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Mechlings lead Barracudas at Yellow Leaf meet

Jeff Caspersen
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

The Sopris Barracudas returned to the water less than a month ago, but the young swimmers are already in mid-season form.

Racking up multiple event wins and grabbing second place in the team standings, the local club opened its short course season with a bang at the past weekend’s Yellow Leaf Invitational.

Sopris finished behind only Aspen at the two-day meet, which was held at the Aspen Recreation Center.



“It’s early in the season, so we just got back in the water three and a half weeks ago,” Barracudas coach Damon Garrison said. “They’re really just getting back into shape. I’m pleased with where they’re at right now. They’re only going to get better.

Sisters Charlie and Maddie Mechling came home with the most first-place ribbons.



Charlie, who competes in the 11- and 12-year-old division, won nine individual events. She topped the field in the 100-yard freestyle (1 minute, 1.55 seconds), the 200 freestyle (2:16.81), the 500 freestyle (6:20.71), the 50 backstroke (32.23), the 100 backstroke (1:10.05), the 50 butterfly (30.67), the 100 butterfly (1:11.5), the 200 breaststroke (2:51.43) and the 200 individual medley (2:33.96).

Maddie, a force in the 7- and 8-year-old division, picked up seven event wins and one silver finish in Aspen. She won the 25 freestyle (16.53), the 50 freestyle (36.18), the 100 freestyle (1:20.2), the 25 backstroke (19.96), the 50 backstroke (43.93), the 25 breaststroke (22.27) and the 50 breaststroke (48.8). Her second-place finish came in the 25 butterfly (21.07).

Charlie also swam legs on a pair of victorious relay teams. She linked up with Jessica Tuttle, Cheyenne Beightel and Kendall Vanderhoof to win the 12-and-under 200 medley relay (2:19.46) and with Hannah Grumley, Hannah Peterson and Tuttle on the winning senior 400 freestyle relay team (4:18.81).

Other notable Yellow Leaf performances turned in by Barracuda swimmers:

• Jack Cassidy cleaned up in boys 13-14 competition, winning the 500 freestyle (5:47.58), the 200 backstroke (2:28.8), the 200 individual medley (2:27.65) and the 200 breaststroke (2:41.32). He took second in the 50 freestyle (27.35), the 100 freestyle (1:00.25), the 200 freestyle (2:13.52), the 100 backstroke (1:09.15) and the 100 breaststroke (1:19.51).

• Austin Hawkins also had a big weekend, winning the boys 9-10 500 freestyle (7:14.96) and finishing third in four other events (50 freestyle, 33.44; 100 backstroke, 1:30.61; 50 breaststroke, 46.78; 200 individual medley, 3:10.6).

• Phillip Hecksel recorded five top-three swims. He won the boys 11-12 50 butterfly (35.05), placed second in the 50 freestyle (31.06) and 200 breaststroke (3:29.02) and took third in the 100 backstroke (1:23.28) and 200 individual medley (3:02.66).

• Ashley Roper won a pair of events, outpacing the field in both the girls 15-and-over 100 freestyle (59.4) and the 200 freestyle (2:06.7).

• Hannah Grumley had quite the run in girls 15-and-over division. She took second in the 100 freestyle (1:00.75), the 100 backstroke (1:07.81), the 200 backstroke (2:26.2) and the 100 butterfly (1:07.22) and third in both the 50 freestyle (27.9) and the 200 freestyle (2:15.09).

• Tuttle left Aspen with six bronze finishes, claiming third in the girls 11-12 100 freestyle (1:07.15), the 200 freestyle (2:22.42), the 500 freestyle (6:35.79), the 50 butterfly (35.36), the 200 breaststroke (3:15.26) and the 200 individual medley (2:47.99).

• Beightel finished second in the girls 11-12 50 freestyle (30.22) and third in the 100 breaststroke (1:31.58).

• Kendall Vanderhoof nabbed second in the girls 11-12 200 backstroke (2:54.11) and third in the 50 freestyle (30.64).

• Hannah Peterson swam to second in the girls 13-14 200 individual medley (2:42.74) and third in the 100 butterfly (1:19.34).

• Caylah Newton’s time of 1:25.79 was good enough for second in the girls 11-12 100 individual medley. She also placed third in the 50 breaststroke (42.25).

• Zeb Thorsen left Aspen with a first-place finish in the boys 11-12 200 freestyle (2:32.62) and silver swims in both the 50 butterfly (35.52) and 200 backstroke (2:44.05).

• Zoe Lyon finished third in the girls 9-10 breaststroke (1:44.46).

• Sarah Helm swam to second in the girls 9-10 100 freestyle, clocking in at 1:18.54.

• Beightel, Vanderhoof, Hannah Stinson and Newton teamed up to win the 12-and-under girls 200 freestyle relay. They touched in at 2:10.

• Sopris’ boys senior 400 medley relay team of Sebastian Joly, Thorsen, Cassidy and Hecksel took second (5:16.63).

• Maddie Mechling, Kaitlyn Vanderhoof, Newton and Stinson finished third in the 200 medley relay (2:42.43).

jcaspersen@postindependent.com


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