Year in Review – Sports

Area students win achievements and awards
Barbara Lawlor
Peak to Peak

Throughout any year, area students pursue their studies as well as participating in extra-curricular activities that can lead to winning competitions and bringing Panther and Eagle pride to the schools and communities. Some competitions are not tied to the school and offer adult residents a chance to compete in events.
In 2011, the Nederland Middle/Senior High School Loquations won first place in the Chamber Choir Competition at the Colorado Music Educators association contest held at the Broadmoor Hotel stage in Colorado Springs on Jan. 29.
At the end of the basketball season, the Gilpin Eagle Girls’ Team was in a 3-way tie for first place in the league playoffs. The Eagles beat Cornerstone Christian in the first round of district playoffs and then lost to Shining Mountain. They had an 8-1 conference record. The Gilpin boys lost in the first round to Rocky Mountain Lutheran.
Nederland sent eight Panthers to the state ski meet including Dayna Larsen, Caeli Mahon, Hunter Reid, Alex Spangler and Mic Cox. The team took third place, with Dayna Larsen winning first in both slalom and giant slalom.
Coach Whitney Taylor presented the Alpine Ski awards. Most Valuable Skier went to Larsen and Alex Spangler. Panther Award went to Elizabeth Thomas and Mik Cox. Most Improved Player of the Year went to Willow Robillard and Eric Spangler. Rookie of the Year went to Raina Galbiati and Ian Hastings and the Spirit Award went to Caeli Mahon and Cassidy Sainsbury.
The Nederland Nordic Ski Team awards went to Most Valuable Skiers Jordan Wood and Tanyha Petach. The Panther Award went to Reilly Rosbotham and Dyani Chapman and Most Improved were Jessica Mullin and David Fulton-Beale.
Nederland girls’ basketball awards were presented by Coach Jenni Benningfield. The most Valuable Player and the Heart Award went to Kayla Buchholtz. The Panther and the Teammate Award went to Mackenzie Belden. The Most Improved Player Award went to Lillian Haffey.
The boys’ basketball Coach Herm Weaver presented the team awards. Austin Allen was the Most Valuable Player. Michael Allen won the Panther award. Ashton Smith won the Most Improved Award and Manager Shelby Nation won the Chloe Award.
In the third year of the Nederland Curling Club, the Jones Rink took first place. The Nederland PeeWee Hockey Team won the Nederland tournament. It was the first-time win for the Nederland Youth Hockey Association.
The DOJOe Uphill/Downhill Competition celebrated its 10th anniversary. Known for outrageous costumes and myriad ski or snowboard techniques, the race honors the memory of Joe Despres, a local telemark skier.
The student band, A Good Day in a Bad Town, won the Denver Band Shootout competition. Jaden Pieper plays drums. Nick Navarre is lead vocalist and guitar and Mik Cox is vocalist and bass player.
Science students winning awards at the district level include Dayna Larsen and Daniel Murphy for designing a fireproof blanket for houses; Clay Lupear and Jared Airola for researching bone anatomy for helmet design improvement; Marie Middlemiss Sanazaro for studying community density and how it shapes views of Islam; and Ian May for creating software to simulate the spread of disease.
Kelley Robinson won first place in the 3200m at State Competition and Bex Hermann won first place in the 800m competition.
Over the Rainbow Preschool had eight preschool graduates and began a fund-raising campaign to buy the building they now lease and to expand the facility.
The RINK Tennis Association hired Travis Richards as its pro and has almost completed a new warming hut and bathroom.
In July, an SOS went out to find a race director for the 35th running of the Neder-Nederland. With little time to organize, Jen Favely, the Gilpin County Piranha Swim Coach, jumped in and saved the race, which was successful as usual. She was assisted by Lindy Bolt, Andrea Kinzey-Wheeler and Tracey Brewer.
Nederland resident T.J. Bolt, 15, was the first runner to cross the finish, winning the 5K in a field of 250 runners.
Rollinsville resident Emmit Hoyl won the Nederland Mining Days hand drilling contest, but gave up his title as world champion in Carson City, Nevada, when a chip of his hammer punctured his arm. The blood wouldn’t stop flowing and the judges took Hoyl, still raring to go, out of the competition. Eric Clifford and Carrie Jo Saunders won the overall miner’s award and cash prize.
The Players won the Gilpin County Recreation Center Adult Softball League competition as well as the tournament. The Bobtail Cornerstone and Rollinsville Rockies were second and third.
The Nederland Parent Education Network began a series of meetings in which equity, inclusion and raising children in an age of medical marijuana were discussed. The group will continue to host relevant discussions of issues facing teens.
The athletic highlight of the year, which will go down in NMSHS’s history, was the girls’ cross-country team victory — their fourth state championship in a row. Kelley Robinson took first place, her third championship. She was third place overall of all the runners in the state. Teammates are Bex Hermann, Jessica Ousley, Bailey Kuechenmeister, Jenna Mahon, Mackenzie Radandt, Gillian Nasty, Rosemary Pinneau. Ken Robinson coached the team.
Kelley Robinson was named CHSAA Athlete of the Year as well as Most Valuable Player. Bex Hermann received the Panther Award and Bailey Kuechenmeister, Jessica Ousley and Jenna Mahon all received the Coach’s Award.
NHS football Coach Aaron Jones gave out the Nederland Boys’ Football Team awards. Joe Moctezuma was the second best running back in the league, with 1400 yards. He received the Best Offensive Player Award. Matt Mills received the Panther Award. Dillon Weaver received the Most Valuable Player Award. The NHS football team pulled off a homecoming win.
Highlights for the soccer team included a first-time victory over the Alexander Dawson Mustangs. Coach Kevin Hueth gave awards to Parker Landry-Murphy for Most Valuable Player; Thomas von Mettenheim, Rookie of the Year; Gus Forrest, the Golden Boot; Dennon Jones, Panther Award, Nathan Sanfacon and Jaden Peiper, the Players Choice Award.
The Gilpin Eagles’ Volleyball Team was second in the 1A, District 8 championship and went on to play in the second round of regional competition for the first time in 16 years.
Shelby Foelsch was named first team all-conference and Most Valuable Player. Katura Sales was named second-team all conference and Best Offensive Player. Molly Quaranto was named Best Defensive Player and Rebecca Schafer was given the Eagle Attitude Award.
The Eagle Football team struggled this season but had significant performances from several players. Vince Marone was named All-Conference and Best Offensive Player. Barngrover was named the Most Valuable Player and Dalton Dziezac was given the Eagle Award.
Nederland volleyball Coach Aubray McLain handed out the girls’ volleyball awards: Dayna Larsen, All-Conference; Kabita Ghale, Most Valuable Player; Danielle Wood, Panther Award; Cori Januzzi, Most Improved Award, Brianna Lindstron, the Horizon Award.
The ski teams and basketball teams began their season before the winter break and can now settle into a new year of competition. Residents, when the holidays are over, can get out into the dazzling world of winter recreation.