“It was a surprise at the beginning of the year, because we were so used to not doing so well,” said co-captain Nikki Gallen, 17. “It eventually just came to the point that we all realized we were a good team and could go far. That was really exciting.”
The Lizard Heads entered the postseason having won 10 in a row and boasted an 11-5-4 mark. They upset undefeated and No. 1 league-ranked Aspen, 2-1, in the opening round. After a 5-1 loss to Arvada, the Lizard Heads battled back through the losers’ bracket to meet Aspen yet again.
THS’ Hughes Named League Coach of the Year, A.D. of the Year
Telluride High School boys’ basketball coach/athletics director Mike Hughes won his share of awards in 2007.
The mentor was named the San Juan Basin League Coach of the Year Award in March for the 2006-07 season, as well as the 2A Athletics Director of the Year.
“They are great awards to win, but everyone knows that awards following working in a great district with high standards and excellent kids,” Hughes said.
Hughes led the boys’ Miners team to a 13-7 mark last year, which ended with a 46-43 overtime loss to Mancos in a 2A District 5 tournament game.
Miners Represented Well at 2A State Track Meet
Telluride High School miler Ryan Hampton and long jumper Chris Scott ended their 2007 track and field seasons at the 2A state meet in Pueblo on May 22.
Hampton knew if he wanted to stand on the podium at the end of the day he was going to have to make a move with 800 meters left in the championship race, and a move is what he made.
“Coming through the 800 I had it in my head I was going to make a move in the first 200 of that third lap,” said a winded Hampton after running a personal-best 4 minutes, 41.2 seconds to finish eighth. “It worked out and got me in a good position and got me ahead of the kids that got out fast and died in the end.”
Hampton, who had qualified for state by running a 4:43 earlier in the season (state qualifying time is 4:48), was in 13th (1:08) after the first 400 and worked his way up to 10th (2:18) before setting his sights on the lead pack.
As he crossed the line after 1,200 meters, he was in eighth (3:33), but was gaining on the seventh-place runner, who he stayed with the entire final 200, but couldn’t pull off a seventh-place finish.
“This year getting on the podium was big for me,” Hampton said. “I’m so excited.”
Scott didn’t advance to the finals after leaping 18-feet, 11 3/4 inches, but he was happy to go out the way he did.
“I felt good, too,” Scott said. “I probably could’ve gotten a little better off the ground. Distance-wise, it just wasn’t good enough.
“I wasn’t supposed to do long jump and I was mainly suppose to be sticking with running events,” he added. “I got second in that first track meet and kept going, so here I am at states.”
Scott’s season-best leap of 20-6 1/2 came in the second meet of the season in Grand Junction.
Miners Girls Soccer Team Wins League, Advances to State
The Telluride High School girls’ soccer team dominated the 3A Southwestern Conference, finishing 10-0, and nearly all of its regular season opponents as well, going 11-2, but the one team the Miners couldn’t overtake was the defending state champion Kent Denver Sun Devils in a 3A state playoffs first-round game. The Miners fell 7-1 to finish 11-3.
“It was a really good season, just a tough way to end,” coach Jamie Hughes said. “This game was a good experience for the girls to know what that next level is and what to expect in the future. My girls played tough and didn’t give up.”
The Miners’ success came largely in part to the 29 goals scored by Isabel Waldman (15) and Nikki Gallen (14), who are currently seniors for the coming 2008 season.
Kent Denver went on to win the state title yet again by downing No. 3-ranked St. Marys 3-1 to finish 12-3-2.
Miners Boys’ Squad Loses in First Round of State Soccer Tourney
Three penalty-kick goals gave fifth-seeded Colorado Springs Christian a 3-1 victory over host and 12th-seeded Telluride in a 3A first-round state soccer tournament game in October, ended the Miners’ season at 8-7-1 overall.
“It didn’t end the way we wanted it to, but I’m really proud of my players,” said coach Ryan Kusuno, whose team qualified to state by winning the Southwestern Conference title. “They played their hearts out, especially the seniors. We knew it was going to be a tough game, Colorado Spring Christian dominated their league where they have better competition than we do, but league champions is nothing to hang your head about either.”
A snowstorm prior to the game forced volunteers to snowblow the field so the game could be contested.
CSC went on to finish 15-3 after losing to Fountain Valley 4-1 in a state semifinal.
Basketball Team’s Season Ends With Heart-breaking Loss to Mancos
With a 13-win regular-season, fans and players of the Telluride High School Miners boys’ basketball team had high hopes entering the 2A District 5 tournament in February, but those high-hopes were quickly doused when the fourth-seeded Miners fell to top-seeded Mancos 46-43 in overtime.
With just over a minute to play, point guard Mike Matthews stole the ball and dished off to center Peter Samuelson, who converted the basket and pulled the Miners to within 44-43, but after a Telluride foul, the Bluejays sank two free throws and held on for a three-point victory.
“The more veteran team won that game,” coach Mike Hughes said. “The difference came in the composure.”
Matthews, who averaged 25 points per game that season, led the Miners with 21 points.
Miners Girls’ Field Lacrosse Team for the First Time
The Telluride High School girls’ lacrosse program came to fruition back in May. The Miners won two of four games to open the season for coach Katie Kennedy.
Telluride started the season with 12 players.
Telluride Boys’ Golf Team Finished 13th at 22-team Regional Tourney
“Regionals is where we shined,” Telluride High School boys’ golf coach Bill “Fergie” Ferguson said of the team’s 277 performance at the 22-team 4A regional tournament at the Conquistador Golf Course in Cortez. Basalt shot a 227 to win the title, while Steamboat Springs (230), Montezuma-Cortez (231) and Montrose (232) rounded out the top four.
Parker Foreman shot an 88 to lead the Miners, followed by Walker Hollrah (92) and Tucker Brumely (96). Shaun Simonian added a 103.
Miners Boys’ Team Wins Back-to-Back Invitational Tournaments
The Telluride High School boys’ basketball team has been impressive in regular-season tournament play for the 2007-08 season.
The Miners won Ouray’s Peak Performance Invitational by downing Crested Butte 55-51 and the host Trojans 49-48 in early December before playing in the Great Norwood Shootout the next weekend and easily handling Ouray again, 50-41, and the host Mavericks 78-51 in the championship game.
The Miners were off to a 6-1 start before facing Ridgway on Friday, Jan. 11.