Speedos rule at Western Slope Championships
The Aspen Times
The Aspen Speedos turned the MAValanche Invite into an avalanche of Western Slope points.
The Aspen Swim Club’s junior swimmers won the annual Western Slope Championships last weekend at the regional meet hosted by the Mavericks of Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction. Dubbed the “Mav-alanche” Invite, the meet annually draws swim clubs from across the Western Slope.
The Speedos won the points battle among the Western Slope teams and nearly knocked off the visiting Colorado Athletic Club Sting swimmers from the Front Range.
The Aspen girls, in fact, won their division outright with 1,785.5 points.
Colorado Athletic Club Sting was next among the girls with 1,684 points.
Host Maverick Aquatics finished third with 1,376.5.
The Aspen boys finished just behind the Colorado Athletic Club swimmers — 1,598 to 1,356.5.
With Colorado Athletic Club winning the overall MAValanche championship, the Aspen Speedos collected the Western Slope Championship to extend a run of winter and summer regional titles that date back to 2012.
“It was a whole team effort. You don’t win a meet like this without a whole team effort,” said Gordon Gerson, longtime head coach of the Aspen Speedos.
With several swimmers rebounding from illness and others scrambling to prepare for final exams at Aspen High School, Gerson said the Speedos had an outstanding meet.
“We were a little short on bodies. We ended up with 43 down there,” Gerson said. “That was a solid turnout.”
He said a few more swimmers and a few more points and the Speedos would have prevailed over the large visiting squad from Denver.
“I’ve got to give the breakout swim of the week to Paige Quist,” Gerson said.
In the 200 freestyle, she posted a 2:21 team to beat her all-time best by a second and a half.
“She came back and dropped eight more seconds in the finals and made herself a new state qualifying time,” Gerson said.
“She just started out fast,” he said. “And when someone starts that fast, you wonder, when is the fall off. But she never slowed down.”
The 12-year-old won the event and later finished second in the 12-and-under 500 freestyle — with another huge time drop.
Quist also finished second in the 11-12 100 butterfly.
The younger swimmers, who could enter eight events in the two-day meet, piled up the most points for the Speedos. The older swimmers were limited to seven events.
Gracey Brown was Aspen’s top point producer at the Western Slope Championships.
The 8-year-old won all of her eight events in Grand Junction.
Brother Lewis Brown also was a big point producer last weekend.
“He had three firsts, a second and a couple of thirds, and he was on a couple of relays that scored some points,” Gerson said.
He said the Speedos relay teams fared very well at the championships.
“Our big girls won both of their relays handily,” he said.
Kelli Callahan paced the relays and added a bevy of top finishes for the Speedos.
“Kelli had a very nice meet,” Gerson said.
She won the 200 free and the 200 fly and finished second in the 400 individual medley. She also finished fifth in a very fast final heat of the 100 freestyle.
Gerson said Samantha Terranova, the Steamboat Springs swimmer who trains and competes with the Aspen Speedos, had another outstanding meet. He said she had a tough schedule Friday with the 500 freestyle, finishing second. And she came back later in the event to swim the mile.
“And she won it,” Gerson said, adding that Terranova won the 200 back and finished second in the 200 IM. “It was a very nice weekend for Sam.”
Gerson said Micah Sanders-Silva, 10, posted a number of strong results.
“He had a bunch of firsts and seconds,” Gerson said. He won both the 50 fly and 50 free.
“Gavin Boggs won six of his events and got second in two of them,” Gerson said. “That was part of a strong showing from our youngsters.”
He said Maddie Mechling had another solid meet as did Haver Muss-Nichols.
“He had a nice distribution of results. He’s only 9, competing in the 9-to-10 age group,” Gerson said.
“Davey Brown, just coming off the flu, had a very solid weekend. She won the 100 back, was third in the 200 free and third in the 100 free,” he said. “And she won the 50 free and won the 200 back.”
Another consistent weekend with consistent time drops marked Cole Petersen’s meet in Grand Junction, Gerson said.
“Cole had another great meet. I end up saying the same thing about him every week. But look at his time drops. He just keeps getting faster and faster,” he said.
Aspen’s Kennidy Quist was on the winning relays.
“She won the 50 free in a very solid time,” Gerson said.
He said that every Speedos swimmer contributed to the performance at the Western Slope Championships.
The Speedos roster in Grand Junction, in addition to the aforementioned, included:
Claire Anderson, Lillie Boggs, Parker Boyd, Nathan Cherry, Emily Driscoll, Aubrey Elder, Isabelle Elder, Isabella Haneman, Bliss Hemstreet, Delilah Hemstreet,
Kathryn Jones, Nathan Levey, Owen McLemon, Molly McManus, James Mellenthin, Everett Olson, Sophia Perry, Isabella Poschman, Willow Poschman, Abigail Richard, Timothy Richard,
Riley Rushing, Oliver Semple, Tristan Silfverskiold, Connor Somers, Paige Strecker, Kayla Tehrani, Harry Valentine-Wilson, Estelle White, Penelope White and Eddie Zane.
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