Notebook: Skiing championships get custom gate panels

The state skiing championships will have custom gate panels for the first time in the history of the event next month.

The red and blue gate panels will be installed on the alpine course prior to the championships at Eldora Mountain Resort on Feb. 13-14. They each feature a white CHSAA flag logo as well as the phrase, "CHSAA STATE SKIING CHAMPIONSHIPS."

The change was made because alpine competitors will now wear bibs featuring their school's information rather than the standard state skiing championships bibs of prior years. (The nordic race will still wear CHSAA bibs.)

"We have always provided state championship bibs," said assistant commissioner Bethany Brookens, who oversees skiing. "All season, they've been wearing their own bibs that say their team name. They'd get to state, and they'd wear CHSAA bibs, and people would have a hard time figuring out what school they were from.

"People wanted to represent their school," Brookens said. "We really find that valuable and want to allow them to do that."

But, Brookens added, "We still want to show that it's a state championship event. So someone brought up the idea of, 'How about we do gate panels?'"

Here's what they'll look like:

CHSAA skiing championships gate panel blue

CHSAA skiing championships gate panel red

Monarch coach Gail Hook wins No. 400

Longtime Monarch girls basketball coach Gail Hook won the 400th game of her career on Thursday night. Her Coyotes beat Greeley West, 42-24, in Greeley.

"You've got to have players and you've got to have coaching staffs to keep you in it for as long as I've been in it," Hook told after the game. "Those are the reasons you do what you do, and I think I've been very fortunate to have kids that have worked hard and believe in what we're doing."

Hook, a 15-year coaching veteran, has also headed the programs at Centaurus and Smoky Hill. She is now 400-160 in her career, according to

Two teams headed to national baseball tournament

ThunderRidge and Regis Jesuit will both play in this year's USA Baseball National High School Invitational on March 26-29 in North Carolina. The tournament, founded in 2012, routinely draws 16 of the top teams nationally.

This year, teams from North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, California, Tennessee, Alabama and Arizona will participate. The only previous Colorado team to play in the event was Highlands Ranch, in 2012. The Falcons went 1-2 that year.

ThunderRidge, the defending Class 5A champion, features three Division I-bound seniors: shortstop Brody Westmoreland (San Diego State) and pitchers A.J. Jones (BYU) and Tyler Loptein (San Diego State).

Regis Jesuit has five D-I seniors: pitchers Zach Heath (Northern Colorado), David Peterson (Oregon) and Regan Todd (Arizona State); second baseman Max George (Oregon State); and third baseman Juston Thaxton (Pacific).

Here is a promo video for the event: