Times Staff Writer
The winter sports season is underway, and a few Gunnison Valley high school teams are already off to a hot start, while other teams are continuing to improve.
With teams scheduled to get back after it later this week — Crested Butte High School (CBHS) hockey hosts Chaparral Friday, Jan. 3 and Gunnison High School (GHS) swimming hosts the Gunnison Dive meet Saturday — following is a recap of what has happened so far in local teams’ 2019-20 campaigns.
Cowboys looking dominant
Coming off the best season yet under head coach Matt Smith, the GHS boys basketball team has started 2019-20 focused and determined. Eight games into their schedule, the 7-1 Cowboys already have posted a better record than at this time last season — with the team’s only loss coming to University.
GHS also has improved offensively, scoring an average 59 points per game — seven more points than last season — which has led to them blowing out six opponents by 10 points or more.
Additionally, GHS has improved on the defensive side of the ball. At this time during the 2018-19 campaign, the Cowboys were giving up 47 points per game, while this season they have only been giving up an average of 41 points per game.
Currently, GHS is on a five-game win streak and is scheduled to be back on the court Friday, Jan. 10. They travel to Carbondale to face the (1-7) Roaring Fork Rams at 7 p.m.
Impressive play on the road
If the CBHS hockey team is going to repeat as Peak Conference champions and make a playoff run, winning on the road would be key.
So far, the Titans have done just that, posting a 4-2 overall record with three of those victories coming on the road against Aspen, Palmer and Woodland Park.
Graham Barrett has led the way so far in the scoring department, recording 11 goals this season. He’s followed closely by Joseph Stock, who has recorded seven goals.
Additionally Barrett is only seven goals away from tying his total from last season and is tied with Stock in power-play goals with four a piece.
Chaparral and Resurrection Christian will be the next two teams CBHS will look to pick up victories against. The Titans play Chaparral tomorrow, Jan. 3 at 4:30 p.m. at home, and then will have a break before facing Resurrection Christian on Wednesday, Jan. 8 at 4 p.m.
GHS swimming strong, diving off to hot start
Multiple top-three finishes, dropped times and dominant performances from the “A” and “B” relay teams have all come the way of the GHS swimming and diving team so far this season.
The Cowboys once again are looking strong to begin the season — and look like they will accomplish their goal of qualifying the entire team for state.
Swimmers Molly Strickland and Ashlynd Harris have recorded the best finishes so far this season.
Strickland kicked off the season with a win in the 200-yard freestyle, while Harris came in second in the 100 fly at the Gunnison Invite. Trinity Alvord has also wasted no time making a name for herself as a member of the diving team.
Alvord picked up her first career win in her debut at the Gunnison Invite and was followed by Mary Contreras, who finished in second place.
Alexandra Riser and Annabelle Morrison also are off to a strong start, both recording multiple third place finishes in swimming events.
GHS divers will be back in the pool Saturday, Jan. 4, hosting the Gunnison Dive meet at Western Colorado University Natatorium. Following the conclusion of that meet, the Cowboys will travel back to Montrose to compete in the Montrose Invite.
Improvement on the mat
Youth is tough to overcome at the varsity level. The GHS wrestling team is experiencing that much this season.
Overall, the Cowboys have gone 2-4 duals. Yet there have been many more impressive individual performances than that record may suggest. So far this season, Zeb Alexander, Bryce Vincent, Jared Van Hee and Jose Fernandez have looked impressive against their competition. Alexander leads the way for GHS — recording nine wins on the season, five of which came via fall. Vincent and Van Hee are right behind Alexander with eight wins each.
Vincent has notched four fall victories, while Van Hee has six. Rounding out things for the Cowboys is Fernandez, whose five wins on the season have included three falls.
GHS will be back on the mat Friday, Jan. 10, taking on Center at Western Colorado University. On Saturday, Jan. 11 the Cowboys will be back it, hosting the Cowboy Invitational Tournament.
Rebuilding year for GHS
The ball might not be bouncing in favor of the GHS girls basketball team, but improvement is being made.
With the exception of their last, GHS (0-6) has increased the number of points scored each game while also limiting the number of points scored by opposing teams. The Cowboys are led by a strong junior class, comprised of Anna Gallowich, Ashleigh Porter, Kyla Prosser and Katarina Cook which will look to continue to help the team improve and be more competitive as the season progresses.
GHS will be back on the court Friday, Jan. 10. They travel to Carbondale to face the Roaring Fork Rams at 5:30 p.m.
Sights set on the top
The GHS rock climbing team may only have competed in one meet so far this season. However, they came ready to perform.
The team traveled to Rocky Mountain School on Saturday, Dec. 7. There, the girls finished third, while the boys finished fifth out of seven teams.
Kathryn O’Hayre and Martina Ritz led the way for the Cowboys, recording top finishes on the day. O’Hayre finished eighth, while Ritz was close behind in 11th. Bowen de Valois led the way for the boys, coming in 12th place.
GHS will next travel to Montrose on Saturday, Jan. 11.
(Brandon Warr can be reached at 970.641.1414 or email@example.com.)