Central's Medina has career day in 2nd round of 5A state tourney

Central’s Samantha Medina follows through on her drive Tuesday on the fifth hole at Tiara Rado Golf Course. Medina shot an 83, the best round of her career, during the second day of the Class 5A state tournament.

Take that, snowman.

One day after an 8 on par-3 No 12 at Tiara Rado Golf Course spoiled an otherwise respectable first-round for Samantha Medina, the Central High School junior made amends Tuesday.

She started her second round in the Class 5A girls golf state championships on the back nine, faced No. 12 as her third hole of the day and put it in its place.

There was no wild unplayable shot off to the left like Monday. This time Medina planted her tee shot 15 feet from the pin and carded a par.

It came on the heels of her most impressive hole of the day, a birdie on No. 11, and she was on her way to a career-best round of 83, a 10-stroke improvement over Day 1. She concluded her first state appearance with a 176, tied for 34th place in a field of 83 golfers.

Her round Tuesday and her overall score were the lowest posted by the seven Grand Valley-area golfers in the tourney.

“I’d have to say consistency was my strong point,” Medina said of Tuesday’s performance. “I definitely hit it straight.

“My driver was definitely a lot longer today as well as my long woods. My approaches were a lot better and made putting easier.”

Medina’s round Tuesday included 34 putts. Her putt total the day before? “A lot more than 34,” she said.

Medina finished the back nine in 39 strokes instead of Monday’s 50, then nearly mirrored her first-round score on the front nine, needing one more stroke Tuesday for a 44.

“The back nine definitely killed me yesterday, and today it saved me,” Medina said.

Central coach Casey Doss claims there’s a great golfer just waiting to break out in Medina, and Tuesday was a sampling of what could be.

“I’ve been telling her all along she’s got it in her,” Doss said. “Hopefully that’s something she can build on through the summer, because she has that ability. She just needs to eliminate a few mistakes, and she’ll be breaking 80.”

Medina plans to put in the work, saying, “We’re going to go through a big change this summer.” That includes getting new clubs, taking some lessons and working on her swing consistency, she added.

Central stayed put in the team standings, finishing 12th overall in the 16-team field with a 559.

Senior Jordan Eller struggled on the front nine and carded a 101 on Tuesday, finishing at 190, 49th overall, for the Warriors. Senior teammate Kiana Garcia was three strokes and four places behind her with a 193 after shooting a second-round 96, and Central junior Taylor Head shot 107 on Tuesday to finish at 217.

Grand Junction finished 13th as a team, and senior Maya Freismuth closed her career with a 188 on two rounds of 94 in her first state appearance. She tied for 47th place.

Tigers junior Shafer Rubalcaba shot a 96 on Tuesday and finished 55th with a 195, and sophomore Ryann Tufly shot a 102 on Tuesday and 209 for the tourney.

Finally a title for Ringsby

Cherry Creek’s Calli Ringsby was a model of consistency as she broke through during her junior season to win the Class 5A championship that narrowly eluded her the previous two years.

Ringsby fired tourney-low rounds of 73 each day for a 146, claiming the title by seven strokes after entering the day with a two-shot lead over three players.

She did the same thing Tuesday that she did Monday, shooting 1-under-par 35 on the front and two-over 38 on the back.

Pars were bountiful Tuesday as her second round included two birdies, one bogey and one double-bogey. The rest were pars.

Ringsby was glad to win the individual state title after placing second at state as a freshman and fourth as a sophomore. She also had double the delight when Cherry Creek, with 470 strokes, won its third team state title in a row, holding off Arapahoe by five strokes. But she kept her emotions in check afterward the same way she did on the course, where she said her shots and her attitude were consistent.

“I didn’t get too low or too high,” she said. “I stayed even-keel, which is kind of my personality.”

Any celebration Tuesday night was going to be low-key, as Ringsby said, “There’s no school tomorrow, so maybe I’ll hang out with friends.”

But school isn’t out yet, as final exams remain.

“I’ll probably have to study for finals,” she said. “Real fun, right?”


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