Barracudas finish strong at meet |

Barracudas finish strong at meet

Jeff Caspersen
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Photo by Joey Fetzko

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado ” Charlie Mechling remembers looking over at her mom in shear glee. She had just won a state championship in the 10-and-under 50-yard breaststroke.

“I was really excited,” said the 10-year-old Sopris Barracuda swimmer, who clocked in a title-winning time of 42.03 seconds. “I was like, ‘Yeah!’ And the announcer guy was really cool. He said: ‘Your new state champion ” Charlie Mechling!'”

That was the high point in a busy weekend for Mechling ” and her Barracuda teammates ” at the Colorado Swimming long-course state championships at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs.

Mechling herself swam in seven events. Her next-best swim was a fifth-place finish in the 100 breast (1:36.64).

The youngster’s 50 breast showing earned her a spot on the Colorado Zone team, which is traveling to Mount Hood, Ore., this week for Western Zones, a huge regional meet. Mechling won’t go, though, as she’s exhausted from the four-day state meet, which began last Thursday and wrapped Sunday. That, and her parents feel she’s still a little young for a six-day traveling meet.

Instead, Mechling is shifting her focus to an open-water swim in Fort Collins two weeks from now ” a nice change of pace from the indoor regimen she’s accustomed to.

“I’m excited,” she said.

Mechling wasn’t the only Barracuda scoring high finishes in the state event, which was run in conjunction with the State Games of the West.

Keevyn Scholl scored a pair of top-10 swims, taking fifth in the girls 13-14 100 breast (1:23.38) and ninth in the 200 freestyle (3:03.27).

Lily Thorsen also came up big, swimming to ninth in the girls 12-and-under 400 freestyle (5:07.64) and 12th in the 200 freestyle (2:30.17).

Kathleen Lyon, from Virginia but in Glenwood Springs to train with her former coach, Damon Garrison, for the summer, kept busy over the weekend. Her best finishes included a seventh-place swim in the senior girls 1,500 freestyle (19:15.23) and an eighth-place showing in the 100 butterfly (1:08.69).

Hynson, also from Virginia, took 12th in the senior girls 100 fly (1:09.16).

Also representing the Barracudas at state were Ashley Roper and Jack Cassidy.

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