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Henry Stam picked up the first individual qualifying leg of the season for the Los Alamos Hilltopper boys golf team Monday.
The Hilltoppers took part in the two-day Española Valley Invitational. Monday’s opening round was played at Towa Golf Course near Pojoaque and Tuesday’s second round was at Black Mesa Golf Course in Española.
The two rounds were the first two of the spring season for Los Alamos.
Overall, the Hilltoppers finished in fourth place, shooting a 693 team total on the two difficult courses.
Monday, Stam led Los Alamos to a finish of 339, its best score of the season. Individually, Stam shot an 81 to earn his first individual qualifying leg.
To qualify for the state Class AAAA tournament during the regular season, individuals must earn three legs. Teams also have to earn three legs, but so far Los Alamos hasn’t earned any.
With just three tournaments remaining in the regular season – its next event is Monday’s Capital City Invitational at Santa Fe Country Club – Los Alamos’ best bet at this point probably will be to win the District 2AAAA championship, which also comes with a state tournament berth.
Should Stam or any of the other Hilltoppers earn three individual legs, they would advance to the state tournament regardless of how the team does at the district tournament.
Also on Monday, Thomas Hererra finished with an 83 at Towa, while Tim Branch finished with an 84. Kory Nelson turned in a round of 91 and Woody Moss finished with 102 strokes.
Tuesday, the Hilltoppers finished with a team total of 354 on the more challenging Black Mesa course.
Stam and Herrera pace the Hilltoppers Tuesday with rounds of 83. Branch and Nelson both finished with a 94 and Moss had a 95.
The tournament was won by the Hope Christian Huskies, a very good Class AAA school, which shot a 614 for the two days. Hope’s Dylan Healy had a two-day total of 144 to win the top individual honor.
Following Hope was Lovington, the defending AAA champion (643) and AAA school Ruidoso (679).