By Shania Martinez
On Tuesday, February 13, 2024, 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. was Pueblo County’s 8th Grade Night.
Eighth-grade night happens every year at Pueblo County High School to help the upcoming freshman navigate through their new school. Parents appreciate the tour of the school to get a perspective of what kind of environment their kids will be in for the next 4 years.
To start the 8th-grade night off Principal, Mr. Brian Dilka, introduced himself in the Hornet gymnasium.
After the introduction of administrative staff and instructors the band played, and then the dance team performed. These performances can help the incoming freshman decide if that is something their interested in. Once the performances were done the eighth-graders took a tour of PCH to get an idea of what their classes might look like.
Many student clubs and all instructors were on hand to answer any and all questions from both students and the parents.
Eighth Grade Open House is a great yearly event that helps the upcoming freshmen and parents in so many ways. It’s always exciting to see new Hornets join the nest.
PCHS: 24 Points
West: 28 points
By Colt Antle
Water. cool, cleansing, serene, and calming are common words that come to mind when thinking about water.
The water is steaming with spirit from all the competitors and the races make white water rivers look like a wade in a kiddie pool. One such competitor is Pueblo County High School’s very own Grace Gray.
Her interest in swimming stemmed from as far back as she can remember, “I honestly started out swimming just as a way to stay in shape for the upcoming spring soccer season, I never swam competitively before but I had been swimming since I could remember.” Gray would then start to dedicate her time to swimming and becoming much stronger and skilled in the water. This dedication shaped her career path as well, with her going on to work at the YMCA as a lifeguard. This extra practice has been a good way to keep her body in top form for meets and other gatherings.
As for these meets, her time in them speaks for themselves. In the 50 Free swim she got a time of 00:36.20, the 100 Fly she got 01:30.98, on the 100 Breast swim she got 01:46.79, she got 02:09.47 on the 200 Free Relay, on the 200 Medley Relay she got 02:38.51, and on the 400 Free Relay she had a time of 05:07.05. Gray said, “I spend around seven-eight hours a week practicing, and if we have meets it can be three- four hours or even eight depending on the number of meets and how long they are.”
Much like a ship captain out at sea, struggles must be faced in order to brave the storm. Struggles of doubt and self worth, which can be especially hard on a freshmen who’s just getting their feet in the water and might be treading new and unfamiliar territory. Gray faced this very same issue when she first started out in her swimming career.
“My freshman year halfway through the season I thought I just wasn't going to get any better and that I couldn't do it anymore. I remember feeling helpless and weak and that I wasn't strong enough to continue” said Gray. After much perseverance Gray was able to push away her clouded and doubtful thoughts and see the lighthouse on the other side. She got better and eventually her pride and dedication began to show with her athletic achievements.
She said, “My biggest accomplishment is being able to swim all four years of high school and earn the senior sports letter, which is different from the sports bar pins.” Even her brother, Walker Gray, has begun treading the not so shallow water of swimming. Walker is currently taking a swim class and is even the manager of the swim team.
One final word from Gray, “My biggest supporters throughout my athletic career have been my parents and family.” It seems that the minow doesn’t swim far from the stream.
By Abigail Medved
For most, going to the pool means games, sunbathing, and ice cream, but for Pueblo County High School swimmer Tate Lanham, the pool means long practices, beating records, tough competition, and love of the sport. Lanham is a sophomore at PCHS and she has been involved in competitive swimming for years.
“I first pursued this sport because my whole family has been really involved in swimming and has either swam or coached,” Lanham said. “I really learned to love swimming over time and made really great friendships.”
Having started competing in swimming at such a young age, Lanham fell in love with the sport and strives to make it a consistent part of her everyday life.
“I dedicate about 12-13 hours a week to swimming and dry land workouts,” Lanham says, “I try to go to practice six days a week and two to three of those days I do an hour of dry land.”
