The winds that had whipped through Durango the past few days subsided for the Durango Invitational on Monday at Hillcrest Golf Club, and the Demons took advantage.
The host Durango High School girls golf team fired a team score of 275 to win its home tournament that consisted of five teams.
“I think it’s great; I think it’s one of the better performances as a team since I’ve been coaching the last 10 years,” DHS head coach Kirk Rawles said. “I’m really optimistic about this team and what we have.”
Piedra Vista High School of Farmington placed second with a score of 283, and Dolores was third with a 304. Kirtland Central shot a 318 and Farmington shot a 338 for fifth place.
Shandiin Harper of Piedra Vista took medalist honors with a 10-over-par 81.
“She’s been playing well,” Piedra Vista coach Charles Druar said of Harper. “She’s been able to get her game in line, and her driver and fairway woods have gotten a lot better, so she’s in play all the time. Hopefully she can keep this going and be ready for state in a couple of weeks.”
Lilly Tichi led DHS with a 91, which was good for second overall and marked the second week in a row the freshman posted the low round for the Demons.
Tichi said playing the familiar course at Hillcrest helped her maintain her poise during the round.
“I think it was just the experience of knowing where to aim and what to do,” she said. “You know where there’s trouble and hazards. I think it made it a lot easier to play.”
Right behind Tichi were Durango’s Quinn Griswold and Madalen Meier, who both shot 92 to tie for third place.
Faith Mewmaw shot a 103 and Grace Meyer shot a 110 to round out the Demons’ roster.
With so many of the Demons posting rounds close in score, Rawles and Tichi said the Demons have created a good competition among themselves that helps push each other to shoot lower scores.
“(Rawles) told me, ‘Just beat one of them, and they’ll train harder to get better and then you’ll train harder to get better,’” Tichi said. “Then, we’ll get overall (lower) scores and keep getting better and better.”
Four teams from New Mexico made the trip north to compete in a boys tournament, which Piedra Vista ran away with. The Panthers posted a team score of 217 and were led by eighth-grader Quinn Yost, who posted a 2-under 69.
“I really hadn’t been hitting the ball very well coming into this tournament, but obviously something clicked,” Yost said. “I hit a lot of greens; I think I hit 16 greens and my putting was pretty good. Everything really came together.”
Unlike Colorado, New Mexico’s boys and girls play golf year-round with the state tournament for both held in the spring. The boys in Colorado play in the fall, and the girls play in the spring.
Twin brothers Trey and Tyler Diehl shot matching 74s for the Panthers.
Farmington was second with a 264, followed by Kirtland Central’s 272 and Shiprock’s 297.
The DHS girls were scheduled to play at Conquistador Golf Course on Tuesday in Cortez, but the weather forecast is calling for winds that could reach 50 mph, which forced the Demons to cancel their trip.