Swim Team Wins First State Championship
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Most people believe that is strength in numbers, but the AHS Girls Swim Team proved that victory can still be accomplished without the masses. For the first time in Aspen High School history, the girls swim team won the state championships as well as ended the season with many first place individual finishes. In addition to the state championship title, Kennedy Quist also won both the 50 and 100-meter freestyle as well as both relays, Davy Brown won the 100-yard backstroke, and the team won medals in the 200-yard medley relay and 400-yard freestyle relay. AHS students Emily Driskol, Hannah Freeman, Davy Brown and Kennedy Quist were the only four swimmers to qualify for states out of the team, and despite being seeded first, few were confident about the outcomes of the events. In past years they had finished around 7th or 8th overall, but this year, after being moved from the 4A division to Colorado’s first 3A girls swimming division, they were determined to change that. Aspen Speedos Club Coach, Gordon Gerson, who coaches all of the qualifying swimmers along with high school coach, Kathleen Callahan, was elated at the girls performance.
“I was excited that the girls would have a chance to really show off the hard work that they have been doing and produce a great result,” Gerson said. “They were ranked number one going into the meet, but there are certainly no guarantees. I thought if they produced the results they were capable of that they would come out on top and they did.”
In order to achieve these results, the girls swim team practices 49 weeks of the year only taking a few weeks off for spring break and one week during the summer. In addition they train six days a week including eight practices and three drylands in order to improve their fitness and swimming.
“It is a constant evolving process of building up their strength, speed, endurance, and technique,” Gerson said.
While not every swimmer won first, they all improved their times. AHS junior Emily Driskol went into the races ceeded in 11th place and after qualifying for the final round, came in seventh.
“I was really happy with my performance because I bettered all of my seeds and I got top eight in both of my individuals and best times, so I was really happy about that,” Driskol said.
AHS sophomore, Davy Brown, has also been one to watch this year and was able to win multiple state titles. Before the races she really focused on mentally preparing herself for whatever was to come.
“You have to make a high bar for yourself so I just tried to visualize it and not think about anyone else and just go out there and do my best and whatever happens happens,” Brown said.
Quist, a senior at AHS and future student at Harvard, was also a big contributor to the win. Last year she came in second in both her events and was determined to come away with a state championship before graduating. She was able to come away with not only a state title and two individual wins, but was also given the honors of All American and Scholastic All American. Despite her great achievements during states, she still regretted not being able to get more than one best time because she had been sick before and during the races.
“Even though it was kind of sad that that was my last high school season, I couldn’t have asked for a better end to it,” Quist said.
Quist also commented on her future swimming career at Harvard, saying, “I’m very excited, and it should be a lot of fun. Harvard has a lot of talented women and a very cohesive team and I’m really excited to compete with them next year.”