With a new year just a few days away, it’s a great time to reflect on the year it was in Colorado high school athletics.

Triumphant moments from countless athletes made the year one to remember but there were other stories that will have an impact not just for 2022, but for years down the road.

For this list, we shied away from a “top 10” style format because it’s tough to put a ceiling on the moments that made this a year to remember.


CHSAA gets new leadership

Although turnover at the CHSAA office has been frequent in recent years, there had not been a change at the top job. But that changed when Rhonda Blanford-Green announced her retirement opening the door for new leadership at the top of the Association. The Board of Directors chose former Palisade athletic director and Aurora Public Schools athletic director Mike Krueger to move the association forward starting in the 2022-23 school year.

Other staffing changes were made as John Sullivan moved into the position vacated by Adam Bright, who took the Buena Vista AD job, and Mike Book became the liaison with the state’s officials. He took over for Tom Robinson, who passed away before the end of the 2021-22 school year.

State wrestling returns to Ball Arena, Pomona’s Cardenas joins the 4-timer club

Perhaps the biggest homecoming event for high school sports was the state wrestling tournament’s return to Ball Arena. The 2021 tournament was held at the Southwest Motors Event Center in Pueblo and while the entire high school athletic community was grateful for the efforts of everyone who allowed the tournament to be held, Ball Arena just feels like home.

And it was good to be home.

What was most notable about Pomona’s Daniel Cardenas winning his fourth state wrestling title was that he was the first to do it for the Panthers. Despite a long history of wrestling success, Pomona had yet to have someone claim a state crown in all four years of competition.

Cardenas put an end to all that. In the process, he became the 30th wrestler in state history to win four titles and his effort helped Pomona claim the Class 5A team title.

Denver East hockey makes history

The task of taking on two-time defending state champion Valor Christian wasn’t too big for the Denver East Angels. In fact, it was a challenge they were happy to accept and even happier to complete.

A 6-3 win over the Eagles gave Denver East, and Denver Public Schools, a state hockey championship for the first time. To make things a little sweeter, the Angels competed in a national tournament shortly after and came home with a national championship trophy to place next to their state title trophy.

Aspen wins first boys basketball title

As the No. 3 seed, Aspen had some work to do in the 3A boys basketball state tournament. The Skiers had St. Mary’s and Sterling seeded above them and it was tough to argue that those teams didn’t deserve those placements.

But that’s why they play the games. Aspen stunned Sterling and made their way to the state title game to face Centauri – not St. Mary’s – in the state title game. Shae Korpela scored 16 points and Lucas Lee added 11 to help Aspen end the year with a perfect 27-0 record and a 3A state championship.

Holyoke wins first girls basketball title

Like Aspen for the boys, Holyoke girls put together a memorable campaign that ended with a 2A state title, the first championship in program history. A senior-heavy lineup combined to score 32 of the team’s 39 points en route to winning the championship.

Lauren Herman led with 14 while Kristin Vieselmeyer and Elyce Talavera each added nine. The Dragons put together a 25-1 campaign with the only loss coming against Sedgwick County in their fourth game of the year.

Records fall at state track meet

The state track meet is always a source for some of the best storylines of the year. The 2022 meet was no different as 18 records fell between the boys and girls last May. Here is a list of the records that were set over the course of the state meet at Jeffco Stadium.


3A 100-meter dash – Devyn Lauer-Duarte, Platte Valley 10.61
2A 200-meter dash – Clay Robinson, Yuma 21.90
3A 200-meter dash – Devyn Lauer-Duarte, Platte Valley 21.31
2A 400-meter dash – Clay Robinson, Yuma 49.08
3A 400-meter dash – Brandon Bate, Liberty Common 47.92
4A 1600-meter run – Connor McCormick, Longmont 4:06.97
4A 3200-meter run – Connor McCormick, Longmont 9:03.83 (all-classification record)
3A 400-meter relay – Holy Family 42.4
1A 800-meter relay – Sanford 1:32.62
2A Shot Put – Mohamed Ibrahim, Wiggins 59-10.00


