Team Sopris hangs tough at the TOPS Spring Open |

Team Sopris hangs tough at the TOPS Spring Open

To be the best, you have to compete against the best.

Compete against the best is precisely what Team Sopris did at last weekend’s TOPS Spring Open, held at the University of Denver’s El Pomar Natatorium.

The meet is one of the fastest held in Colorado, with many of the state’s top swimmers in attendance, including two-time Olympian Kara Lynn Joyce and current World Cup points leader Missy Franklin.

Among the highlights for Glenwood Springs-based Team Sopris:

• Charlie Mechling enjoyed a monster meet in the 11- and 12-year-old girls division.

She won the 200-yard individual medley (2 minutes, 39.05 seconds) and the 100 breaststroke (1:23.72).

Mechling finished second in the 100 freestyle (1:05.63), the 200 freestyle (2:21.03) and the 400 freestyle (4:55.14). She took third in the 50 freestyle (30.84) and fourth in the 100 butterfly (1:16.19), the 100 backstroke (1:15.61) and the 50 backstroke (36.13).

• Jessica Tuttle turned in top-three finishes in eight 12U girls events. She won the 200 freestyle (2:23.51), the 400 freestyle (5:06.4) and the 100 butterfly (1:24.28) and added second-place finishes in the 50 freestyle (31.81), the 100 freestyle (1:08.57), the 200 butterfly (3:14.77) and the 100 backstroke (1:21.97). Tuttle nabbed third in the 200 backstroke (2:51.05).

• In 11-12 girls competition, Lauren Fetzko scored five top-10 finishes. She placed fifth in the 100 butterfly (1:17.27), sixth in the 200 freestyle (2:29.13), seventh in the 50 butterfly (34.96), eighth in the 400 freestyle (5:15.46) and 10th in the 50 breaststroke (43.83).

• David Hecksel swam well in 8U boys competition. He nabbed third in the 100 backstroke (2:09.62), fourth in the 50 freestyle (48.58), fourth in the 50 breaststroke (1:09.26), fifth in the 100 freestyle (1:53.55), fifth in the 100 breast (2:37.25) and seventh in the 50 backstroke (1:02.5).

• Shea Newton joined Hecksel in 8U boys success, taking fourth in the 50 butterfly (1:10.03), fifth in the 50 breaststroke (1:11.02), eighth in the 50 backstroke (1:03.5), eighth in the 50 freestyle (52.01) and eighth in the 100 backstroke (2:14.62).

• In the 9-10 girls division, Lauren Murphy picked up three top-10 finishes. She swam to fifth in the 50 breaststroke (46.57), chipping in a ninth-place swim in the 100 breaststroke (1:48.89) and a 10th-place swim in the 50 backstroke (42.97).

• Clara Cappel took seventh in the 9-10 girls 50 breaststroke (47.44).

• Phillip Hecksel clocked in ninth in the 11-12 boys 50 butterfly (36.06).

• Kendall Vanderhoof swam to 10th in the 400 freestyle (5:19.21).

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