Though this training schedule is rigorous, it seems to work for Lanham as she has already qualified for the 3A State Championship Meet in the 200 IM, 50 Freestyle, 100 Freestyle, 500 Freestyle, 100 Backstroke, and 100 Breaststroke. However, qualifying in these events this season is not the only accomplishment Lanham has made in her swimming career. “Some of my biggest accomplishments in swimming have been being able to qualify for out-of-state, national meets,” Lanham said. “I have been to Washington for senior western zones and came back for finals in three events. I also went to California during long course season for another senior western zones and I qualified for sectionals in the 100 Breaststroke there.”
Just like most athletes, Lanham has friends and family who support her in her swimming journey. She says that her mom and grandma have been a couple of her biggest supporters. “I have been swimming for about 10 years of my life and they have both contributed a lot for me to be where I am now in my swimming career,” Lanham says, “They have been driving me to practice and meets all these years and have supported me in any decision I make regarding
But, accomplishments are not the only thing Lanham has faced. Mixed in with successes are also challenges, “My biggest obstacles,” Lanham shares, “have probably been being able to overcome mental challenges and being able to have a positive mindset at practices and meets, even on bad days. Also being able to push past the feeling of not wanting to go to practice and having to regroup when I don't get the time I was hoping for.” Despite occasional doubts and tough practices, Lanham has high expectations for her future in this sport.
“My expectations for this sport is qualifying and competing at nationals when I'm a little older. I also want to swim at a D1 college, close to home. I would just all around love it if I could just keep swimming in the future because I am so passionate about it,” Lanham said. Lanham is currently one of the top swimmers on the Pueblo County Girls Swim and Dive team. She will compete in the League Championships as well as the 3A State Meet.
Good Luck, Tate!
By, Imajin Woodson
Growing up with another competitive family member tends to push you to pursue something even greater. Brady Ware is a freshman at Pueblo County High School. He plays on the C Team, frontline position.
He's not much of a talker, but his actions start to speak for him on the court. He has a lot of dedication and drive for basketball. Ware said, “I spend about 14 hours a week between practice and weight lifting.”
Ware reminisces about his love of the game, “My earliest memory was in like third grade, I tried to save a ball but failed. My most memorable game was a pick-up game with my family. This really pushed me to be better than everyone because I was the worst on the court at that time.” Ware said..
He’s pushed by competitiveness in his family. Ware said, “What pushed me to pursue this sport was to be a better basketball player than my cousin.”
Though there is competition with his cousin, “My biggest supporter has been my family.”
Accomplishments and obstacles come throughout sports and life. “My biggest obstacle was breaking my hand and missing about 6 months of development, and my biggest accomplishment is being part of the starting five for County,” said Ware.
Brady has a lot of things to look forward to during this basketball season and it seems so far it's been really good. He said, “I just hope to do my best at the game and see how far it takes me.”
Photos by Aurora Ortiz
By Abigail Medved
After winning the Hornet Invitational and becoming the 2024 SCL Champions, the only way for Pueblo County High School girls to end the Girls Swim and Dive season is by competing in the 3A State Meet.
“I feel like I have come a very long way this season,” said freshman diver, Lily Nibert. “I am so so excited for this meet and just the whole weekend overall! Of course I am still super nervous but I feel that way before most meets.”
The girls who qualified for this meet include Lily Knudsen, Lana Kastner, Amanda Alfonso, Morgan Musso, Leah Conrad, Breckin Weatherford, Kennedy Raymond, and Tate Lanham.
Lily Nibert, Maci Johnson, and Avery Mead also qualified in diving. Rowan Moran, Jade Moore, Alexa Darnell, Jaelyn Faris, and Abigail Medved are going as alternates.
“I feel really nervous but also happy because it's a great experience,” said Morgan Musso, junior swimmer.
The 3A State Meet will take place Feb. 9-10, 2024 at the Veterans Memorial Aquatic Center in Denver. The girls will leave on Thursday, Feb. 8.
Good Luck Hornets!