First time is a charm: Mechling wins 50 breaststroke title on first try

Montrose’s Alyssa Christianson takes a breath Saturday during her heat of the 50 breaststroke at the Colorado State Long Course Championships. Christianson finished second in the finals.

Charlie Mechling didn’t expect to swim in the 50-meter breaststroke Saturday at the Colorado State Long Course Championships.

By the end of the day, the Glenwood Springs 12-year-old was a state champion in the event for Team Sopris.

“It was good being seeded first this morning,” Mechling said. “I just hoped I would do good tonight.

“It’s such a short race. It seems like we all touch the wall all at once.”

Mechling won the age 11-12 race in 37.92 seconds and set a personal record.

“I haven’t swam the 50 breaststroke all season until this morning,” she said. “I dropped a whole bunch of time this morning and tonight it went well.

“It was surprising I went 37 this morning.”

Mechling dropped three seconds off her previous best time from last year and 0.06 of a second off her time in the preliminaries.

Alyssa Christianson of Montrose took second place in the consolation B final in 40.31 seconds.

Mechling started competitive swimming when she was 6 years old, taking after her mother.

“I’ve always loved it,” Mechling said. “My mom swam for UCLA.

“She tries to go with the flow and let me do what I’m going to do.”

Mechling won the 10-under 50 breaststroke short course state title two years ago and was the 10-under girls high point champion.

She bumped up to the 12-under age group last year and turned 12 two weeks ago.

“I had a couple top 10 finishes last year,” Mechling said. “There are a couple girls that will win most everything, but going into the winter, I think I’ll have a pretty good chance (for high point).”

Mechling will be in seventh grade this fall.

“We have a really tiny club team,” she said. “We’ve been through four coaches now.

“I’ve done my best with our coach now. We used to never dream of going to state, let alone winning state.”

The 100 breaststroke is Mechling’s best event. She competed in the 200 individual medley and placed fourth and the 400 freestyle and placed seventh Friday night.

In other events, Jack Cassidy of Team Sopris placed sixth in the boys age 13-14 200 breaststroke consolation final.

Logan Morris of the Delta Barracudas placed eighth in the 18-under 200 breaststroke (3:10.24) and Michael Barnosky of Delta took eighth in the boys 18-under 200 breaststroke consolation finals.

Grand Junction’s Carlos Matthews finished third in the 18-under 100 freestyle C consolation race and Tyler Fair placed third in the 18-under 100 backstroke C consolation race.

“I’ve been struggling this weekend,” Fair said. “I don’t think I have my mind where it needs to be.”


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