Hayden’s Erin Koehler and Steamboat’s Lance Ostrom had dominating senior seasons and were selected as Routt County athletes of the year.

Photo by Joel Reichenberger

Hayden’s Erin Koehler and Steamboat’s Lance Ostrom had dominating senior seasons and were selected as Routt County athletes of the year.

Lance Ostrom named Steamboat Pilot & Today's Athlete of the Year

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Past Routt County athletes of the year

Past female winners

■ 2011: Aubree Haskins, Hayden High School

■ 2010: Colleen King, Steamboat Springs High School

■ 2009: Holli Salazar, Hayden

■ 2008: Holli Salazar, Hayden

Past male winners

■ 2011: Treyben Letlow, Hayden High School

■ 2010: Alex Estes, Soroco High School

■ 2009: Alex Wood, Steamboat Springs High School

■ 2008: Ramsey Bernard, Steamboat

— Lance Ostrom insists it’s not as easy as he makes it look.

But judging from four years of quality and the last two of dominance, Ostrom is one of those athletes who is just good at whatever he does.

The departing Steamboat Springs High School senior played three sports — soccer, hockey and lacrosse — earned top postseason awards in each and now has been named the Steamboat Pilot & Today’s Routt County Male Athlete of the Year.

Ostrom also had been named the Western Slope League Soccer Player of the Year, earning first-team all-league and second-team all-state honors. He also was named honorable mention all-conference and honorable mention all-state in hockey. In lacrosse, he was selected to play for Colorado’s all-state lacrosse team, while earning first-team all-conference.

And he did it all while making it look incredibly easy. But is it that easy?

“Kind of,” Ostrom said. “I’ve always been the small guy in the group. I just had to learn to adapt. I let things come to me and hope I make the right move.”

Ostrom played all three sports throughout high school. He made the hockey team and contributed as a freshman, and he played significant minutes his sophomore year in soccer and lacrosse.

“He’s got great vision and great anticipation,” Steamboat lacrosse coach Bob Hiester said. “His hand-eye-foot coordination are exceptional. Overall, Lance is an intense competitor.”

Ostrom credits his parents, Terry and Jan, with helping him succeed. He said they encouraged him to play every sport but to stick with only the ones he liked. If he liked it, he continued with it. If he didn’t, he stopped.

He was smooth in whatever he did. He made plays that made coaches, teammates and opposing players go “wow.”

“It was pretty amazing watching him sometimes,” former Steamboat hockey coach Jeff Ruff said. “I don’t know how he can make those moves and come up with the puck sometimes.”

Never the most imposing force, Ostrom credits his size with his development and smoothness in playing.

When he was in seventh grade, he played hockey with high schoolers. His breakneck style, smooth feel, elite skating and devilish penalty skills made him stand out.

“The quickness came from being completely terrified of not wanting to get hit by the bigger kids,” he said.

Although Ostrom had opportunities to play all three sports at the next level, he doesn’t anticipate playing any club sports his first year at Colorado State University, which he’ll attend in the fall. He said he would like to play club lacrosse and hockey his sophomore season.

Ostrom leaves Steamboat as one of the most impressive athletes to play at the high school. His ability to shine in three sports in a one-track world was what set him apart.

Adding in his elite athleticism just made it all the more enjoyable.

“There were a few of those moments where I was even surprised at what I did,” he said. “But I’ll take them. Sometimes I baffled myself, but those are the fun ones.”

To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229 or email lgraham@SteamboatToday.com

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