Ralston Valley girls golf primed to take aim at first state title

Ralston Valley senior Jordan Remley rolls in a birdie putt Monday. (Dennis Pleuss/Jeffco Athletics)

LAKEWOOD — Ralston Valley senior Jordan Remley had the perfect bookends to her Class 5A Western Regional girls golf medalist title Monday at Fox Hollow Golf Course.

Remley birdied the opening par 4 on the Links course. She closed out her round sinking another birdie on the par 4 closing hole on the Meadows course. The senior and now 4-time 5A state qualifier fired a round of 2-over-par 74 to win by three strokes over Rock Canyon’s Amelia Lee.

The only thing missing, no fist pumps after either birdie.

“If I get too excited the next hole won’t go too well,” Remley said with a laugh and smile about not getting too emotional on the course. “Then I’ll just overthink it and jinx myself. You have to focus on the next shot, not the one that just happened.”

Remley, who has signed to continue her golf career at the University of Wyoming, has always focused on that next shot. She made the leap from finishing tied for 47th at the 5A state tournament her sophomore year to placing fifth last season.

After winning the 5A Jeffco League and regional medalist crowns, Remley will be one of the favorites to win the individual state title at the 2-day state tournament May 22 and 23 at The Club at Rolling Hills in Golden.

Ralston Valley's Sydney Eye blasts her way out of a bunker Monday at Fox Hollow Golf Course. (Dennis Pleuss/Jeffco Athletics)

“She (Remley) is a very strong girl. I think she’ll be prepared for that,” Ralston Valley coach Wendy Davis said of Remley dealing with being one of the favorites. “I think she will have a great tournament.”

Remley is first focused on helping lead Ralston Valley get in contention to win the school’s first girls or boys team golf state championship. The Mustangs placed fourth last season and have all four returning players back — Remley, senior Riley McKibbon, along with sophomores Sydney Eye and Lexi Mueldener.

The four cruised to the regional team title at Fox Hollow on Monday. Mueldener shot an 82. Eye and McKibbon fired rounds of 85 to defeat Rock Canyon by seven strokes.

“I’m hoping our team show up at state this year and actually makes a run at it,” Remley said. “I feel like I’m the one leading. I can’t show the fear. I can’t say I have the butterflies. I want my teammates to feel confident.”

The Mustangs should feel comfortable playing at Rolling Hills. The four play the course a lot. McKibbon and Mueldener are actually members of the private club.

“You do know it so well, but you can also put a lot of pressure on yourself to play well on your home course,” said McKibbon, who has played this spring despite back issues. “It will be exciting. It will be fun playing competitively there.”

Ralston Valley's Lexi Mueldener eyes her drive Monday during the 5A Western Regional tournament. (Dennis Pleuss/Jeffco Athletics)

McKibbon added that winning Ralston Valley’s first golf title is something the four has talked about for a long time.

“It would be great,” said Davis, who coached Ralston Valley’s softball team to 4A state titles in 2002 and 2007. “The girls have worked so hard and they are truly a team. I think sometimes in golf you don’t think of it as a team sport. They work hard together.”

The key for the Mustangs is to get off to a good start Day 1 at state.

“The first day you have to put yourself in position to win it,” Remley said. “Individually, it can be one hole that can take you out of it. Putting can really destroy you at Rolling Hills.”

The regional tournament at Fox Hollow didn’t completely get completed Monday. Bear Creek’s Anna Branscome and Heritage’s Hattie Poole both shot round of 96 and began a playoff for the final spot in the state tournament. Rain, lightning and hail rolled before the playoff could be completed.

The playoff will be completed sometime later this week.

Ralston Valley senior Riley McKibbon waits on the tee box during her round Monday. (Dennis Pleuss/Jeffco Athletics)