Pugh, Horan in good company with honor


Local products Mallory Pugh and Lindsey Horan, members of the U.S. women’s soccer team, joined an impressive assembly of people on April 3 when they each accepted Denver Challenge Coins and personalized street signs from Denver mayor Michael B. Hancock.

A Denver Challenge Coin is the equivalent of the key to the city. Only 30 people have received a Challenge Coin from Hancock and some of those people include Presidents Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter. Others who have been honored include John Elway, former Olympian Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Chauncey Billups, Stevie Wonder and local military servicemen and women and firefighters.

Pugh, the 20-year-old who played with Real Colorado and for three seasons at Mountain Vista High School, is the youngest American to play and score as an 18-year-old in the Olympic Games. She plays for the Washington Spirit of the National Women’s Soccer League.

Horan, 24, played club soccer for the Colorado Rush and graduated from Golden High school, but did not play soccer for the school. She was the first American female soccer player to sign a professional contract directly out of high school with Paris Saint-Germain. She has played pro soccer since 2012 and is currently on the Portland Thorns’ roster.

Pugh and Horan were in town with the national team for a friendly match on April 4 against Australia at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. The game was one of the countdown matches for the FIFA Women’s World Cup this summer.

The Americans rallied to notch a 5-3 victory and Pugh came in as a sub and scored twice to spark the USA win.

Swimming and diving update

Mountain Vista swimming coach Rob Nasser has come out with the first boys swimming and diving report of the spring season, so we can now provide an update and a preview of what and whom to watch from the area.

Regis Jesuit, Cherry Creek and Fossil Ridge are rated as the top 5A teams and Wheat Ridge is seventh in the 4A team rankings.

Cherry Creek senior Brendan Eckerman has the fastest 5A times recorded so far this season in the 50-yard freestyle and 100 freestyle of 21.42 and 46.99, respectively, and he ranks second in the 200 freestyle. Junior Nathan Griffin of Ponderosa has the best time in the 100 backstroke of 51:11.

The 200 medley, 200 freestyle and 400 freestyle relay teams of Cherry Creek have turned in the best times of the season.

Ryan Peterson of Wheat Ridge has been clocked in 20.94 in the 50 freestyle and 45.88 in the 100 freestyle to top 4A swimmers.

Of note

A few area updates about individuals and teams

Sebastian Anderson, a 16-year-old junior at ThunderRidge High School, signed a five-year contract with the Colorado Rapids with an option for 2024, and the defender will be added to the soccer team’s supplemental roster as a homegrown player. . . Cherry Creek’s baseball team took advantage of the seventh inning to post two victories over Mullen. The Bruins, down 9-7, scored 16 runs in the top of the seventh inning to notch a 23-9 win over the Mustangs on April 2 at Mullen. Then on April 4 at Creek, the Bruins rallied for two runs in the bottom of the seventh for an 8-7 win . . . Rock Canyon’s Grace Dunkleberger tied for medalist honors with a 1-over-par 73 at the Continental League tournament on April 1 at Lone Tree Golf Club. Rock Canyon won the event by 19 shots . . . Ralston Valley and Valor Christian tied for team honors in the Jeffco 5A golf meet at the Broadlands Golf Club on April 3 as Anju Ogi of Arvada West carded a 77 for the low individual score. Littleton won the Jeffco 4A meet the same day with Golden’s Haley Prey taking medalist honors with an 85 . . . Bobby Baltzer scored four goals as Arapahoe, the state’s top-ranked boys lacrosse team, according to CHSAANow.com, downed No. 6 Rock Canyon 10-8 on April 4 . . . A couple top 10 soccer matches ended in ties. Second-ranked Arapahoe rallied from a 2-0 deficit to earn a 2-2 overtime tie with top-ranked Grandview on April 2 while No. 9 Ralston Valley and No. 10 Columbine fought to a scoreless tie on April 4. . . 13-year-old Davis Lish of Castle Rock won the Nuggets Skills Challenge, which was held March 16 at Denver West High School.

Jim Benton


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