Claiming a pair of gold trophies are well within reach again for Manhattan Christian following the first day of the State C golf tournament.
Both of the Eagles' teams are atop the standings at Double Arrow Golf Course in Seeley Lake. Each lead by 14 strokes, and Caidin Hill is the individual leader for the boys.
Hill, who is the defending state champion, carded a 74 to lead Christian to a team score of 253. The sophomore leads the field by nine strokes heading into Day 2 as the Eagles seek to repeat.
“He played lights out today,” Christian co-head coach Tom Hubers said. “The boys started on the back nine, and so he shot 38 and then he shot even par of the front nine.”
Hill was 2-under heading into the final two holes of the day, and then ran into some trouble. He had a double bogey on the first hole, but made a 15-foot putt on the second to finish with the 74.
“He’s happy,” said Hubers. “We got a pretty good game plan for him and he’s just executing the shots he needs to, and his score obviously reflected it today.”
Trevor VanDyken carded an 89 for the Eagles, while David Aamot and Cullen Visser rounded out the team with a 90 and 93, respectively.
“All the boys played pretty good on the front nine and just struggled a little bit on the back,” said Hubers. “Cullen had an off day today, but I think he can bounce back tomorrow and hopefully contribute to the team score too.”
Gardiner, led by an 88 from Sean Rehmer, is second in the team standings with a 267 and leads Great Falls Central by one stroke. Kale Peterson, of Westby/Grenora, is second individually with an 83.
Christian’s girls are in position to win a third consecutive team title after finishing Day 1 with a 308. Defending state champion Jillian Frye led the charge with a 90.
“Jill didn’t play great. Had some good holes, had some bad holes,” said Hubers. “I know she’s going to be anxious to get back out there tomorrow and post a good number, and hopefully win it individually and help the team win the team title as well.”
Frye trails Ennis’ Landri Paladichuk, who is last year’s state runner up, by two stokes.
“Not an insurmountable number to overcome for tomorrow,” said Hubers. “Jill will have her work cut out for her a little bit, but I think she can do it.”
Alexa VanDyken carded a 108 for the Eagles, while Maddie Liudahl and Natalie Walhof followed with a 110 and 116, respectively.
“Maddie and Alexa both struggled. Had some pretty bad holes and just didn’t finish the best on the last few holes either,” said Hubers. “So looking to improve on that tomorrow.”
Chinook is second in the team standings with a 322, while Belt is third with a 332.
Missoula Loyola boys lead State B
Missoula Loyola’s boys lead the field with a 308 after the first day of the State B tournament at Canyon River Golf Course in Missoula. Conrad is second with a 347, while Broadwater County rounds out the top three with 361.
The Rams also boast the individual leader in Bucky Crippen, who had rounds of 34 and 31 for a 65. He’ll take an eight-stroke lead into Day 2 over Broadwater’s Cody Graveley, who carded a 73 (36-37).
John Jennings, the lone representative for Three Forks, carded an 83 following rounds of 41 and 42.
On the girls’ side, Missoula Loyola leads Shelby in the team standings by one stroke, 372-373, while Bigfork is third with a 428.
Katie Fagg, of Missoula Loyola, leads the field with a 74 with back-to-back rounds of 37. Fairfield’s Emma Woods and Shelby’s Skyler Martin each carded a 77.
Manhattan is tied for 9th with Poplar after both teams carded a 488. Jasmine Grossman led the Tigers with a 102 following rounds of 52 and 50.
Manhattan was rounded out by Ashley McCormack (106), Kristen McCormack (123), Cayli Chapman (157), and Ella Halverson (168).
Mackenzie Rowan carded a 111 as the lone golfer for Three Forks.