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DHS golfers take first in Grand Junction

Team heads into Monday’s regional as the No. 3 seed
Zayda Mestas, pictured earlier this season, shot an 84 on Monday to finish third at the Central Warriors Invitational in Grand Junction. (Cody Olivas/Durango Herald)

The Durango High School girls golf team wrapped up its regular season by scoring another team title Monday.

Competing with 10 teams at the Central Warriors Invitational at the Tiara Rado Golf Course in Grand Junction, three Demons placed in the top eight, led by Zayda Mestas’ third-place round of 84, to win the team title.

Natasha Walcott shot an 87 to finish fifth. Summer Bonnar placed eighth with a 92, Ellie White shot a 96, and Eliza Bosmans shot a 104 for DHS.

Eagle Valley, led by individual champion Kylee Hughes (77) and runner-up Anna Gill (78), tied Durango at 263, but the Demons won the tiebreaker, which was the best score on the most difficult hole.

Montrose shot a 278 as a team to place third.

Now the Demons hope to get back to Tiara Rado, which is the site for this year’s Class 4A state championships May 31-June 1.

To get there, the Demons need to perform well Monday at the regional championships at the Cobble Creek Golf Club in Montrose.

“We’re excited it’s on the Western Slope; that’s huge for us,” said DHS head coach Kirk Rawles. “The girls are comfortable with the course, and I think that will help us for sure.”

The team competed at Cobble Creek this season, and it also played a practice round on Tuesday on their way back from Grand Junction and will play another practice round there on Sunday.

“Usually we have to figure out a course in one day in a practice round after driving six hours,” Rawles said.

The top two teams, out of 14, will qualify for the state championships, as well as the top 13 individuals who aren’t on a qualifying team.

The Demons are the No. 3 seed for the tournament. Mullen is No. 1 and Golden is No. 2, and the Demons will be paired with golfers from those teams.

“There’s going to be a lot of competition at this region, for sure,” Rawles said. “But we’ll know what we need to do because it will be right in front of us.”

Only four golfers from each team, opposed to five during the regular season, will compete in the regional championships. Mestas, Walcott, White and Bonnar will represent DHS.

“For us, if we can average 85s between our three best players at regionals we might have a chance to be one of the top two teams,” Rawles said. “They definitely all have the potential to get in the 80s.”

If at least three players from a team qualify as individuals for state, they can also compete as a team at the state championships.

Walcott and Mestas both qualified last year, as did graduate Lilli Tichi, and Durango finished sixth as a team. Rawles said he thinks shooting a 96 or better will give golfers a good chance to qualify this year.

“I really am excited,” Rawles said. “I think for our girls it will be a challenge, but they’ll get to see some other girls from the Front Range and if they can hang with them, it will be a great step for state.”