SHS Winter Preview: ‘The best this room has looked in more than 15 years’ |

SHS Winter Preview: ‘The best this room has looked in more than 15 years’

With higher turnout giving the Summit wrestling team more depth this winter, head coach Pete Baker has high hopes to achieve his ongoing goal of sending four athletes to the state meet. “What I hear is, this is the best this room has looked in more than 15 years,” said Baker, who has is entering his third year as head coach. Since taking over the team, he has envisioned making Summit High School a contender – an intimidating wrestling school. It will take time to develop, he said, but he’s encouraged by the turnout this year, which included seniors like Bryan Daniel inviting friends to join the team for their final year. Senior Tyler Blackford said he’s taking steps to recruit as young as middle school, where he volunteered as a coach to help spread excitement for the spot. Baker is looking forward to three main talents on the team: Blackford in the 170-pound weight class, Daniel in the 113-pound class and Nick Wittrock at 120 pounds. Wittrock, in particular, is one of Baker’s proteges, competing at state last year as a sophomore, but leaving without a medal. “He has the potential to go to state and place this year,” Baker said. So does Blackford, who finished last year with an impressive record and nearly slid into the state competition. Jon Ramirez, one of Baker’s wrestlers who qualified for Colorado’s upper echelon of competition graduated last year, but Baker is confident in his seniors and handful of underclassmen who are filling the varsity ranks. Baker foresees maintaining numbers and academics as the season’s biggest challenges. Maintaining numbers is tough because, though wrestling is a team sport, “You win on your own and you lose on your own. We’re a team, but you compete individually,” the coach said. Judging from his three stars’ attitudes, though, he might not have as tough a time keeping wrestlers around as he thinks. Blackford said he’s looking forward to winning a meet, and though Summit is missing heavyweight wrestlers, a deep lightweight squad could be a boon to the team, particularly since there will be competition for who hits the mat in meets and tournaments. > Team to beat: Eagle Valley > Meet not to miss: Jan. 9 Tri-Meet with Middle Park and Clear Creek at Summit > Wrestlers to watch: Nick Wittrock, Tyler Blackford, Brayan Daniel > Head coach: Pete Baker > Years coaching: 3 > Team goals: Send four wrestlers to compete at state level, Place as a team at a tournament, Win home meets

Salt Creek says thanks

The team of the Salt Creek Steakhouse would like to thank the organization of Advocates for Victims of Assault for holding their Day of the Dead celebration in our establishment on Nov. 1 at 8 p.m. A special thank you to Joanne and Jamie Gripps for their efforts in helping organize the event. All proceeds go to help organization dedicated to helping innocent victims of assault.

Elk causes accident near Aspen

GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” Three accidents involving six vehicles and a cow elk slowed Highway 82 traffic toward Aspen for almost three hours Tuesday morning. The accidents happened within seconds of each other near the intersection of County Road 113 and Highway 82 by Cattle Creek around 6:25 a.m., said Colorado State Patrol Trooper Steve Nofziger. No one was injured. He said a Ford Ranger hit an elk crossing the highway and rolled into the median. Next, a red Volkswagen sedan slowed down because of elk and got rear-ended by a red Toyota Tacoma pickup. After that, a blue Dodge Caravan and a black Mazda Protege slowed down to avoid the accident. Then a white Dodge pickup with a snowplow lost control behind them, squeezed between the guardrail and the two vehicles and scraped them both on right side, Nofziger said. The driver of the Toyota Tacoma pickup was cited with following too closely, and the driver of the Dodge pickup was cited with careless driving, Nofziger said. He said he couldn’t release the drivers’ names. The elk was injured. “The elk got hurt, but he’s still up and about,” Nofziger said Tuesday morning. Randy Hampton, a spokesman for the Colorado Division of Wildlife, said the injured cow elk had jumped a guardrail and moved away from the road. It wasn’t moving around when a DOW official looked at it in the morning, but it was doing better in the afternoon when the DOW determined it wouldn’t need to be euthanized.

