Berthoud Weekly Surveyor | Covering all the angles in the Garden Spot

Lady Spartans claim 7th at state

By: Dan Karpiel | The Surveyor | June 09, 2022 | Girls golf

Golf is a sport where the smallest detail – be it of the mental or physical variety – can have an enormous impact.

Photo by Dan Karpiel – The Berthoud High girls golf team (left to right) of Coach David Hunn, Brooklyn Tychsen, Ashley Russell, Oliva Gravestock, Anya Knoll and Coach John Perry took seventh place at the two-day, 36-hole state championship tournament at The Broadlands in Broomfield last week.

Playing at The Broadlands Golf Club in Broomfield last Tuesday and Wednesday at the 3A State Championships, the Berthoud High girls golf team demonstrated magnificent resiliency by bouncing back from suboptimal first rounds to shine on day two and rally for a seventh-place team finish with all four players finishing well within the top half of the 84-player field.

Berthoud, with a two-day team score of 558, finishe–d one shot behind sixth-place Resurrection Christian and just 11 shots behind fourth-place Peak to Peak. Juniors Anya Knoll (97, 88) and Ashley Russell (92, 93) paced the team by shooting 185 to tie for 21st place, Olivia Gravestock shot 188 (96, 92) to take 24th and Brooklyn Tychsen finished in 37th by carding a 196 (103, 93).

“To have a little bit of adversity like they did yesterday, to come back and compete, that’s what a Spartan is all about; we are going to show everybody that we’re going to compete and we’re going to do it with class, it’s about winning or learning not winning or losing and they embraced that,” said Berthoud Head Coach David Hunn. “This game is hard enough, if you can’t keep it together mentally and emotionally, then your swing is not going to be there, that growth from all of them was incredible. Overall, the girls have just pleased me tremendously.”

Gale force winds and driving rain sullied the back nine on day one for the entire team. Cooler, but calmer, conditions in the second round were welcome, but the mental fortitude displayed by the four young women was the real game-changer.

Hunn explained and he assistant coach John Perry had “a lot of long text streams” with each of the girls on Tuesday evening. While the coaches worked to dissect each girls’ game, highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of each and providing suggestions on where and how to improve, the messages all boiled down to a similar theme.

As Hunn said, “We told them we love you. We understand your expectations might not have been met today, but you’re still at state, there’s a lot of girls at home not doing this that wish they were, we just want you to go out, take it one shot at a time, and believe in yourself.”

Knoll’s 97 on day one tied her highest score of the year, the winds and rain certainly did not help, but, as she explained after the tournament, her improvement on day two was all about keeping the ball in the fairway off the tee. “I hit a lot better off the tee today, I really struggled off the tee yesterday, being able to keep it in play today helped a lot, getting my second shot on hit the green helped keep my strokes down today,” Berthoud’s star junior said. Knoll closed strongly, carding a six-over 42 on her final nine holes with pars on 11, 14, 16 and 17 to claim 21st place.

While Russell’s 18-holes scores of 92 and 93 on days one and two, respectively, were far and away the most consistent on the team, the junior said she felt much more comfortable on day two and her play reflected as such.

A few mistakes, triple bogeys on holes three, nine and 13, boosted the shot total in a round where she carded five pars including four of the final five holes. “I felt a lot more consistent, knowing exactly where I needed to be today, even though the pin placements were different, really helped me stay consistent today,” said Russell, who made her second trip to state in as many years.

Gravestock, who began playing golf mere months ago, took the team, league, and state, by storm. The sophomore made two birdies and two pars on day one but on seven holes made double-bogey or worse. She found her consistency on Wednesday, a birdie and five pars helped her improve by four strokes round over round. “I think it was being more comfortable, knowing where I wanted to be, that helped,” she said.

Tychsen missed qualifying for state by the slimmest of margins last year but used that disappointment from her freshman season as motivation to make state – and make it easily – this year with a fifth-place finish at regionals. She used the same motivation after a 103 in the opening round to turn around with a 10-stroke improvement on day two, going out in 48 and coming home with a spectacular 45 that included four pars.

“It’s more motivation for next year, it makes me want to improve even more,” Tychsen said, crediting some of her improvement from day one to day two with course familiarity “It helped us learn where we could aim, how to avoid the bunkers, where I really wanted to go on each shot, there’s a lot of water, there’s a lot of bunkers, I knew I had to stay away from those.”

After winning the regional crown as a team and taking seventh at state, the team knows the sky is the limit as all four varsity players, in addition to a deep bench that has and will continue to push the team’s top four, are all underclassmen. “I know these girls have the ability to compete at the top, be a top-three, top-four team,” Hunn said. “They’re committed to practice, they’re committed to doing what we’re asking them to do, they have the skill, if next year we can get 50% of improvement we had this year, you’ve got the potential for an outstanding team.”







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