Golf: Topper girls win 2-4A title at home

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Vaughn has low round for LA girls, LA boys finish as district runners-up

By The Staff

The Los Alamos Hilltopper girls golf team may have gotten the boost it was looking for at Tuesday’s District 2-4A tournament.
Los Alamos’ girls won the district title at the 2-4A tournament at Los Alamos Golf Course. Los Alamos finished with 374 shots Tuesday to earn the district title.
The Hilltopper boys weren’t as fortunate, however. They finished second behind the Bernalillo Spartans and missed the cut for the state Class 4A tournament.
The Spartans, who clinched their third consecutive district title, shot a strong 324 at LAGC Tuesday, outpacing the Hilltoppers by 24 shots.
Heading into Tuesday — the tournament was originally scheduled to be played Monday but was postponed due to poor weather and course conditions — Los Alamos’ boys had hopes of knocking off the Spartans to get into the 4A tournament, but Los Alamos head coach John Stam said he knew that would be a tall order.
“I’m very proud of the boys. They worked very hard to get ready for this tournament,” Stam said. “In the tournament itself, the guys played very well on the back nine, which is what I was hoping. We struggled a little bit on the front nine and that’s where Bernalillo picked up strokes on us.”
Los Alamos’ boys will send one representative to next week’s state tournament, however. Senior Thomas Herrera qualified for state contention during the fall season.
Tuesday, Herrera shot an 83 to place him fourth individually. Herrera was keeping pace with tournament winner Patrick Herrera of Bernalillo, but struggled on his last three holes Tuesday to drop back.
Patrick Herrera had a 78 to win the title. His teammate, Paul Holmes, was three strokes back while another Spartan, Jake Troncosa, finished a shot back of Holmes.
Stam said Thomas Herrera will be working on chipping-and-running and longer-range putts to prepare for the University of New Mexico South course, which features spacious greens.
On the girls side Tuesday, Allie Fullerton of Santa Fe shot an 88 to take the individual girls title.
Behind Fullerton, Los Alamos’ Morgan Vaughn and Española Valley’s Beverly Williams tied for second with a 93.
Los Alamos girls head coach Mike Lippiatt said Vaughn has been solid in all facets of her game the last two tournaments, something that could be a big boost for the Hilltoppers heading into the state tournament.
The state 4A tournament starts Monday and continues through Tuesday in Albuquerque.
Vaughn, Shelby Fellows and Miranda Olinger earned All-District honors with their finishes. Fellows carded a 95 and Olinger finished with 96.
Lippiatt said his team is within range of the 90 average from the top players that he’s hoping to see at state.
“I’m not too upset with the scores,” he said. “We’re hoping as a team to keep it in the mid-90s. After the second day at Farmington and yesterday, the girls are feeling what it’s like to win. They haven’t felt what it’s like to win since last fall.”
Taylor Engleman finished with a 100 and Aislinn McDonald had a 102 for the Hilltoppers Tuesday.
For the Los Alamos boys, Jonnie Osden finished with an 87. Jin Park shot an 88 on the day, followed by Tim Branch’s 90 and Brett Snow’s 95.
Scores were high at the tournament, due in part to poor greens conditions at LAGC. Lippiatt said there were numerous 3-putts and even a few 4-putts on the day.
State tournament tee times are scheduled to be released today.