CARBONDALE - Silver Creek's Jackson Solem came into the final round of the Class 4A boys state golf tournament knowing what it was like to win the individual title.
What he didn't know was how hard it is to repeat that accomplishment a year later.
"It's really hard," an emotional Solem said at the conclusion of Tuesday's round.
Solem shot a 3-under par 67 on the second day and with a bogey from Discovery Canyon's Luke Trujillo, went to a playoff for a chance to repeat as state champion.
Both players made par on the ninth and went directly back to the tee box to play it again. While Solem's drive went right of the fairway he still got to the fringe just off the green with a chance to make biride.
But he didn't feel like he needed a birdie.
"Pars win playoffs," he said. "(I needed to) get the job done and play smart."
His birdie chance rolled past the hole, rolling about five feet beyond it. Trujillo made his par putt, forcing Solem into a do-or-die situation.
His putt pushed just left of the hole and it was Trujillo who came away as this year's state champion. His teammates at Discovery Canyon also celebrated as they ran away with the team title.
"I was expecting him to make it," Trujillo said. "He's a great player. I was expecting him to make it with the mindset that we would have to go to another playoff."
A year ago, Solem went into the final day trailing by three strokes but made a run to come back and claim the title. So when he entered Tuesday down four, it wasn't something he was overly nervous about.
He birdied two of his first three holes and also biridied the eighth to put him at 3-under on the day. Then he hit a string of pars. And although they didn't hurt him, just one more biridie could've made him a two-time champion.
"(It hurt) not getting the breaks that you think would eventually happen," Raptors coach Ryan Williams said. "He didn't leave more than two or three putts short all day and nothing fell."
For the last 10 holes, each putt that came up just short, or just to the side ended up representing the way that Solem felt when play finally ended.
"Almost," he said. "Almost good enough for something that hasn't been done very many times."
The Raptors finished fourth as a team, shooting 26-over through the course of the two days. T.J. Shehee shot 12-over and Garrett Stansel shot 18-over, with Dietrich Berning going 33-over.
Niwot also finished in the top 10 in the team standings and were led by Max Kuesel, who ended 13-over on the tournament.
Jake Butler was right behind him at 15-over and Jack Hoover (28-over) and Andrew Elliot (30-over) rounded out the Cougars' effort on the week.
Erie's Caleb Humble ended his state tournament at 35-over between the two days.
Class 4A state tournament, Final
At River Valley Ranch, Carbondale
Team scores — 1. Discovery Canyon, 438; 2. Montrose, 453; 3. Valor Christian, 457; 4. Silver Creek, 458; 5. Evergreen, 473; 6. Palmer Ridge, 474; T7. Golden, 488; T7. Niwot, 488; T9. Steamboat Springs, 499; T9. Falcon, 499; 11. Mullen, 5-4; 12. Pueblo County, 507; 13. Pueblo West, 527.
Top individuals — 1. Trujillo, Discovery Canyon (67-73) 140; 2. Solem, Silver Creek (71-69) 140; 3. Krantz, Windsor (70-71) 141; T4. Edwards, Thompson Valley (74-71) 145; T4. Mihavetz, Montrose (73-72) 145; 6. Severin, Roosevelt (72-75) 147; T7. Jones, Eagle Valley (74-74) 148; T7. Casias, Pueblo South (74-74) 148; T7. Stangebye, Montrose (71-77) 148.
Other local results — T24. Shehee, Silver Creek (82-74) 156; 28. Kuesel, Niwot (80-77) 157; T30. Butler, Niwot (78-81) 159; T38. Stansel, Silver Creek (80-82) 162; T58. Hoover, Niwot (85-87) 172; T62. Elliott, Niwot (86-88) 174; .T68. Berning, Silver Creek (84-93) 177; T70. Humble, Erie (82-97) 179.