Tiger runners place 3rd at Front Range meet Tuesday

At the Elizabeth Invitational on Tuesday, the Summit High cross county team took third for both the boys’ and girls’ squads. There were 113 total boys and 91 girls competing at the event. Liam Meirow and Kathy Pappas had impressive individual results, both taking third overall. “It was a great meet,” said head coach Heather Quarantillo. “It was the first time we’ve ever been to the Elizabeth Invitational. The course utilized the fields and trails right near the school, which made for a great cross country course – pretty much all on dirt and soft surfaces with one big hill in the middle.” She said with 22 schools at the meet, it was very competitive and the team is pleased with its third-place finishes. “It was a great race for us to go to,” she said. “We got to race against some schools that we don’t typically see – 3A, 4A and a couple 5A schools. We just thought it looked like a fun one to throw onto our schedule. The course was fast, so our runners had a chance to put down some very fast times.” Sophmore Liam Meirow continued to impress Tuesday after taking a victory in the season’s first race in Beaver Creek. “(Meirow) has an excellent chance at being one of the best runners we’ve ever had in the program. He’s doing exceptionally well, so we’re all really excited to see how he will progress.” Boys overall results: 3. Liam Meirow; 15. Emmitt Bailey; 26. Robert Koegel; 36. Troy Meeker; 38. Cameron Bobb; 42. Sam Piehl; 64. Danny Cuadrado. Girls overall results: 3. Kathy Pappas; 15. Alicia Scheifley; 18. Sydney Stein; 28. Riley Bargo; 43. Claire Vande Yacht; 59. Hannah Hart; 60. Tessa Piehl.

Potential solution to Breck parking woes (letter)

I recently read with interest about the dilemma of managing parking and vehicular congestion in Breckenridge. This is a common problem, especially in municipalities in vacation areas where there are huge ebb and flows of traffic. As a resident of Sarasota, Florida, I am involved with a group grappling with the same issue for our also tourist-driven economy. While doing so, I've come across some interesting readings. One is Jeff Speck's book "A Walkable City." If you happen to have a copy, there's a wonderful story of mistakes made and righted by none other than Aspen. It's on page 113. It may be worth reading and considering. Christine Schlesinger Silverthorne and Sarasota

Looking into a place to park

SUMMIT COUNTY – Many local dog owners and animal welfare representatives feel there is no special place for the four-legged members of the community. Installing an animal park in Summit County is not an easy process, although members of groups such as the League for Animals and People of the Summit (LAPS) are trying. “Our status as a first-class vacation destination would be greatly enhanced by an animal park,” LAPS stated in its April newsletter. “Having a safe place for our furry friends to run free and enjoy the company of other animals is something LAPS should consider throwing its support behind.” The article alludes to the possibility of having a dog park and a cat park. It also mentions Carter Park in Breckenridge as an existing outlet for dog owners to let their dogs off leash. As local animal control officials point out, however, that Carter Park, while functioning as a public place where dog owners bring their dogs for off-leash exercise, is not designated for such a purpose. “I think it’s 80 percent of the county that is public land, but there’s still an animal control regulation, and some people feel confined even with the voice and visual control requirement,” said Nancy Ring, LAPS advisor and supervisor of Summit County animal control and shelter. “Carter Park is (managed) by the town of Breckenridge, and they do their own enforcement. It’s my understanding they allow people that freedom informally. It’s not designated. In wilderness areas, (leash laws) are even more strict, and there’s more enforcement. There are people who want to be responsible and abide by the law and still be able to throw the Frisbee and throw the ball for their dogs, and they would only be in compliance to do that at a designated (animal park).” LAPS officials contacted the Summit County Open Space and Trails department regarding an animal park, but open space representatives said they would need a lot more information before any consideration is given to the issue. “In general, the county’s open space program and management plan is to protect our open space properties and keep lands at their undeveloped, natural character,” said Summit County open space and trails director Todd Robertson. “So, we don’t have ball fields; we don’t have playgrounds. I asked (LAPS) to identify what is meant by a dog park. I was picturing a six-foot chain-link fence with lots of signs, which wouldn’t fit in with keeping property in its natural character at all.” Robertson suggested LAPS representatives talk to town officials (Breck, Silverthorne, Frisco and Dillon) about installing an animal park on town property. As far as county-owned properties, he mentioned that the area near the landfill between Dillon and Summit Cove might be a possibility. Still, animal park advocates would like to see the development process come to fruition. “I think it’s really important for people with dogs,” said Amy Courtney, LAPS board member. “Carter Park is great. It’s great socially for the dogs, and if nothing else, it’s just fun. When I think of a dog park, I think of something more contained, so people know what they’re getting into when they walk into the fence. Everything is becoming so non-dog-friendly anymore. It would be nice to have a place to go and let dogs run around where it’s not looked down upon.” Any volunteers interested in getting involved in the process of developing an animal park in Summit County should contact Sally Beerup at (970) 262-0451.

