Palisade’s Smith wins 4A regional golf title
Palisade High School senior Kyler Smith started his day with four birdies en route to a 2-under-par 70 and his second straight Class 4A Western Regional boys golf title.
Smith didn’t card another birdie the rest of the way, but he limited his bogeys to two as he shot his lowest round of the season and qualified for the 4A state meet for the third year in a row. He will be joined at state Oct. 1–2 at Cobble Creek Golf Course in Montrose by teammate Skyler Miller, who shot a 74 to finish sixth and earn his first state berth.
“I just went out and relaxed,” Smith said, adding he didn’t give much thought to Montezuma-Cortez’s No. 1 player, Jacob Rudosky, having the advantage of playing on his home course. “I just wanted to qualify for state.”
Rudosky shot a 72 to tie Montrose’s Riley Willis for second and paced the Panthers as they took advantage of home cooking to win the team title with a 226 at Conquistador Golf Course in Cortez.
Rifle, however, made Montezuma-Cortez go an extra hole to secure the state berth. Both teams sent their four players out on No. 18, a par-5, and Rudosky delivered the shot that did in the Bears. He eagled the playoff hole, knocking in a wedge shot from more than 100 yards out.
Rifle, however, still will play at Cobble Creek as a team because three Bears — Triston Quigley (73), Ty Caron (74) and Danny Bartels (79) — shot rounds that qualified them for state individually.
“Those guys showed up today,” Rifle coach Jordan Smith said. “We were kind of keyed in from the beginning.”
Quigley started his round with an eagle and a birdie.
Montrose finished third, five strokes off the winning pace, but Willis was the lone Montrose player to qualify individually. Two of his teammates retain slight hope of getting into the field: Jacob Hebbel and Cole Brennecke finished 11th and 12th and are state-tourney alternates.
3A Western Regional: The 3A regional also was played at Conquistador Golf Course on Tuesday, and Aspen took the team title, qualifying its team for state, and Vail Christian was second.
Vail Christian went the same route as Rifle, though, to the state tourney as a team: All four of its players shot rounds that qualified individually.
The 3A state meet will be Oct. 1–2 at Pinehurst Country Club in Denver.
Fruita Monument lost the first game but bounced back to beat Montrose 21-25, 25-22, 25-17, 21-25, 15-12. Loryn Chiapuzio had 11 kills, and Eiley Durham had 10 kills for the Wildcats.
Glenwood Springs 3, Palisade 2: The Demons won the final two games to fend off Palisade, 25-17, 23-25, 13-25, 25-22, 15-10. Morgan Thieszen had 19 kills for Palisade.
Spencer Jackson scored two first-half goals to propel Palisade to a 2-1 victory over Glenwood Springs. Goalie Conner Carey made 18 saves for the Bulldogs.
Grand Junction dropped only one game in a 7-0 victory at Montrose. Only the No. 1 doubles team of Tate Hegstrom and Jake Filutze lost a game, but still breezed to a 6-1, 6-0 victory.
Fruita Monument 5, Central 2: The Wildcats swept the four doubles matches, led by Kelson Reimer and Taylor Scofield, who won 6-0, 6-0 at No. 1.
“They started in the zone and never left it,” Fruita Monument coach Clint Davis said of Reimer and Scofield. “They’ve showed the ability to play like this, but today they put it together for 12 dominating games.”
Montrose scored eight runs in the third inning with Caitlin Warner delivering the big hit, a two-run home run, as the Indians defeated Palisade 12-1 in five innings.
Danica DeLahoz had two hits and two RBI for the Bulldogs (6-6).
Rifle 13, Delta 4: Rifle was led at the plate by Samantha Patterson and Emma Speer, who each had two doubles and four RBI.