COLORADO SPRINGS — Frederick ace Jake Chesler took an overall assessment of his season following his fourth-place finish at the Class 4A state tournament.
When asked to grade himself the junior took a moment, reminded of his stack of accolades — the individual league title, the team league title, the top-five state finish. He grinned. He sighed. The good, the frustrations, all seemed to wash over his face.
“I’d say B-plus, maybe,” he said.
And perhaps that’s a little harsh.
Chesler accomplished the goals he set for himself heading into the year — except, he pointed out, keeping every round of the season under 75.
On Tuesday, to the backdrop of cloudless skies and smoky haze in the distance, the Warriors ace finished the fall on a high note as he climbed up the state leaderboard on Day 2 with a 2-over 73 at the Country Club of Colorado.
A birdie on his final hole — thanks to a setup that saw his 8-iron from 174 yards stick within six feet of the pin — he moved from seventh to a tie for fourth.
The closing round came a day after he shot 7-over 78 through strong winds Monday. His finish trumped his early-season hopes of sliding inside the top 10 at state.
“I feel like I could have done a little better here at state,” Chesler said. “Although I did pretty well, I think I could have made a lot more putts and gave myself a better chance. But overall, pretty good year. Felt pretty comfortable all year. Good season.”
He’ll be driven for more in 2021, he added.
This year’s 4A individual champion was Montrose’s Jordan Jennings. The senior shot 68 in his final round and beat Mullen’s Mario Dino by four strokes. He was also the only golfer over the two-day tournament to have a round under par.
In the team race, Cheyenne Mountain rallied on Day 2 to upend the Mustangs. Montrose was third.
From the area, while no teams qualified, six individuals did.
Down from Chesler, Centaurus senior Ryan Vaver shot a 77 on the second day to finish 16th. He birdied 17 and parred 18 to close out his career.
“I was looking for top-20, top-10 on a good round,” he said. “I think I accomplished my goals.”
From there, Silver Creek’s Ben Harding tied for 18th, Longmont’s Adam Gannon tied for 28th, Niwot’s Christopher Gunlikson was 57th and Silver Creek’s Josh Lurie 65th.
Chesler, Harding, Gunlikson and Lurie are eligible to return in 2021.
“I kind of wanted to compete (for the title) this year,” Harding said. “Obviously, I’m a little disappointed but it is a step in the right direction. I know what I need to work on.”