On the ski mountain, Telluride Ski and Snowboard Club-trained athletes made a name for their hometown, prevailing in high-level events in all three disciplines of freestyle, snowboard, and alpine.
Norwood and Telluride runners sprint to the top in 2010
Neighboring high schools Telluride and Norwood were all the buzz in the running world in 2010, thanks to a flurry of state title-winning athletes making waves during both the spring track and field and the fall cross-country seasons.
NHS sophomore Lindsey Stindt became a double State Champion after the 2010 State Track and Field meet in Denver in May, capturing gold in the 300 m. hurdles as well as the long jump.
And in November, THS’ boys cross-country team handily won the 2A 2010 state title, thanks in part to Ty Williams’ repeat win of the individual title. Not only did this relatively unknown team take the State Champ title (Telluride’s cross-country team is only three years old), they also crushed the previous 2A team record, scoring 15 points. Their closest competitor, Lyons, finished with 38 points. THS runners Colten Rogers and Nathan Loomis finished in the top ten, with Rogers in sixth and Loomis in eighth.
Telluride’s girls also followed through with a gutsy performance at State, with three runners – Rachel Hampton, Josephine Bush and Jessie Hild – racing to fifth place as a team.
San Miguel County teams prove to be volleyball powerhouses
It was a year of firsts for both the Lady Mavericks and the Lady Miners volleyball teams: Both squads won berths into their respective Regional tournaments for the first time in many years (Norwood is a 1A school, Telluride competes in the 2A division.)
Norwood broke out of the regular season this fall with an outstanding 22-1 record, thus garnering their first trip to the Regional Tournament in nearly a decade. With a Regional Tournament win over closest competitors Vail-Christian, the Ladies went on to the 1A State Volleyball Tournament in Denver – the first time a Norwood volleyball team has done so in close to twenty years.
Although the 2010 Norwood Lady Mavericks volleyball team fell short of making it to the semi-finals at the 1A State volleyball tournament in November, Coach Sheri Hardman admitted the story of Norwood High School volleyball was far from over.
“There was this feeling like, ‘We can play here, we can beat these teams,” Hardman said, recalling the feeling amongst NHS’ volleyball players as they watched the championship match between Otis and Fleming.
Meanwhile Telluride’s volleyball team also emerged from the shadows in 2010, powering through a comeback win at their home-hosted Divisionals tournament to win the #2 seed into the Regional tournament. Telluride did not advance to the State Tournament this year, but with a roster of returning players, coach Fawnda Rogers expects another Regionals bid in the upcoming 2011 season.
TSSC Progeny ascends to great heights
Telluride Ski and Snowboard-trained freestyle athlete Joe Discoe has been in the headlines for some time. But 2010 marked this Ridgway native’s greatest accomplishment, with Discoe winning his career-first U.S. Nationals title at the Sprint U.S. Freestyle Championships in March in Squaw Valley (where he beat out Olympic mogul skiers for the single moguls win). Two-thousand-ten marked Discoe’s first year on the U.S. Ski Team. He began the 2010-2011 season with a tenth-place finish at the World Cup event hosted in Beida Lake, China, on December 21.
And in more recent freestyle news, TSSC’s Zak Watkins won the dual moguls competition at the U.S. Selections event in Steamboat Springs on December 22. The win puts Watkins among the country’s best up-and-coming mogul skiers. He also placed third in single moguls the day before, while teammate Lane Stoltzner finished second in the U.S. Selections single moguls event held on December 19.
Thanks in great part to this flurry of exceptional finishes from his TSSC trained skiers, Telluride Freestyle Team’s Director and Head Coach Caleb Martin was named the United States Freestyle Coach of the Year at the end of the 2009-10 ski season.
It was also a year of firsts for TSSC alumni Fern Miller, who made her first career World Cup appearance at the LG FIS Snowboard World Cup Parallel Giant Slalom (PGS) event, held on her home mountain of Telluride earlier this month. Miller got her start racing with TSSC, but has since graduated to the FAST (First Alpine Snowboard Team), currently based in Park City, Utah.
Rounding out TSSC’s competitive cache in 2010 was its alpine team’s Victor Major, who competed at the U.S. National Alpine Championships – the first time in the organization’s history that one of its members reached the highest level of U.S. ski racing competition. Major has since graduated to the Team Summit program, but he has left a hefty reputation in his wake among the alpine team’s younger up-and-coming members.
Ridgway/Ouray Rivalry Heats Up in State Basketball Consolation Final
Both Ridgway and Ouray’s boys’ basketball teams survived the rollercoaster ride of Regionals and the first round of the State tournament last March, with both teams climbing to the Final Four at the One-A State Tournament in Pueblo.
The fierce Ridgway/Ouray basketball rivalry didn’t die, not even after both teams had lost to their Final Four adversaries. Rather, the teams from two neighboring towns met one another for the fifth time this season this month in the State Consolation Final, in the fight for Colorado’s third place ranking.
At the end of a characteristically fiery match, it was the Demons who emerged with the slim four-point victory over their toughest league rivals, taking the third-place title in the process.
Montrose High Places Third in State 4A Wrestling Competition
The Montrose High School wrestling team capped off an impressive season last February when the team took third place in the state 4A wrestling tournament under the lights of the Pepsi Center in Denver.
Senior Jordan Passehl won first place in his weight class after an undefeated season. Montrose junior Bryce Gaber placed second in the 171 pounds class – to first-place winner Josh VanTine, of Broomfield. Montrose senior Braxten Franz came in second in the 215 pounds class, losing to Coltin OsterMiller of Ridgview Academy.
“Most of these kids have been wrestling since they were 8 years old, and all of them have gone through peewee programs,” Head Coach Kevin Passehl said after the tournament. “They’ve worked hard and are very disciplined. People don’t realize how hard they work – which is why they ended up with 17 (wins) finishing the season.”
For Second Straight Year, Mavericks Football Makes a Playoff Run
Signifying a the building of a strong football foundation at Norwood High School, the Mavericks made another strong run at an eight-man state football championship.
For the second year in a row, the Mavericks celebrated and undefeated season until it suffered a season-ending playoff loss, this time at the hands of Caliche High School on Nov. 20 by a score of 41-0.
Up until the 2009 season, the Mavericks hadn’t won the eight-man Western Division in 13 years, and have since competed to go to the state championship game twice. While this year’s the semifinal loss comes with disappointment, Head Coach Tom LaFramboise believes a strong football foundation has been laid and sees further success in Norwood’s football future.