Girls golf: ´Toppers grab their third state leg Monday in Grants

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By Mike Cote

The Los Alamos Hilltoppper girls golf team wasted no time in punching its ticket to the Class AAAA state tournament this season.
In just its third tournament of the fall 2010 golf season, Los Alamos clinched a berth at the 2011 state tournament, which is scheduled for May. It garnered its third qualifying leg on day one of the Grants Invitational Monday, which is being held at Coyote del Mal Pais Golf Club.
Monday, Los Alamos shot a team score of 366, well underneath the qualifying score of 393, to earn its third and final leg.
The Hilltoppers needed the minimum three tournaments to qualify for state during the fall. Prior to Monday, the team had not qualified for state during the regular season since 2006, needing to win the District 2AAAA tournament to make the state field.
Los Alamos girls head coach Mike Lippiat said that, despite the strong showing Monday, his team was only in third place in the overall standings.
Hilltopper Miranda Olinger shot an 83 for the first round, while both Shelby Fellows and Taylor Engleman also broke the individual qualifying score on the course, 93.
For Olinger and Engleman, they would’ve also made the state field as individuals had the team failed to qualify this season.
Fellows finished with a 90 on the round, while Aislinn McDonald shot a 100 and Morgan Vaughn a 104.
“From here until next May, we will be focusing on how we can cut strokes and get our team score down even more,” Lippiatt said. “I give a special kudo to Miranda and Shelby who really anchored the team well (Monday) and to Taylor as well for a great back nine comeback after a less-than-stellar front nine start.”