Harty: Speed of GJ’s Kochevar impressive

While Central senior Marisa Brown impressed me to no end with what the diminutive goalkeeper did to keep Grand Junction out of the goal in the Warriors’ 1-0 win Thursday, my biggest “Wow!” moment from that night came from a Tiger defender.

Central’s Makaylee Cloud dribbled down the left side and appeared poised to fire a shot on goal when Grand Junction sophomore center-back Taylor Kochevar said, “Not so fast,” with a tackle out of nowhere.

Well, not nowhere. Rather, Kochevar closed a sizable gap between her and Cloud with a stunning burst of speed. That’s also known as “How in the heck did she get there?” speed, and it has become old hat in Grand Junction games.

“She’s the fastest girl on the team, and she saves a lot of those,” Tigers coach Joe Graham said. “She saves us time and time again.”

An opposing coach was impressed this spring, too, as Graham said Columbine’s coach, after defeating the Tigers 1-0, told him, “She was the best player on the field.”

Also pretty darn fast

Central assistant baseball coach Joe Kellerby said he thinks Warrior sophomore left fielder Brandon Martinez might be the fastest player in the Southwestern League.

Central head baseball coach Chuck Yost wouldn’t go that far, but he acknowledged, “He is a quick kid,” after the Warriors beat Mead 10-0 on Wednesday. Martinez went 3 for 3 at the plate and flashed his speed on a stolen base and an infield hit.

The latter, Yost said, could become a common occurrence for Martinez.

“That last at-bat he had with that full swing, just a high chopper, the way he can run, that’s a base hit every time,” Yost said. “It’s nice to have that kind of speed and put pressure on the defense like that. There’s a lot of things you can do.”

Tough loss to take

Fruita Monument’s girls soccer team will be without sophomore center-midfielder Courtney Coffey the rest of the season after she sustained a knee injury. Coffey led the Wildcats in scoring last year as a freshman.

Fantastic freshman

Speaking of Fruita Monument freshmen, Jordan Padgett is making her mark this season as a center-midfielder.

After the Wildcats’ 1-0 victory over Central on Tuesday, Fruita coach Eric Anderson praised the strong 80 minutes he got from Padgett.

“She’s just on top of her game,” Anderson said. “She’s just a freshman coming in and proving herself. She’s an all-around good player, setting up other players, very strong attacking, and she’s getting back and playing very well on defense.”

Practice makes perfect

The local Ace High School Tour needs to sign up Grand Junction senior Maya Freismuth to endorse it.

She played on the tour last summer and said she went from playing “once a week, maybe” to hitting the links two to three times a week.

The result?

“I was at a pretty good place at the end of the summer,” she said.

Mutual respect

Taylor Walters didn’t have her normal day Tuesday at the Central Spring Invitational girls golf tournament, taking the steam out of a duel with Fairview’s Kelly Moran, who tied for 11th at the Class 5A state meet last year.

After out-of-bounds penalties wrecked Walters’ scorecard on the front nine at Tiara Rado Golf Course, she got her game together on the back nine and matched Moran with a 38.

That didn’t surprise Moran, who got to know Walters during a tournament last summer. She assessed Walters’ game with: “She’s really talented.”

Returning the compliment was Walters, who said of Moran, “It’s fun to watch her play. She basically can kill driver, and that’s cool to watch.”


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