POSTED: Friday December 26th 2008

Top 2008 Sports Stories In Colorado Springs

The top stories in 2008 in Colorado Springs, the Amateur Sports Capital of the United States.

The Sports Corp Salutes The Best In Sports For 2008 And The Rich Traditions Of A City With Its Own, Growing National And State-Wide Sports Reputation



-     Hometown Hero Rick “Goose” Gossage is elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. It is arguably our nation’s most prestigious and cherished sports Hall of Fame. Gossage is the first native Coloradoan so honored. The Wasson High graduate played for 21 seasons and nine teams during his brilliant career, chalking up 310 saves and pitching in three World Series.


-     The United States Olympic Committee announces that it will retain its national headquarters in Colorado Springs for the next quarter-century after the City and Business community cobble together a $53 million incentive package that includes a new downtown Olympic House and massive refurbishments at the Olympic Training Center. The list of cities bidding against Colorado Springs is not made public by the USOC, which moved to the city in 1978 from New York City.


-     Coronado High graduate Henry Cejudo wins an Olympic Gold Medal in freestyle wrestling in Beijing, America’s first in 16 years, and is the youngest American to win an Olympic gold medal in the sport.


-     Argentine Eduardo Romero wins the 29th U.S. Senior Open Golf Championship at The Broadmoor, beating Fred Funk by four strokes. Almost 129,000 fans and a national television audience see the successful tourney.


-     Air Force and Colorado College make the NCAA Ice Hockey Tourney after great seasons. CC wins the WCHA regular-season crown and hosts the West Regional at the World Arena, only to lose to Michigan State on the first night and finish 28-12-1. Air Force wins the AHA crown and loses a heartbreaker to Miami of Ohio in the NCAA Tourney to finish 21-12-6. CC frosh goalie Richard Bachman is the WCHA Player of the Year and first-team All-American.


-    The Air Force Falcons surprise the college football landscape with an 8-4 finish (4th in the MWC), and a bowl invitation for the second year, a Dec. 31 matchup with Houston in the Armed Services Bowl in Fort Worth. QB Tim Jefferson is named the MWC Freshman Player of the Year by The Sporting News. The Falcons take unbeaten Utah to the last 58 seconds before losing, 30-23, at Falcon Stadium.


-     The inaugural State Games Of The West, staged by The Sports Corp, is a resounding success, luring 7,327 athletes from 13 states to the city, including a State Games event mark of 6,891 athletes from 117 Colorado cities and towns.


-     The Colorado Springs Sky Sox of the Pacific Coast League establish a new franchise attendance record of 303,048 fans during the 2008 home schedule at Security Service Field.


-    The Colorado Springs Sports Hall of Fame welcomes the Class of 2008 before over 700 fans at the World Arena—Art Berglund, Chris Fowler, Jerry Carle, Erin Scholz, Leonard Vahsholtz, Jim Scherr and the 1965 State High School Baseball Champions from Palmer High School.


-     In a preview of the 2008 Olympic gold medal match in Beijing, the top-ranked Brazilian women take two of three matches against the USA in Colorado Springs at the Olympic Training Center and Air Force Academy. Brazil would defeat the USA, 3-1, in Beijing in the Gold Medal match.


-    Two Colorado Springs residents are named to the Class of 2008 of the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame during induction ceremonies in Chicago—1996 Gymnastics gold medalist Jaycie Phelps-McClure, a coach at Aerials Gymnastics, and shooter Lones Wigger, jr., who won two gold and one silver medals at the 1964, 1968 and 1972 Games during a 25-year career.


-     Figure skater Jeremy Abbott of Colorado Springs wins the 2008 Grand Prix Final in Korea with the highest score ever tallied by an American male, and wins the Cup Of China gold medal to establish himself as a top 2010 Olympic medal contender in Vancouver.


-    Cheyenne Mountain High student Rachael Flatt wins the 2008 World Junior Ladies Figure Skating Championships gold medal, and wins the silver medals at the Cup of Russia and the 2008 USA National Championships to gain a spot as a Vancouver 2010 skater to watch.


-     UCCS senior Shannon Payne takes third at the NCAA Division II National Cross Country Championships in Slippery Rock, PA. The Mountain Lion men place 17th in the meet.


-     Rampart High senior Kelli Ehardt sets new state Girls’ pole vault mark of 13-1 in winning the state 5A title. She earns a scholarship to BYU and also wins the State Games of the West gold medal.


-     Cheyenne Mountain High wins the Girls State 4A Volleyball Championship with a 3-0 win over Denver Mullen and finish 28-1 for the year.


-     Doherty Senior Brittnee Martinez wins the State 5A Prep Gymnastics All-Around title and earns a scholarship to the University of Michigan.


-     Classical Academy High wins both the State Prep 3A Boys and Girls Cross-Country titles, and Kaitlin Hanenburg is the 3A Girls Champion.


-     Air Academy High harrier Allie McLaughlin is the State Prep Class 5A Girls Cross Country Champion.


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Keywords · Colorado springs · sports · olympics

Name: Mike Moran
Organization: Colorado Springs Sports Corporation
Phone: 719-634-7333, ext. 1011

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