GOLDEN — A sophomore slump doesn’t appear to be in the cards for Evergreen’s Tyler Long.
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The defending Class 4A Jeffco League individual medalist champion as a freshman from last season started the conference tournament season right where he left off last year. Long, a sophomore, shot a 4-under-par at Applewood Golf Course on Aug. 10. The round of 67 was the lowest round in the 5A and 4A Jeffco League tournament opener.
Long had six birdies and just a pair of bogeys on his round. He had a string of four birdies in five holes on the front-nine. Senior teammate Duncan McIntosh finished two strokes behind Long with a solid 69. The Cougars got off to a good start on trying to defend their 4A team league title shooting a team score of 284. Green Mountain finished second with a 321.
On the 5A Jeffco side, Ralston Valley sophomore Dimarco Benallo edged a pair of Valor juniors to take the individual title. Benallo had a 2-under-par, 69 to take a one-stroke win over Valor’s Maxwell Eide and Ethan Rainey who both shot 70. Arvada West sophomore David Thomson finished in a three-way tie with Eide and Rainey with his 1-under-par round.
Columbine junior Matai Naqica — competed in the national finals of the Drive, Chip & Putt the week before the Masters at Augusta National last spring — finished fifth with a 71 at Applewood. Naqica finished third in the 5A Jeffco individual medalist standings last season in helping the Rebels take the 5A league title.
Valor edged Ralston Valley by five strokes for the team title at Applewood. It should be a tight race for the league title in 5A with Valor, Ralston Valley, Arvada West and Columbine only separated by 12 strokes in the opening league tournament.
Dennis Pleuss is the sports information director for Jeffco Public Schools. For more Jeffco coverage, go to CHSAANow.com.
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