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Ruidoso boys, girls get 3rd after State tourney cancelled

By Todd Fuqua

After the first day of competition at the Class 4A/1A State golf tournament at Pinon Hills in Farmington, Ruidoso’s boys and girls were both in third place.

By the end of day 2, they were still there, and yet only two holes had been played.

That’s because rain and lightning forced the second day to be cancelled, and the scores from day 1 stood as the scores for the entire tournament.

While it means both teams are bringing home the third place trophy – Hope Christian and Portales’ boys tied for the State title – neither coach was particularly happy with how things ended.

That’s certainly true of girls coach Melissa Lucero.

“It was a hard day to sit there and wait it out,” said Lucero of the initial decision to merely delay the round. “We didn’t get to finish, and it was hard on these girls. This year feels unfinished, and we don’t know what to think about it right now.”

Ruidoso came in with a 401 after the first round, with Lexi Lucero leading the team with a round of 81. That tied her individually for second place with St. Michael’s Miquela Martinez, while St. Mike’s player Carisa Padilla led the way with a 78.

It was particularly frustrating for coach Lucero because she felt the team knew what needed to be done to make up the difference not just between the Lady Warriors and Silver in second, but also how they might just be able to make it all they way back to challenge eventual champion St. Mike’s for the State title.

“We were ready, we had a good mindset coming into today,” Lucero said. “This was the fourth time we would have played the course in four days, and the girls were ready to dominate and get where we needed to be.

“Lexi had a double and triple and if she hadn’t had those, she’d have been leading the tournament,” said coach Lucero of her sister and top player. “And Alex (Michelena) shot bogeys, and that’s not her game either. The whole team knew what needed to get done, and that just kind of broke everybody’s heart.”

Ruidoso’s boys – making their first appearance at State in a while – were just 10 strokes back of St. Michael’s, so a chance for a red trophy there was even more possible.

“Overall, we didn’t shoot well as a team,” said Ruidoso boys coach Jason Kampsky of his team’s play. “Jake (Butkiewicz) shot an 81, and he thought he did terrible. But he really played very well.”

Ironically, Kampsky thought the rain might help his team, as the Warriors are used to playing on courses that are a little wet. But a course rendered unplayable by too much rain wasn’t good for anybody.

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