Topper boys, girls are runners-up

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Golf: LA teams end their season at 2-4A tournament

By Mike Cote

SANTA FE — To finish off their 2012 season, the Los Alamos Hilltopper boys and girls golf team both finished a solid second place in the District 2-4A championship.
Los Alamos picked up the runner-up slot in the girls competition, shooting a team total of 399. Los Alamos’ boys shot a team 354 to finish as the runner-up on that side of the tournament.
The 2-4A championship was Monday at the Marty Sanchez Links de Santa Fe.
Santa Fe won both the boys and girls district titles with good performances Monday. Santa Fe’s boys finished with a score of 339 and the Demon girls finished with 372 strokes. Both the Demon boys and girls placed two individuals in the top five, while Dillon Haraden picked up the individual boys championship with his score of 77.
Los Alamos’ Emma Haines was the team’s top finisher. Haines finished tied for fourth on the leaderboard with a round of 92, equal to Santa Fe’s Robyn West.
Haines, a sophomore, earned her second state qualification leg of the 2011-12 season, one short of clinching a berth in next week’s state tournament. Haines just missed out on legs several times throughout the season, but she said things went well for her.
“I’m really proud of what I did,” said Haines, the team’s No. 1 player. “Being a sophomore going to state is pretty crazy. I’m proud.”
Los Alamos’ girls placed four players in the top 10 individually Monday. Along with Haines, eighth grader Faith Koh had a big day, coming in under triple-digits for the first time in her career with her 98. Emily Stearns and Bri Sanderson also cracked the top 10.
On the boys side, Raul Roybal paced the Hilltoppers with an 82.
Roybal might have been in the hunt for an individual title after finishing the first half of his round at 1-over par but got into trouble on hole No. 8 to fall off the pace.
Nevertheless, Roybal said he was striking the ball well throughout his round.
“It was my irons and my fairway shots that were probably the best,” he said. “I also had some pretty good drives on a couple of par-4s.”
The Hilltoppers’ No. 1, Johnny Osden, had a steady round, finishing with an 86, good enough for sixth place.
Osden and Haines have been steady throughout the season and Los Alamos head coach Mike Lippiatt said both players could be impact players this fall.
Also Monday, Hilltopper senior Jin Park finished his career shooting a 90. Deion Fellers had a 96 and Greg Ahlers, wrapping up his first competitive golf season, shot a 101.
On the girls’ side, Shannelle Tafoya had an 82 to earn the district individual title. For Los Alamos, Stearns finished with a 100, Sanderson had a 109 and Emily Johnson shot a 131.
“As a team, we did good,” Haines said. “We got our first tournament win in the fall and we’ve improved pretty much every tournament since.”