Maya Valean, Tennyson Sipes, Breck Boyd, Tyson Boyd, Brian Molloy and Andrew Molloy after winning the 2023 CSI senior small team state championship this July. Not pictured: Emma Lindstrom Meghan Hershey/Courtesy photo The Avon Swim Team has had quite a summer. Coach Meghan Hershey qualified three swimmers to Summer Sectionals in Boise, Idaho, July 13-16, guided the club to the Colorado Swimming Inc.
(CSI) senior long-course state title July 20-23 in Thornton and had six athletes swim at the CSI age-group state championship July 28-30. Finally, Breck Boyd became the first swimmer during her tenure to qualify and compete at the USA Swimming Futures — USA Swimming’s second of four tiers (the tiers, in succession are: sectionals, futures, junior nationals, Olympic Trials) of national meets. “I’m really proud of them,” Hershey said.
“They’re all working hard, trusting in the process and really just growing in the pool.” Boyd and teammates Emma Lindstrom and Brian Molloy all notched four personal best times apiece in Boise. Boyd finished 18th in the 100 backstroke, finishing with a Futures cut and personal best time of 1 minute, 0.65 seconds.
Lindstrom’s lifetime marks came in the 50, 100, 200 and 400 freestyles, highlighted by a 2:10.10 — 2.55 seconds faster than her previous lifetime best — in the 200 to place 17th overall. Molloy finished in the top 30 with a 1:11.95 in the 100 breaststroke and lowered his best 200 breaststroke, 50 freestyle and 200 individual medley marks as well. Emma Lindstrom competes at the Speedo Summer Sectionals in Boise, Idaho.
Meghan Hershey/Courtesy photo “Overall the team swam excellently, and it was awesome to have the opportunity to watch them support each other and grow together in and out of the pool,” Hershey stated. Support Local Journalism Donate The following week, all three athletes headed to Veterans Memorial Aquatic Center in Thornton for the senior long-course state championships. “They were tired but they continued to drop time in a lot of their events,” Hershey said. Saving something for San Antonio, Breck Boyd raced only relays, but his younger brother Tyson competed in six individual races (and two relays), placing third and fourth in the 1500 and 800-meter freestyles, respectively.
Andrew Molloy, competing as a 12-year-old against the 13 and older competition, hopped on both relays and notched a 12th place finish in the 200 individual medley. Older brother Brian finished ninth in the 100 breaststroke. Hershey was also impressed by Maya Valean’s performances in the 100 and 200 breaststrokes. “She’s been training with the seniors and been working hard all summer,” the coach said.
“I’m really proud of her for stepping up and putting her all into what she was doing.” Molloy, Boyd and Tennyson Sipes, who was 11th and 16th in the 400 and 800 freestyles, form a talented core group. They helped the club win the winter age-group state title in March. “The exciting thing about them is they’ll all be 18 for the next Olympic Trials,” Hershey said. CSI Senior Long-course summer state championships – Avon Swim Team results Brian Molloy 100 breaststroke: 1:11.59, ninth-place Emma Lindstrom 100 freestyle: 1:00.58, 17th place Tennyson Sipes 400 freestyle: 4:49.95, 16th place 800 freestyle: 10:07.52, 11th place Andrew Molloy 100 breaststroke: 1:18.32, 20th place 200 breaststroke: 3:00.72, 28th place 200 individual medley: 2:31.52, 12th place Tyson Boyd 1500 freestyle (13-14): 18:37.70, third place 400 individual medley (13-14): 5:18.32, sixth place 200 breaststroke: 2:44.45, 10th place 200 freestyle: 2:13.51, 13th place 400 freestyle: 4:39.18, sixth place 800 freestyle: 9:37.16, fourth place Maya Valean 100 breaststroke, 1:29.38, 34th place 200 breaststroke, 3:12.86, 26th place 400-meter medley relay: Breck Boyd, Brian Molloy, Andrew Molloy, Tyson Boyd – 4:21.33, 22nd place (*qualified for winter sectionals) 400-meter freestyle relay: Breck Boyd, Brian Molloy, Andrew Molloy, Tyson Boyd – 3:58.70, 23rd place While a few of Avon’s older athletes flew out to St.
