JUCO up for award from SportsTravel magazine

Somebody out there thinks the Alpine Bank Junior College World Series is a must-visit event.

Readers of SportsTravel magazine nominated the JUCO World Series for a 2012 SportsTravel Award.

“It says a lot,” JUCO Chairman Jamie Hamilton said of being nominated in the “Best Sports Event or Circuit” category in the “Collegiate Sporting Events” division.

“The criteria is for experience, facility and venue being one of the best in America. A lot of us have always thought that, but maybe someone was here and with the new (Lincoln Park Tower) and saw it as being the right place.

“We’ve got some stiff competition; I have to believe any of the sites of the NCAA basketball tournament being up against us, we could be in trouble.”

Online voting is open through Aug. 15 at http://www.sportstravelmagazine.com.

Readers can vote for one event in each of 10 categories, plus an event of the year, and may vote only once.

Once Hamilton checked out the awards, he cast his ballot, for JUCO, obviously.

The criteria for nomination and voting includes superior organization and attendance, a superior experience for the competitors and/or spectators and how the site served to enhance the event.

Winners are announced in October in Detroit.

The magazine has divisions for amateur, collegiate, professional events, with categories for single-sport event, multisport or multidiscipline event and best sports event series or circuit.

The USA Pro Cycling Challenge across Colorado is nominated in the “New Sporting Events” category. The Challenge drew thousands of cycling fans to each stage last summer and is preparing for its second event next month.

The USA Pro Cycling Challenge is up against the Big Ten football championship, the ISSA/ISF World Tournament of Champions (senior softball), the NCAA Division III men’s volleyball championship, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Savannah (Ga.) Marathon, the USA Baseball National High School Invitational in Cary, N.C., and the 2012 U.S. Olympic Boxing Trials in Spokane, Wash.

Hamilton doesn’t know much about the magazine’s award but was happy the JUCO World Series was nominated, simply for some more national exposure of the tournament, played the past 54 years in Grand Junction.

JUCO is up against the Big East men’s basketball tournament, played at Madison Square Garden in New York, the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association basketball tournament in Charlotte, N.C., the entire 2012 NCAA men’s basketball tournament and the NCAA Women’s College Softball World Series in Oklahoma City.

“It’s great recognition for the community and how special it is,” Hamilton said.

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