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Panthers golf heads to state after its highest regional finish

M-CHS senior Chesnie Patrick led the Panthers to their historic finish at the 3A Region 4 tournament in Alamosa. Photo courtesy of Cody Olivas
M-CHS takes second place in Region 4 tournament

For all that the Montezuma-Cortez girls golf program has achieved in the past decade, the list of unaccomplished achievements shrinks with each passing year. After their regional performance in Alamosa Tuesday morning, the Panthers can check off another landmark achievement to the team’s growing lore.

The Panthers posted their best-ever regional finish, taking second place in the Region 4 tournament at Cattails Golf Course, earning second year head coach Travis Wright’s team a qualifying place for next week’s 3A state tournament.

Senior Chesnie Patrick led a trio of Panthers who finished in the top five in the field, as M-CHS scored 262 to take the runner-up spot behind regional champion Aspen (249). As she has for much of her four years as a state qualifier, Patrick posted a steady round of 85 to take third overall.

“With all the bittersweet emotions of playing in her last high school tournaments, she’s been able to stay laser-focused,” Wright said.

Sophomore Amita Crowley carded an 87 to take fourth for the Panthers and make a return trip to the state field. Often trading team-high honors with Patrick, Crowley’s breakout season placed her near the top of every tournament field all season.

“She’s the best sophomore in the 3A classification,” said Wright of Crowley, “and she’s enjoyed many personal bests this year – she’ll definitely be a leader for this program for the next two years.”

Classmate Afton Unrein claimed fifth with a round of 90, joining Crowley with a second state appearance on her résumé.

“Afton’s been such a strong presence for us this year,” added Wright, “she’s been a player that we’ve really counted on.”

Junior Erin Lawrence enjoyed a strong regional round that continued her growth this season, posting a 106 to finish 20th in the field, and earn herself a spot with her Panther teammates for her inaugural state trip.

“Erin made huge strides this year, breaking 100 for the first time this year,” said Wright, “she’s been the life of the team.”

The Panther growth, according the Wright, also stemmed from his assistant coach. “Coach Jordan has been a major factor in our success, she’s patient and makes an emotional connection with the girls, which has helped us reach new heights.”

Aspen’s Lenna Persson took medalist honors in the tournament, scoring 71 to lead the Skiers to the team crown.

The Panthers, coming off a top 10 finish in 2023, head to The Olde Course in Loveland on Monday and Tuesday, May 20-21 for the 36-hole state tournament.