Grand Junction's Gracie Olkowski is dominating girls golf on the western slope

(Photo courtesy of Gracie Olkowski)

Grand Junction's Gracie Olkowski is seeing nothing but red numbers lately, but that's not really anything new when it comes to members of her family.

Big brother Trevor? He's busy in California this week as he made the six-man roster for the University of Colorado men's golf team. As a freshman, he's competing for the Buffs in the Pac-12 Championships.

Other brother Canon? He finished third at last fall's Class 5A state golf tournament at CommonGround. He has also committed to play golf for the Buffs.

But the spring is Gracie's time.

She won Tuesday's Aspen Invitational, shooting a 1-under-par-69. That followed up her performance at the Fruita Monument Invitational on Monday, where she also shot a 69 to go for the win.

"She is just determined," Grand Junction coach Sandy Stormy said. "Gracie actually played as the No. 2 for us to start the season because we had a freshman come in so strong. It's pushed Gracie a lot and she's matured and she's more determined to play well.

All told, Olkowski has six wins on the year and has Grand Junction in a position to head into next month's state tournament as a threat to come away with a championship.

Olskowski finished tied for 24th at last year's 5A tournament at Rolling Hills in Golden. Her rounds of 84 and 87 seem like a distant memory compared to the way she has played since the 2018 season has started.

In eight tournaments that Olkowski has played on full-length courses, she has gone over par just three times. Her net scoring total relative to par is 8-over. She has yet to bleed into the 80's this year.

"This year, I've put a lot more positive work in during the offseason," Gracie said. "I've tried to focus more on practicing and making sure I'm practicing better than I was last year."

5A boys state golf Canon Olkowski Grand Junction

Canon Olkowski. (Ryan Casey/

As just a sophomore, she's already well on her way to following in the feats of her older brother, if not topping what they were able to do. Trevor went through four years of high school without winning a state title, although he did finish in the top 10 three times. Canon has seen a similar trajectory as Trevor. He's had three attempts to win a state title, but finished as high as third.

With the 2018 state tournament at Boulder Country Club less than a month away, Gracie could be the first Olkowski to claim gold.

"I would feel really accomplished with that in living up to my brothers and what they've done in the sport," she said. "They've been really great idols for me so to bring home a state championship would be a really great accomplishment."

With Trevor already playing for the Buffs and Canon already committed to CU, it would seem natural that Gracie would have her eyes on Boulder. But she wants to make sure that she keeps all her options opened and even seemed open to the idea of playing in a little bit of a warmer climate.

But that's two years down the road. For now, Gracie is only focused on what she can accomplish this year.

And if she plays the way she has this week, the idea of winning a 5A state title as a sophomore isn't far-fetched. If she pulls it off, perhaps her older siblings will be looking up to her.