Joel Reichenberger: Saturday a sweet one |

Joel Reichenberger: Saturday a sweet one

— If you couldn't find a way to love Saturday in Steamboat Springs, you may be reading the wrong newspaper and living in the wrong town.

That's one of the millions of things that raced through my head Saturday as Steamboat Springs' sports world spun almost uncontrollably around as delicious a spring day as I can remember.

Saturday — and the entire week preceding it, for that matter — wasn't one for the weak on the sports desk at the Steamboat Pilot & Today.

The end of February and the beginning of March always bring together enough elements at the same time that it makes covering sports here a hair-raising experience.

All of the high school winter sports leagues come to a head in short order, and at the same time, the spring sports are starting up.

Meanwhile, the ski and snowboard season is reaching its conclusion, the biggest events of those athletes unfolding near and far. On Friday, while hammering out one story and preparing to head to Steamboat Ski Area to catch the finals of the five-day-long Freestyle Junior Nationals moguls competition, I got a call from Deb Armstrong, of the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club. She was ecstatic as one of her Alpine skiers was on the verge of winning the J2 national championships in super-G in California.

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Throw in something like the Steamboat Pentathlon, which took place Saturday, and it's enough to make a guy charged with covering it all want to hide out on the far side of Mount Werner.

When I was preparing to head to cover that annual Steamboat ritual, I got urgent word of huge news: Bryan Fletcher won a World Cup Nordic combined event in Norway.

He was supposed to be getting ready to call me from Norway at any moment.

I could only think of one response: "Uh, sorry, Bryan. I'm a bit busy. If you could push this win back a day or two, that'd be super. Thanks!"

But I knew that wasn't an option, and busy or not, Fletcher's victory is such awesome news for a town like Steamboat Springs, it warranted major attention.

I went to the pentathlon, but terrified I'd somehow miss the call, I literally didn't let go of my phone. I didn't even trust my pocket for this one.

Finally, he called when I was waiting for race results, and I rushed out of the noisy hall and did a long interview sitting on the bleacher beneath Howelsen Hill, where Fletcher learned the sport of Nordic combined.

Days like these, weeks like this, are tough. It's one thing after the next, and there always seems to be something else wedging its way in, throwing off what already was a haphazard schedule.

But if I didn't love days like Saturday, when there are so many great stories swirling around that it's difficult to count them all, I'd be in the wrong job, just like if you didn't love Saturday in Steamboat, with its sun and its snow and its slush and its sporting events, you'd be in the wrong town.

It was a great weekend. I hope you enjoyed it.

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253 or email

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