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BoCoPreps notebook: JA grad Kupcho adds to her legacy with LPGA Major

Jennifer Kupcho won the Chevron Championship last weekend

With kids watching, Jennifer Kupcho demonstrates ...
Daily Camera file photo
Jefferson Academy graduate Jennifer Kupcho won her first LPGA event last weekend.
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Former Jefferson Academy golfer Jennifer Kupcho won her first LPGA Tour title at the Chevron Championship at Mission Hills, California last weekend.

Another notch to quite the impressive legacy for the 24-year-old.

“I’ve been so close a couple of times,” Kupcho told reporters afterward. “It’s really hard, but here I am.”

The two-time BoCoPreps girls golfer of the year became the first American to win the tournament since 2015. She set the tournament 54-hole record at 16-under par coming into Sunday, then held off six-time LPGA Tour winner Jessica Korda on the final day with a card of 2-over 74.

In celebration, she leapt into Poppie’s Pond — the last of a long tradition as the 50-year tournament moves to Texas next year.

She tweeted, “Still pinching myself to make sure it isn’t a dream! I’m so proud to be the 2022 @Chevron_Golf winner & officially a Major Champion!”

Kupcho won back-to-back Colorado high school state titles in 2014-15 with the Jaguars, and went on to play at Wake Forest, where she won the NCAA title in 2018. She remains the lone player to win the Colorado Women’s Golf Association’s Player of the year and Junior Player of the Year in the same season.

In the majors since 2019, Kupcho has a career earnings of $2,318,835 with 12 top-10 finishes. The win at Chevron came a week after she missed the cut at the JTBC Classic in Carlsbad, California.

Speaking of golf champions …

Hadley Ashton has the golf credentials of a veteran pro, and that’s before ever stepping onto the high school links.

Last weekend, the Erie freshman added to her trophy case with a win at the American Junior Golf Association’s Junior All-Star tournament in Austin, Texas. With eight birdies over the three-day tournament, she won with a final score of 4-over-par 220.

She told the AJGA site afterward that she wasn’t expecting victory. “I was just trying to play confident and have fun,” she said.

Ashton won six tournaments in the Junior Golf Association of Colorado 2021 season, including the Tour Championship in October. She finished third in the year’s overall points standings.

Next, she’s expected to be among the favorites to compete for the Class 4A state title in May. Holy Family’s Jessica Mason is looking to defend her crown after winning the tournament by 10 strokes a year ago.

Track leaders (before Saturday’s action)

The spring track and field season is in full-go mode.

Here’s where some things stack up coming into the weekend:

In the girls’ field, Monarch’s Julia Pattison has the top time in the 200-meter dash (24.78), the second-best mark in the 400 (56.89) and the third-best time in the 100 (12.17). Reigning 4A cross country champ Eva Klingbeil of Niwot has the best mark in the 1,600 (4:56.39), followed by teammate Mia Prok (4:59.90), and the Cougars also have the top time in the 300 hurdles with Kimora Northup’s time of 44.56 — a tick better than Holy Family’s Skylar Hawk’s 45.19.

The girls pole vault, though, may be most impressive of all. The area holds seven of the top 11 spots with Broomfield’s Lilly Nichols and Silver Creek’s Megan Kelleghan, the defending 5A and 4A champs, tied for second with leaps of 12-feet, 6 inches. Peak to Peak’s Kourtney Rathke, the 3A runner-up, is fifth at 12-4.

In the boys’ track standings, Holy Family’s Grayson Arnold has the best time in the 100 (10.77) and 200 (21.81). Jefferson Academy’s Chrisly Kelly-Cannon is second in both (10.84, 21.82).

The other top time from the area belongs to Longmont’s Connor McCormick as he went 1:53.73 in the 800 at the Erie Tiger Twilight Invitational earlier in the month. Zane Bergen is third at 1:55.10.

McCormick also has the fourth-best 3,200 time (9:24.07). Bergen — who won three state titles in track last year and followed it with his second straight XC title in the fall — has the seventh-best 400 time (50.04) behind Skyline’s Andrew Muncy (49.58) in fourth and Mead’s Tavon Underwood (49.82) in fifth.

Team leaders

Thirteen spring teams from the area were ranked in this past week’s CHSAANow.com top 10.

On the diamond, 5A No. 3 Legacy came into the weekend undefeated, posting wins against No. 2 Regis Jesuit, No. 4 Valor Christian and No. 8 Mullen.

Brandon Sanchez had a .600 batting average in his first six games and 12 RBIs. Landen Sehr (2.84 ERA) and Conner Antczak (3.50) started off a combined 4-0 on the hill with 30 Ks in 26 1/3 innings.

Elsewhere, the Broomfield girls soccer program, which is also the nation’s top-ranked high school team per United Soccer Coaches, is No. 1 in 5A. Legacy, with the second-most lopsided goals-for, goals-against ratio in the state at 47-1, is No. 5.

Holy Family is ranked sixth in 4A girls soccer, Centaurus ninth. The Tigers are also ninth in 4A girls lacrosse.

Jefferson Academy is ranked first in 3A girls soccer, Prospect Ridge seventh, while Dawson is sixth in 2A girls soccer and eighth in 4A boys lacrosse.

Fairview is fourth in 5A girls lacrosse.

Monarch is seventh in 5A boys lacrosse and Erie is second in 4A.