RUIDOSO – It took her all year to do it, but Ruidoso’s Kaylor Grado finally got a qualifying score in the District 4-3A/1A golf tournament at The Links at Sierra Blanca.
Her score was good enough to place her seventh overall. Unfortunately, a winning score is all that would have got her to state, and that honor went to Socorro’s Shania Berger and her 6-under-par score of 66.
Still, the fact that all three Ruidoso girls scored in the top 10 – Lexi Lucero was third with a 78 and Alexa Davis fourth at 79 – showed that the Lady Warriors have a lot of potential.
“They all had a really good day, the weather cooperated, and this was their home course, so they should have done well,” said Ruidoso girls coach Melissa Misquez. “They did what I thought they should have done during the (Leroy) Gooch.”
Davis is the only senior on the team, with several middle schoolers set to take their place on the team next year.
“I know that’s what Kaylor was capable of all year, but her finishing out strong like this makes me look forward to a huge success next year,” Misquez said. “Next year should be pretty strong, as long as Kaylor and Lexi stay active.”
The Ruidoso boys were unable to come up with any qualifying scores, but without a single senior on the squad, coach Jason Kampsky knows his team can do good things in the future.
“The level of consistency between the Gooch and today is fairly consistent,” Kampsky said. “Considering we’re bringing everybody back from this squad next year, we’re looking to cut about six or seven strokes off of everyone’s score. We’ll mean business next year.”
Ruidoso scored 371 as a team – well back of tournament winner Socorro’s 307. Individually, Garrett Eggleston had the best day with an 86, just one stroke away from medaling. Riker Graham was close behind him with an 87.
Ruidoso wasn’t the only Lincoln County school in attendance. Capitan was the nominal host of the tournament, and three Tigers competed.
Tristan Owings shot a 95 on the day, while Ethan Dun turned in a 109. Olivia Bertrand was the only Lady Tiger, shooting 121.
Next week is the Class 3A/1A state tournament at New Mexico State in Las Cruces, and only Lucero and Davis will be making the trip. Misquez expects them both to place high in the final standings.
“This tournament shows what they’re capable of this year. I know Alexa can break 80 every time if she comes out and does her best,” Misquez said. “This is a pretty good preview into what’s going to happen next week.”