Basalt golf finishes second at regional, Aspen third as all four players qualify

Austin Colbert
The Aspen Times
Post Independent sports news graphic

The 3A state tournament is scheduled for Oct. 3-4 in Denver

The Basalt High School boys golf team poses with the runner-up trophy after taking second at the regional tournament on Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2022, at River Valley Ranch in Carbondale. Andy Bockelman/Special to The Aspen Times

The Roaring Fork Valley will be well represented at the state high school golf tournament in two weeks after both Basalt and Aspen qualified through all four players during Tuesday’s Class 3A regional tournament at Carbondale’s River Valley Ranch.

The host Longhorns — whose roster features players from Basalt, Roaring Fork and Glenwood Springs high schools — grabbed the second and final team qualifying spot by shooting a collective 226 (top three players score) to finish only a stroke behind Region 4 champion Vail Mountain (225).

BHS had three players finish in the top four, with sophomore Jackson Stewart and junior Garrett Exelbert each shooting 75 to tie for second place. BHS junior Jase Joslin was fourth with 76, and junior Alec Claassen tied for 12th with 79.

Vail Mountain senior Felix Gruner won the tournament by shooting 2-under 70, the only player to finish under par for the round.

Finishing third among teams was Aspen at 233, well clear of fourth-placed Salida (251). While only the top two teams earned the automatic team qualifier, meaning all four players will compete at state, AHS still had all four of its regional golfers qualify through individually by finishing among the top 13 players not on one of the two team qualifiers.

Seniors Sky Sosna and Carson Miller paved the way, each shooting 77 to tie for fifth place. Sophomore Ryan Rigney shot 79 to tie for 12th and senior Peter DeWetter shot 82 to tie for 16th place.

Aspen’s Sky Sosna lines up his putt on the eighth hole during Tuesday’s regional round. Andy Bockelman/Special to The Aspen Times

The Skiers had long dominated regional play — they entered Tuesday’s tournament having won the regional title 12 of the past 13 seasons, the lone defeat during that stretch coming in 2019 when they hosted at Aspen Golf Club (they finished runner-up to Montezuma-Cortez).

Still, Aspen heads to the state tournament as the reigning 3A state champions. Sosna is the only returning member of that team, which entered state as somewhat of an underdog despite having won its first state championship as recently as 2018.

Coal Ridge High School did not qualify any individuals for the 3A state tournament. Finishers for the Titans were Jakson Slade in 32nd place, Cooper Robinson in 35th, Wyatt Murray in 42nd and LJ Herrera in 44th.

Rifle High School golfers competed at the 4A Region 4 tournament at Eagle Ranch Golf Course in Montrose on Tuesday. Individual and team results were not immediately available from school officials.

This year’s 3A state tournament is scheduled for Oct. 3 and 4 at Pinehurst Country Club in Denver.

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