Northern Wyoming News - Serving the Big Horn Basin for over 100 years

By Alex Kuhn
Sports Editor 

Simmons brings home his first individual 3A State title

Warriors finish second as a team

 

September 19, 2018

DAILY NEWS/ Alex Kuhn

Warrior Karsten Simmons shakes WHS Activities Director Mark Mortimer's hand after winning the 3A East golf tournament on Sept. 8 at Green Hills Golf Course in Worland.

WORLAND - The Worland High School golf season came to a close in Riverton, Saturday, and after all the dust settled Warrior Karsten Simmons brought home the individual state championship.

Simmons, a freshman, shot 74, 69-143 to beat out 3A's defending champion, Lander's Jaren Calkins, by two strokes. At the start of the tournament, things were not going Simmons' way as he was down seven strokes to Calkins halfway through the first round.

But on his final nine holes of the first round, Simmons turned it on and showed why he's going to be a force for the remainder of his high school career. From that point until the end of the second round he went 5-under-par.

"It actually began on his second nine in the first round. He was 7 back, and Karsten is a fighter. He played the last 27 holes in 5-under-par. That's pretty incredible. He just began trying to make putts. Really, I think it was the length of the par putts he was making that took the air out of his competitors. Every time it looked like they might have him, he clawed back in," said WHS golf coach Chad Rose.

Simmons is Worland's first state golf champion since Sarah Schroefel in 2012 and the first Warrior to win state since Jeff Vail in 2004.

As a team the Warriors came in second, finishing 10 strokes behind Lander. Simmons was joined in the top 10 by teammates JT Klinghagen (third, 77, 82-159) and Logan Foote (sixth, 83, 78-161). All three golfers earned All-State honors for finishing in the Top 10.

"You know, I feel like the kids did really well," said Rose. "Lander was a bit deeper, but through our first three spots, we hung with them. Konnor did exactly what we needed in his spot. Early in Saturday's round, we had cut the lead to one stroke. Then they grew it to 18, but our 1, 2, and 3 golfers played the last 5 holes in 4-under-par. We gave them more competition than they have seen recently. I'm very proud of our kids."

Added Rose, "This is one of the most competitive groups I have coached in golf. They will fight until the end. They surely did that this year. That performance at state was the second-lowest score by a Warriors team at state in our history. There really isn't any more I could have asked of them."

For the Lady Warriors, they end their season on a high note with all three of them setting state personal records. Rachael Carver shot a 114, 115-229, Robyn Horath finished with a 124, 111-235 and Navy Martinez went 158, 150-308.

The season for the Lady Warriors was about improving each week and to their credit, each golfer did that. Carver and Martinez closed out their careers in Riverton and Rose was proud of the effort and work both put in during their time in the program.

"There were bright spots for all the girls. All of them set new state PRs. Robyn's 111 on Saturday is one of her better rounds ever," said Rose. "Rachael and Navy sent their careers off in style. Rachael had some struggles with the driver late in the season, but overall I would say it was a success for both of them. Navy really started making progress this season. I wish I could keep them both next year."

Next year the Lady Warriors will be focused on recruiting and boosting their numbers. "We are going to find some more golfers to fill out the roster. We are excited to get Annalise Newell and Ashley Schriber back in the spring. They played well for us last spring," said Rose.

Worland returns all but one from this year's varsity team, senior Jose Galarza. While Lander brings back all of their starters. Next year is shaping up to be another fierce Warriors-Tiger showdown and if Worland is going to get by Lander, Rose wants his golfers competing in tournaments during the offseason.

"Lander returns all of their varsity, so we will have our work cut out for us. We need to make sure that we compete outside of the high school season in junior and adult tournaments. Lander is battle ready, and to beat them we will have to sharpen our tournament skills a bit more through competition outside of the season," said Rose.

 
 

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