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More notable 2008 stories

Published: Thursday, Dec. 25 2008 12:03 a.m. MST

David Letterman might stop at 10 on his lists, but 2008 had enough interesting things happen on a local level to merit a secondary story.

Consider the following second-team All-2008 story lines:

• More Jazz: Millsap and the M*A*S*H unit — During the 2007-08 season, Jazz players combined to miss just 45 games because of injuries, illnesses and personal reasons. Those were the good ole days. Less than two months into this season, and the Jazz have already doubled that number. Grab one hand and count the guys who haven't missed any action due to those reasons: C.J. Miles, Ronnie Price, Morris Almond, Kosta Koufos and Paul Millsap. Speaking of Millsap, the Jazz Ironman has played in 194 straight games since entering the NBA. He also had an impressive streak of 15 straight double-doubles snapped at Milwaukee on Wednesday. The Jazz are now holding their breath an MRI on the left knee he injured Tuesday doesn't reveal significant damage.

• Silver lining (again) for Utah gymnastics — Red Rocks were sterling, though not quite golden, as they finished second in the nation for the third year in a row. The season was the swan song for gymnast extraordinaire Ashley Postell, a 20-time All-American and most decorated collegiate gymnast ever who won 120 events and thousands of hearts during her gracefully athletic career.

• Timpview and Alta defend prep football titles — The Thunderbirds not only won their third consecutive Class 4A championship, but they also upped their winning streak to 36 games and capped a second straight undefeated campaign by holding off Cottonwood. Their players reaped some big-time awards, too, with safety Craig Bills being named Utah's Mr. Football, lineman Xavier Su'a-Filo earning 4A MVP honors and five other players making first-team all-state. As for the Hawks, they brought home a second straight 5A trophy from Rice-Eccles Stadium led by 5A MVP and Utah Gatorade Player of the Year Ammon Olsen. Attention schedule-makers: Alta vs. Timpview, fall of 2009. Make it happen.

• Tyler Haws-led Lone Peak tops in hoops again — The Knights' talented 6-5 shooting guard followed up his 5A MVP sophomore season by helping his deep team win another state title, earning Utah's Mr. Basketball honors and informing BYU coach Dave Rose that the Cougars had won the Tyler Haws Sweepstakes. What's he going to do for an encore — start shooting left-handed?

• Park City residents put U.S. skiing back on map Lindsey Vonn won the overall World Cup skiing title — becoming the first American woman since 1983 to lay claim to that crown — and took the downhill title to boot; Ted Ligety brought home some hardware of his own, capturing the World Cup giant slalom title.

• Hoops history made at Utah State — The NCAA tournament selection committee might not have seen it this way, but 2008 was an incredibly successful and significant one for the Aggies. It will mostly be remembered for Stew Morrill becoming the all-time winningest USU coach, for Jaycee Carroll wrapping up a stellar career by becoming the school's all-time leading scorer and reaping numerous accolades, and for the team winning another regular-season WAC title. Their year ended with little fanfare as the Aggies fell in the conference tourney semifinals and then were ousted from the NIT first round.

• Utah Olympians strike gold, silver and bronze — The Beehive State had its fair share of success in Beijing. Not only did Deron Williams and Carlos Boozer win gold medals with the U.S. men's basketball team, but former BYU athletes Ryan Millar and Rich Lambourne helped the men's volleyball team win gold, too. Highland High product Logan Tom helped Team USA win an emotional silver medal after the father of their coach was murdered. And three guys with Utah ties won bronze — Salt Lake Bees standouts Kevin Jepsen and Matt Brown in baseball, and cyclist Levi Leipheimer.

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