Five Aspen swim teamers going to state |

Five Aspen swim teamers going to state

Jon MaletzThe Aspen TimesAspen, CO Colorado

MONTROSE, Colo. For Aspen’s swim team, a season filled with high points and memorable performances reached its pinnacle this past weekend.By virtue of their strong showing in the league championship meet in Montrose, five girls – diver Chelsey Hanle and 200-yard freestyle relay team members Ali Kerr, Hana Maclean, Megan Karaus and Kaitlin Gerson – qualified to compete Friday and Saturday at the state meet in Fort Collins. Aspen will send a diver and a relay team to state for the first time in the program’s four-year history.”This is absolutely fantastic,” said Aspen coach Calan Gibney, whose team wound up seventh out of 11. “All the girls swam very well, and a number of them got personal bests at this meet. It’s a good time to do that.” Hanle took first in all but two meets this season. Against a field of 16 in Montrose, the junior set the school record for an 11-dive meet and, with a score of 321.25, comfortably finished above the state qualifying mark of 300.The freestyle relay team had a much more difficult time reserving their trip to Fort Collins. Friday, the girls posted a time of 1 minute, 51.79 seconds – a mere .79 off state qualifying pace. They had a second opportunity one day later and made it count. Kerr set a school record during her leg, posting a 50 time of 27.29 seconds, and the Skiers finished in 1:50.09. The same foursome finished eighth in the 200 medley.In addition to her efforts in relays, Gerson took seventh in the 200 individual medley and fifth in the 100 freestyle. Maclean was ninth in the 100 breastroke.Keely Roberts posted top 10s in three disciplines in her first league championship meet. She was eighth in the 100 butterfly, 10th in the 100 backstroke (teammate Megan Karaus was 12th), and teamed with Rachel Sher, Steffi Klawiter and Janie Gosney to take eighth in the 400 freestyle relay. Roberts is one of four alternates – Annie Buettow, Sher and M.E. Purnell – who also will make the trip to Fort Collins, Gibney said.Aspen, which posted a 9-2 record this season, will be represented at the state meet for the second time in school history.Skiers top MachebeufWhen Friday’s much-anticipated and much-hyped state title game rematch with Ralston Valley was postponed because of inclement weather, Skiers hockey coach Al Butler said he worried his team would have a let down Saturday against visiting Machebeuf.Rest easy, coach. The Skiers struck in the first five minutes, scored six goals on 39 shot attempts and pounded the undermanned Buffaloes, 6-1.”We didn’t quite come out the way we should, but, as the game went on, we got stronger,” Butler said. “The third period was pretty much ours, and we dominated on the power play and on penalty kills.”Three minutes after their first goal, the Skiers (10-6 overall, 5-3 5A Foothills) handed the puck over to Machebeuf after an untimely turnover, and the Buffaloes squared the match. Aspen struck once more before the end of the first period, once in the second, then erupted for three goals in the final 15 minutes to hand Machebeuf its 12th loss. Simon Dolginow found the net three times and teammates Murphy Fyrwald, Willy Klein and Cody Horn each scored once for the Skiers, who twice connected for shorthanded goals. They were equally as impressive on defense, holding the Buffaloes to just 12 shots.”I think they only had 12 skaters. I don’t know if they were missing guys or what,” Butler said. “It gave us an opportunity to play four lines a good portion of the game. … We took control and kept coming.”After dropping three straight in mid January, the reigning state champions have rebounded with five consecutive victories. They’ve scored no fewer than four goals during that stretch.The road gets tougher Wednesday at 7:15 p.m. when Ralston Valley visits Lewis Ice Arena. The Skiers beat the Mustangs, 1-0, in last season’s title game. This season, Ralston Valley is outscoring opponents, 90-20, including a 15-0 rout of Machebeuf on Jan. 5. Their only loss came against top-ranked Regis.”A lot of guys were pretty hyped to play [Friday],” Butler said. “I’m sure they’ll get hyped again for Wednesday. I feel confident they’ll come to play.”

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