An Aurora girls golf team failed to win a state championship as a team for the first time since 2013, but an individual title trend continued.
Though Grandview wasn’t able to defend its Class 5A state championship from 2016 — which came on the heels of a two-year run for Regis Jesuit — the Wolves had an individual winner in sophomore Amy Chitkoksoong.
Chitkoksoong highlights the Aurora Sentinel’s 2017 All-Aurora Girls Golf Team, full of players who earned their way onto it with their performances at the 5A and 4A state tournaments.
The group includes two players each from Grandview (Chitkoksoong and Caitlin O’Donnell) and Regis Jesuit (Jaclyn Murray and Katie Berrian), plus individuals Amisha Singh (Smoky Hill) and Kyree Conaway (Vista PEAK).
Chitkoksoong finished second behind graduated Regis Jesuit standout Mary Weinstein at last season’s 5A state tournament and took the title this time by winning a three-hole playoff against Highlands Ranch’s Jenny Chun.
Chitkoksoong won the Centennial League individual title for a second straight season and helped Grandview win the team league crown by a single stroke as well. She played her best golf at the end of the season and her steady performance in the second round earned her a chance to win the state title.
She and Chun both finished at plus-10 after two rounds at the challenging Club at Rolling Hills and went toe-to-toe in a playoff. Chitkoksoong (who shot 78 and 76 in her state rounds, respectively) prevailed with a bogey putt on the third hole to become the program’s first individual state a champion, a year after she placed second.
Like all of her teammates, O’Donnell came away frustrated by the results of the first day of the state tournament, but mentally refocused and improved in her second round. O’Donnell shaved seven shots off her first-round performance to move into 22nd place, a definite rise from her 30th-place showing last season.
Murray made the All-Aurora team for the fourth time in as many seasons thanks to her 13th-place result. Though she wasn’t able to better the seventh-place finish she had in 2016, Murray (who shot 161 for the tournament) came in just one stroke behind a logjam of four other players who tied for ninth.
Berrian admitted to some nerves in her first state tournament, which in part contributed to a 17-over 89. She steadied herself in the second round, however, to make one of the most dramatic turnarounds. Berrian shot 14 strokes better in the final round — with a 3-over 75 that was one stroke better than Chitkoksoong for Aurora’s best — to climb up the leaderboard into a tie for 16th.
Singh tied for 13th last season in her state debut and managed another top 20 result when she came in tied for 18th.
Smoky Hill’s lone player during the regular season, Singh won the regional tournament to get into state with solid putting, but that turned out to be one of her struggles at the state tournament. Much of that had to do with the fast greens on the state course, which also featured a number of greens that punished shots with too much pace. Singh followed an opening round 85 with an 81.
Vista PEAK’s rise to prominence continued as the Bison secured the program’s highest team and individual state finish.
In head coach Michael Dougherty’s final state tournament before he departs the job, Conaway earned the first medal in program history as she tied for 10th in play at the Colorado National Golf Club in Erie.
An opening-round 80 gave Conaway a shot of confidence, however, she woke up the next morning feeling under the weather. Definitely not at her best, Conaway grinded her way to a 90 that put her in a tie for ninth.
Vista PEAK used Conaway’s finish on its way to a program-best team finish of fifth.
Courtney Oakes is Aurora Sentinel Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Aurora Prep Sentinel
2017 AURORA SENTINEL ALL-AURORA GIRLS GOLF TEAM
Katie Berrian, Regis Jesuit, fr.; Amy Chitkoksoong, Grandview, soph.; Kyree Conaway, Vista PEAK, jr.; Caitlin O’Donnell, Grandview, jr.; Jaclyn Murray, Regis Jesuit, sr.; Amisha Singh, Smoky Hill, soph.
Eliannah Angel-Lucero, Regis Jesuit, soph.; Skylar Cain, Regis Jesuit, fr.; Kamryn Crouthers, Eaglecrest, jr.; Gabriella Ello, Cherokee Trail, fr.; Brooke Kramer, Cherokee Trail, jr.; Sharae Lewis, Grandview, sr.; Alix Mees, Cherokee Trail, sr.; Morgan Ryan, Grandview, soph.; Julia Shaver, Eaglecrest, jr.