It didn’t take long for the Bolts to get the taste of winning. The Thunder Basin High School girls golf team topped a seven-team field, including defending state champion Kelly Walsh High School, at the Park County Shootout on Thursday and Friday.
Karissa Taranas and Darby Barstad led the way, shooting 167 over the two-day tournament in Powell and Cody to tie for fourth. Finishing right on their heels was standout Maria Farnum, who was just two strokes behind for a fifth-place finish.
Arilyn Johnson also earned a top-10 finish to round out the TBHS scorers, shooting a 183 over the two days to place ninth. The biggest takeaway for head coach Kameron Hunter was how well the supporting cast played around Farnum.
“That was huge for our team. Even when Maria isn’t playing her best, we have other players to step up,” he said. “For Maria to shoot two solid rounds without striking the ball well says a lot.”
Apart from the simple fact that they won, the biggest highlight was who the Bolts beat in the defending state champions.
“It shows that we can beat those guys and it was also on a neutral site,” Hunter said. “I think it gives our girls a great amount of confidence. Even when we don’t play our best, we can beat them.”
The boys team made big improvements from the first day to the second and finished sixth out of 13 teams. The top TBHS score from the tournament came from Colter Praus with a 166 to place 20th, while Leighton Holden finished one stroke and one place behind him.
Hunter said that shooting in the 320 range that the boys’team managed on Friday was exactly the kind of improvement he was looking for. The Bolts will be back in action Thursday and Friday when they head to the Sheridan Invite.
First female golfer since split competes for Camels
The first Campbell County High School varsity female golfer in three years, freshman Myah Hammerguist, traveled to the 2019 season’s first tournament and shot a 98 in the first round at Powell Golf Club and then a 113 on the second day at Olive Glenn Golf and Country Club in Cody.
“It’s exciting to have one. You need two more to score, but Myah’s a good player,” Camels head coach Bryan Young said about the young player he hopes to build with. “She likes the game, and she’s just going to get better.”
For the boys. Sophomore Brant Morrison led the group shooting a 161, senior Harrison Riss shot 177, senior Lee Gaunter shot 190, sophomore Shay Leupold 191 and freshman Dawson Reed 216. Each course was a par 72.
Gaunter, who is in his first year of high school golf as a senior, had never walked a full 18 holes before, but he finished third on the team.
“First day the nerves got to me a little bit, but the second day I calmed down quite a bit,” said Gaunter, who transferred from Thunder Basin High School and always thought about trying high school golf. “Golf’s always been huge in my family, so I’ve basically golfed my whole life for fun.”
Kelly Walsh finished first, Natrona second and Worland third for the boys teams. For girls, Thunder Basin High School finished first, Kelly Walsh second, and Natrona third. There were 13 teams competing at the tournament, Young said.
There are six more tournaments in the short fall golf season before the Wyoming High School State Tournament begins Sept. 20 at Bell Nob Golf Course in Gillette.