Yampa Valley’s 2014 breakout athletes of the year
Hayden: Taylor Hagar, junior
The Hayden High School girls basketball team didn’t have any shortage of junior girls on this year’s team. There already were seven, half the squad, but the team was happy to welcome one more in Taylor Hagar.
A transfer into the school this season, Hagar had an immediate impact. She led the team in scoring, averaging 7.9 points per game, and was second in rebounding, grabbing 5.1 rebounds per game. She was at her very best in one of the season’s most important games for the Tigers, a Feb. 21 showdown against cross-county rival Soroco. She scored 19 points in the loss. Her next two best games, 12-point affairs, helped lead her team to wins.
Soroco: DaKota Bruner, freshman
DaKota Bruner is an odd choice as “breakout player of the year” because the freshman certainly isn’t new to the bench. As the daughter of coach David Bruner, she’s been there for years. Her first year competing with the team, however, she shined as a sharp-shooting guard for the upstart Rams.
Bruner finished with the second most points on the team and led the squad in made 3-pointers, dropping in nearly twice as many as any other teammate.
Steamboat: Dakota Thvedt, freshman
Steamboat Springs High School freshman Dakota Thvedt etched his name among Sailors wrestling’s deep legacy, and it took him just one season to do so.
Following in his grandfather’s footsteps — who was a dominant high school wrestler in Kansas in his day — Thvedt grappled his way to the Colorado state tournament in his freshman season.
Thvedt struggled a little under the state tournament’s bright lights in late February but just being there and forging his own family legacy meant “the world to him,” he said before the trip.
Moffat County: Cheianne Pinnt, senior
After transferring to Moffat County during her junior year, Cheianne Pinnt came into her own as a senior.
On the basketball court, Pinnt helped fill the void left by seven departing seniors and started throughout the season. Despite her diminutive size, she averaged 5.7 points and 4.3 rebounds per game and helped lead the defense, along with fellow guard Jazmine Swindler, hounding opposing ball handlers at the front of the team’s full-court press.
On the track, she ran a career-best 13.57 in the 100-meter dash at the league meet, then helped the Bulldogs to two relay medals at the state track meet. She led off for the second-place 4×100-meter relay, then ran the third leg of the 4×200 relay, which placed third while breaking the school record.