• Lewis Geyer / BoCoPreps.com

    Silver Creek's Jackson Solem watches his shot during the final day of the 4A state golf championship.

  • Lewis Geyer / BoCoPreps.com

    Silver Creek's TJ Shehee tries to direct his putt into the hole on the 18th green during the final day of the 4A state golf championship Tuesday at The Fox Hill Club in Longmont.

  • Lewis Geyer / BoCoPreps.com

    Niwot's Ford Ladd shakes hands with his competitors after finishing the final day of the 4A state golf championship Tuesday at The Fox Hill Club in Longmont.

  • Lewis Geyer / BoCoPreps.com

    Silver Creek's Jackson Solem gets a hug from his father Brian Solem after winning the 4A state golf championship Tuesday at The Fox Hill Club in Longmont. More photos: BoCoPreps.com



LONGMONT — He couldn’t fully explain it, but Silver Creek’s Jackson Solem awoke on Tuesday morning with an eerie assuredness before Day 2 of the 4A boys golf state tournament.

Though he would start the day three shots back of the leader, the Raptors junior believed later that day he would hoist the state title trophy he had spent the last three years chasing. A solid first round in his pocket, a good morning warm up, playing in preferably chilly weather in front of a friendly crowd on his home course at Fox Hill Country Club, the signs were numerous and obvious that Tuesday would be Solem’s day.

Solem’s intuition did not betray him.

Gaining a slight edge in a four-man race on the back nine, Solem carded a 69 to finish the tournament one under par and win the championship by one stroke.

“This is the first round in a while that I felt fully confident going into it,” Solem said. “I played really well and hit the right shots down the stretch. I just knew I was doing the right things and it was time for them to pay off. I felt like I was ready to be a state champion and to take advantage of the opportunity today.”

Solem began the second day of the tournament in a three-way tie for third, three strokes behind leader Philip Lee from Valor Christian. Solem turned in a bogey-free front nine and was 1-under at the turn to push his way into a four-way tie for the lead with Lee, Valor Christian’s Coby Welch and Windsor’s Cole Krantz.

Solem then sank a 20-foot putt on the par-4 10th to get to 2-under for the tournament and tie Welch for the lead. While Welch double-bogeyed the par-4 15th, Solem dropped one stroke on the par-5 14th and shot even par on the final four holes to win.

“We had a scoreboard in our group so I kind of knew what was going on and that it was go time,” Solem said. “With three holes left, my coach told me that Coby was even. I just knew I had to close it out. It has been my goal since the beginning to be a state champion.

“This is huge for me. I haven’t had the best experiences the past couple years and it was really nice to get it done with the home field advantage and all the people out here watching.”

Solem finished in a tie for ninth place as a freshman but tied for 17th place as a sophomore at last year’s state tournament.

One thing was for sure when play started on Day 2, and that was that no team would be able to surmount the 18-stroke lead Valor Christian had for the team title. Silver Creek, which opened the day one stroke behind second-place Evergreen, ended up beating Evergreen by three strokes for second.

“Taking second was quite a challenge today,” Silver Creek head coach Ryan Williams said. “We put up a great fight to come back.”

Silver Creek’s T.J. Shehee and Jake Gannon finished in a five-way tie for 24th at 17-over for the tournament. Dietrich Berning tied for 69th at 32-over.

Holy Family’s Jack Marty tied for 22nd at 16-over.

For Niwot, Ford Ladd tied for 29th at 18-over and Jake Butler tied for 48th at 26-over.

Erie’s Harrison Wagnaar tied for 65th at 31-over and Caleb Humble tied for 81st at 41-over.

Brad Cochi: cochib@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/BradCochi

Class 4A boys golf state tournament

At Fox Hill Country Club, par 70

Team scores — Valor Christian 425, Silver Creek 453, Evergreen 456, Discovery Canyon 469, Thompson Valley 470, Golden 473, Steamboat Springs 474, Mullen 484, Lewis-Palmer 491, Durango 499, Pueblo West 506, Palmer Ridge 510.

Top individuals — 1. Jackson Solem, Silver Creek, 70-69-139; 2. Coby Welch, Valor Christian, 71-69-140; t3. Cole Krantz, Windsor, 70-72-142; t3. Philip Lee, Valor Christian, 67-75-142; t5. Matthew Casias, Pueblo South, 73-70-143; t5. Tim Amundson, Valor Christian, 69-74-143; t7. Lenny Urbas, 72-74-146; t7. Glen-Michael Mihavetz, Montrose, 74-72-146; 9. Braden Bentley, Mesa Ridge, 72-76-148; 10. Matthew Heesemann, Mountain View, 74-75-149.

Other Silver Creek results — t24. T.J. Shehee 76-81-157; t24. Jake Gannon 80-77-157; t69. Dietrich Berning 90-82-172.

Holy Family results — t22. Jack Marty 79-77-156.

Niwot results — t29. Ford Ladd 78-80-158; t48. Jake Butler 82-84-166.

Erie results — t65. Harrison Wagnaar 84-87-171; t81. Caleb Humble 89-92-181.