FARMINGTON — The fall golf season came to a close for many local teams at the Piedra Vista Fall Invite at Piñon Hills on Monday.
Despite the tournament being held on familiar territory, none of the competing San Juan Country schools were able to earn a team qualifying leg for May’s state tournaments.
However, a handful of local players were able to pick up legs as individuals. Players and teams need to earn three legs — state tournament qualifying scores — to qualify for the state tournaments.
Kirtland Central senior Kyla Jones fired an 83 to finish second overall as an individual, just one shot back of medalist Ashlee Garrett of St. Pius X.
The 11-over, 83 gave Jones her second leg of the year, and the senior only needs to pick up more one leg to qualify for the A-4A state tournament, which will be held at Roswell’s Spring River Golf Course.
KC head coach Steve Williams said Jones picking up her second leg will take a lot of pressure off the senior as she tries to make the state tournament field for the fourth straight year.
“I think the experience she has is big,” Williams said. “She’ll know what to expect. She’s been there the last few years. I think she'll respond well.”
PV’s Belle Toney also earned her second leg, shooting a 90 to finish fourth individually.
Aztec’s Linda Peralta (89) and PV’s Chantalle Kovacs (95) also shot well enough for to pick up a leg, but both had already qualified for the 5A state tournament, which will be held at Piñon Hills.
St. Pius took the girls team title with a total score of 372. PV placed second with a 408 and KC finished third with a 424.
On the boys side, Farmington finished second with a 343, 17 shots back of St. Pius X.
PV finished third with a total of 345.
Farmington’s Zack Holesinger took medalist honors and with a 1-over, 73, showing could be a contender for the state title as an individual.
Holesinger was the only local player to shoot a state qualifying score, although he had already picked up his three legs in the first three tournaments of the season.
Kirtland Central and Shiprock will head to Grants to play in the Coyote Invitational at Coyote del Malpais Golf Course next Wednesday and Thursday. The tournament was rescheduled from last week after heavy rains flooded parts of the course. Some teams elected to play through the conditions last week. Next week’s tournament will serve as a make-up for the teams that stayed home.
Karl Schneider is the sports editor for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4648.