Top sports stories of 2019
By Dan Karpiel
Lady Spartans swimmers win conference championship in inaugural season
In their first year of existence, the Berthoud High School (BHS) girls swimming and diving team won the Tri-Valley Conference (TVC) title going away to Dick Hewson Aquatic Center at Thompson Valley High School in Loveland. Berthoud accumulated 390 team points, well ahead of second-place Eaton’s 226. Berthoud won eight of the 12 events contested at the TVC championships, including all three relay races.
Jamie Dellwardt won a pair of conference titles, taking first in the 100-yard backstroke and 200-yard individual medley, while teammate Abby Dodd also took home two, winning the crown in the 50-yard and 500-yard freestyle races and Sarah McCormick won the one-meter diving competition. At state, Berthoud turned in a solid showing, taking 16th place in team scoring. Dellwardt took second place in the 100 backstroke and third place in the 200 IM, earning All-State honors as a sophomore.
Another strong season for BHS wrestling
It is almost as predictable as the sun rising in the east, the Berthoud High wrestling squad turns in a strong year, saving their best for last. Berthoud took home the class 3A region 2 championship at Platte Valley High School in Kersey. Berthoud finished with 200 team points, just ahead of Sterling’s 198 to take the regional crown and qualified eight wrestlers for the following week’s state tournament at the Pepsi Center in Denver.
At state, senior Austyn Binkly capped off a spectacular wrestling career by taking second place in the 145lb weight class, his fourth time on the podium in as many years. Five other Berthoud wrestlers also took the podium at state with senior Brock Johnson taking third-place in the 170lb class, Dalton Williams took fifth-place in 113s, Kyle Conlon also took fifth-place in 152s while Colton Williams and L.T. Torres both finished in sixth place in 120lb and 126lb classes, respectively.
BHS Girls basketball reaches Great Eight
Like their wrestling counterparts, the BHS girls basketball team seems to be in the mix nearly every single season. The 2018-19 season was no different, in fact, it was better. Berthoud advanced all the way the Great Eight round of the 4A state playoffs, their deepest advance at state since the 2007 squad reached the Final Four.
Berthoud was led by senior point guard Sydney Leeper, who is now playing collegiately at the South Dakota School of Mines. Sophomore Bre Fowler burst onto the scene, finishing the year leading the Lady Spartans with a 16.8 points per game scoring average. Leeper was named second team All-State while Fowler was selected as All-State Honorable Mention. Junior Emily Cavey, a focal point for the team ever since her freshman year, missed two-thirds of the year rehabbing from a serious knee injury but returned for the postseason run and finished the year averaging 14.8 points and 4.5 rebounds per game.
Berthoud’s TPC Colorado hosts professional tournament
In July, Berthoud was front and center for golf fans nationwide as TPC Colorado at Heron Lakes hosted the inaugural TPC Colorado Championship, an event on the Korn Ferry Tour. The four-day event was exceptionally well-received by spectators and players alike, with compliments pouring in for the quality of play, the condition of the course and the friendliness of TPC’s large group of staff and volunteers. Nelson Ledesma won the event in thrilling fashion, sinking a birdie putt on the 72nd hole to win the trophy and $108,000 prize.
Berthoud cross-country teams turn in spectacular seasons
Cross-country teams from both Berthoud High and Turner Middle Schools turned in terrific campaigns this fall. The boys team from Turner won the junior high state championship as Scott Clark, Tate Bothum, Isaac Erickson, Hayden Herndon, Afton Cooper, Aidan Malherbe and Aiden Low worked as a team to combine for 132 points and win the title under the leadership of Head Coach Amy Pasch.
At the high school level, Coach Jordan Jennings squad saw both the boys and girls teams make their fourth-consecutive trip to the state meet in Colorado Springs. The BHS girls team took 16th place in Class 3A, led by sophomore Ally Padilla who finished in a Berthoud-best 30th place. Ellie Sundheim (62), Julianne Evans Dennison (100th), Alex Schultz (113th), Kim Blough (127th) and Emma Lundgreen (132nd) rounded out the ladies team. On the boys side, Berthoud took seventh place, one of the best performances in team history. Junior Eli Greenslit led the way with a 19th-place finish, the second-best finish by a BHS male runner since 1980. Tyler Herndon (46th), Dylan Carder (50th), Carlos Gutierrez (67th), Kyle Conlon (69th), Lane Pirkey (76th) and Joe Malinowski (101st) rounded out the Spartans scores. Greenslit and Padilla each earned All-State honors for their strong showings at state.
Seven BHS Athletes sign up to compete at the college level
Over the course of the year, BHS saw seven of its students sign National Letters of Intent to continue their athletic careers in college. Last spring, Ty Beaman (Nebraska-Kearney), Anthony Trojahn (Dordt College, Iowa) and Zac Starkey (Black Hills State, South Dakota) committed to college football teams while Sarah Jorissen signed to play softball at Colorado Mesa University). Jake Lozinski also committed to play football at Adams State University. In the fall, two more longtime Berthoud standouts signed national letters as Ashlynn Balliet committed to Regis University for softball and Casady Berry will play volleyball north of the border at the University of Wyoming.
Berthoud cheer qualifies for nationals, team captain Juliet Babyak earns All-American honors
Under the leadership of first-year head coach Kelly Frye, the BHS cheer program has reached never before seen heights. In October, the team earned a spot, alongside Cherry Creek and Columbine High Schools, two metro Denver schools with two- to three-times the enrollment of BHS, in the UCA National High School Cheerleading Championships. For the event, the team will travel to Walt Disney World in Florida next month. The squad’s captain, senior Juliet Babyak, collected several individual accolades as well-being named an All-American cheerleader and earned an invite to participate in the world-famous London New Year day parade.
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