Indians surge into lead
Palisade freshman learning plenty in debut
COLORADO SPRINGS — Someday, hopefully soon, Aly Shuman hopes to match scores with her older, more experienced counterparts.
But Shuman, only a freshman, doesn’t want to lean on her greenhorn status as an excuse. Still, the Palisade High School golfer struggled mightily Monday at The Country Club of Colorado, settling for a 110, 38 over par, in her Class 4A state girls golf tournament debut.
“I expected better,” Shuman said. “It wasn’t the best round of my life, but definitely not the worst, either. There were a lot of things that could have gone better. I tried to stay away from water and trouble, and it didn’t work out too well.”
At the other end of the spectrum, Montrose finished the day on top of the team standings, led by an 87 from senior Jordan Cherry. The Indians led another group of Indians, the defending state champions from Cheyenne Mountain, by three strokes.
Also for Montrose, senior Chelsea Peterson and state rookie Mikayla McKie carded rounds of 90, and Brooke Brennecke, another first-timer, ended the round with a 93.
Rifle senior Alyx Carter shot a 100.
In all, the top five teams were separated by only nine shots in a round when all but one of the golfers in the 84-player field failed by break 80. Jefferson Academy’s Jennifer Kupcho shot an even-par 72 and has a nine-stroke lead on everybody else.
Cherry didn’t put much stock in seeing Montrose on top of the standings at the tournament’s halfway point.
“It’s nice to be in a good standing, but it doesn’t mean anything at this point,” said Cherry, a three-time Class 4A state tournament qualifier. “Having been here before, we know about the nerves, and we can better prepare for that.”
In the team standings, Montrose had the day’s best round with a 251. But with Cheyenne Mountain (254), Valor Christian (255), Estes Park (256) and Colorado Academy (260) all easily within striking distance, Monday’s first round pretty much served the purpose of calming a few early jitters.
Even Broomfield, sixth in the team standings at 265, can’t be overlooked.
“We never set a goal for the first day,” said Montrose coach Jim Scarry, whose Indians finished third in last year’s team standings behind Cheyenne Mountain and Valor Christian. “We wanted to get through the first day without any major blowups, and we wanted to be in position to contend on the second day. I think we’re there.”
Shuman wants to get there too, and knows she will be if she puts in the time. She remembers a conversation with Cherry two weeks ago at the regional tournament.
“The seniors around here have worked very hard for everything they have,” Shuman said. “When I talked to Jordan at regionals, she told me she double-bogeyed the last hole and still got a 78. I can’t wait until the day when I can do that. That’s what I’m working for, to get to that goal where I can compete with girls like Jordan and Chelsea.”