Sports year in review
In a year marked by courageous comebacks, narrow defeats and blowouts sports in Craig are on the rise. With the New Year approaching, it’s time to sit back and reflect on those moments from 1999.
The Moffat County High School wrestling team started the month by winning the Las Vegas, Nev., tournament. Kurtis Kostur was the top Bulldog, winning all of his matches by pin and being named the outstanding wrestler of the tournament.
The boys high school varsity basketball team, two months into its season, had a 7-7 overall record and stood at 3-1 in league. The girls team sported a 9-5 record and was 2-2 in conference play.
In the men’s recreational basketball championship game, Airtek edged Wagner Equipment, 82-78.
The Craig Middle School eighth-grade girls basketball team starts the season with a 3-0 record.
The wrestling team earned a first place finish in the regional competition in Grand Junction and claimed five individual titles.
Finishing in first place for the Bulldogs were Mark Hastings, Kortney Lake, Cody Duran and Jeremiah Noland.
A week later the Bulldogs finished in fourth place at the 64th Annual wrestling championship.
Lake was the Bulldogs’ lone state champion at 119 pounds. After finishing as runner-up in 1998 in the 103-pound weight class, Lake finished the season with a 35-2 record.
Noland finished in second place in the 145-pound weight class. Noland ended the year with a 30-7 record. Kurtis Kostur finished in third place at 130 pounds.
Kostur took his undefeated record into the championship semi-final before falling in a 10-6 decision to the eventual champion in Class 4A, Jason Vigil of Bethound High School. Kostur then wrestled through the consolation rounds, including two more wins, to a earn third place finish. Kostur ended the season at 36-1.
Hastings and Duran both finished in fifth place to round out the top finishers for the team.
The varsity boys basketball team earned its first league title since 1992, gaining a share of the title with the Rifle Bears during the regular season. The team won its first district championship with a 54-49 win against Rifle.
The varsity girls basketball season came to an end in the first round of the district tournament, losing to the Glenwood Springs Demons, 57-48.
The Bulldogs finished the year with a 13-7 record.
Two senior team members, Mika Sue Beldon and Erin Mortensen, gained all-conference nominations, while junior Megan Gregg and sophomore Emily Mortensen were both selected as honorable mentions.
Rodeo team member Justin Pankey was selected as a member of the 1998-99 Wrangler High School All-Star Rodeo team. Pankey was nominated by his peers in Colorado for his performance in steer wrestling, or “bulldogging.”
The boys varsity basketball team (12-10) had its 1998-99 season end after falling to the Broomfield Eagles, 64-52.
The loss left the Bulldogs one game short of qualifying for the state tournament in Denver. A win would have put the team in the state tournament for the first time since 1989.
Seniors Jesse Knights, Clay Dellos and Hank Gale gained first-team all-conference honors while senior Trini Loya and sophomore Kevin Voorhees were honorable mentions.
Knights, who averaged 21.9 points per contest while grabbing 8.8 rebounds per game, was runner-up to Ron Schnackenberg of Steamboat Springs for the most valuable player of the Western Slope league.
The Craig Middle Schools eighth-grade girls basketball team cruised to the post season tournament title by beating the Steamboat Springs Sailors, 30-22. The team finished the season with nine wins and one loss.
After reasserting itself as one of the top teams in the state in Colorado, the Moffat County wrestling team had seven of its 12 members named as all-conference selections. The award is given to wrestlers who competed in the championship matches of regional competition.
All-conference winners were Mark Hastings, Kyle Kostur, Kortney Lake, Cody Duran, Kurtis Kostur, Jeremiah Noland and Scott Hawks.
The varsity boys swim team earned a seventh-place finish among nine teams at the Western Slope Championships.
The Craig Cougars, a youth hockey team, finished in second place in its season ending tournament in Steamboat Springs to end a successful season.
The Craig Middle School wrestling team captured its 11th straight district title, setting a new school record for total points among championship teams with 296 points.
The Bullpups also swept the individual honors.
Eighth-grader Ty Weber was named outstanding wrestler for the season with a perfect 20-0 record and earned his second straight district championship.
Ryan Hampton, also an eighth-grader, was rewarded for getting the fastest pin. He nailed down an opponent in 9 seconds.
The coach of both the Moffat County High School girls and boys swim teams, Ed Stehlin, took his turn at competing at the Colorado Masters Regional Championship.
Stehlin swam in eight individual events, as well as four relay events finishing no worse than sixth place at the competition at Meyers Pool in Arvada.
A basketball game featuring the World Champion Denver Broncos and a team calling themselves the “Old Men” ended in a 118-118 tie before a crowd of 1,500 people at the high school gym.