3A 400-meter dash – Peyton Garrison, Coal Ridge 54.71
3A 1600-meter run – Isabel Allori, Liberty Common 4:55.12
3A 400-meter relay – Liberty Common 48.82
1A 800-meter sprint medley relay – Heritage Christian 1:52.27
1A Triple Jump – Alivia Weathers, Lone Star 35-03.25
4A Triple Jump – Agur Dwol, Mullen 42-05.5 (all-classification record)
3A Pole Vault – Kourtney Rathke, Peak to Peak 12-11.00
1A Discuss – Zadie MacKey, Elbert 137-07

Arapahoe overcomes slow start to claim 5A boys lacrosse title

Three straight losses early in the season seemingly put an end to any thought of Arapahoe as a serious championship contender. But the Warriors apparently woke up after that stretch. They won 10 of their last 11 games and claimed the fourth state title in program history.

Junior Funn Hauhuth set the tone in the state title game, scoring four goals and assisting on one more. Arapahoe beat Mountain Vista 8-5 in the title game.

Hadley Ashton conquers Tiara Rado

Erie freshman Hadley Ashton wasn’t intimidated by upperclassmen or tough pin placements at the 4A girls golf state tournament at Tiara Rado. She won the individual state title by four strokes and helped the Tigers leave Grand Junction with the team championship as well.

Her talent and solid play is reminiscent of another freshman who won a state title not too long ago. Hailey Schalk might have won four if not for COVID-19, but now the eyes will turn to Ashton as he aims to complete a feat that one of her best friends was robbed of.

Broomfield takes down rival to claim 5A baseball title

The 5A baseball state championship game was one for the ages. Broomfield took an early lead before falling behind 6-3 heading into the bottom of the fifth. They Eagles put up two runs in both the fifth and sixth innings to claim the sixth baseball title in program history.

Camden Ross played a big role offensively, going 1-for-1 with a home run and three RBI’s.

Weinmaster wins 4-man boys golf playoff

Thirty-six holes of play weren’t enough to crown an individual 4A boys golf champion. Four players went back to the 18th tee at Pelican Lakes in Windsor to play a 37th hole. It was Riverdale Ridge’s Bradley Weinmaster who made par and ended the two-day tournament as state champion.

With solid efforts from all four players, Cheyenne Mountain won its second team title in three years.

Runners win cross country titles in record times

Liberty Common’s Isabel Allori just wanted to set a personal record at the state cross country meet. Her effort did more than that. Her time of 17 minutes, 10.3 seconds was good for a 3A state record. It was the first of several records to fall at the state meet back in October.

Vanguard’s Nadhhia Campos broke her own record in the 2A girls race and Valor Christian’s Brooke Wilson became the first girl to ever go sub-17, finishing in 16:59.2.

Platte Valley wins record 15th volleyball title

After taking down 3A powerhouse Eaton in the state semifinal, Platte Valley battled through a five-set thriller to top No. 1 Lamar to win the state championship, the 15th in program history. It’s also more than any other volleyball program in state history.

Sophomore Karsyn Fetzer led the effort in the championship match with 22 kills and Andy Schissler added another 15.

Several schools win multiple fall team titles

There are a few schools that started the 2022-23 athletic year off with solid fall seasons. Of the 35 team championships handed out in the fall, just five schools came away with multiple trophies.

Eaton won the 3A softball title to go with the 2A football championship.

Colorado Academy battled to the field hockey state championship and later won the 3A boys soccer title.

Broomfield won the 5A gymnastics championship and followed it up with the 4A football crown.

Cherry Creek won the 5A boys tennis championship and the 5A football title.

Valor Christian won the 5A boys cross country title and the 5A volleyball title.

Football championships cap the fall season

The fall season closed out with seven exciting football championship games. The seven games were played over two weekends at two venues and each provided a unique storyline.