Steamboat girls golf qualifies three for state
Steamboat Springs girls golf has tripled its number of state qualifiers from last year and will send three athletes to Denver to vie for the state championship at Thorncreek Golf Course on Tuesday, May 30 and Wednesday, May 31.
The Sailors traveled to Bookcliff Country Club in Grand Junction to compete in the 4A regional tournament on Monday, finishing third as a team and eight strokes behind the leader, Mullen High School.
Steamboat head coach Andrew Donner said he was proud of his girls and that the team has shown continuous improvement. Qualifying three girls for state is a massive accomplishment that does not happen often and, to Donner’s recollection, possibly has never occurred in Steamboat.
“Our putting probably cost us the most, in terms of having a chance at finishing second,” Donner said. “The girls all missed a few short putts, but that is to be expected when you do not get to putt on real greens for 90% of the season.”
The top two teams at regionals automatically qualify for state and the next 13 individual finishers advance as well.
Sophomore Kaitlyn Grommeck had won every regular season tournament leading to the regional, where she finished fourth after shooting a 76. This was an eight-stroke improvement for Grommeck, who had an 84 in regionals last season.
Grommeck got off to a hot start with a birdie on the par-4 third to go one under through three. She had two double bogeys on the front nine and a near clean scorecard on the back with just two bogeys to finish 5-over-par.
Freshman Katharina Cosby finished 11th in the tournament, shooting 13-over-par including a pair of birdies and five pars.
Junior Catherine Larock started her round nine over through her first six holes but was able to stay composed and par the next three in a row. She finished 20-over and qualified for the state competition in 17th place.
Donner emphasized this is a really young team that has found ways to get better despite the hurdles of playing in the mountains at the start of spring.
“I give these girls so much credit,” Donner said. “It is always hard in general for a mountain school like ours in a spring sport like golf. This year in particular with all the golf courses opening late, we only had the nine-hole course open for two weeks or so. For the girls to do this just working on mats and nets inside a gym, I give them a lot of credit.”
Donner was impressed to see a strong team dynamic this year. He thought the girls had really positive outlooks on a season that limited their opportunities. The progress made this year speaks volumes to the future of the program.
Grommeck, Cosby and Larock will travel to Denver on Memorial Day to play a practice round at Thorncreek before the competition begins. Donner has high hopes and big expectations for his team next week.
“The girls are pretty good,” Donner said. “I told them after regionals that a good goal for us is to finish in the top-5. If we do that, then we have really done well. Just getting there is great in itself but I am hoping we can play really well and get a top-5 finish.”
4A Regional Team Results: 1. Mullen, 243. 2. Durango, 246. 3. Steamboat Springs, 251. 4. Loveland, 255. 5. Golden, 276. 6. Battle Mountain, 277. 7. Glenwood Springs, 280. 8. Palisade, 289. 9. Montrose, 291. 10. Rifle, 325. 11. Grand Junction, 334. 12. Evergreen, 350. 13. Eagle Valley, 380. 14. Bear Creek, 394.
Individual Top 10: 1. Kaitlin Zingler, Mullen, 69. 2. Sophia Capua, Vista Peak, 74. 3. Makena Thayer, Battle Mountain, 75. 4. Kaitlyn Grommeck, Steamboat Springs, 76. 5. Zayda Mestas, Durango, 77. 6. Maryn Harlow, Loveland, 79. 6. Ellie White, Durango, 79. 8. Sarah Friemel, Glenwood Springs, 81. 8. Reece Bandemer, Loveland, 81. 10. Mckenzie Dolph, Conifer, 83.
Steamboat Finishers: 11. Katharina Cosby, 84. 17. Catherine Larock, 91. 52. Maddy Moline, 129.
To reach Tom Skulski, call 970-871-4240, email tskulski@SteamboatPilot.com.
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