Mountain sports rule
Barbara Lawlor, Peak to Peak
It was a year pleasantly filled with snow for winter sports enthusiasts but unfortunately filled with snow for spring sports. Soccer and track events suffered from cancellations. Summer sports thrived until the rains began just as school started and many outdoor events were cancelled. Records were made, championships won, and in some cases, losses led to refiguring teams and leagues. It was all good and those who participated in the many activities and recreation opportunists were blessed by all our mountain landscape has ago offer.
2013 began with a high school slalom qualifier hosted by Nederland High School at Eldora Mountain Resort on January 17. The NHS girls team came in first place and the boys came in second. Senior Dayna Larsen led the team to state competition with junior Bailey Kuechenmeister right behind her. The girls had 7 spots in the top 10 and the boys had 4 in top 10.
Larsen won the state title in both slalom and giant slalom races. She was the consummate competitor being the fastest skier for the girls and came in just short of being fastest for boys. Bailey Kuechenmeister won the state Skimeister for the second year in a row. The boys’ Nordic Classic came in 5th and the girls’ came in 5th.
The 11th DOJoe Uphill/Downhill Race was held after a 26-inch snowfall. Eleven cutthroat trout finished the race intact and won the costume prize. Amanda MacDonald won the women’s’ telemark and Micke Schalulch won the mens’ telemark race. Ian Hastings and Josh Harrod won tag team competition.
The Colorado Fish and Wildlife dropped 30,000 fingerling brown trout into Barker Reservoir, with a 50 percent chance of surviving.
The boys’ and girls’ basketball teams ended their season with more losses than wins and girls’ coach Josh Lederach and boys’ coach Herm Weaver announced that they were retiring. New coaches for both teams were hired for the 2013-2014 season: Elizabeth Prince for the girls and Chris Dettman for the boys.
Eldora Mountain Resort ended a successful season as two feet of snow fell. Since then Jim Spenst resigned as general manager and co-owner Bill Killebrew took over the position.
The Nederland Youth Hockey League had one of its best seasons and the players are building on their teamwork and years of playing together.
Nederland High School hosted the Mile High League Championship track meet; continuous spring snow made it necessary to hold it at Boulder High School. Dayna Larsen took first in shot put and discus. Noah Ridnell was top ten in the high jump, discus, and shotput. Maeve Anderson came in fifth and sixth in the shotput and discus.
Bailey Kuechenmeister represented Nederland at state in the 1600m run, coming in fifth place.
Nederland Elementary School fifth graders held their annual track and field meet at Nederland High School and Anders Holmgren set a new long jump record of 12’10 inches. Kale Lantz won the mile run with a time of 6:46, but his brother Talus still holds the record of 6:30.
With the beginning of summer came the baseball season and the equestrian event season. The Gilpin County All Stars beat the Grand County All Stars in the District 3 Juniors Championship at Weber Field on July 11. The championship team was a mixture of Gilpin County and Nederland athletes.
The Second Annual Gilpin County Gymkhana Buckle Series, from six years to adult, began, showcasing riders in all aspects of gymkhana competition once a month over the summer
Another horse event, the Ranch Horse Spectacular, included three days of rider and horse partnership. Gilpin County Animal Response Team hosted the event to spread word about the fairgrounds and its amenities for future activities.
La Sportive 10K was held at Eldora Mountain Resort and winner David Roche (from Millington, Maryland, but part-time Nederland resident) said the course was a roller coaster ride. Roche is a former 10k Trail National Champion. There were 151 runners in the event.
On the same day, 131 swimmers, bikers and runners participated in the Xterra Triathlon at Eldora Mountain Resort. The swim was 1000m, the bike course was a 22 km ride on single-track roads at the Eldora Nordic Center, and the 7k run also took place on the trails. Athletes from all over the world participated.
The Cornerstore Bobtails won the 2013 Gilpin County Adult Co-ed League as well as the Tonya Putnam Championship Tournament.
Nederland High School hired Jack Taylor as the new athletic director.
The 2013 NHS football team struggled to find a win this season and recently it was announced that the Ned Panthers will go back to 8-man football, which will be a more competitive bunch of teams for Nederland.
The Ned boys’ soccer team, including 10 seniors, had a great season playing together under Kevin Hueth, who has coached the boys for six years. They ended the season with a home win.
The Eagle football team began their season with a win and they went on to win four more games—the best season they have had in over a decade.
The 11th Buffalo Bike Challenge 110-mile ride which traveled through Nederland had at least 2,000 participants, many of whom took a break at the Tin Shed where food and drink awaited them as well as a mechanic for their bicycle needs.
The Neder-Nederland had a smaller than usual turnout, about 100 runners, including many Ned locals.
The Nederland Cross-country team takes second in the Mile High League Championships and went on to take fifth in the State Competition.
The Gilpin County Eagles ended up third in the Volleyball League Championship.
Eldora Mountain Resort opened as schedule thanks to a cold spell that allowed snowmakers to do their thing and cover the trails. Heading into 2014, snow has been minimum, but the resort has put out maximum man-made snow.
The season got off to a bad start when EMR administrators announced that the Ignite Program would be cancelled. After a demonstration in Boulder the two entities compromised and Ignite has returned to its location in the lower parking lot.
Both Nederland boys’ and girls’ basketball teams started the season with a minimum of players and both the new coaches are working with young players who have little experience.
The Gilpin Eagles have started strong, both teams winning more than losing and looking to do well in the next half of the basketball season.