Elle Higgins believed that Valor Christian could be a contender for the state title at the Class 5A girls state golf championships early in the season.
Her thoughts turned out to be right as Valor won the state title on the final day of the two-day championships on June 1 at The Olde Course in Loveland.
“I really thought we could win and I’m glad we did because we deserved it,” said Higgins of the Jefferson County League winners. “You just had to treat it like any other tournament, be relaxed and do what we did all season. It feels real good to be state champions.
“We just had to do what we did all season and it just came together,” she said. “I’m proud of everyone for pulling their weight on the team.”
Valor finished with a total day total of 469, which was eight shots fewer than runner-up and defending state champion Loveland.
Teams from South Metro schools did well as Cherry Creek was third (499) in the final team standings, Rock Canyon (500) took fourth and Mountain Vista placed fifth (515).
Higgins was third in the medalist chase after leading after the first day. The junior, who missed two seasons of prep golf because of COVID and a knee injury, fired a final round 78 to go along with an even-par 72 on the opening day for a 150 total.
“I did not hit it as well as I did the first day and I didn’t make as many putts but I’m still happy the way I played in my first big tournament after the injury,” Higgins said.
Loveland’s Katelyn Lehigh, the individual champ last season, carded a 3-under-par 69 in the last round for a total of 144 to capture a second straight crown. She had four birdies on six holes on the back nine and sank a two-foot putt on the 18th green to avoid a playoff with runner-up Lily Nelson of Prairie View.
Other members on Valor’s title team were Brenna Higgins, Elle’s younger sister, Bella Eide and Carmen Carpinelli.
Besides Elle Higgins, other South Metro golfers in the top ten were Mountain Vista’s Abby Aeschleman who finished with a even-par 72 for a fourth place total of 152.
Caitlyn Chin of Cherry Creek was fifth (155), Brenna Higgins sixth (157), Ashleigh Wilson of Rock Canyon placed eighth (160), Rock Canyon’s Amira Badruddin ninth (161) and Valor’s Eide was tenth (162).
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