Rifle High’s Walters 7th at state tourney
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Rifle assistant girls golf coach Kenda Spaulding was beaming with Western Slope pride as the top finishers took their spots on the podium at the conclusion of the 4A state tournament in Greeley.
Finishing in the top seven were a pair of golfers from the western half of Colorado, including one from her own team.
Carding a 77 on Monday and a 76 on Tuesday at Boomerang Golf Links, Rifle junior Taylor Walters placed seventh in the individual standings. She finished with a 7-over-par 153 as her overall score.
Finishing just a stroke ahead of Walters was Montrose’s Kala Keltz, whose first-round 74 and second-round 78 placed her in a tie for fifth at 152.
“It was pretty cool to see Taylor and Kala on the podium,” said Spaulding, whose team squared off against fellow Slope school Montrose in tournaments throughout the season. “It shows that, when you have teams and players that you respect, it makes each one better. Kala and Taylor continue to help each other improve, and I think Montrose and Rifle help each other improve.”
Walters had a goal of finishing in the top 10.
“I met my goal,” she said. “I’m extremely happy.”
It’s been a strong finish to the season for Walters, who has seen her mental game grow immensely of late.
“I can tell that I mentally grew,” she said. “Just the last couple weeks, after a bad hole I’d come back and do something really good and be back on track. It’s a really cool feeling being able to let it go and move on.”
And Walters can’t wait to keep molding her game this summer.
“Ending on that note this year, I’m ready to go,” she said. “I know I can do it. I’m going to buckle down and get my game into shape.”
As a team, Walters and the Bears finished seventh out of 10 squads.
Alyx Carter shot a 182 to put her in a tie for 44th. Allison Powell came in at 192 to place 62nd.
“I’m very proud of them,” Spaulding said. “They showed they belong.”
Glenwood Springs exchange student Caroline Tham-Johansson, who hails from Sweden, finished in a tie for 54th at 188 and Coal Ridge’s Melissa Steinbach carded a 203 to take 73rd place.
Finishing atop the field featured 84 golfers was Pueblo South’s Bryce Schroeder, who edged Regis’ Kathleen Kershisnik with a birdie on the second hole of a playoff. Each finished regulation with 3-under-par 143s.
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