BoCoPreps' defining moments of 2023

Dec. 29—Here are a few of the most-impactful moments from 2023.

Jan. 4 — Monarch girls basketball asserts itself as state contender

With a win over then-6A No. 1 Cherry Creek the month before, the Coyotes continued their impressive start to the girls basketball season with a runaway win over Windsor. On this night, two-time player of the year Natalie Guanella went a perfect 14 for 14 from the free throw line.

Line dance: Monarch hoops' Guanella hits all 14 of her FTs in win over Windsor

Feb. 1 — Star athletes make it official

A number of local athletes signed to play at the next level on this date, including Justice grad Chace Graves, who earned a scholarship to play esports at Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kansas.

Signing day: Justice's Graves, who has autism, is headed to college for esports

Feb. 9-10 — Seven local titles in girls swimming

At the 4A meet, Niwot's Jamieson Legh won two golds and Longmont's Jordan Bindseil and Monarch's relay team each claimed one. In 5A, Boulder's Zara Zallen, Fairview's Edith Simecek and Legacy's Sabrina Rachjaibun each won a title.

Three's company: Zallen, Simecek and Rachjaibun win gold at 5A girls swim

Feb. 18 — Four local titles at state wrestling tournament

Erie's Ramon Salazar won his second straight individual title at Ball Arena, while Mead's Jake Glade, Dalton Berg and Legacy's Quinn Funk each won their first. Monarch's Emilio Trujillo-Deen, Mead's Leister Bowling IV, Holy Family's Abram Moore, Lyons' Jaden Gardner and Mead girls' wrestler Ashley Booth were runner-ups.

Conflicting emotions: Erie's Salazar claims second wrestling title, Monarch's Trujillo-Deen falls short of first

March 1 — Monarch hockey falls in 5A quarterfinals

The Coyotes finished the season 11-7-2 and reached the quarterfinals for a second straight year.

Hockey: Monarch ends 5A playoff run in 2OT against Regis

March 11 — Holy Family boys and girls win basketball titles

The Tigers won their seventh girls basketball title, all coming since 2008 under legendary coach Ron Rossi, beating D'Evelyn 49-44 in the Class 4A championship. The boys team, despite being the 17 seed, beat Resurrection Christian 53-43 for its first title since 2014.

The Monarch girls lost to Grandview in the 6A finals.

Rockin' Rossi: Holy Family girls dance to first hoops title in 9 years

May 12 — Monarch wins first boys swimming relay title in recent memory

Behind underclassmen, the Coyotes won the 5A 400-yard freestyle, the area's only boys swimming title in the spring.

Chlorinated champs: Monarch wins 400 free relay; takes fourth at 5A meet

May 13 — Fairview and Peak to Peak win individual titles in girls tennis

Quinn Bernthal won the 5A No. 1 singles for Fairview, which also won gold at No. 1 and 2 doubles. The Knights would finish runner-up in the 5A dual postseason a few days later.

Sydney Lewis won at 3A No. 2 singles, one of three titles for the Pumas.

Triple crown: Fairview girls tennis nabs 5A state titles at 1 singles, 1 doubles and 2 doubles

May 20 — Niwot wins fourth straight girls track and field title

Madison Shults won three events and led the Cougars to another team gold in 4A. Other standouts during the three-day invitational included Mead's Tavon Underwood, who won three state titles and set the state's all-time mark in the 400. Holy Family's Julia Hodell won four titles.

Track and field: Mead's Tavon Underwood smashes records in prep finale

May 19-22 — Mead wins 4A girls lacrosse title, while Erie is 4A runner-up

Lucy Connors scored eight times in the Mavericks' finals win over Castle View at the University of Denver. Her brother, Liam Connors, scored four times in the final 6:36 of regulation to rally the Tigers back even with Cheyenne Mountain. The Red-Tailed Hawks won in double OT.

"It's heartbreaking": Comeback falls short; Erie lax falls to Cheyenne Mountain in 4A finals