LONGMONT — Rebuilding seasons following an exodus of top-level golfers often provide an opportunity for young players to take their turn in the limelight.
The 2012 season was a rebuilding year for the Skyline girls golf team and it was Adara Pauluhn who was the Falcon who shined the brightest.
The Times-Call Girls Golfer of the Year, Pauluhn qualified for the Class 5A state tournament as a freshman. Among the state’s best at Aurora Hills Golf Course, she shot a two-day total of 164 to take 32nd overall in her first prep season.
“It gave me a confidence boost,” Pauluhn said. “I’ll look forward to next year because of it. It was really fun to be able to do that as a freshman.”
When she arrived at the state tournament, Pauluhn said the skill level was intimidating initially. But after she shot a 78 on the first day, she became more comfortable.
“There are really good players there,” said Pauluhn, who attends Niwot High School. “I did pretty good the first day so the second day I got paired up with really good players, too. When I play with better players it usually makes me do better. I didn’t end up doing better but still it was fun.”
Pauluhn, who has been golfing competitively since she was 9 years old, shot an 86 on day two, which kept her from her goal of a top-20 finish after entering the day in 18th. However, she broke the ice and overcame her freshman nerves to set herself up for future state campaigns.
Much of what she accomplished, Pauluhn said she owes to her coaches and teammates, particularly senior teammate Danielle Mercure.
Mercure shot a 169 to take 36th place at state. But her guidance helped pave the way for Pauluhn’s success.
“Danielle was a big help this year,” Pauluhn said. “It wasn’t just me. There were a lot of people helping me and the team.”
With Mercure graduating, Pauluhn will become one of the senior-most players on the Falcons’ team next season. And having experienced firsthand the value of a mentor, Pauluhn will be looking to take a few more Falcons with her to the state tournament in the next few years.
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