Golf: LA opens state 4A tourney Monday

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By The Staff

The Los Alamos Hilltopper girls golf team will get a first-hand look at its fellow state championship competitors in the first round of the Class 4A tournament.
The state 4A championship tournament for both boys and girls starts Monday and continues through Tuesday at the University of New Mexico Championship Course in Albuquerque.
The Hilltoppers, who earned a No. 4 seed in the tournament, will get to tee off early Monday morning.
Shelby Fellows of Los Alamos goes off with the first group of the day, teeing off from the 10th hole at 8 a.m.
Fellows and the rest of Los Alamos’ team will be paired with three other very good 4A players. Los Alamos’ five players will all get to see first-hand their opponents from Deming, Kirtland Central and Goddard.
Those teams are considered to be the title favorites heading into Monday’s opening round.
Los Alamos’ boys team will send one representative to the state tournament, senior Thomas Herrera.
Herrera qualified as an individual this season. He picked up five state qualification legs, in 2010-11, including the necessary three legs during fall 2010 play.
Herrera will start on the first hole along with Joey Tellez of St. Pius X, Jackson Gurley of Piedra Vista and Jeremy Naranjo of Bernalillo at 9:20 a.m.
For the girls, Fellows will be in the first group out, along with Cheyenne Molina of Deming, Summer Tsosie of Kirtland Central and Sara Garcia of Goddard, all of them legitimate contenders for a 4A individual title this season.
Los Alamos’ top five for the tournament are Fellows, Miranda Olinger, Morgan Vaughn, Taylor Engleman and Aislinn McDonald.
The Hilltopper girls won the District 2-4A tournament last week at home, their first tournament win since the fall season. While the Hilltoppers would’ve qualified for state with the district title, they also earned nine total team qualification legs, including three in the final two weeks of the season.
Deming is the defending 4A champion. In the 2010 state tournament, held in Las Cruces, the Wildcats posted a two-day team total of 686, far and away the best total of the three state girls champions.
Bianca Dominguez of Deming shot a 161, two-day total to earn the state title. Dominguez graduated in 2010.
Los Alamos finished eighth in 2010, shooting a two-day total of 801. Of the current Hilltoppers, only Olinger didn’t participate in the 2010 state tournament – Olinger would’ve played if not for a foot injury.
The last Hilltopper girl to win an individual title was Sarah Anast in 2007. That same year, Nick Brady of the Hilltopper boys was the individual state title winner.