyle relay team of Bridger Gile, David Uhlfelder, Jack Sarick and Nick Morgan also turned in a third-place time of 2:07.20.
Teichman said he was pleased with his team’s effort on Friday, the lightest day – in terms of events – in the three-day meet.”We didn’t have a ton of events,” Teichman said. “[Today] is the bigger day. They did great, though. I like the team spirit. That’s what it’s all about. On one level, swimming is a very individual sport. On another, it’s very team-oriented. It’s great having your teammates there cheering for you.”Nate Peterson’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
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Prior to starting his trek across U.S., Larkins had never run more than a marathon and had never been to Colorado