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Legacy's Sarah Hankins lines up a shot during the final round of the 5A state golf tournament. Hankins finished in a tie for third.
Charles Pearson
Legacy’s Sarah Hankins lines up a shot during the final round of the 5A state golf tournament. Hankins finished in a tie for third.

GRAND JUNCTION — There is certainly a streak of perfectionism in Sarah Hankins.

Even though she was satisfied with her round Tuesday at Tiara Rado Golf Course, the Legacy junior had a litany of putts and chips she was certain she could have executed more crisply. But even with a few blemishes in the second round of the Class 5A state championship, Hankins could not argue with her results. The Lightning ace had her best performance in the championship match, enduring a course that had most golfers throwing their hands up for third place.

“I feel like I played pretty good today,” she said. “But I just had a couple holes that didn’t go my way.”

What had Hankins distressed, despite finishing Tuesday’s round shooting 4-over at the par-72 course, was at times she was in the running for a higher place. The junior dropped to two under for the day off consecutive birdies on holes No. 4 and 5. But on somewhat more forgiving back nine the junior’s smallest mistake was punished — not severely, but enough to thwart her efforts.

Making matters more frustrating, Hankins’ missteps came from what she considers the most striking aspect of her game — her play around the greens. Her approach shots did not bite and her putts were just not lining up.

“I wanted to do better,” said Hankins, who finished seventh in 2012. “But it’s what the two days threw at me and I did the best I could do.”

Hankins’ showing was not only historic for the player, but also the program. Her performance was the cornerstone of the Lightning’s best finish at the state championship. The team earned fourth, improving two places from a year ago. Legacy had ambitions at making a run into the top three entering Tuesday, but coach Mark Glen could not complain about where his team ended up.

“Fourth is great for them,” the Lightning coach said. “It would have been great to have gotten up in the top three, but when you look the teams that were there we would have to had to played our A-games to gotten in.”

The team had some up-and-down play to reach its place. Morgan Hoos and Lisa From both had strong starts to the tournament, but both players added strokes the second day. On the other hand, Jennifer Hankins broke out after a rocky opening. The younger sister of Sarah Hankins shaved eight strokes from her first round, finishing 8-over for the day. She credited coming into her final 18 holes more relaxed as the catalyst to her turnaround. That, and a strong run on her opening holes.

“The front nine was awesome,” Jennifer Hankins said. “I could pick a club and say where I wanted to hit it and bomb it there.”

The tournament also had the Hankins sisters excited about the coming season. Both believe this year’s rounds laid the groundwork for better things the next time the Lightning take to the links.

“It especially feels that way since I have my sister for another year,” the younger Hankins said. “We’re going to make the most of it.”

Follow Elwood on Twitter @ElwoodKShelton.

Class 5A state tournament

At Tiara Rado G.C., par 72

Team scores — Cherry Creek 470, Arapahoe 475; Regis 486, Legacy 502, Highlands Ranch 510, Fairview 515, Heritage 518, Rock Canyon 529, Dakota Ridge 527, Loveland 532, Columbine 643, Fossil Ridge 549, Grand Junction Central 559, Grand Junction 592.

Top 10 individuals — 1. Calli Ringsby, Cherry Creek; 2. Jenni Chun, Highlands Ranch, 153; T3. Hannah Wood, Arapahoe 155; T3. Sarah Hankins, Legacy, 155; T3. Sydney Merchant, Dakota Ridge, 155; 6. Claudia Davis, Arapahoe, 156; T7. Sydney Gillespie, Regis Jesuit, 157; T7. Michelle Romano, Rock Canyon, 157; T9. Morgan Sahm, Grandview, 158; T9. Gillian Vance, Dakota Ridge, 158.

Other Legacy results — Jennifer Hankins 168, Morgan Hoos 191, Lisa From 179.

Boulder results — Aly Beeman 186.

Fairview results — Kelly Moran 161, Megan McCambridge 166, Jordan Sunset 188, Madison McCambridge 213.

Monarch results — Delaney Elliott 164.

Skyline results — Adara Pauluhn 167.

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