Left Hand Valley Courier - All Local, All The Time

By Bruce Warren
sports@lhvc.com 

Out in Leftfield (Winter 2018)

 

December 28, 2018

Out in Leftfield (Winter 2018)

VOLLEYBALL

Sarah Falk (Niwot) played 10 matches for Sacramento State this fall, seeing action in 14 sets. Falk, a redshirt freshman, playing middle blocker. Falk finished with seven kills on the season in 10 attacks, with only two errors.

Mackenzie Fidelak (Niwot) was part of Stanford’s NCAA Championship team. The freshman outside hitter saw action in three early season games for the Cardinal, but was able to preserve a redshirt season. Fidelak, who wore jersey number 7, earned substantial screen-time during timeouts and during the post-game celebration in the nationally televised victory over Nebraska.

GOLF

Kelsey Webster (Fairview) of Gunbarrel is a freshman golfer at the University of Colorado after a stellar high school career. Her collegiate career got off to a scary start as Webster discovered during a routine but extensive physical that she had a rare heart condition. A surgical procedure corrected the problem, and she is now back at full strength, having played three rounds with a 78.0 average.

HOCKEY

Matias Cleland (Niwot) and Michael Sdao of Niwot are teammates for the Adirondack Thunder of the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL). Both are defencemen for the minor league affiliate of the New Jersey Devils of the NHL. Cleland has played in all 28 games for Adirondack, scoring one goal with four assists. Sdao, who was out with an injury early in the season, has returned to action, playing in eight contests, scoring two goals and adding two assists.

Riley Herbst (Niwot) is 5-2 as a goalie for the Chicago Steel of the United States Hockey League (USHL). Herbst is in his first season, and leads his team with a 2.76 Goals-Against average. After seeing limited early-season action, he has played the entire game in the last five contests, posting a victory in each game. His last victory came Dec. 16, a 4-3 win over Youngstown when he saved 23 of 26 shots. A day before he posted a 7-2 win over Youngstown, saving 17 of 19 shots.

FOOTBALL

Alex Oelsner (Niwot) earned Academic All-Big 10 honors for Northwestern University. Oelsner has not declared a major at Northwestern. He saw his first action this season for Northwestern University as a redshirt freshman slotback, playing in victories over Wisconsin and Minnesota.

Aaron Nicoll (Niwot) handled the kicking and punting duties for Cornell College all season. Nicoll kicked three field goals in seven attempts, and added 13 of 18 extra points. His longest kick was 39 yards, and came in the fourth quarter of a 23-13 win over Grinnell College Nov. 3. He also punted 72 times, averaging 35 yards per kick with a long punt of 61 yards. Nicoll managed to down seven kicks inside the opponents’ 20-yard line and had two kicks blocked. He also carried the ball three times from his punting position, gaining 20 yards on one carry but ending up with 3 yards net gain.

WRESTLING

Tommy Stager (Niwot) is 4-4 in early season action for the Air Force Academy. Stager is a sophomore competing in the 149-pound division. He placed fifth in the 149-pound Elite divison at the Nebraska-Kearney Holiday Inn Open Nov. 17. Stager lost his first match but proceeded to win the next three matches, 12-3, 6-5, 13-5 before losing an 8-3 decision to the eventual third-place winner. Stager rallied to take the fifth-place match by fall at 4:49.

CROSS COUNTRY

Elise Cranny (Niwot) led Stanford University to a fifth-place finish at the NCAA National Cross-Country Championships Nov. 17, finishing 11th overall and first among the Cardinal runners. In her final collegiate cross-country race, Cranny posted a time of 20:02.8 over the 6K (3.7-mile) course in Madison, WI, where freezing weather and a snow-covered course greeted the runners. Cranny earned her 12th All-America honor with her highest NCAA cross country finish. Only two others have more (13) in Stanford women's cross country/track and field history, and all three are in the Stanford Athletics Hall of Fame. Cranny and teammate Fiona O'Keeffe ran together for much of the early part of the race, until New Mexico's Weini Kelati made a break at 6K, with Cranny part of a five-runner chase pack. Towards the end Cranny was unable to keep pace, but bettered her previous top performance (12th in 2014). Coach Chris Miltenberg had high praise for his fifth-year senior, noting that Cranny had mentored other runners and created “the winning and positive culture that exists today, and provided the cornerstone to the high standards that Stanford has embraced,” according to the Stanford website.

Cranny capped her senior season by earning Pac-12 Scholar Athlete of the Year in cross country. She also earned second-team Pac 12 All-Academic honors with a 3.87 GPA in human biology. It didn’t take the Niwot native long to get back on the track following the cross-country season. Competing in her first post-collegiate race, Cranny was fifth at Boston’s Sharon Colyear-Danville Season Opener Dec. 2. She ran a personal-record time of 15:24.32 for the indoor 5,000 meters, shattering her previous best time in the event by almost 25 seconds.

