Swimming: Aspen Speedos third in Montrose

Jon Maletz
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

MONTROSE, Colo. – Jack Bowers set the pace. His Aspen Speedos teammates followed the 10-year-old’s lead at this past weekend’s Montrose Fall Open.

Bowers won all eight of his individual events and teamed with three others to win the 100-yard freestyle relay, helping propel the Speedos to a third-place team finish in a field of nine.

Host Montrose, who had 76 swimmers (Aspen had 13), captured the team title and Grand Junction wound up second.

“[The races] weren’t even close. He creamed everybody,” Speedos head coach Gordon Gerson said of Bowers.

“The fact that the guys are making so many best times and doing it week in and week out is pointing to an exciting end of the season.”

This past weekend’s successes came on the heels of a meet in Durango where, in 96 total swims, Aspen logged 30 first-place finishes, 55 personal bests and scored points in all but one event.

“And that’s leaving out all the second places,” Gerson added.

Here are some highlights from this past weekend at the Montrose Aquatics Center:

• Kelli Callahan won seven of her eight events. The 12-year-old dropped time in five and came out on top in the 400 individual medley, a race she was taking part in for the first time.

“It’s a brutal event and she was really nervous about it,” Gerson said. “She did really well.”

• Max Bryant matched Callahan’s effort with seven wins. The 14-year-old has 13 victories in the team’s last two meets.

• Fellow 14-year-old Kelcie Gerson logged four first-place and four second-place finishes. She dropped time in three events, including 7 seconds in the 200 butterfly and 8 seconds in the 200 breaststroke.

• Claire Collier picked up two wins, three second-place finishes and wound up in the Top 5 in all eight of her individual events.

• Nathan Cherry won the 8-and-under 100 freestyle and finished second five times. The 8-year-old’s weekend could’ve been better; he was disqualified for a two-hand wall touch in both the 50 breaststroke and 100 individual medley, events he was in line to win, coach Gerson said.

• Sam Richie picked up a win in the 200 freestyle and cracked the Top 3 in six of eight swims.

He, Cherry, Bowers and Everett Olson teamed up to finish first in the 100 freestyle and second in the 100 medley relays.

“Everett was closing and closing and closing on the guy [in the 100 medley] but didn’t quite catch him,” Gerson remarked. “He was out-touched by three tenths of a second.”

• While he logged just one Top 5 finish, 9-year-old Henry Henley made great strides in the Montrose pool, dropping 15 or more seconds off his times in four events.

“He’s figuring it out slowly but surely,” Gerson said. “He’s really coming along.”