AURORA | Seeking its best-ever finish in the East Metro Athletic Conference standings, the Rangeview boys golf team got off to an excellent start.
Led by senior Raymond Simanjuntak, coach Merlin Johnson’s Raiders posted a third-place finish Thursday at Meadow Hills Golf Course in the first of the two EMAC major tournaments — featuring both the North and South divisions — that determine the final league order.
The last few groups of the tournament had to come in early due to a fast-arriving downpour, but it had no bearing on the final outcome.
With a new format that counts three scores instead of four, Rangeview posted an Aurora-best team score of 258 to finish 14 strokes behind Brighton and 24 in back of winner Prairie View. Seniors Simanjuntak and Jonathan Kim led the charge for the Raiders, as both finished in the top eight individually.
“It was a great day, I didn’t expect that,” Johnson said of his team’s performance, which came with no chance for a warm-up tournament like the South Division teams usually have at Springhill.
Shaking off the rust of a summer where he didn’t play much golf, Simanjuntak played a steady opening round with the No. 1 group and finished with an 82, which put him in a three-way tie for third place overall with two golfers from team winner Prairie View.
Simanjuntak earned first team all-league honors last season when he came in fourth individually after two rounds, as he helped the Raiders to a fourth-place finish.
“He said he was just consistent and that he had some bad holes, but he recovered well,” Johnson said. “For not playing much and this is not an easy course by any means, he was happy.”
Kim, younger brother of Josh Kim — a two-time Class 5A state qualifier for Rangeview in 2008 and 2010 — turned in the most pleasant surprise for Johnson in this season’s opener with an 85, good enough for eighth.
“He was having fun out there,” Johnson said.
Sophomore Levi Robinson’s 91 rounded out the scoring for the Raiders, who came in 13 strokes ahead of fourth-place Northglenn, the team that finished in front of them last year for third place behind winner Prairie View and runner-up Brighton.
Gateway coach Brian Dossey had just three players entered in seniors Luke Hemphill and Joseph Miller and sophomore Saben Brooks, so all three scores were counted to put the Olys fifth with a score of 322.
Hemphill, a second team all-league performer last season, paced Gateway with a 101, which put him two strokes ahead of Miller.
Aurora Central finished seventh out of seven scoring teams, with Jesse Salcido’s 115 leading the way for coach Larry Taylor’s inexperienced team. A few Trojans in the final groups had their rounds ended early by the downpour.
The second EMAC major is scheduled for 11 a.m. Sept. 9 at Heritage at Todd Creek, where the scores will determine the final league standings and determine destinations of teams for 5A regional state qualifying tournaments.
Courtney Oakes is Sports Editor of the Aurora Sentinel. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Aurora Prep Sentinel
EMAC MAJOR NO. 1 BOYS GOLF TOURNAMENT
Aug. 13 at Meadow Hills Golf Course
Team scores: 1. Prairie View 234, 2. Brighton 244; 3. RANGEVIEW 258; 4. Northglenn 271; 5. GATEWAY 322; 6. Westminster 366; 7. AURORA CENTRAL 370; Adams City no score
Top 10 individuals: 1. Taron Ford (Prairie View) 74; 2. Ryan Kropp (Brighton) 77; T3. RAYMOND SIMANJUNTAK (RANGEVIEW) 82; T3. Hunter Nicholas (Prairie View) 82; T3. Carter Nordhus (Prairie View) 82; 6. Davis Williams (Brighton) 83; 7. Chaz Hunter (Brighton) 84; 8. JONATHAN KIM (RANGEVIEW) 85; 9. Rafael Delgado (Northglenn) 86; 10. Austin Ross (Brighton) 87
Aurora team-by-team results (in order of finish)
Rangeview (258): Raymond Simanjuntak 82, Jonathan Kim 85, Levi Robinson 91, Jared Clanton 100; Daniel Smith 103; Gateway (322): Luke Hemphill 101, Joseph Miller 103, Saben Brooks 118; Aurora Central (370): Jesse Salcido 115, Iojan Ledezma 121, R’Ron Fisher 134, Dat Phoung 140, Abraham Pizano WD
Other team-by-team results (in order of finish)
Brighton (244): Ryan Kropp 77, Davis Williams 83, Chaz Hunter 84, Austin Ross 87, Justin Kanda 93; Prairie View (234): Hunter Nicholas 78, Carter Nordhus 82, Justin Carter 88, Jacob Jose 95; Northglenn (271): Rafael Delgado 86, Manny Rivera 92, Joe Patten 93, Jerod King 94; Westminster (366): Brandon Giron 97, Sam Johnson 127, Matthew Mitchell 142, Garrett McLimore 149; Adams City (NS): Aaron Montoya 96, Julian Vasquez 138, Marco Rosales WD