BROOMFIELD — Wind, snow, cancellations — spring attempted to trip up girls golfers in every fashion.
The load of environmental challenges, however, did little to stand in the way of one team and its top-flight ambitions. Fairview set its mission to finish as one of the top foursomes in Class 5A by the end of the year. And Tuesday, the Knights took a big step in that direction.
Fairview survived a close shave with a Front Range League foe to come out of the Northern Region Tournament as champions. Now Fairview just has to continue on the upswing from its round at Broadlands Golf Course for a couple more weeks to accomplish its ultimate goal.
“We’re all excited,” Fairview senior Megan McCambridge said. “We’ve been pushing all year to be right there with Cherry Creek and Arapahoe at state.”
Fairview might have to keep its eyes peeled for more than the defending 5A champion and runner-up at the May 20-21 state tourney at Grand Junction’s Tiara Rado Golf Course.
Legacy has been a consistent threat to the Knights the past few weeks and the regional was no different. The Lightning beat Fairview in the final Front Range League match of the season and on Tuesday was only one stroke off the Knights, who defended their regional crown with a three-golfer total of 235.
The extra competition only added to the stresses FHS coach John Zerwin anticipated for the tournament.
“You’re always nervous coming into a qualifier,” the Fairview coach said. “It’s an unknown — what’s the score going to be? How’s it going to work out? So you’re always nervous.”
The start to most of the Knights’ rounds had a few of the players breaking a sweat as well.
The entire Fairview team went off the first tee and all but Megan McCambridge had a rough opening nine holes. The senior was 2 over par at the turn and went on to shoot 4 over in her round at the par-72 course. After McCambridge, the next best round entering the back nine was Kelly Moran, who was 6 over.
Moran roped in her game to finish tied with her teammate for third, but her opening holes haunted her the entire day.
“I took a nine on No. 3 — I went into the water a couple times,” she said. “That was hard to come back from mentally. But I just had to stay calm.”
Sarah Hankins has been Legacy’s top player for going on three years now, but it was her younger sister who led the Lightning’s charge into second place. Jennifer Hankins turned in a career round at the regional, shooting 3 over and finishing second individually to Highlands Ranch’s Jenni Chun.
“I was able to play my shots exactly the way I wanted to today,” the freshman said. “It was a little tense at the beginning, but my group was great and we had a lot of fun.”
The round was the first time the younger Hankins had ever beaten her older sister.
“I’m so proud of her,” said Sarah Hankins, who carded a 79 to finish sixth. “She seemed to find a good rhythm today. … I’m super excited for her.”
Despite getting edged from the championship, Legacy qualified a scoring foursome to state. But getting all the Lightning to Grand Junction required Lisa From to win a two-golfer playoff hole for the last position.
In addition to Fairview and Legacy, there were three other local teams competing in the regional, and each one qualified one golfer for state. Boulder’s Aly Beeman qualified with an 87, Monarch’s Delaney Elliott with an 81 and Skyline’s Adara Pauluhn with a 77 to finish fifth.
The finish was a relief to Pauluhn, who had the jitters about making it back to state after qualifying as a freshman.
“It just would not have sounded good if I would have missed this year after going last year,” she said.
Follow Elwood on Twitter @ElwoodKShelton.
Class 5A Northern Regional
At Broadlands G.C., par 72
Team scores — Fairview 235, Legacy 236, Highlands Ranch 242, Fossil Ridge 250, Skyline 264, Loveland 264, Legend 284, Monarch 291, Boulder 294, Poudre 295, Chapprel 299, Mountain Range 299, Douglas County 301, ThunderRidge 326, Mountain Vista 335, Horizon 331, Castle View 342.
State qualifiers — 1. Jenni Chun, Highlands Ranch, 74; 2. Jennifer Hankins, Legacy, 75; t3. Kelly Moran, Fairview, 76; t3. Megan McCambridge, Fairview, 76; 5. Adara Pauluhn, Skyline, 77; t6. Sarah Hankins, Legacy, 79; t6. Rachel Sweeney, Mountain Vista, 79, t6. Heather Knoll, Horizon, 79; t9. Samantha Balzer, Highlands Ranch, 81; t9. Delaney Elliott, Monarch, 81; t9. Haylee Hornick, Rock Canyon, 81; t12. Morgan Hoos, Legacy, 82; t12. Nicole Thompson, Fossil Ridge, 82; t12. Katie Larson, Fossil Ridge, 82; t15. Jordan Sunset, Fairview, 83; t15. Kelsey Petersen, Loveland, 83; t15. Michelle Romano, Rock Canyon, 83; 18. Anna Kennedy, Legend, 85; t19. Mary Luekason, Fossil Ridge, 86; t19. Elise Hayashi, Poudre, 86; t21. Aly Beeman, Boulder, 87; t21. Dani Listiadji, Highlands Ranch, 87; 23. Sauni Kulkami, Rock Canyon, 88; t24. Aubrey Doran, Loveland, 90; t24. Sara Cuny, Rock Canyon, 90; t26. Lisa From, Legacy, 91; t26. Madison McCambridge, Fairview, 91.
Other Boulder scores — Danielle Picard 100, Helaina Christie 111, Leah Perletez 107.
Other Monarch results — Mandy Ennis 113, Else Kinney 109, Remy Mullen 101.
Other Skyline results — Erin Sargent 93, Klimecki 94, Clair McPeak 94.