Top five sports stories of 2014
The past year was a busy one in the world of sports. From the slopes of Sochi, Russia, to the fields of Summit County, Olympic medals and state championship trophies were won in bunches by local athletes.
Starting with the 2014 Winter Olympics, Parkites showed their skills in several different disciplines, coming away with three gold medals in the process.
Also in Sochi, a trio of Park City women took part in the historic Olympic debut of women’s ski jumping.
At the prep level, the South Summit Wildcats backed up last year’s state title victory with another dominant season that culminated in a second-straight championship trophy. Meanwhile, Park City High School saw several of its sports teams capture state titles — most notably the boys’ and girls’ lacrosse teams, the boys’ golf team and the girls’ cross-country team.
So, without further ado, here is a brief recap of the year’s biggest sports stories:
The Golden Boys — Park City natives Sage Kotsenburg (slopestyle snowboarding), Joss Christensen (slopestyle skiing) and Ted Ligety (giant slalom) stole headlines all through the Olympics, each snagging a gold medal in their respective disciplines in Sochi. Park City’s Steven Holcomb (bobsled) also did well in Russia, picking up two bronze medals to add to his 2010 gold. Ligety’s gold was his second career Olympic gold medal and Kotsenburg and Christensen won the first slopestyle gold medals in Olympic history.
Parkites Take Flight — It was a long battle, but women’s ski jumping was finally added to the Olympic slate just in time for the 2014 Sochi Games. Parkites Sarah Hendrickson, Jessica Jerome and Lindsey Van made up the American team for the historic event. Though none of the Americans medaled in Russia (Jerome led the way for the U.S. with a 10th-place finish), it was a moment to be proud of for female jumpers across the nation.
Back to Back — With so many players returning from last year’s state championship team, it was no surprise that the South Summit High School football team once again dominated the 2A ranks in 2014. The Wildcats lost only once all season — on the road at 3A Morgan. Other than that, no one came close to taking down a stacked South Summit squad. Led by a strong group of seniors on both offense and defense, the Wildcats defeated Summit Academy in the title game by a score of 28-6.
Lucky Sevens — Both the Park City High School boys’ golf team and the PCHS girls’ cross-country team kept impressive streaks alive this season. Each team won its seventh-straight state title this fall. With the golf team returning nearly all of its top players and the young girls’ XC squad having another year of experience under its belt, it’s not far-fetched to think both teams could win an eighth title next season.
Double Duty — Saturday, May 17, will go down as the best day in Park City lacrosse history. On that afternoon, both the PCHS boys’ and girls’ squads took to Dozier Field in their respective state title games. Neither team disappointed — the girls held on for an 11-8 victory over Riverton and the boys routed Herriman 16-4. With the two wins, PCHS became the first school in Utah lacrosse history to win both the boys’ and girls’ titles in a single season.
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Cyndi Schwandt, 68, was known in the mountain biking community for her love of purple, her enthusiasm for the sport, and her involvement in building the early trails system. On Monday she was remembered with a group ride.