WESTMINSTER | Smoky Hill’s Chris Kennedy knows his way to the Class 5A boys state golf tournament by now and he earned himself a chance to go for the fourth time as he made it out of Monday’s Class 5A Central Regional.


Kennedy shot a 5-over-par 77 at Legacy Ridge Golf Course to finish in a tie for ninth place and earn the only state qualifying berth among Aurora players from the regional, which also included Aurora Central.

Smoky Hill coach Jim Riesenman said that Kennedy became the program’s first four-time state qualifier with his performance.

Kennedy opened strong with an eagle on the par-5 Hole No. 3 followed by a birdie on No. 5 that had him as low as 2-under-par. He was at plus-2 with two holes remaining, but a bogey on No. 17 and double bogey on No. 18 dropped him down a few spots individually.

The Buffaloes, who also got an 84 from Jose Blea and 89 from Ryan Keohane, finished in ninth place in the 15-team field.

Aurora Central also played in the regional, but was unable to qualify anybody for state.

Rofi Nasir paced the Trojans with a 95.

Valor Christian and Fairview grabbed the two automatic team qualifying spots in the 5A state tournament as both shot 223, while the Eagles also had the individual champion in Jake Welch, who finished at 4-under-par.

Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Sentinel Prep Sports


Sept. 17 at Legacy Ridge G.C.

Team scores (par 216): T1. Valor Christian 223; T1. Fairview 223; 3. Denver East 229; 4. Cherry Creek 231; 5. Boulder 236; 6. Arvada West 237; 7. Rock Canyon 238; 8. Heritage 247; 9. SMOKY HILL 250; 10. Rampart 251; 11. Greeley West 258; 12. Fort Collins 260; 13. Pomona 268; 14. AURORA CENTRAL 325; 15. Thornton 338

Top 15 individuals (par 72): 1. Jake Welch (Valor Christian) 68; 2. Ryan Sangchompuphen (Denver East) 72; 3. Brett Reamon (Fairview) 73; 4. Ryder Heuston (Fairview) 74; T5. Jack Leibold (Heritage) 75; T5. Cade Kilkenny (Cherry Creek) 75; T7. Ty Findlow (Valor Christian) 76; T7. William Chadwick (Fairview) 76; T9. CHRIS KENNEDY (SMOKY HILL) 77; T9. Hendrik Dekoning (Denver East) 77; T9. Zach Tyson (Arvada West) 77; T9. Tyler Tyson (Arvada West) 77; T13. Carter Kovarik (Cherry Creek) 78; T13. Noah Vrencur (Fairview) 78; T13. Quinn Mosch (Cherry Creek) 78; T13. Nick Fallin (Rock Canyon) 78; T13. Jaden Park (Boulder) 78; T13. Grant Alqatami (Boulder) 78

Aurora team-by-team results (in order of finish)

Smoky Hill (250): Chris Kennedy 77 (state qualifier); Jose Blea 84; Ryan Keohane 89; Samuel Fruitman 111; Aurora Central (325): Rofi Nasir 95; Rofiul Kader 109; Bradly Guriule 121; Andy Oteng 173

Courtney Oakes is sports Editor and photographer with Sentinel Colorado. A Denver East High School alum. He came to the Sentinel in 2001 and since then has received a number of professional awards from...