PUEBLO - Hailey Schalk hit some (literal) bumps in her opening round of the Class 3A state girls golf tournament.
But the Holy Family sophomore recovered nicely coming into the clubhouse, including going 3-under in her final four holes, to end the first round just one stroke behind Colorado Academy's Caroline Jordaan.
The Mustangs junior fired a 3-under-par-68 to hold the lead after the tournament's first day.
"I wasn't really executing simple shots," Schalk said. "I bogeyed three of the four par 3s which killed me. Other than that, I think played OK. I didn't play great."
She was also on the receiving end of a few bad breaks. A car horn went off as she took her third shot on the par 5 third hole. On the sixth, her approach landed short of the green and was wedged in a hole. Her ball came almost straight up on her attempt to putt it.
But overall, she struggled a bit on the front nine. She didn't open with the same performance she did a year ago as she claimed the 3A title as a freshman.
"She had a few tough breaks along the way, but she was also a little bit sloppy," Holy Family coach Matt Schalk said. "She didn't get up and down when she missed greens. She just needs to put it together and eliminate some of those easy mistakes."
She went into attack mode after making the turn. She attacked the left-side pin on the No. 13 and made birdie. She then made birdie on 15 and eagle on 16 to close the gap on Jordaan, who held a lead by as many as five strokes on Monday.
"The back nine was definitely better than the front nine," Schalk said. "I attacked it more than the front nine."
Heading into Tuesday's final round, she'll be in a spot she wasn't faced with a year ago. At last year's tournament, her 65 gave her a comfortable enough lead that she could approach the final round with a conservative game plan. That won't be the case on Tuesday.
If she wants a shot to repeat as a state champion, she's going to have to work for it.
"Last year I definitely played more conservatively (on the second day) just because of my lead," she said. "This year I'm just going to attack it as much as I can."
Senior Heather Stauter is the only other Holy Family player in the tournament and sits in 16th place after shooting a 88.
Jefferson Academy finished the day sitting in fourth place in the team standings. The Jaguars sit behind Kent Denver, Colorado Academy and Rifle.
Freshman Aubri Braecklein led the Jags with a 79, making birdies on 15 and 17. Trinity Stuart shot a 92 and Lauren Alberts shot a 98.
Groups will head off the tees at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday for the final round. Schalk will go off hole No. 1 with Jordaan and Kent Denver's Charlotte Hillary at 10:27.
Erie's Cantwell leads local entrants in 4A
The 4A state tournament got underway Monday at the Country Club of Colorado in Colorado Springs, and while no locals are in position to challenge for medalist honors, Niwot was still able to crack the top 10 in the team race.
The Cougars were led by Halie Ostrom's 29-over-100. Mya Ostrom carded a 107 and Julia Solem checked in with a 108.
Erie's Madison Cantwell was the top local finisher after shooting a 27-over-98.
There's a three-way tie at the top, with Windsor's Jessica Zapf, Loveland's Lauren Lehigh and Cheyenne Mountain's Maxine Choi all recording a 7-over-78.
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Class 4A state tournament
At Country Club of Colorado
Team scores — 1. Glenwood Springs 260, t2. Loveland 264, t2. Windsor 264, Valor Christian 276, 5. Coronado 289...10. Niwot 315, 12. Frederick 319.
Top individuals — t1. Zapf, Windsor, 78; t1. Lehigh, Loveland, 78; t1. Choi, Cheyenne Mountain, 78; 4. Bandemer, Loveland, 83; 5. Severin, Vista Peak, 84.
Niwot results — 37. H. Ostrom, 100; t. 53. M. Ostrom, 107; t56. Solem, 108.
Frederick results — t42. Fauerbach, 103; t48. Baum, 105; t61. Wallace, 111.
Erie results — 33. Cantwell, 98; t42. Wissman, 103.
Skyline results — t46. Ekern, 104; t80. Movick, 126.
Class 3A state tournament
At Elmwood Golf Course
Team scores — 1. Kent Denver 243, 2. Colorado Academy 249, 3. Rifle 261, 4. Jefferson Academy 269, 5. The Classical Academy 290.
Top individuals — 1. Jordaan, CA, 68; 2. Schalk, Holy Family, 69; 3. Hillary, Kent Denver, 75; 4. Walters, Rifle, 77; 5. Braecklein, Jefferson Academy, 79.
Other Jefferson Academy results — t22. Stuart, 92; t33. Alberts, 98.
Other Holy Family results — 16. Stauter, 88.