Middle Park Alpine skiers compete at nationals, recognized at board meeting

Middle Park skiers (left to right) Salvador Stokeld, Garrett Gillest, Sebastian Wiser, Micah Byrum and Olivia Niedzweicki show off their hardware at the Western U.S. High School Championships.
Courtesy photo

While Middle Park High School had three Nordic skiers qualify for a junior national team, it also had six Alpine skiers compete at the Western U.S. High School Championships on March 10-11. The Panthers’ Alpine Coach Lisa Mirabito presented to the East Grand School District board about the skiers’ success.

Mirabito, who is also the district’s transportation director, said she started coaching the team this season after athletic director Mike Reigan approached her about the position, although she was hesitant at first.

“I thought, ‘Well, I’m trying to buy a new truck, so that might help with the down payment,’” Mirabito said. “So I reluctantly agreed to coach the team, and I knew these kids had some talent, but I didn’t really know the kids that well. They certainly didn’t know me.”

Through the season, Mirabito said, she heard her athletes talk about the national meet, but the issue did not come to a head until after the state meet, when the Colorado team was selected.

“We had seven kids that were potentially going to go, we ended up sending six kids to represent Colorado at the National Western Regionals,” Mirabito said.

Sebastian Wiser, Garrett Gillest, Salvador Stokeld, Micah Byrum, Emma Bellatty and Olivia Niedzwiecki earned spots on the Colorado teams, which comprised of 12 boys and 12 girls total. Mirabito said they all had good performances, although Niedzwiecki did not finish in the giant slalom and slalom.

Bellatty finished fourth in the slalom and giant slalom, Wisher won the slalom and finished second in the giant slalom, Gillest finished third in the slalom and fourth in the giant slalom, Byrum finished 11th in slalom and 15th in giant slalom and Stokeld, a freshman, placed 25th in slalom and 35th in giant slalom.

The Panthers skiers helped Colorado win the boys, girls and combined titles at the meet.

Unusually high snowfall in California, which was supposed to host the meet, forced a move to Mount Hood in Oregon, Mirabito said.

Other business:

  • A parent encouraged the board during public comment to allow for comments during the discussion of each agenda item instead of only at the start of the meeting. Another voiced concerns about the potential needs assessment for school-based health centers.
  • The board approved updates to the district activity salary schedule and its policies.
  • After further discussion of the topic first raised at the previous meeting, the board unanimously voted to not continue with the school-based health center process.
  • Colleen Kaneda from Dynamic Program Management gave a construction update to the board.
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