Speedos set torrid pace in Grand Junction | AspenTimes.com

Speedos set torrid pace in Grand Junction

Dale Strode
The Aspen Times
Cole Petersen of the Aspen Speedos cruises through the water at the annual Grand Junction Invitational last weekend at Colorado Mesa University.
Steve Knowles/Special to The Aspen times |

The Aspen Speedos did not waste any time in their first big summer swim meet of the season.

To the contrary, the Speedos made every second count in a big splash of a debut at the annual Grand Junction Invitational last weekend, held at the new aquatic complex at Colorado Mesa University.

“The team performed really well,” Aspen Speedos head coach Gordon Gerson said. “I was really happy with the effort across the board.”

The Speedos finished fourth in the 22-team invitational swim meet, competing against huge squads from Boulder (Flatirons), Salt Lake City (Wasatch), Colorado Springs (Air Force) and Loveland.

“For a lot of the team, this was their first long-course meet of the season,” Gerson said of the Speedos squad that was the highest placing team from the Western Slope. “Coming in fourth and beating the teams our size is good for our club.”

Adding to the prestige of their points, the Grand Junction meet is one of the longest running on the Western Slope.

Known formerly as the Dolphin Invitational, the meet is building back up.

“This meet has been around for over 50 years. For a time, it was the meet of the summer,” Gerson said, adding that the Speedos recorded significant time drops at the Grand Junction meet last weekend.

“Look at Cole Petersen … look at his time drops,” Gerson said as he scanned the final results from the Grand Junction Invitational. “These are not little teeny-weeny time drops he’s making.”

Peterson scored points in the boys 13-14 100 backstroke, the 100 breast, the 200 breast and the 200 back.

“Cole has never made a mark like he’s made in this meet,” Gerson said. “And he’s knocking on the door for some state times.”

Maddie Mechling led the Speedos with a bevy of firsts and a bevy of points last weekend.

Swimming in the girls 12-under division, Mechling had five firsts, two seconds, one third and one fifth out of her nine events.

She won the 100 freestyle, the 100 back, the 400 free, the 100 free, the 50 back and the 200 individual medley.

“That’s a total of 15 swims in three days,” Gerson said of Mechling’s workload.

“Look at Emily Driscoll’s mile,” Gerson said. “She dropped 133 seconds in one event.”

Gerson said Nathan Cherry also stepped up with a big schedule of events in Grand Junction.

“Nathan … probably had his biggest meet ever. He’s starting to get it. He made his first state-qualifying time, and then he duplicated that time in the finals and he came in third.”

With 16 swims over three days, Cherry dropped times in every swim, Gerson said. “And he’s never swam that many events.”

He said Gavin Boggs, age 6, competed in his first long-course meet.

“Davy Brown had big time drops,” Gerson said.

“Everett (Olson) and Nathan (Cherry) scored a ton of points for us,” the Speedos coach said.

Aspen’s other high finishers included Kelli Callahan, who finished with a third place, two fourths, two fifths, a sixth and a seventh.

“Kelli had a solid meet. She had a few best times,” Gerson said. “That bodes well for the future for her.”

Other time drops came from the likes of Lewis Brown, Kayla Tehrani and Ava Cherry, among others.

“Hannah Freeman only scored in one event, but she had a great meet,” Gerson said. “She had all best times.”

He gave the “Trooper of the Meet” award to Paige Quist.

Gerson said Quist had stubbed her toe last week but still competed in Grand Junction.

“Later, it turned out it was broken,” Gerson said. “But she gritted it out and had all best times. I respect that effort greatly.”

The Speedos roster for the Grand Junction Invitational:

Gavin Boggs

Lillie Boggs

Davy Brown

Gracey Brown

Derek “Lewis” Brown

Max Bryant

Kelli Callahan

Ava Cherry

Nathan Cherry

Emily Driscoll

Hannah Freeman

Charlie Mechling

Maddie Mechling

Everett Olson

Sophia Perry

Cole Petersen

Paige Quist

Riley Rushing

Micah Sanders-Silva

Oliver Semple

Andrew Sprenger

Ashley Sprenger

Kayla Tehrani

Harry Valentine-Wilson