AURORA — When imagining how a top 10 boys golf team might be constructed, one would logically assume that a number of veteran players would be a major piece of the puzzle.
The Fairview Knights went a different route this season.
On Tuesday at CommonGround Golf Course, the Knights wrapped up the two-day Class 5A state tournament in a tie for ninth place in the team scoring. To be among the 14 teams that qualified a full team for the state tournament is hard enough. The Knights finished top 10 with two sophomores, a junior and just one senior made head coach John Zerwin a happy man.
"I'm really pleased with it," Zerwin said. "We had a really young team and finishing ninth at state is a pretty big accomplishment for us. We had two sophomores, a junior and a senior here today and they played great. It was a great learning experience and going forward, we're going to be all the more better for it."
Leading the way for the Knights, sophomore Ryder Heuston tied for sixth place overall in his first appearance at the state tournament. In his second and final round of play, Heuston carded a 3-over 74 and finished 4-over for the tournament.
"I'm extremely pleased," Heuston said. "It was definitely a big goal for me to get top 10. Once I started playing and realized I could compete with these guys, I started to think I could make a run at the top 10. Overall, my mental game was strong and I gave myself plenty of chances to score."
On the first day, which was bogged down a bit by rain water from the previous night and low-40s temperatures, Heuston shot a 72 that put him in a tie for 10th place and just three strokes back from the leader. Putting himself in a position to make a second-day surge, Heuston's confidence was bolstered after proving to himself that he was among the top dozen or so 5A players in Colorado.
Heuston opened his final round in 2017 with a birdie on the par-4 first hole and later birdied the par-5 11th and the par-5 18th hole to move up to sixth place.
"There was definitely a tight pack at the top and that helped me focus," Heuston said. "I had a really strong finish with a birdie on 18 today, too. I had about six feet for eagle and I left it on the rim, but I made the birdie and it was a great way to end the season."
Among the five-way tie for sixth place, Boulder's Freddie Gluck shot back-to-back 73's on Monday and Tuesday. After going 2-over on the front nine, he shot even par on the back nine to close out his prep career in the top 10.
Legacy junior Grant Hoos, who came within one stroke of qualifying for state in each of his first two seasons, shot a 72 on Tuesday to move out of a first-day tie for 28th place and up into 15th to end the tournament. Monarch senior Spencer Daake tied for 29th at 11-over and Broomfield's Carson Briggs placed 19th at 35-over par.
Class 5A boys golf state tournament
At CommonGround G.C., par 71
Team scores — Regis Jesuit 442, Cherry Creek 449, Arapahoe 450, Grand Junction 450, Denver East 457, Fossil Ridge 458, Heritage 459, ThunderRidge 461, Rock Canyon 462, Fairview 462, Highlands Ranch 462, Fruita Monument 472, Legacy 491, Monarch 491.
Top individuals — 1. Davis Bryant, Eaglecrest, 139; 2. Dillon Stewart, Fossil Ridge, 141; 3. Canon Olkowski, Grand Junction, 142; t4. Tommy Packer, Arapahoe, 144; t4. Calvin McCoy, Regis Jesuit, 144; t6. Freddie Gluck, Boulder, 146; t6. Ryder Heuston, Fairview, 146; t6. Sam Blackwood, Heritage, 146; t6. Connor Jones, Mountain Range, 146; t6. Supawich Boonta, Cherokee Trail, 146.
Other Boulder results — t44. Henry Howser 157.
Other Fairview results — t29. Will Branan 153; t57. Will Chadwick 163; t70. Noah Vrencur 171.
Broomfield results — 79. Carson Briggs 177.
Legacy results — t15. Grant Hoos 149; 67. Cormac Arroyo 169; t76. Hunter Hayes 173.
Monarch results — t29. Spencer Daake 153; t64. Thomas Volpe 167; t70. Brayden Weiss 171; 80. Joseph Waddle 180.