The Trinidad High School girls golf team this season could be imagined as a teeter-totter, with two top-flight upperclassmen competitors holding down their end with a clutch of eager freshmen battling to balance them out. It was up-and-down, sure, but it was fun.
Said Head Coach Mark Macaluso, “I told the girls at the banquet — and I think this is the best compliment a coach can give to a team — I told them that not a day, or practice came and went when I didn’t look forward to working with them. We had our laughs and frustrations, but this was a very enjoyable season, because of them and their personalities. And when the season was over, they told me they want to continue to get together on Tuesdays and work on their game. Oh! Isn’t that a good thing to hear?”
It’s music to an old golf coach’s ears…
Macaluso and his team qualified those top two upperclassmen for the Colorado High School Athletic Association (CHSAA) Class 3 girls golf championships. Macaluso confirmed senior Johnna Nadeau and junior Julia Holden were the anchors of his team. Both are now three-time Tri-Peaks League All-Conference selections. Holden is now a three-time state qualifier. Nadeau qualified for state this year, but unfortunately was unable to attend.
At a weather-shortened state tournament, where the second round was cancelled by snowfall at Eagle Ranch in Vail where the 3A championship was being held and at the other championship sites, Holden held her own.
Considering the elements and what Macaluso described as a “very, very tough course,” Holden shot a respectful 99 to place 25th out of 84 competitors.
Colorado Academy senior Caroline Jordaan won the shortened 3A championship shooting a 1-under-par 71. Jordaan was a three-time state runner-up. Colorado Academy also won the team title for the fourth straight year.
“It’s very rewarding to have golfers in the program qualify for state,” said Macaluso though he admitted that with the tournament being shortened and with one golfer unable to attend his emotions and thoughts on the event were still somewhat muddled. “Unfortunately, Johnna wasn’t able to go, but it’s still unbelievably rewarding and you really have to be proud of these girls and Julia did a great job of representing everyone here at the state championship.”
Macaluso continued to heap praise on his upperclassmen, “I told the freshman girls on the first day that we were very fortunate to have Johnna and Julia as team leaders. And for Johnna, she was not just a leader to the girls, but a leader of the program this past year.”
In league play this year, the team finished second in the Tri Peaks, just behind first place finisher Salida. All four Salida golfer made All-Conference this year.
Trinidad won the round held at Summo Golf Course in Florence this year, but were ultimately passed by Salida across the three rounds that also include courses in Colorado City and Trinidad.
The entire Trinidad team saw scores improve through the season with some of the freshman golfers dropping as many as 10 strokes, or more from their scores.
Going forward, Macaluso said he expects this year’s freshmen to improve enough to continue and balance one of the best girls golfers in the state. “They know that Julia is our No. 1,” said Macaluso. “Now they just need to figure out who that No. 2 will be and then that No. 3 and just keep moving up the ladder. We play four and score three, so they just need to keep working up that ladder and then we just need to get a few more girls to keep the program going.”
Macaluso also commended CSHAA scorekeepers Tyler Erickson and Ken Alfonso for their help during the season and offered a fond farewell to Trinidad High School Athletic Director Joe Vergilio, who is departing the post for a principal position in Westcliffe.
(SUB) 2019 Tri Peaks girls golf results
1) Salida 697
2) Trinidad 766
3) St. Mary’s 824
4) CSCS 878
5) Florence 893
6) James Irwin 917
No team score: Manitou Springs, La Junta and Lamar
(SUB) All-conference selections
1) Leane Telle, CSCS, 209
2) Julia Holden, Trinidad, 225
3) Jamison Batinich, Salida, 228
4) Kyler Weaver, Salida, 231
5) Kayla Collins, Salida, 238
6) Johnna Nadeau, Trinidad, 250
7) Lydia Yi, St. Mary’s, 257
8) Corrine Logeman, St. Mary’s, 259
9) Alexis Hess, Florence, 261
10) Dawn Lutrell, La Junta, 273
11) Ray Ann Wilkins, Salida, 279
12) Chloe Unruh, Manitou Springs, 280