Jeff Kloster has over 325 wins on his coaching ledger, and his Longmont boys basketball teams are perennially one of the teams to beat in the Class 4A Northern League.
Kloster has much to be proud of. Yet it was his latest accolade Kloster could only describe as, “Humbling.”
Earlier this month Kloster was presented with the Tom Sutak Award by the Colorado High School Coaches Association, an honor that recognizes longstanding contributions to Colorado high school basketball.
Kloster described it as a unique thrill to have the award presented to him by Dick Katte, the owner of 876 wins and eight state championships during a storied career at Denver Christian that ended with his retirement following the 2011-12 season. Katte was the first recipient of the Tom Sutak Award.
“That was the thing that made it even more humbling, when I looked and saw the first recipient was Dick Katte,” Kloster said. “He’s a man of integrity. He’s a man everyone looks up to and admires. Everyone on that list are amazing coaches and I feel blessed to be in the same company as them.”
Kloster also reserved praise for two of his competitors in the Northern League who took the lead in nominating him — Broomfield’s Terrence Dunn and Greeley Central’s Troy Graefe.
“I have the utmost respect for them and I can’t thank them enough for doing this,” Kloster said.
The Niwot volleyball team received an impressive academic award, as the Cougars were recognized for their academic excellence with the American Volleyball Coaches Association Team Academic Award.
Introduced during the 1992-93 school year, the honor lauds volleyball teams that maintain a team-wide grade-point average of at least 3.3 on a 4.0 scale. The 2013 Cougars turned in an eye-popping team GPA of 3.956.
Recent Boulder High graduate Sam Long had never done a marathon before. He’d only competed in four previous triathlons, none of them qualifying as Ironman status.
Long crossed that off his to-do this past weekend in dominant fashion. At the Ironman Boulder the 18-year old Long finished at the top of the 18-24 age bracket while placing 13th overall. The performance earned Long an automatic invitation to the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii.
Although Long will not compete in Kona due to a pending six-week backpacking trip in Alaska, he already has his sights set on qualifying again in 2015.
“At first I thought I’d just give it a shot to say I did it, but after I did it I’ve already started thinking about doing it again and qualifying next year,” Long said. “Doing a triathlon always seemed so extreme and I’ve always wanted to do an Ironman. I think it’s the ultimate challenge for someone in our society.”
Local running legend Melody Fairchild has moved on from her post as the cross country and track and field coach at Shining Mountain in order to focus on her professional running career. Former assistant Tyler Haughness will oversee both programs this season … Melody Jauregui is the new athletic director at Longmont Christian.
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