AURORA — Niwot's Julia Solem doesn't subscribe to the idiom "let sleeping dogs lie."
The Cougars freshman prefers to attack every challenge with a head-on approach.
On Friday at Murphy Creek Golf Course, where the Class 4A Region 4 tournament was unkind to the Cougars and all other BoCoPreps.com area players, Solem did not waver in her approach. Though she may have struggled, she did not give in.
Solem carded a 33-over 105 at the end of her first regional tournament appearance, which put her in 22nd place overall. It was, by her standards, disappointing. She, along with all other local-area players, did not qualify for the state tournament. But the lessons Solem learned will only progress her already promising prep golf career.
"It was a really good experience for me," Solem said. "I wish I would have played better and I still have three years but the nerves kind of got to me. I had a bad hole and that really hurt my score and it was hard to recover after that. It definitely fuels me to do better in the future and I'm going to go home and work on it right now."
Solem, who is the second alternate player for the state tournament, wasn't kidding around. She left Murphy Creek intent on practicing her putting that same afternoon. At was a five-putt on the par-4 12th hole, after all, that derailed her round on Friday.
Cougars junior Mya Ostrom (109) finished two strokes behind Solem in a tie for 24th place and Trinity Pleffner placed 29th with a score of 112. The Cougars finished seventh in the team scoring.
"It was a great experience for the girls," Cougars head coach Ed Weaver said. "We have lot of underclassmen. The experience at the regional level is invaluable. The only higher place to play is the state tournament. They get the experience of playing under pressure and that will just make us better when we come back next year. With the rebuilding we had to do this year, I'm happy with what we have accomplished."
Amelia Haines, who tied for 27th place, led the Silver Creek Raptors to a 10th-place finish in the team scoring. Brie Nickal tied with Haines in 27th place as the top finisher for the Centaurus Warriors.
Class 4A Region 4 Tournament
At Murphy Creek G.C., par 72
Team scores — Loveland 235, Glenwood Springs 261, Vista PEAK 270, Northridge 286, Montrose 299, Mountain View 305, Niwot 326, Durango 334, GJ Central 336, Silver Creek 345.
Top individuals — 1. Aili Bundy, Loveland, 74; 2. Lauren Lehigh, Loveland, 75; 3. Kyree Conaway, Vist PEAK, 80; 4. Lauren Murphey, Glenwood Springs, 82; 5. Hannah Doran, Loveland, 86; 6. Lois Sheaffer, Northridge, 87; 7. Clallie Jones, Glenwood Springs, 88; 8. Lisa Kelley, Glenwood Springs, 91; 9. Kylie Severin, Vista PEAK, 93; 10. Natalee Hall, Loveland, 94.
Centaurus results — t27. Brie Nickal 111; 37. Chantelle Humphries 119.
Niwot results — 22. Julia Solem 103; t24. Mya Ostrom 109; 29. Trinity Pleffner 112.
Silver Creek results — t27. Amelia Haines 111; t30. Taylor Sandal 113; 38. Olivia Gomez 121; 42. Mollie McCoy 144.