Shorthanded Aspen Speedos 11th at Junction meet
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
GRAND JUNCTION – Aspen Speedos coach Gordon Gerson did not have his full compliment of swimmers at this past weekend’s Grand Junction Dolphin Invitational.
“I might be the first coach to say this: I have six of my better points scorers … in South Africa, China, Switzerland and England right now,” the coach said Tuesday. “That’s a little challenging.”
Of the 40 on the current Speedos roster, only 13 swimmers competed. Those that did make the trip performed admirably, helping Aspen secure an 11th-place finish with 687 points.
Loveland (2,544), the Falfins from Colorado Springs (1775.5) and Montrose (1,521.5) captured the top three spots at the 29-team meet, which featured clubs from across the state, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming and even Illinois.
Here are the weekend’s highlights:
• Of the nine events in which he swam,
9-year-old Sam Richie finished first twice, second four times, third twice and fifth once. He produced personal bests in every event and amassed the fourth-highest point total of any male competitor regardless of classification.
“He’s getting better. He’s got boundless energy, and he’s finally lassoing that energy into improving his stroke technique and efficiency,” Gerson said. “That’s really helped his times drop.”
Richie teamed with Everett Olson, Austin Ferguson and Hunter Bryant to finish second in both the 12-and-under 200 medley and 200 freestyle relays.
• Max Bryant, who missed the first day of the three-day meet while attending swim camp in Arizona, logged a first-, fourth- and fifth-place finish and also took second three times in his six races. He dropped time in all but one.
“In those events where he came in second, those kids were really excited to beat him,” Gerson remarked. “That’s showing he’s more into the realm of having a target on his back. People know who he is, which is a good place to be.”
• Davy Brown finished in the top eight in eight of her nine events. She was second in the 200 individual medley and fourth in both the 50- and 100-meter breaststroke.
She also teamed with Kelcie Gerson, Kelli Callahan and Claire Collier to finish third in the open division 400 freestyle relay.
• Collier won the 200 backstroke and finished second in the 100 backstroke, fourth in the 100 butterfly and seventh in the 200 butterfly.
“It’s good to see Claire winning events in a big meet like this,” coach Gerson said.
• Callahan, who competed on Saturday and Sunday only, scored points in all six of her events. She produced top-five finishes in three and wound up fourth in the 100 and 400 freestyle and fifth in the 50 freestyle.
• Hunter Bryant was fourth in the 50 breaststroke, seventh in the 50 freestyle and ninth in both the 200 breaststroke and 50 backstroke.
• Olson finished in the top 15 in six of his eight events.
• Despite being hampered by a shoulder injury, Kelcie Gerson managed to finish second in the 400 freestyle and ninth in the 100 freestyle.
The Speedos return to the pool Saturday and Sunday, when they’ll host 17 teams at the Aspen Recreation Center.
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The third weekend of play begins Thursday and runs through Sunday with the Bantam B, Squirt A and Squirt B divisions. Because of safety protocols, spectators aren’t allowed.