Tait, Columbine conquer 5A regionals

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Columbine sends team to the 5A state tourney in Aurora

By Michael Hicks

When it came to Michael Tait and Greg Shelton, Columbine head coach Tim Capra knew they were going to be OK.
His big concern was how his No. 3 and 4 players – Ashton Opperman and Marcus Tait – would handle the 5A Northern boys golf regionals at Broadlands Golf Course in Broomfield.
Well, he was right about Michael Tait and Shelton. The elder Tait won the regional championship with an even-par 72, despite shooting 4-over on the Par-4, 423-yard No. 11.
Shelton was just four strokes back, tying for fifth place. Opperman and the younger Tait didn’t do too shabby themselves as Columbine, behind a team score 9-over-par 225, won the regional championship by four strokes over Heritage and five shots ahead of Fairview and Monarch on Sept. 19.
Capra thought that Columbine, which took second to Ralston Valley in the 5A Jeffco League, would place second at regionals behind Fairview. But as the day was progressing, the opportunity presented itself for the Rebels to win it all.
The top two teams and the top 13 players not on those rosters qualify for state, which will be Sept. 30-Oct. 1 at Murphy Creek Golf Course in Aurora. The state tournament was originally scheduled at Common Ground, but recent rain and flooding forced it to be relocated.
Marcus Tait tied for eighth with a 5-over 77 to push Columbine over the top.
“Marcus finally got on track. He played phenomenal golf,” Capra said. “For a freshman, that young man did a heck of a job.”
Opperman was just 2-over through the first six holes when he hit a tough stretch at seven, eight and nine that left him at 10-over heading into the back stretch. He still managed to card a 14-over 86 to secure a fourth spot at state for Columbine.
Chatfield’s Alan Berry tied for 15th overall at 8-over 80 to qualify for state. Littleton’s top finisher was Joe Schroer, who tied for 21st at 9-over. He failed to qualify for state because he didn’t finish in the top 13 among players not on either Columbine or Heritage.

Contact Michael Hicks at sports@evergreenco.com or 303-933-2233, ext. 15.