Lady Cats get sixth golfer qualified for state

Staff report
ROSWELL — Clovis High’s girls went to Thursday’s Last Chance Invite at the New Mexico Military golf course specifically hoping to get a sixth player qualified for Class 6A state competition.

Mission accomplished, as senior Marissa Waters earned her third leg with a score of 43-45 — 88.

“We wanted to get Marissa in the tournament,” CHS girls coach Steve Speck said. “That’s why we came. She beat the (state-qualifying) score by seven strokes.”

The Lady Wildcats, who left two of their top four players at home in sophomore Sydni Hill and junior Hannah Reid, finished third in a five-team field at 347, trailing Roswell Goddard (330) and Artesia (333). They earned their ninth team leg in 10 tourneys, missing out by one stroke in a tournament hosted by Rio Rancho Cleveland on March 23 at Albuquerque’s Canyon Club — site of the 6A state meet.

Meantime, the CHS boys shot 299 and were second, one stroke behind NMMI and three shots in front of Artesia in a six-team field. Sophomore Christian Fontanilla’s 4-under par 32-36 — 68 led the Wildcats and was good for a tie for second place individually behind NMMI’s Sergio Amarieio (67).

All four Lady Cats earned legs on Tuesday, although the others had already qualified individually. Sophomore Raquel Anaya led the team at 41-43 — 84.

The individual medalist was Artesia’s Josey Jackson at 75.

The boys earned a fourth team leg, and four of their five players notched individual legs.

“They started off really well,” CHS boys coach Cal Fullerton said of his squad. “That always helps, when you can gain some confidence early. Hopefully, we can carry that on to district and state.”

Five boys teams have already clinched 6A state berths, including three from 4-6A — Clovis, Hobbs and Carlsbad. The others are La Cueva and two-time defending champion Cleveland.

Fullerton said the state meet, slated for May 9-10, should be competitive.

“You never know,” he said. “I think Hobbs is as good as anybody, and we’ve played with them at times.”

CHS squads will participate in District 4-6A competition on Monday, slated for 10 a.m. at Ruidoso’s The Links at Sierra Blanca.