Aurora’s best girls golfers felt they had some unfinished business at the end of the 2015 season, but it didn’t put much of a damper on an outstanding year.
An extremely rare cancellation of the second round of the Class 5A state tournament — which fell victim to drenching rain May 19 at The Olde Course in Loveland — made the season-ending results based on just one round to the chagrin of all.
Still, the five players who make up the 2015 Aurora Sentinel All-City Girls Golf Team — which is based on performance at the state tournament — were the tops around the city all season long.
The Regis Jesuit trio of senior Sydney Gillespie, junior Mary Weinstein and sophomore Jaclyn Murray preserved their schools’ streak of winning at least one boys or girls state championship. The other two first-teamers, Grandview junior Morgan Sahm and senior Caroline O’Donnell, helped lead the Wolves to a program-best fourth-place team finish.
Gillespie, who won the individual Continental League title as well as the Northern League crown, finished second individually after shooting a 2-under-par 70 in the opening round. She didn’t get a chance to catch friend Gillian Vance of Dakota Ridge — who shot 4-under — when the second round was scrubbed.
“I did everything I could do on the first day to put myself in position,” Gillespie said. “It was still great to win the championship. We had a lot of support from the school because they want the championship as much as we do.”
Gillespie, a Colorado Christian University signee, won three state championship in four years.
Aside from winning the state championship, Sahm had a season nearly on par with Gillespie’s.
She won the individual Centennial League title and finished as the Southern Regional winner as well with a 1-under-par 70, achieving both at CommonGround G.C.
At state, Sahm shot a plus-1 73 to finish tied for third, which gave her three top-nine individual state finishes in three seasons.
“I’m actually really happy with the way I performed this season,” she said. “I think I had only one really awful tournament. Obviously every round you can drop a couple of strokes, but overall I’m happy.”
Weinstein and Murray each played crucial roles again in winning the state championship for coach George Miller’s team, as they both finished in the top 10. Each also won a league tournament.
With a 3-over-par 75, Weinstein finished tied for seventh at state.
“It wasn’t completely horrible, but I had a lot of opportunities to hit better shots,” Weinstein said. “I had Coach Miller walk with me, which I normally don’t do, and I stayed calm…It was nice to get back-to-back wins for Regis.”
Murray’s typically strong iron game deserted her at state, which made her work harder than usual for her ninth-place state total of 76.
“It was a little disappointing that it happened at state, but I’ve got it fixed,” she said. “It’s nice that even when we don’t have our A games, we can still come through.”
O’Donnell’s nerves played much less of a role in her second trip to state and she showed it with a 10-stroke improvement.
Still, she believed there was room to be even better.
“I felt like I didn’t play my best on the first day and I had a lot of mistakes,” O’Donnell said of her 83. “I was ready to correct them and do better, so it was kind of sad we didn’t get to play again.”
2015 Aurora Sentinel All-city Girls golf team
First team: Sydney Gillespie, Regis Jesuit, sr.; Jaclyn Murray, Regis Jesuit, soph.; Caroline O’Donnell, Grandview, sr.; Morgan Sahm, Grandview, jr.; Mary Weinstein, Regis Jesuit, jr.
Honorable mention: Sam Chaney, Vista PEAK (4A), soph.; Emily Jung, Grandview, jr.; Caitlin O’Donnell, Grandview, fr.; Kylee Shepard, Vista PEAK (4A), jr.; Ali Timlin, Regis Jesuit, jr.; Sydney Yu, Cherokee Trail, jr.