Petersburg, Florida, to end their seasons at the 2023 Summer Elite Showcase, Avon’s six age-group swimmers — Madison Beidel, Maxwell Leingang, Logan Shiao, Sierra Shiao, Paisley Thompson and Jackie Woodrow — competed in Grand Junction at the end of July for the CSI age-group championships. A familiar theme continued: setting personal bests. Leingang chopped three seconds off his 50-meter breaststroke and two more off his 100-meter freestyle.
Logan Shiao had sixth personal records, highlighted by a pair of 24th-place finishes in the 50 and 200-meter freestyles. The Avon Swim Team coaches with athletes Paisley Thompson, Jackie Woodrow, Maddison Beidel and Logan Shiao at the CSI Age-group state meet. Meghan Hershey/Courtesy photo “We did really well,” Hershey said.
“It was a younger team. I actually had more girls at that meet than I ever have.” Beidel saw 10 individual marks fall, including a 27-second drop in the girls 400-meter individual medley, where she placed 10th. “I was at Futures getting texts from other coaches about how crazy her 400 IM was and the stuff she was doing at the age group meet,” Hershey said.
“That was pretty cool.” Beidel also took eighth in the 400 freestyle and is within eight seconds of the 12 and under Zones Championship cut. Hershey has noticed the girls striving to match the boys. “I’m starting to see my girls are really starting to buy into it and it’s cool to see them have the same goals the guys have,” Hershey said. Sierra Shiao, Maxwell Leingang, Madison Beidel at the CSI Age-group state meet at the end of July.
Meghan Hershey/Courtesy photo Breck Boyd eyes Junior Nationals and Olympic Trials Breck Boyd competed at the USA Swimming Futures Championship in San Antonio, Texas July 26-29. Meghan Hershey/Courtesy photo Breck Boyd’s breakthrough was perhaps the most notable of the summer. The 15-year-old became the first swimmer in club history to qualify for a second tier USA Swimming national meet by competing in both the 100 and 200 backstrokes at the Futures Championships in San Antonio, Texas July 26-29. “It was the biggest meet I’ve coached so far,” Hershey said.
“Breck is incredibly motivated and has been working hard in and out of the pool to achieve his goals.” Four finals heats (A, B, C, and D), with eight athletes apiece, were contested at Futures, with the C and D sections protected to 18-and-under athletes. Competing against college and national level athletes, Boyd qualified for the open B final of the 200 backstroke.
He swam a 2.38-second personal best to place 16th in a time of 2:09.20, less than a second (2:08.49) off the Junior Nationals cut. In the 100 backstroke, he finished in 22nd in a time of 59.59, also sniffing distance of that Junior Nationals requirement (58.89). “I do believe he can do it,” Hershey said of Boyd’s aspirations to qualify for the 2023 Winter Junior National Championships in Westmont, Illinois Dec.
6-9. “We’re gunning for it, we’re upping his training a little bit in and out of the pool.” Boyd’s CrossFit coach, Samuel Matthews, has been pushing the swimmer during his third sets, hoping to train against fading during the third 50-meters of the 200 backstroke. Beyond nationals, Boyd’s long-term goal is reaching USA Swimming’s fourth tier: the Olympic Trials next June.
Given the raised expectations and talent in her program, Hershey is upping her game, too. Next week she’ll attend the American Swim Coaches Association clinic in Dallas. “I just have to grow in my skills as a coach so I can give them as much as they can to let them be successful, if it’s what they decide they want,” she said, adding that when she started in her role, she figured this kind of growth was a possibility. “When I started, I saw this potential in all of them, and it’s just really cool to get to grow with them,” she continued.
“As they grow, I’m continuously learning and trying to learn from the best.” For Boyd specifically, Hershey is confident in his fundamental technique. Now, it’s about upping the training and improve intentionality in practice. “We’ve done a lot of mental training for pre-race, nerves, and what happens when you’re competing, but now, focusing a little more on mental training in practice and how much you can push your body in practice,” she said. “It doesn’t mean we need to drastically increase yardage or anything; it just means the sets we’re doing, they need to be putting 100% effort in — even though it’s hard or you’re having a bad day and you don’t want to.
But, coming in and giving your all because of that long term goal you have.”