Luke Graham: Checking my list |

Luke Graham: Checking my list

Luke Graham.

In honor of the new year, here’s a look at my picks for the top 10 sports stories and events in Routt County in 2008.

– 10. Soroco’s Justin Iacovetto and Dennis Morgan finished as runners-up at the Colorado Wrestling State Championships. Iacovetto lost, 6-5, in the closing seconds while Morgan lost, 5-0, in the finals. Either way, these two gave Routt County its best finishes at the state level.

– 9. Steamboat Springs boys basketball team won its 30th straight Western Slope League game. That’s two seasons and the change of not losing once in league play. Making it more impressive was that Steamboat elicited its opponents’ best effort every night. The Sailors will go for No. 31 on Jan. 9 against Battle Mountain.

– 8. Emiko Torito and Mike Morse won freestyle national titles. The pair put down huge runs at Deer Valley Resort in Park City, Utah, to claim the titles. Both were former Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club members, and their performances make them prime contenders to represent the U.S. at the 2010 Winter Olympics.

– 7. Cameron Burney helped Alaska-Anchorage to Division II National Championship game. Burney, a 2005 Steamboat graduate, helped his team by becoming a defensive stopper and role player. Burney transferred to Western State College for his senior year, where he’s currently averaging 17.1 points and 7.3 rebounds per game.

– 6. Austin Hinder became a national recruit. The Steamboat Springs High School junior quarterback has put up impressive numbers in his two years as a starter, and colleges have taken notice. Hinder holds scholarship offers from the University of California, Stanford University, University of Nebraska, Kansas State University and University of Colorado.

– 5. Bill Demong took third in the overall World Cup standings. This came down to the final event, in which Demong skied strongly in the cross-country portion to lock up third place.

– 4. Todd Lodwick returned. The veteran Steamboat Springs Nordic combined athlete returned after a three-year break. After winning three Continental Cups in December, Lodwick finished second in his first two World Cup events this weekend.

– 3. Ben DeLine played his freshman year at Colorado State University. The 2008 Steamboat Springs graduate kicked against Colorado in his first game as a college freshman. DeLine also hit a game-winning field goal against Sacramento State as time expired.

– 2. Two state champions: Steamboat Springs’ Molly Weiss won a state championship in tennis at No. 3 singles. Weiss beat Niwot’s Amanda Lee, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4. Routt County’s other state championship came when Hayden’s Holli Salazar blew away the shot put field, throwing 41 feet, 7-3/4 inches. The throw was the longest of the year by any high school girl in Colorado.

– 1. Kelly Meek retired. After 34 years on the bench for the Steamboat Springs High School basketball team, Meek stepped down to spend more time with family and help coach at Western State. Meek left as one of winningest coaches in Colorado history and one of the most influential men in Steamboat history.

– To reach Luke Graham, call 871-4229

or e-mail

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