December 11, 2013 Updated: December 11, 2013 at 7:10 pm
Mayor's office stays busy by honoring area state championships
Mayor Steve Bach is a little busier these days, thanks to a wildly successful fall sports season that crowned five team champions in the Pikes Peak region.
With so many state titles, it appears he can't honor them all personally.
At 2:30 p.m. Thursday, the mayor is sending Laura Neumann, chief of staff, to honor the Cheyenne Mountain boys' soccer team by bestowing the Spirit of the Springs Award. On Nov. 9, Cheyenne Mountain won the school's third state and first in 4A with a victory over rival Air Academy at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City.
Just two days ago, Bach presented the Spirit of the Springs Awards to the school's state-champion football and boys' soccer teams.
Burch gets ready for final Pikes Peak Relays
A dozen years ago, Pat Burch inherited the Pikes Peak Relays swimming event when he became the Rampart girls' swimming coach.
On Saturday, Burch will oversee the Rampart-hosted event for the final time as the 72-year-old coach heads into retirement at the end of the girls' swimming season.
Burch is credited with altering the previous relays-only format to include individual races in freestyle, backstroke, butterfly and breaststroke, all covering 100 yards.
"Relays are fun, but I like meat and potatoes," Burch said. "So I added four 100-yard events. The coach after me might change it back, but we like to mix it up. It's an early-season fun meet with a few traditional events that the kids really get excited about."
The event gets under way at 9 a.m. Saturday.
Pine Creek wrestlers prepare for first of three out-of-state meets
When Pine Creek wrestlers hit the road, they really hit the road. The friendly skies, too.
This weekend, the Eagles head east to the Colby (Kan.) Dual Tournament, an 18-team event that features the region's best competition. Seventh-year coach Billy Gabel knows that personally since his dad, Larry, is the Colby athletic director and assistant principal.
Later, the Eagles will travel by air to the Tournament of Champions in Reno, Nev., and the Battle of the Belt in Temecula Valley, Calif.
"I try to travel as much out of state as I can to see different competition, and I have great support from the athletic department, parents and sponsors who help us out," Gabel said. "My athletic director (Matt Mahan) allows me to book the schedule I feel is best for my kids."
Gabel said missed school time is kept at a minimum, but the long-distance endeavors should prepare future college wrestlers for what lies ahead.
"In the grand scheme of things, if they're going to do this in college, they'll have to learn to juggle time, school, weight, training and everything," Gabel said. "It's good preparation for kids who want to wrestle at the next level."
At Portland, Ore.: Colorado and Colorado Springs, specifically, had impressive showings at the Nike National Cross Country Championships on Saturday.
Pine Creek's Zach Alhamra finished in 20th in 15 minutes, 25 seconds, while Coronado's Bailey Roth was four spots back in 15:29. Denver East's Cerake Geberkidane, the Class 5A state champ, finished fourth overall.
On the girls' side, Air Academy's Katie Rainsberger finished sixth, while Lauren Gregory, the 5A state champ, took seventh. Leading the Colorado contingent was Elise Cranny, the 4A state champ, who took second.
KEVIN CARMODY, THE GAZETTE