Girls golf: Toppers open spring play Monday

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By The Staff

Round two of the two-season golf season will get going for the Los Alamos Hilltopper girls golf team Monday.

Weather permitting, the Hilltopper girls will open the second half of its season Monday at the New Mexico Tech Invitational, which will be held in Socorro.

The course is a women’s par 73, 5,340-yard affair on the campus of New Mexico Tech.

Monday’s tournament will be the first of five scheduled appearances by the Hilltoppers before the District 2AAAA tournament in early May.

While Los Alamos was near the front of most of its fall tournaments, it grabbed just one state tournament qualification score this fall, that coming at the St. Pius X Invitational Oct. 20, its final tournament of the fall season.

The Hilltoppers, who finished third at that tournament behind Sandia and La Cueva, shot a team total of 395 at Isleta Eagle Golf Course. Miquela Baca’s career-best 99 at the tournament helped secure the qualification leg.

In order to qualify for the state tournament, teams must earn three qualification legs.

Los Alamos won its home invitational in September but failed to earn a state leg. It also finished as the runner-up Oct. 6 at St. Michael’s.

Regardless of whether the Hilltoppers pick up the other two legs this spring — only four Class AAAA teams have earned legs and only Kirtland Central and St. Pius qualified during the fall season — Los Alamos’ No. 1 player Miranda Olinger has already earned a trip to state as an individual.

Olinger, a sophomore, picked up for legs during the fall season to put her into the tournament. She shot an 85 at Los Alamos Golf Course, her best score of the fall, putting her second behind Santa Fe’s Chanet Fiorina, one of the top golfers in northern New Mexico.

Following Monday’s tournament, Los Alamos will have tournaments at Española Valley and Santa Fe before hosting its spring tournament April 20 at LAGC.