Four Aspen swimmers among Glenwood Springs group at state meet
Glenwood Springs High School senior James McMahon has been swimming competitively since grade school. It is a sport that he has dreamed about competing in at the Olympics. This year, McMahon is the lone senior on this year’s 11-member boys swim team. Following a third-place finish at the 4A/5A Southwest swim championships last weekend, McMahon is leading six of his teammates at the state 4A championships at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs Friday and Saturday.
The team includes four Aspen swimmers: Cole Peterson, Connor Somers, Everett Olson and Nathan Cherry. The four compete for the Demons as Aspen High School does not have a boys swim team.
In preparation for the championship meet, the Glenwood Boys competed in the 2017 Boys Southwest 4A/5A swim championships. The D51 Griffins (5A) won the meet with 349 points, while Montrose (4A) finished in second place with 333 points followed by Glenwood (4A) with 211 points. Moffat County (4A) finished in fourth with 92 points and Durango (4A) in 5th place with 80 points.
At the regional championship meet, McMahon swam to an impressive fifth-place in the 100 butterfly with a state qualifying time of 1:00.68. In addition to the butterfly event, McMahon will also compete in the state championships in the 100 backstroke, and as a member of the 200 Medley Relay and 200 Free Relay.
Maybe the Demons’ most talented swimmer this year is Somers, a junior sprinter. This past weekend, Somers won the 50-yard freestyle in a time of 22.54 and won the 100 Butterfly with a time of 53.40. Somers is swimming both events at the state meet along with two relays.
Peterson, a sophomore, won the 500-yard freestyle and placed second in the 200 individual medley, both with personal best times of 4:51.34 and 2:00.85. Peterson is competing in both events along with the 200 medley and 400 freestyle relays.
Jonus Ortega placed second in the 100 freestyle with a personal best time of 50.92. Ortega will skip the 100 free and, like Peterson, will also swim the 500 freestyle and 200 individual medley at the state championship meet. Ortega will join Somers, Peterson and McMahon in the 200 medley relay. His final event will be as the leadoff swimmer in the 400 freestyle relay.
To complete the individual events at the state meet, Olson, a freshman, will compete in the 200 and 500 freestyle. Olson will also swim on the 200 and 400 freestyle relays.
Cherry, another freshman, and Shea Newton will complete the team with both boys slated to swim on the 200 freestyle relay and as the alternates for the 200 medley and 400 freestyle relays.
McMahon will finish his senior year at GSHS as a four-year letter winner. He will not reach his dream of swimming in the Olympics, but attending his third state championship swim meet is still a great accomplishment before packing his bags and leaving for college in Chicago and dreaming of a career in cinema art.
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The Aspen High School ski team wrapped up its short and sweet regular season Friday with home races at Highlands. The Skiers hosted both a slalom and giant slalom on Thunderbowl, with an AHS athlete taking three of the wins.