Golf: Hilltopper round-up at Grants Invite

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By Mike Cote

Hilltopper girls finish second at Grants

The Los Alamos Hilltopper girls golf team finished second at the two-day Grants Invitational, which wrapped up Tuesday.

Los Alamos improved 15 strokes on its day one finish, firing a team score of 351 to pick up the runner-up finish. Kirtland Central, a strong contender for the Class AAAA championship this season, won the tournament.

In all, six teams took part in the invitational, which was held at Coyote del Mal Pais Golf Club.

Finishing in the runner-up spot was the team's goal following Monday's first round, in which the Hilltoppers fired a 366 and earned their third qualifying leg for this spring's state tournament, clinching themselves a spot.

Individually, Miranda Olinger, the team's top player, equaled her day one individual total of 83 strokes, while all four other Hilltopper players — Shelby Fellows, Taylor Engleman, Morgan Vaughn and Aislinn McDonald — each shaved strokes off on day two. Fellows and Engleman both broke 90 Tuesday, while Vaughn and McDonald were below triple-digits, where both of them finished in Monday's round.

Herrera earns nod to state tourney Tuesday for LA boys

The Los Alamos boys golf team finished 10th at the Grants Invitational this week.

The Grants Invitational, played at Coyote del Mal Pais Golf Club, started Monday and concluded Tuesday. A total of 14 boys teams participated in the tournament.

In Tuesday's tournament round, Los Alamos' No. 1 player, Thomas Herrera, shot a 78, giving him his third leg for the state tournament. Herrera, who just missed out on a chance to play in the Class AAAA tournament last season, clinched his spot at the 2011 tournament regardless of whether the full team earns a bid.

The Hilltoppers finished with a team score of 688, shooting a 338 in the opening round and a 350 on day two.

Herrera finished with a total of 163 for the tournament. Other Hilltopper finishes included Woody Moss' and Tim Branch's 174, Jonnie Osden's 181 and Brett Snow's 200.

Snow, playing the first varsity tournament of his career, had an eagle Tuesday on the par-4 eighth hole. Meanwhile, Osden, an eighth grader, recorded a career-best round of 82 Monday.