Inside look at the $1.7 billion deal that weds Aspen, Steamboat, Winter Park and Canadian Mountain heliskiing operation

More than 170 potential bidders lined up to buy Intrawest's stable of ski areas — revealing a growing appetite for destination resorts. Some were resort operators, but most of the suitors were financial firms and billionaires. It was a combination that won — a partnership that married a veteran operator with a financial player that pulled together the biggest deal in ski resort history. The operator, Aspen Skiing Co., really only wanted Winter Park, Steamboat and Intrawest's Canadian Mountain Holidays helicopter skiing operation. The Roaring Fork Valley resort owner offered as much as $1.129 billion for the three properties. The company also offered as much as $878 million in cash for just Winter Park and Steamboat. But Intrawest wanted to sell the entire company — six resorts in Canada, Colorado, Vermont and West Virginia, 1,113 acres of land, the 12-lodge CMH and a real estate business — in a single transaction. Read the full story on The Denver Post website.

Summit High School Roundup: Four on the way to state wrestling tournament?

At a tough invitational in Evergreen, four Summit High wrestlers placed in the top five in their respective weight classes. Tyler Blackford wrestled at 160 pounds and placed third after winning four out of five matches, losing only to an opponent ranked No. 2 in the state from a 5A school. Nick Wittrock, wrestling at 120 pounds, placed fourth in his weight class. Head coach Pete Baker said Wittrock has the potential to finish third, but wasn’t permitted to wrestle a sixth match due to Colorado High School Activities Association rules not allowing a wrestler to have more than five matches in a day. At 113 pounds, Brayan Daniel placed fifth in his weight class after a double overtime match. Carlos Lopez also placed fifth in his 106-pound class. The team finished 11th out of 18 teams and tallied 12 pins, an impressive finish for the boys. Baker said he’s impressed with the team so far, adding that he’s confident these four will compete at the state tourney this year. “Overall, the team looked really good at the Evergreen tournament,” Baker said, adding that the upcoming tourney at Alameda High School on Saturday has an unknown factor to it, but he expects similarly tough competition. Still, he’s hopeful for even stronger finishes as the season progresses. “Tyler is peaking. He is coming into his season how he should this time of year,” Baker said. “Nick’s been real steady and real good all season, only losing to some really tough guys. Tyler is peaking and elevating to that next level.” Editor’s note: In a Jan. 10 story titled “Summit High Tigers tally two wins for 2013,” head coach Pete Baker was incorrectly called Pete Campbell. Shutting out Bishop Machebeuf, Summit High hockey skated to its third win of the season on Saturday. The Tigers put up 32 shots on goal to Machebeuf’s 18, with Jack Nevicosi scoring two goals off assists from senior captain Sean Farley. George Kamins scored his first goal of his high school career with an assist from Nevicosi, and senior Peter Grotemeyer sealed the deal with a goal in the third period with help from Blake Horan. “I felt we had a style and system in place,” head coach Chris Ruhly said. “For the first time this year, I felt that everyone did what we asked of them. Everyone had a specific job and a specific role for (Saturday’s) game. Everyone came ready to play with the understanding of getting back on track after a disappointing game a week ago. It was non-conference, but, a win’s a win.” The team is now 3-6 on the season, and enters conference play tonight and Friday. Tonight’s game against Monarch is at the Stephen C. West Ice Arena at 6:45. In Friday’s bitter cold dual slalom nighttime race at Keystone Resort, the Summit High alpine team qualified six girls and six boys for the state slalom competition. “It was cold, but the kids really enjoyed it. They enjoyed the format,” coach Karl Barth said, explaining that each racer went head-to-head with an opponent on the course, which pushes them to go faster. For some, it pushed them too hard – hard enough to make mistakes – but Barth hopes that will correct itself in Thursday’s slalom race at Beaver Creek. “Hopefully, we’ll get the kids who just missed qualifying to qualify,” Barth said, adding, “It’s a steeper more technical course.” One skier the head-to-head format particularly benefitted was Jessie May. “She’s a good skier, but she tends to hang back a little bit. Having someone to ski against really pushed her. She qualified for state and hasn’t done a slalom before,” Barth said. Summit’s Anne Parker won the race by .48 seconds with a time of 45.79, beating the defending state champion in both runs. Ellie Brown-Wolf was third, Katy Harris finished fourth, Nicole Wagner finished 10th, May was 15th, and Meagan Collins was 17th to round out the qualifiers and to comprise the winning girls team. Summit beat Battle Mountain School, which came in second, as well as Middle Park, Platte Canyon, Lake County, Clear Creek and Vail Mountain School, in that order. On the boys’ side, Daniel McFadden took first place by nearly a second with a time of 43.38. He, too, won both runs. Ohter state qualifiers included Patrick Gruber, who finished third, Robert Powell in fourth, Lucas Michieli in eighth, Ryan Wignall was 11th, Brian Coleman was 17th and Jack Farrell finished in 19th. Again, Summit topped the competition, with Battle Mountain, Vail Mountain School, Lake County, Platte Canyon, Clear Creek and Middle Park following.

