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Broncos boys golf team earns second place in state tournament


FARMINGTON —State championships were handed out this week by the New Mexico Activities Association in the sport of high school golf, with events taking place at the Santa Ana Golf Club and the Twin Warriors Golf Club.

Here's a look back at some of the top performances from local and regional prep golfers. 

Class 4A state tournament

For the first time in the history of the Kirtland Central High School golf program, the school took home a trophy for their participation in the Class 4A state tournament, held this week at the Santa Ana Golf Club in Santa Ana Pueblo.

The Broncos boys team, led by Skyler Woods, Ardell John and Zachary Blueeyes, took home the second place trophy in the Class 4A state finals, finishing just behind Albuquerque Academy, who won the state title for tenth time in school history and the second year in a row.

Woods, who overcame some difficult conditions on the course during Monday's opening round of 85, found the weather much more to his liking on Tuesday, recording a 78 and finishing in a tie for sixth-place overall with Cohen Mulville from St. Pius X.

"The winds were a big challenge for everyone on Monday," said Kirtland Central coach Leonel Camacho. "It was difficult keeping the scores as tight as we could because of the conditions."

Woods, along witJohn (85 and 78) and Blueeyes (88 and 76), recorded much better scores in the second round when the winds were much less severe.

"The weather was perfect on Tuesday," Camacho said. "We went into the second day in fourth place and really got going in that next round."

Kirtland Central's boys team shot 650 overall in the two-day event, just 22 shots behind Albuquerque Academy and two shots ahead of St. Pius, with Lovington finishing fourth overall.

"It's a good surprise for us," Camacho said. "These kids have worked really hard and truly love the sport."

The girls team from Kirtland Central finished sixth overall in the state tournament, with a final score of 784. Albuquerque Academy won the Class 4A state title, their second straight championship and fifth in school history.

The Broncos girls team was led by Kylie Manus, who shot 181 overall over two rounds, as well as Dallas Dan (192) and Elysse Woods (197).

Class 5A state tournament

The Piedra Vista boys and girls golf teams took home third place trophies this week in the Class 5A state tournament, which wrapped up on Tuesday at the Twin Warriors Golf Club in Santa Ana Pueblo.

The Panthers boys team was led by senior Quinn Yost, who shot a two-day score of 144, finishing second in the individual competition behind Cibola High's Aiden Krafft.

Krafft earned the individual state title, with a final round score of 12 under par 60, besting Yost who fired a 2-under par 70 in the final round. 

"(Krafft) really carried Cibola on his back," said Piedra Vista coach Tom Yost. "When one player beats another's best round by 10 shots, that's really saying something."

Matthew Ahlgrim finished in a three-way tie for 14th place, firing a two-day score of 160, while Charlie Voita finished 17th with a score of 161.

The winds were a factor for all involved in the two-day event.

"Weather's always a good equalizer in the sport of golf," said Tom Yost after the event. "It's hard to keep focus when you're getting blown around like that."

The Class 5A boys title went to Deming, which outlasted Cibola in a three-hole playoff for the championship after both teams finished 72 holes with a combined score of 619. Piedra Vista was third, eight shots back.

"I was proud of how we came back in that second round," said Tom Yost. "It was a real valiant effort to get back in the running."

On the girls side, Centennial High School earned their first state title, outdueling La Cueva by eight shots to win the championship. Piedra Vista's girls team, led by Annie Yost's two-day score of 166, finished third overall.

Annie Yost's score put her in a tie for fifth-place on the individual leaderboard, which was topped by eighth-grader Eleanor Warden of Organ Mountain, who defeated Centennial High's Alex Armendariz by three shots.

For more information on the state golf tournaments, check out the official tournament page on the NMAA website.

Steve Bortstein can be reached via email at SBortstein@Gannett.com, via Twitter @DTSBortstein or on the phone at (505) 635-2680. Support local journalism with a digital subscription.