VIDEO: Cherry Creek standout Jana Van Gytenbeek highlights against Grandview.
Looking back, it certainly had the look of a marathon rather than a sprint but in reality, the 2018-19 high school sports year flew by.
There were memorable performances that led to individuals and teams repeating as state champions. New champions were crowned and some of them in a very thrilling manner. While it can be tough to narrow down the memorable moments of the athletic year, the end result will always point to outstanding moments from that span on the calendar.
Looking back starting in the fall, here are the top 10 moments from the girls sports season that helped define the year for the high school female athletes in Colorado.*Rayburn shines as Strasburg repeats as 3A softball championAlexis Rayburn
closed out her senior season with a dominant performance. She struck out 16 Eaton batters and
didn't allow a hit until the fifth inning of
's 3-0 win in the Class 3A state softball championship game. She also scored the Indians' first run. The win gave Strasburg back-to-back titles and its fifth softball championship since 2012.*Thrilling finish gives Regis Jesuit first field hockey title
In one of the most thrilling championship games of the year, Regis Jesuit (Aurora)
battled in overtime to get its first field hockey championship. The Raiders led Cherry Creek 1-0 with less than a minute remaining, but a last-second goal from the Bruins tied the game and sent it to overtime. Lauren Pendergast
then converted a penalty shot to cement her place in Regis Jesuit – and Colorado field hockey – history.*Fitzsimmons, Mountain Vista experience déjà vu at cross country
When Jenna Fitzsimmons crossed the finish line to win her second-straight 5A cross country title, it was anything but a new feeling. But that didn't mean it wasn't special as her time of 18 minutes, 12.3 seconds put her atop the podium and gave Mountain Vista (Highlands Ranch)
the necessary spark to repeat as the 5A team champion. The junior will have the opportunity to go for a third title this fall. Sarah O'Sullivan, Madison Reed and Caroline Eck all finished in the top 10 of the race to give the Golden Eagles a decisive team victory.*Lutheran ends Eaton volleyball dynasty
Since 2013, the Eaton Reds have been the standard for 3A volleyball. They had taken down Manitou Springs,
Valley (three times) and
to win five-straight titles. Lutheran had different plans in 2018. The Lions actually dropped their second-round game to Eaton in the fall's new double-elimination format. Lutheran battled back and met Eaton again in the semifinals. Payton Brgoch
led the Lions with 29 kills, and Abby Akers
added 13 to help the Lions come away with a five-set win. Lutheran then beat Colorado Springs Christian 3-1 to capture the state title.*Rampart follows championship winning formula to repeat at 4A swimmingRampart (Colorado Springs)
seems to have things figured out when it comes to winning a girls swimming title. In the first event of the 2019 meet, the Rams set a record in the 200-yard medley relay. They finished the night off hoisting a team trophy. Lindsey Immel
took gold in the 100 freestyle and Edenna Chen
won the 100 breaststroke, setting a classification record in the process. In 2018 the Rams set the 200 medley relay record before winning the first team title in program history. Evergreen
came away with the 3A title, while Fairview (Boulder)
ended a two-year title drought in 5A.*Cherry Creek claims first basketball title
Grandview (Aurora) looked to have a third 5A state basketball championship wrapped up. The Wolves held a 10-point lead over Cherry Creek (Greenwood Village)
with about three minutes remaining in the game. And that's when Bruins standout Jana Van Gytenbeek
went to work. She hit a 3-pointer to cut the lead to seven, and Kacee Kyle
added a few clutch buckets of her own to close the gap. Then with 10 seconds left and the teams locked in a 49-49 tie, Van Gytenbeek attacked the basket and got a layup to fall. The basket earned Cherry Creek its first title in program history.
*Smoky Hill's Negin makes most of first appearance at state tennis tournament
's debut at the 5A state tennis tournament went about as well as anyone could have hoped for. The Smoky Hill (Aurora)
sophomore defeated Fairview's Sophie Pearson 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 to capture the No. 1 singles title at Gates Tennis Center. Cherry Creek
came away with the team championship, its 22nd in the last 24 years. Cheyenne Mountain (Colorado Springs)
regained the 4A title from Niwot, which ended the Indians' nine-year run at the top of the classification. Peak to Peak (Lafayette)
repeated as the 3A champion and became the first two-time 3A champ in state history.
*Cheyenne Mountain heats up at the right time to claim girls soccer title
A first-year coach and a 1-5 start to the year didn't exactly set the best tone for Cheyenne Mountain (Colorado Springs)
this year. But it's all about playing the best soccer at the right time
and that's exactly what the Indians
did. As a No. 21 seed in the 4A
tournament, Cheyenne Mountain found its playoff magic and rattled off
the five wins it needed to win state. All but one of those games was by a
one-goal margin, including the state title win over Evergreen.
scored both goals for the Indians, and junior Ashley Bertsch
solidified herself in the keeper position after transitioning there to start the season.
*Minor, Hall thrill crowd at state track meetDenver East
sprinter Arria Minor
won her fourth 100-meter dash championship in May, and her time of 11.31 tied the overall state record. She added a win in the 200 and anchored the Angels' winning 400-meter relay team. Her track career ended with a whopping 10 individual titles. Anna Hall
of Valor Christian (Highlands Ranch)
also put a show for the crowd at Jeffco Stadium. With wins in the 100- and 300-meter hurdles as well as the 4x200 and 4x800 relays she put a cap on a remarkable track career. Minor and Hall are set to be teammates at the University of Georgia in the fall.*Schalk claims third girls golf title; Jordaan finally wins gold
Hailey Schalk of Holy Family (Broomfield)
joined elite company this spring. With her win at Pelican Lakes, she became just the third three-time champion in state history. She joins Cherry Creek's Lynn Ann Moretto and Mullen's Ashley Tait as the only golfers to rack up three gold medals. A junior for the Tigers, Schalk will head into her senior year with a chance to become the first four-time champion in state history. Caroline Jordaan of Colorado Academy (Denver)
finally got out of the second-place spot and came away with a win at the 3A tournament. As the Mustangs claimed a fourth team championship in a row, Jordaan's one-under-par 71 was the only red number on the day at Eagle Ranch. Loveland
's Lauren Lehigh took first at 5A. All three golf tournaments were limited to one day due to weather.