Aztec golfer Brooke Raney chips from the sand bunker during Wednesday s Class 4A State Championships at New Mexico State University Golf Course. (Robin Zielinksi/Las Cruces Sun-News)
FARMINGTON — Many players struggled during the second and final round of the 4A state golf tournament, and several San Juan County golfers fought to finish in the top 10.
Kirtland Central girls' golfer Darmika Frank placed second in the girls' tournament behind Deming's Darian Zachek, who shot a 4-under-par 68 on Tuesday to finish 1-under for the tournament.
Frank finished the tournament at 16-over after rounds of 83 and 77.
“I was having fun,” Frank said. “It was my short game and putting that helped me.”
Aztec senior Brooke Raney tied for third after shooting 17-over with rounds of 81 and 80.
Kirtland Central girls' coach Stephen Williams said Tuesday's pairings were better for all of the Lady Broncos as they played with Artesia and Aztec, instead of Goddard and Deming.
“Monday's pairing was tough with Deming and Goddard. The girls were intimidated,” Williams said. “Darmika flourished playing with Aztec and Artesia.”
Goddard High School's Steven Willis was the champion among the boys' field. Willis shot a 2-over-par 74 on Day 1 and trailed opening round leader Ben Albin of Albuquerque Academy by five strokes.
Albin shot a 6-over-par 78 to finish in second place.
Piedra Vista's Riley Rahm and Kirtland Central's Tristin Goodwin were the top San Juan County placers in the boys' tournament. They tied for eighth.
Rahm shot an 84 on Monday but finished Tuesday's round in the red and finished at 11-over. His 71 on Tuesday was the low-round of the day on the boys' side.
“He holed out from 80 yards to finish the tournament and shoot the low round during the last day of state,” said PV junior Jackson Gurley, who finished in a tie for 14th. “Riley Rahm is a name to remember.”
Goodwin was tied alongside Willis in second place after his first round 74 on Monday, but he finished Tuesday's round 9-over-par to finish 11-over.
“He was playing well but struggled with the greens (Tuesday),” said Kirtland Central boys' coach Chuck Soria. “His score was enough to put him in the top 10. He did well. He didn't think so, but I did. I think the whole team played well.”
Gurley shot 15-over for the tournament and was proud of the way the team came back on Tuesday with the lowest team score (332) of the day after shooting the highest team score (307) on Monday.
“The course was in good shape and the greens were rolling good. There were definitely some tough pin placements we struggled with pretty bad the first day,” Gurley said. “We had four guys in the 80s and one in the 100s. We knew we had to do something, and I feel like we really came back pretty well. We had a 71, two 78s and an 80 and shot the low round of the tournament as a team. That 307 was one off our team record.”
The Goddard and Artesia boys' teams finished in a tie for first at 51-over. St. Pius X was third at 53-over, and PV was fourth at 63-over.
The Panthers finished ahead of Deming (73-over) and Kirtland Central (93-over).
The Deming girls won the state title at 28-over as a team.
“(Darian Zachek) from Deming is pretty darn good. She was the only boy or girl at the state tournament under par,” Williams said.
Albuquerque Academy was second at 63-over, and Goddard took third at 83-over.
Kirtland Central finished fourth at 60-over, 26 strokes ahead of fifth-place Aztec.
The Lady Broncos and Lady Tigers finished ahead of Artesia, Los Alamos and Santa Fe High.John Livingston can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org; 505-564-4648. Follow him on Twitter @jlivi2.