Mechling to swim for D1 South Dakota |

Mechling to swim for D1 South Dakota

Glenwood Springs senior Charlie Mechling, who swims with the Aspen Speedos, signs her national letter of intent to swim at the University of South Dakota next season.
Will Grandbois / Glenwood Post Independent |

After more than 13 years of hard work and determination, Glenwood Springs’ Charlie Mechling will continue her swimming career at the University of South Dakota next season.

Mechling, a senior at Glenwood Springs High School and a member of the Demons swim team, as well as a member of an Aspen-based club team, signed her national letter of intent Monday, at GSHS.

Thanks to outstanding facilities, a feel of home and the chance to swim competitively in Division I, Mechling will make the nearly 750-mile trek to Vermillion, South Dakota, to join the Coyotes swim team following her graduation from GSHS.

“The coaches were so nice [through the recruiting process], and I just felt like I would mesh well with all of the girls there,” Mechling said. “It just seemed like a really great fit. Plus, I loved the dorms, and I think they [USD] will offer me everything I’ve been looking for, not only with swimming, but with academics as well.”

With her commitment, Mechling will become the fifth Colorado native on the Coyotes roster, joining her friend, Taylor Kidd, who is from Grand Junction. Mechling’s commitment to USD happened rather quickly, having started in September when Mechling filled out a recruiting questionnaire, which put her in contact with USD head coach Jason Mahowald.

From there, Mechling made an official visit to USD in September, where she fell for the campus almost immediately. With everything happening so fast for the Glenwood native, Mechling can now finally sit back and relax, knowing where she’ll be swimming next season.

“I’m so happy that I just did it,” Mechling said. “Now it just takes so much pressure off of everything else, so I’m just super happy to know that it’s done. It was really fast, but I’m happy with when I did it and how I did it. I definitely wouldn’t do anything differently.”

Through 13 years of swimming, Mechling said that the sport has taught her how to push through things and finish what one has started, which she says is a key to college.

But coming from the region and getting a Division I scholarship is rare, which Mechling acknowledges. It could be a tough transition to the next level of competition, but according to her mother, Kimberly — who was a Division I swimmer for UCLA in college — Charlie is definitely ready for the next level thanks to her dedication to swimming.

In fact, Charlie swims early in the morning before school, then drives to Aspen each night to swim again. From there, she then returns home around 8 p.m. to begin her schoolwork. Sounds like college, right?

“She [Charlie] is totally ready today,” Kimberly said. “She’s not a normal kid because of the situation with a small town. She swims early in the morning, gets to school late and has to do a bunch of online classes to make up the credits. She leaves school at 2 p.m. every day and drives to Aspen — she’s been doing it for two years.

“She’s actually used to the rigorous schedule, so I think her being in college will be easier for her than what she does now.”

Mechling will be one local to keep an eye on at the next level, but for now she’s focused on competing this season to the best of her ability.

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