Looking for a place to park in Vail

VAIL ” A few weekends ago, Anne Fitz drove into Lionshead to go to the library, but couldn’t find a parking space. “I think something like that is just a real objectionable experience,” she said. She could have taken the bus from her West Vail home, she said, but people just love to drive their cars. “We don’t give a second thought to dashing thither and yon in our cars to do sort of the most mundane of tasks,” she said. “And when we go in our cars, the assumption is that we’ll have immediate gratification when it comes to parking.” When the town surveys its residents, parking is often near or at the top of the list of concerns. Parking for residents is just part of the need. Day skiers, shoppers and employees need places to park, too, said Fitz, who is on Vail’s parking committee. The proposal for the redevelopment of the Vail parking structure would have 1,749 public parking spaces ” 600 more spaces than what the garage has now. The parking would be worth $56 million, according an appraisal done by the town. The increase would be a piece of the puzzle in solving Vail’s parking needs, Fitz said. Building a parking deck at Ford Park just east of the village with playing fields on top would be a good idea, too, she said. The town is negotiating a deal to rebuild the parking structure into condos, timeshares, a conference center, two hotels, stores, restaurants and more parking. Mayor Rod Slifer said 600 more parking spaces seems to be a “reasonable number.” “But don’t ask me 20 or 30 years from now,” he said. The town says it needs about 400 more parking spaces now. By 2025, it will need about 1,000 more parking spaces because of growth in Vail, in Eagle County and on the Front Range, town officials say. A parking garage proposed for Vail Resorts’ Ever Vail project in West Lionshead would add 400 public parking spaces. The town is also considering a parking garage at Ford Park that could add about 250 spaces, said Greg Hall, director of public works. The town wants to limit the number of days that people park on the frontage road ” which accommodates overflow parking ” to 15. Last winter, cars were on the road for 31 days. Town officials say they are concerned that the frontage road, a busy road, can be dangerous place to for skiers and snowboarders to park and then cross the street to the mountain. Adding another thousand parking spaces is “critical,” said Councilman Kent Logan. Convenience for residents is a big reason for that, he said. “It’s the perceived or real impression that people have that ‘It’s too much trouble to run downtown for an hour if I have to spend 20 minutes to find a parking space,’” he said. “Once we relieve that, even as an imaginary perception, I think we’ve won.” The Lionshead garage would be an important part of that, he said. “This goes a long way toward getting us there,” he said. Parking and employee housing ” the developer wants to also redevelop the Timber Ridge employee housing complex ” are two big problems that the Lionshead garage can address, he said. The town would receive $81.9 million in benefits with the project, but the town-owned land is worth $75 million, according to recent studies. “To me, that’s probably not enough,” Logan said. Negotiations between the town and the developer are supposed to continue for a few months. “It’s all a question of the value of what we’re receiving versus the value of what we’re giving away,” Logan said. Staff Writer Edward Stoner can be reached at 748-2929 or

Work to start soon on Avon whitewater park

AVON ” Tanja Shivley will have a chance to try her skills at the new whitewater park here next spring, town officials say. Shivley, 31, an avid kayaker who lives in Avon Crossing, said she’s looking forward to see new whitewater features in the river. If the Avon Town Council gives its approval, work could start this summer on the main part of the park, which will cover five miles of the Eagle River from Eagle-Vail to the Miller Creek Bridge in Edwards. The town has $100,000 to design the park, which will cost an estimated cost of about $800,000. Construction around “Bob the bridge” ” the Avon Road bridge ” is scheduled to start this fall, said Avon Mayor Ron Wolfe. The town will share the cost with Vail Resorts, East West Partners, Beaver Creek and Eagle County, Wolfe said. Boulders in and around the river will be moved to create better navigation when the water is low and challenging features for boaters during high water. There will also be some spectator areas, an access path down to the river and parking areas.