Regis Jesuit's Sofia Vigil
Regis Jesuit’s Sofia Vigil has been a member of two Class 4A state championship teams in the past three seasons and helps the Raiders make their move up to 5A this season. (Courtney Oakes/Aurora Sentinel)
Regis Jesuit’s Sofia Vigil has been a member of two Class 4A state championship teams in the past three seasons and helps the Raiders make their move up to 5A this season. (Courtney Oakes/Aurora Sentinel)

Most of the girls golf season thus far has taken place indoors, but Aurora can unleash plenty of talent on the links when the time comes.

Regis Jesuit has been a dominant force in Class 4A for several seasons and won its second state championship in three seasons a year ago, but will take on a new challenge this season in 5A.


Coach George Miller’s Raiders bring three holdovers in seniors Sofia Vigil and Lauren Richardson and sophomore Sydney Gillespie, plus add a talented freshman in Mary Weinstein.

“The biggest difference is going to be the number of good teams; there are a lot more of them in 5A,” said Miller, whose team posted a 13-stroke victory in last season’s 4A state tournament.

“We’re not expecting to run out and win the state championship this year, but I think we’ll definitely be competitive,” he added.

Though the Raiders graduated No. 1 player Kathleen Kershisnik — who lost in a playoff for the individual state title last season — they have back one member of their 2010 and 2012 4A state championship teams in Vigil.

Miller expects plenty of leadership from Vigil, who will serve as a team captain and lends three previous seasons of varsity experience. She and Richardson, another team captain, both tied for 20th at state last season.

Gillespie is seeking to follow up a strong freshman season in which she tied for 5th at state. Arriving on the scene is another young talent in Weinstein, whose older brother Chris helped the Regis Jesuit boys to the first of three straight 5A state titles in 2010.

The question is how the Raiders will stack up against 5A competition on a regular basis. They see plenty when they play in Continental League tournaments, but it will be a different story when they reach the Metro East Regional, which includes Centennial League powerhouses Arapahoe and Cherry Creek — winners of the last three 5A state titles — already.

Grandview has an impact freshman of its own in Morgan Sahm, an elite youth golfer who is expected to give coach Mary Danielson’s team a big boost.

Grandview Invitational Girls Golf 3.18.13
Grandview freshman Morgan Sahm. (Courtney Oakes/Aurora Sentinel)

Sahm — who qualified for the 36th U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship in Neshanic Station, N.J., over the summer — has posted rounds of 76, 79 and 88 thus far.

“Morgan puts a lot of pressure on herself, but she’ll definitely be one to watch,” said Danielson, who has another freshman, Emily Jung, expected to play in her top five along with sophomore Caroline O’Donnell and others.

Eaglecrest is paced by senior Jamie Griffin, a three-time 5A state qualifier who was a regular among the top 10 finishers in Centennial League tournaments last season.

Griffin plans to work toward becoming a course golf pro instead of playing in college and will attend the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs next year.

“The pressure is off Jamie now, so I think we’ll see her play some pretty good golf this season,” Paolucci said of Griffin, who finished 18th at last season’s 5A state tournament and is a big help in guiding young players.

Rangeview has two returning 5A state qualifiers in juniors Danae Bushman and Julia Kim, plus a four-year varsity player in senior captain Jaclyn Hickey.

Coach Rob Schurich believes the Raiders could finally nail down the elusive EMAC championship and has the potential to get the first three-player team into state in school history.

Reach Sports Editor Courtney Oakes at or 303-750-7555


Eaglecrest's Jamie Griffin
Eaglecrest senior Jamie Griffin. (Marla R. Keown/Aurora Sentinel)

Key dates — First day of competition: Feb. 28; Regional tournaments: May 6-10; State tournaments: May 20-21 (5A at Tiara Rado, Grand Junction; 4A at Broken Tee, Englewood)

5A Metro East Regional (May 6 at South Suburban G.C.) — Aurora teams: Cherokee Trail, Eaglecrest, Grandview, Overland, Regis Jesuit, Smoky Hill; Other teams: Abraham Lincoln, Arapahoe, Cherry Creek, Denver East, George Washington, Heritage, Littleton

5A Metro West Regional (May 6, 8 a.m., Raccoon Creek G.C.) — Aurora teams: Aurora Central, Gateway, Hinkley, Rangeview; Other teams: Arvada West, Bear Creek, Brighton, Chatfield, Columbine, Dakota Ridge, Lakewood, Northglenn, Pomona, Prairie View, Ralston Valley, Standley Lake, Thornton, Westminster

Aurora golfers to watch — Danae Bushman, Rangeview, jr.*; Sydney Gillespie, Regis Jesuit, soph.*; Jamie Griffin, Eaglecrest, sr.*; Jaclyn Hickey, Rangeview, sr.; Faith Hope, Cherokee Trail, sr.; Katie Jeddeloh, Smoky Hill, jr.; Julia Kim, Rangeview, jr.*; Caroline O’Donnell, Grandview, soph.; Lauren Richardson, Regis Jesuit, sr.*; Morgan Sahm, Grandview, fr.; Jasmine Trevizo, Rangeview, soph.; Sofia Vigil, Regis Jesuit, sr.*; Mary Weinstein, Regis Jesuit, fr.; Lindsay Wells, Cherokee Trail, sr.

* — Returning state qualifier

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...