Adjusting to new place, sport’s pace


Rebecca Guggenbach is a 16-year-old with a passion for music.

She never had time to participate in athletic activities in the past, but she is on the Mountain Vista girls cross country team this season.

Guggenbach is an exchange student from Switzerland who is living with a host family.

“In my country, I do a lot of music,” she said. “I play the cello and bass. I’m in an orchestra and band, so I had to be there every day. When I came here, I said I had to do something completely different. I picked cross country. Everybody can join cross country, even if you are not the fastest.

“I really enjoy cross country. Everybody is so nice. It was hard at first because the altitude is so much higher than in Switzerland. I got used to it because we do it every day and I really like the races on Saturday.”

Mountain Vista is both the defending boys and girls cross country state champions and coach Jonathan Dalby invites anybody to join the team. He tries to include runners in various competitions during the season.

“Rebecca is improving a lot,” said Dalby. “She is not one of our top kids but is a hard worker with a really positive attitude.”

Guggenbach ran an 18:02.00 in the junior varsity race on Aug. 24 at the Vista Nation 2-Mile Invitational. She clocked a 26:29.00 on Aug. 31 at the Warrior Invitational in Centennial.

“I’ve done pretty good because I’ve never raced before,” Guggenbach said. “I’m glad I wasn’t last in any of the races. It is really hard to keep up with the best runners.”

Guggenbach is enjoying her time in Colorado at Mountain Vista, meeting new friends and polishing up on her English.

Alpine skiing, hockey, tennis, football (soccer) and Schwingen (wrestling) are the popular sports in Switzerland but Guggenbach is thinking about continuing here athletic endeavors at Mountain Vista. She may try out for girls swimming in the winter or track in the spring.

Young golfers fare well

The Timm Academy All-Stars, a group of Centennial golfers between the ages of 9 and 13, finished third in the Firewheel Golf Park Regional finals in Garland, Texas, on Sept. 9.

Coached by Rick Timm, the Colorado Section team had a 1-2 record with 16 points in the PGA Junior League regional tourney.

The golfers were Gavin Amella, Brayden Destefano, Andre Dumonteil, Wesley Erling, Miles Kuhl, Kyle Leydon, Jackson Lowe, Matai Naqica, Yusuke Ogi and Blake Sullivan.

Parking problem

It is so refreshing to see rivalry football games with the stands full.

Fans and students have to arrive early to get seats for games like Douglas County vs. Castle View, for example. People are asked to sit close together to maybe create an open seat.

The biggest problem is getting out of the parking lots. Plan on at least 30 minutes to exit.

Jim Benton is a sports writer for Colorado Community Media. He has been covering sports in the Denver area since 1968. He can be reached at jbenton@coloradocommunitymedia.com or at 303-566-4083.

Jim Benton


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