Columbine places third at regionals, sending four golfers to 5A state meet

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By Chelsy Woods Klein

       ARVADA — With the golf season quickly approaching its end, teams vied for their spot to go to 5A state championship. Columbine, Chatfield and Dakota Ridge competed against the best golfers in the Metro West Region on Sept. 17 at Indian Tree Golf Course.
“You know league doesn’t really matter,” Columbine head coach Tim Capra said. “Regionals are really where it’s at for us and this is a tough course.”
Columbine finished third as a team and qualified all four of its golfers with a team score of 236. Chatfield qualified two individuals — senior Riley Eichler and junior Andrew Metanias —finishing with a team score of 240. Dakota Ridge finished with a 251 total, but qualified sophomore Paul Fox.
“We don’t have any seniors on the team this year, so I’m pretty pleased with the results,” Dakota Ridge head coach Scott Burroughs said.
The greens were slow with moisture left over from watering the night before and held to the ground by the cold, humid morning. That made putting all the more challenging.
“It was rough out there today. The putts were not falling in,” Columbine’s Greg Shelton said. He finished with a 78. “I would hit it right where I wanted to and it wouldn’t break the way I wanted to.”
On the 12th hole, which was the longest of the day at 602 yards, Shelton took par, but said he didn’t realize that it was as long of a hole as it was.
“This was a tough course,” Shelton said.
Coming off of the 18th hole, Chatfield head coach Steve Schimpeler asked Eichler how he did. When Eichler told him that he finished with the best score of his group Schimpeler grinned ear-to-ear and gave him a congratulatory pat on the back. Little did either know that his best of group score would translate into a second-place finish overall. Only Lakewood’s Sam Lange, with a 74, shot better than Eichler.
Ralston Valley won the team title with a 214 total. Pomona came in second with a 231, followed by Columbine.
“We thought we were going to finish second, but traditionally we don’t finish as well here at Indian Tree as we usually do. But we got all four in and that was our goal,” Capra said. “Now we have to prepare for state.”
The 5A state tournament is Oct. 1-2 at Rolling Hills Golf Course in Golden.