High school golf season off to windy start in Chuck Soria Invitational at Riverview course
KIRTLAND — The high school golf season is officially underway for area teams as the Chuck Soria Invitational brought some of the state's best to Riverview Golf Course in Kirtland on Monday.
The tournament is named in honor of one of the leading golf coaches in the region.
"For 25 plus years, (Soria) was a staple at Kirtland Central High School and was instrumental in the development of the area's First Tee Chapter," said Piedra Vista golf coach Tom Yost. "He is a great guy, a great coach and this tournament is a testament to that."
The Piedra Vista boys squad are coming off their second place state showing in the spring, while the girls team began their defense of the state 4A title. Along with the Panthers, Belen made the trip to San Juan County with 4A individual state champion Grady Cox and girls runner up Rylee Salome. Kirtland Central was also in the mix for 4A state representation this season with both their boys and girls teams.
Battling windy conditions for much of the day, the Piedra Vista boys and Belen girls teams came out on top in the team competition.
On the boys side, Piedra Vista put up a dominating team performance, scoring 297 and winning by 27 shots over Kirtland Central with Belen placing third.
The boys medalist was defending state champion Quinn Yost, who shot a 2-under par 70. Skyler Woods from Kirtland Central finished second with a 1-over par 73, while Sebastian Massey from Piedra Vista and Cox finished tied 3rd with 74.
"Conditions were cool and breezy early on and then turned windy later in the day," Yost said. "It was tough to control the golf ball and it was a great test for our players."
On the girls side, Belen beat Piedra Vista by 35 shots, scoring 355 to PV's 390, with Kirtland Central finishing third.
Salome topped the leaderboard at the end of the day, aiding the Eagles to the win with a with a 2-over par round of 74. Piedra Vista's Annie Yost finished second with a 6-over par 78, while Kirtland Central's Kylie Manus finished 3rd with an 11-over par 83.
"It was a long mental grind in those conditions," Yost said. "But it's very similar to what we'll be facing later this spring and at state."
Next up on the schedule will be the Aztec Varsity Invitational at Riverview on Monday, Sept. 27th, followed by the Panther Invite at San Juan Country Club next month.
Steve Bortstein can be reached via email at SBortstein@Gannett.com, via Twitter @DTSBortstein or on the phone at (505) 635-2680