The Lady Miners hope to improve their 13-6 record as they travel to Ignacio Saturday to face off against their Class 2A District 3 rivals at the District Tournament, while the decorated Telluride Cross Country team will line up with the best 2A runners in Colorado at the State Cross Country Meet in Colorado Springs on the same day. Meanwhile, the undefeated Telluride Miners boys’ soccer team plans to keep their winning streak going as they enter the State Soccer Tournament’s first round game against Denver-based Arrupe Jesuit on Friday in Coal Ridge.
After winning their division, boys’ soccer enters 3A State tournament ranked the highest 2A team.
The 2012 soccer season has witnessed the amalgamation of multiple winning factors for Telluride: A dedicated group of athletes at the top of their game, playing with poise, focus and solidarity, who have carried their team not just to an undefeated record, but also to the best record of any 2A school playing in the 3A division.
Telluride conceded the fewest number of goals in the entire 3A division this regular season, with goalie Brendan Kelley allowing just two goals, while the team’s offense scored a whopping 53 goals against their regional competition. After tying Crested Butte 1-1 on September 7, the Miners emerged as a powerhouse, handily winning their next 11 conference games.
Coach Mick Hill chalks the team’s successes to its players, many of whom have put soccer as their top sports priority this year.
“We have a group of seniors that have always had soccer as their number one sport,” he says, noting that many of the team’s upperclassmen have played in the indoor town league as well as the fall coed town league, and the same group of boys also won the Grand Junction U18 Boys Spring tournament under Justin Chandler and the Telluride Soccer Club, becoming the first-ever Telluride team to win that highly competitive tournament.
“We have a lot more strength and depth on our bench this year too,” he adds. “We have 11 guys out there on the field who can really play, but then we also have three or four guys jumping at the bit to get out there too.”
Last season THS was on a similar roll, but then lost their last home game to Crested Butte and went on to lose in the first round of the State Tournament, falling to Basalt by a goal.
This year Telluride goes into the State Tournament ranked 14th, and will face off against #20 seed Arrupe Jesuit from Denver. If the team were to triumph in that game they would go on to play the winner of Coal Ridge (#3 seed) and Kipp Collegiate (#30 seed) the following day.
“Coming off 11 straight wins, with the best defensive record and highest ranked 2A school [in the 3A division] – these guys have some things to be proud of,” Hill says. “That should give them some confidence. They’ve done all the hard work, so everything here on out is a bonus – so they should go out there and enjoy it.”
COMING OFF A GUSTY REGIONALS PERFORMANCE, CROSS COUNTRY TEAM HEADS TO STATE
Telluride’s boys cross country runners will be making a go at a State title this weekend, as the reigning Western Region 2A champions line up with the rest of Colorado’s top-ranked runners at the State Cross Country Meet in Colorado Springs on Saturday.
“This has been a really strong pack all season long, who have been putting themselves in the top ten week in and week out,” says Keith Hampton, Telluride cross country and track and field coach.
Despite losing State Champion runner Ty Williams this year, who graduated from Norwood High School last spring, the historically blended Telluride-Norwood boys cross country team has held their own in 2012. The boys won the Gunnison Invitational, took second at the Aspen Invitational, then upended #1 ranked Hotchkiss at the Western Regional Championship last weekend – their fourth straight win of the Regional Champion title.
As Hampton explains, having a team with a core group of runners that can each make their way into the top ten at events – even if they don’t necessarily have a front-runner who can win the race – puts Telluride at an advantage. “In cross country, if you can pack your guys together like that up front, you can be pretty tough to beat,” he says. “We’ve definitely opened some people’s eyes this season.”
On the girls’ side, Rachel Hampton won the regional race as an individual by a solid 23 seconds, putting her in good position to podium at this coming weekend’s event, which takes place at Bear Creek Park in Colorado Springs on Saturday.
IGNACIO-HOSTED DISTRICT TOURNAMENT PITS #2-RANKED TELLURIDE AGAINST AREA RIVALS THIS WEEKEND
Telluride’s Lady Miners are hoping to come out ahead of their divisional competition this weekend, with a shot at hosting the upcoming Regional Tournament on the line.
Coming into this weekend’s District Tournament ranked #2 behind Dolores, Telluride need only come out on top to then win home court advantage for the Regional Tournament, coming in November.
According to head coach Fawnda Rogers, the girls have a District Tournament victory in their wheelhouse – as long as the team remains healthy and injury-free through the weekend’s games.
The team has been plagued with illness this fall; after going on an eight-game winning streak earlier in the season, many of its starters were struck down with the flu, and the team’s record paid the price.
Now hoping to improve their record, the girls enter the ring to face off against fifth seed Nucla and third seed Mancos this Saturday in Ignacio. The winner of that pool play will go on to play the winner of the Dolores, Ignacio and Ridgway pool. The overall winner of the District Tournament will host the coming Regional Tournament.
Rogers says that while the Lady Miners possess the skills to come out on top of their competition at the coming tournament, the team will need to focus on “becoming close to error-free.”
“When they get nervous, they have a tendency to play passively – which is not an option at the District level,” Rogers says. “We don’t want to have any errors this weekend. We’ve been working hard this week to extend ourselves out a little bit, in hopes that we can come out on top this weekend.”