COLORADO SPRINGS — Cheyenne Mountain is hoping that Monday's result is a preview of things to come in three weeks.
The Indians cleaned up at the Cheyenne Mountain Invitational as Maxine Choi shot a 9-over-par-80 to claim a gold medal, while the Indians shot 263 overall to claim the team championship.
"It was nice," coach John Carricato said. "I think it was a little bit of an upset. Coronado has been playing really well all season long, so I was a little surprised."
The Cougars finished second as a team and had to players (Kate Griffin and Madi Eurich) finish in the top 10 individually.
But the Indians got a huge boost from freshman Milan Katalin and junior Grace Samuelson, who both shot under 100 for the day. It has been Choi, however, who has paced the team for the bulk of the season. With the state golf tournament three weeks away, she has reason to be encouraged by Monday's result.
The Class 4A tournament will be at the Country Club of Colorado, the site of Monday's tournament.
"It's just a home course and where we play every day," Choi said. "I know it like the back of my hand."
Choi finished eighth at last year's state tournament, but has put together a consistent season for Cheyenne Mountain. She spent all offseason trying to fine-tune her work on the course and says she has noticed a difference this year.
"My distance has gone up at least 10 yards with each club," she said. "I have that advantage now. On par-4's, I have about 60 yards coming in, so that's pretty hard to mess up."
Choi went without a birdie in the round and limited herself to just one double-bogey, which came on the par-5 12th. She went on to make par on five of her last six holes.
That was good enough to hold off Discovery Canyon freshman Christian Cheng. Her two birdies of the day came on 17 and 18, the latter of which she got on a long putt from the first cut off the green.
"I really did well putting today," Cheng said. "I know I'm going to have to do that when state comes."
With Monday's wins and the fact that Cheyenne Mountain has now gone two years without winning a team state title, it would appear that expectations are becoming higher for what this team can do late in May.
But for Carricato, and by osmosis his girls, the focus is not on ending any kind of drought. He would much rather focus on getting his girls ready for the next few weeks and simply getting them to play the best they can.
"I don't like getting wrapped up in the past or wrapped up in outcomes," Carricato said. "I'm about the process. I just want them to be in the moment.