Jenna McCaffrey (Niwot) led Northern Arizona to a first-place team finish at the Redhawk Invitational Oct. 20 in Glendale, AZ. McCaffrey, a sophomore, won the women’s race over a 3.02-mile course, posting a time of 18:14.

Claire Gillett (Niwot) finished 148th with a time of 22:14.95 over the 6K course for Gonzaga at the NCAA West Regional Championships in Sacramento, CA Nov. 9. Gillett was second on the Gonzaga squad with her time. Coach Jake Stewart praised Gillett’s effort on the school website, saying, “Claire ran great and was aggressive for the second half of the race. I thought our other runners did really well, and ran hard. I was proud of all of them. All in all, it was a great day for our women. We exceeded the expectations we had coming into today."

SOCCER

Justin Barkow (Niwot), a junior forward at South Dakota School of Mining & Technology, was named to the Google Cloud Academic All-American Men's Soccer First Team by the College Sports Information Directors of America. Barkow became the first SD Mines men's soccer player, and first Hardrocker scholar athlete, to receive the prestigious award in the school’s NCAA Div. II era. Barkow, who is majoring in Mechanical Engineering, earned the honor after finishing the 2018 season after being named to the All Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Second Team. He was also named the RMAC Academic Player of the Year award for the second year in-a-row. Coach Andrew Conniff had high praise for Barkow. Conniff was quoted on the school’s website, saying,

"I'm just really blown away for Justin to receive this level of recognition. I've played with and coached many players who would 'talk-the-talk.' I've met many players that would have excuses for why they didn't make it, or receive an honor like this. Justin is 'walking-the-walk.' Justin continues to exceed my expectations and continues to affirm his own self-belief. I'm incredibly impressed with the work Justin does on and off the field. Can't wait to see what he can accomplish over his senior season in 2019." Barkow closed out the season with five goals and two assists, totaling 12 points. He took 47 shots on the year, playing an impressive 1,201 total minutes. After three seasons as a Hardrocker, Barkow is the all-time leader in goals (19) and has the school record for most shots taken in a season (47).

Maddie Barkow (Niwot) earned second-team All Big Sky Conference honors for the University of Northern Colorado. Barkow, a sophomore forward, started all 21 games for the Bears, and finished the season with two goals and four assists. She totaled 1,768 minutes on the field, fourth-highest on the squad.

Kailee Stobbe (Niwot) finished the season with one goal and one assist for Merrimack College. Stobbe, a sophomore forward, played in 15 of 17 games on the season.

Allie Colvin (Niwot) was the starting goalie for Fisher College this season. Colvin, a freshman, played all except one game in goal, recording 117 saves while giving up 58 goals, for an average of 3.86 per game. Fisher College finished 4-11-1 on the season.

TRACK

Gabby Casey (Niwot) finished third in the indoor pole vault for Colorado Mesa at the season-opening Western Colorado Open Dec. 1. Casey cleared 3.5 meters at the event. She followed up the following weekend with a first-place finish at the Mines Alumni Classic and Multi in Golden with a vault of 3.67 meters.

BASKETBALL

Ryan Kannegieter (Niwot) has played in four of the first 11 games for Nebraska Wesleyan. Kannegieter, a junior guard, lettered last season as sophomore for the Division III national champions and earned IIAC All-Academic honors. Nebraska Wesleyan was ranked number one in Division III pre-season polls by Street & Smith.

SWIMMING

Niwot High grad Aaron Nicoll handled both kicking and punting duties for Cornell College this season.

Lucas Bergeson (Niwot) opened the season for Whitman College with a victory in the 200 Yard Freestyle in a dual meet against Pacific University Nov. 2, winning with a time of 1:50.62. Bergeson took first in the 100 Yard Freestyle (50.36) and second in the 200 Yard Freestyle (1:49.44) in a dual victory over George Fox University Nov. 3, when he also swam a leg of the winning 200 Yard Medley Relay. Bergeson also won the 200 Yard Freestyle in a dual win over Willamette Nov. 17 with a time of 1:51.29, and added a second-place finish as part of the 400 Yard Freestyle Relay team. He finished the early season with a 13th-place finish in the 200 Yard Freestyle at the Logger Invitational Nov. 30 – Dec. 2, with a time of 1:49.48, moving up from 14th in the prelims when he had a slightly faster time (1:49:32). Bergeson also finished 18th in the 500 Yard Freestyle at the invite.

 

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