Not that a return appearance at the state championships was ever really in doubt, Holy Family sophomore Hailey Schalk has officially punched her ticket back to the Class 3A girls golf state tournament.
At Hollydot Golf Course on Tuesday, Schalk won the Class 3A Region 1 tournament with a 1-under 70 to finish six strokes ahead of the next golfer. Schalk won the 3A state championship last season with a 3-under, two-round score of 139 at Broadlands Golf Course in Broomfield and appears to be in prime form to defend her state title when this year’s 3A state championships are held on May 21-22 at Elmwood Golf Club in Pueblo.
“I’m happy I won today,” Schalk said. “I’m not that happy with my play today but I was able to get it done. I wasn’t really executing simple shots and I left way too many shots out there. I think I just need to practice the simple things because that’s where I struggled today. If I get a little sharper around the greens and with my putting, I’ll be more prepared for state.”
Despite some unfavorable course conditions, Schalk was two strokes above par at the turn but birdied the par-4 10th hole and carded birdies on the par-5 17th and par-4 18th to hit the clubhouse at 1-under. She will be joined at the state tournament by teammate Heather Stauter, who placed 21st at state as a junior last season. Though she picked up nine strokes over the final nine holes of her round, Stauter birdied the par-5 fifth and the par-4 ninth to shoot an 84 and place third overall at Tuesday’s regional.
Without the requisite three qualifiers, the Tigers will not be eligible for the team competition at state despite placing second last season. The goal instead is to try to place two players in the top 10 individually again.
“Heather played awesome,” Tigers head coach Matt Schalk said. “For her, she was even a little disappointed. She started on two and was hurt with an eight on 17 but, overall, she played really well. Obviously, we wish we were taking a full team to state but both of our girls are looking good and have their own goals that they’re going for so we’re exciting for that.”
In the team scoring at the Region 1 tournament, the Tigers finished one stroke behind Alamosa for third place.
3A Region 1
At Hollydot G.C., par 71
Team scores — The Classical Academy 271, Alamosa 274, Holy Family 275, Rye 291, Monte Vista 304, Salida 306, Florence 317, Colorado Springs Christian 341, Fowler 353, La Junta 359, Trinidad 360, Manitou Springs 394, Lamar 394, Pueblo Central 398.
Top individuals — 1. Hailey Schalk, Holy Family, 70; 2. Kenzie Fontana, The Classical Academy, 76; 3. Heather Stauter, Holy Family, 84; 4. Elizabeth Mullet, Florence, 85; 5. Rachael Shaffer, Rye, 86; t6. Alana Hackett, Alamosa, 87; t6. Gracie Burkhart, Monte Vista, 87; 9. Julia Holden, Trinidad, 89; 10. Lexi Ortega, Alamosa, 92.
Other Holy Family results — t32. Brynn Hansen 121.