Barracudas take second at Aspen meet |

Barracudas take second at Aspen meet

Jon Maletz
The Aspen Times
Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

Aspen Speedos head coach Gordon Gerson admitted that expectations were modest heading into Saturday’s and Sunday’s home meet at the Aspen Recreation Center.

After all, his swimmers were coming off a rigorous week of training – some logged as many as 30 miles in the pool, he said.

“The goal was to go out and learn how to swim fast when they were tired,” Gerson said Tuesday.

Mission accomplished. Local swimmers set 16 new pool records, and four Speedos (Sam Richie, Ty Yocum, Max Bryant and Kelcie Gerson) were the high-point scorers in their respective divisions. Bryant and Gerson garnered the top two individual points totals in the entire meet, the coach said.

Those efforts were good enough for Aspen to finish third. Steamboat Springs, which had 62 participants compared to the Skiers’ 27, captured the team title.

The Sopris Barracudas edged their upvalley rivals to take the second spot.

“I think this shows that if the guys are rested … they’re going to be able to do really well,” coach Gerson said.

Here are the weekend’s highlights:

• Max Bryant continued his summer hot streak, picking up seven individual victories and one second-place finish. He also teamed with Michael Zimet, Jackson Landis and Derek Ridings to win the 400-yard freestyle and 400 medley relays.

The 14-year-old was the meet’s top point scorer.

• Kelcie Gerson overcame an illness to finish first in the 200 backstroke, 200 individual medley, 500 freestyle, 200 butterfly and 100 backstroke. The 14-year-old also finished second in the 200 freestyle and third in the 100 freestyle.

• Claire Collier finished second to Gerson in the 200 butterfly and 100 backstroke, and picked up a victory in the 100 butterfly.

The duo teamed with Kelli Callahan and Kaitlin Gerson to win the 400 medley relay.

• Young Sam Ritchie won five of the meet’s six 8-and-under events, and finished second in the 25 backstroke.

The 8-year-old also took second in the 200 individual medley, where 10-year-old teammates Ty Yocum and Bridger Gile finished first and third, respectively. The trio teamed with Hunter Hill to win the 200 medley relay.

• Aspen swimmers won all four medley relays on the meet’s opening day. In one of the Saturday’s closest races, the team of Katie Yocum, Ashley Sprenger, Davy Brown and Lelia Arthur pulled out a .38-second win with a time of 3 minutes, 9.81 seconds.

“[That’s] the best example of how we’re doing as a team,” Gordon Gerson said. “It shows that, across the board, all the strokes are coming together.”

• Yocum picked up victories in the 100 freestyle (Gile was second), 100 breaststroke, 100 backstroke (Gile was third), 50 breaststroke (Gile was second) and the 200 freestyle.

• Gile won the 50 butterfly and the 50 freestyle and was second in the 50 backstroke.

• Michael Zimet added to Aspen’s laundry list of victories with wins in the 100 and 200 freestyle and 100 backstroke. The 15-year-old also wound up second in both the 400 individual medley and 200 butterfly.

“He started that 200 [freestyle] like he was running from a tax collector,” coach Gerson joked. “He faded a little bit, but still had a convincing win.”

• Six-year-old Gemma Hill topped the field in the 25 backstroke with a time of 28.83 seconds.

• Lelia Arthur finished first in the girls 10-and-under 100 breaststroke (teammate Brown was second) and 100 backstroke, then was second in the 50 backstroke and 50 breaststroke.

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