Ranch irons take region, looks to state

Posted 5/6/09

Between the girls golf teams from Highlands Ranch, ThunderRidge and Mountain Vista high schools, each of them have something to be excited about at …

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Ranch irons take region, looks to state


Between the girls golf teams from Highlands Ranch, ThunderRidge and Mountain Vista high schools, each of them have something to be excited about at state this year.

Highlands Ranch won the Colorado Springs Regional tournament May 5 at Red Hawk Golf Course in Castle Rock with a score of 239. With the full team in the Class 5A state championship meet May 18-19 at Collindale Golf Course in Fort Collins, the Falcons have what they need for a possible state title repeat.

ThunderRidge qualified three of its golfers to the state show this year. It’s the first time the Grizzlies take any player to state in the past five seasons.

While Mountain Vista only had two players qualify, one is a freshman, showing promise for the program which lost many seniors two years ago.

The Falcons were led by senior Libby Avery, the only returning player from last year’s state title team. Avery shot 75 at regionals to tie at first place with Douglas County’s Dana Zamprelli. The two met in a playoff for the regional bragging rights.

This was the second high school regional Avery had to finish in a sudden-death playoff. Her sophomore season, she went five holes before winning the region that year. This time around, Avery wasn’t as fortunate, as Zamprelli managed to eagle the first hole of the playoff.

Regardless, the senior is eager to get up to Fort Collins and defend the team title.

“We all played really well [at regionals],” Avery said. “I think we’re all going to be really good at state, and we’ll have a chance to win state again this year for a repeat, hopefully.”

Avery and the Falcons have played the course at Collindale a couple times. She said although there are obstacles, including a lot of trees, the layout of the course is pretty easy to manage.

“It doesn’t seem that hard,” Avery said. “It’s pretty straight forward, so I think our team has a good chance of doing pretty good at it. … There are a lot of trees there, but it’s pretty easy. It’s flat.”

Patricia Lee shot a 77 at regionals. Lacee Floyd had an 87, and Diane Choe wrapped up the squad with 118.

ThunderRidge had an exceptional regional showing. For the first time in the program’s history, all four Grizzly gals shot below 100 in the state qualifier.

“By far and away, [regionals] was our best tournament so far,” T-Ridge coach Jim McCord said. “I’m very pleased with how they started and where they finished. It really kind of shows how they’ve worked hard, and it paid of for them.”

Qualifying for state for the Grizzlies were Taylor Buck, a freshman who shot 82, Emily Grammes with 94 and Courtney Gieseman with 95. Also shooting for ThunderRidge was Jessica Benson with 97, just missing the cut.

McCord said the squad has had a break out season this year.

“[Buck] definitely has a bright future,” he said. “The others have had some varsity experience, but they’ve never been in the mix to go to state like they have this year.”

At Red Hawk, ThunderRidge struggled with their putting, the coach said, which made the difference for several players at regionals this season, especially at such a hill littered course.

“That’s the reality of putting. If you’re a good putter, than you can play good golf,” McCord said. “What separates the great golfers is the putting.”

Madison Robb, a returning state qualifier who led Mountain Vista at regionals shooting 77, said she loved the course at Red Hawk and fits well into her game; however, like many that day, she had her mistakes.

“The back nine kind of got me, but I did fine. I’m going to state. That’s all that matters,” Robb, who signed a commitment to play golf for Oakland University in Michigan this year, said.

Freshman Nicole Adams and Robb will represent the Golden Eagles in the 5A dance this year.

“I think we did really well, cause we had a freshman qualify, which is awesome after losing the seniors we did two years ago,” Robb said. “I think it’s great for the inexperience we have. I’m proud of them.”

The Vista senior said Collindale is a lot like city park courses, given the amount of trees and small greens. She said accuracy would be key for every one.

“Usually, you have to be pretty accurate, and if you’re not, then it’s a putting contest,” Robb said. “If I hit my greens, than it’s a putting contest.”

Class 4A qualifiers

In the Class 4A Metro West Regional tournament, Rock Canyon took second as a team with 242 May 5 at Broadlands Golf Course in Broomfield and was able to qualify three players; Alli Johnston, Alex Pedrinan and Carlie McAlister. Johnston shot a 77 to tie in first place with three other players. Pedrinan shot 81 for ninth place, and McAlister had 84 to tie at 13th.

Valor Christian was seventh at regionals with 266 and one player qualifying for the 4A state championship. Lindsey McGetrick will represent the Eagles in the state field this season. At regionals, she shot a 78 to finish in fifth place.


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