4A boys golf: Cheyenne Mountain wins team title, Montrose's Jennings captures individual crown

(Paul Soriano)

COLORADO SPRINGS ­— It was a milestone day in so many ways for Cheyenne Mountain.

As the school's namesake loomed large in the near distance, the boys golf team captured the Class 4A state tournament championship Tuesday at the Country Club of Colorado.

In the process, the school became just the second program in Colorado to win 100 state crowns. Cherry Creek High School, with 217, was the first. This is the school's second boys golf championship, with the first coming in 2004.

Cheyenne Mountain, which trailed Mullen High School by four strokes after Monday's first round, roared back to win in the final round by five strokes over the Mustangs (459-464).

"I can't be any prouder of my team and the heart they showed, starting on the back nine yesterday and carrying over into today," said Cheyenne Mountain head coach John Carricato, now in his sixth year at the helm.

"We don't talk about the outcome. We talk about being competitively mature and being able to stay in the moment, and they did a great job doing that these past two days. I can't be any happier for them."

It was truly a team win for Cheyenne Mountain, which placed three golfers in the top 15.

Sophomore Carter Surofchek (77-75, 152) finished in a tie for sixth place, followed by senior Connor Moberly (80-74, 154) in a tie for ninth place. Another sophomore, Thomas Herholtz (78-78, 156), finished in a five-way tie for 11th place.

"It feels great, especially being the 100th win for Cheyenne Mountain," Surofchek said. "I'm almost speechless. It's just a great feeling. We've worked so hard. We've outworked everyone.

"We really came back in the second round and worked our butts off," he added. "It was a true team win. We trusted ourselves, we trusted our teammates and everything came together."

Montrose, which had won the previous three team titles (2017, 2018, 2019), finished third with a score of 472.

But the team still had reason to celebrate afterwards thanks to Jordan Jennings.

(Paul Soriano)

The senior carded a 3-under-par 68 to win the state championship by four strokes over Mario Dino of Mullen.

Jennings, who was tied with five other players for second place after the first round, started the final round hot as he posted three straight birdies after a par on the first hole.

"I got off to a great start. I knew that I had to," he admitted. "I was making some good putts and hitting the ball a lot better."

Jennings made the turn at 1-under par, then scorched the back nine, going bogey-free along with two birdies to win going away.

"I think I was three-strokes back going into the back nine, and I just told myself to keep my head up. It's not over yet, and I've got a lot of golf left," he added. "I stayed positive, made a few putts coming down the stretch and got it done."

For Montrose head coach Steve Skiff, it was a mission accomplished.

"Jordan has been playing this way all year. He's been a really steady golfer for us," Skiff said. "We wanted him to win a state championship his senior year, and he went out and played an awesome round today ... really the last two days.

"It couldn't happen to a better kid," Skiff added. "He's the rock of our program, and has been for the last four years. I just couldn't be more proud of him, and I'm so happy to coach him."

Jennings, who is headed to Colorado State next season, had some encouraging words for his teammates after watching Cheyenne Mountain snap the Indians' streak of three-straight titles.

"We fell short this year," said Jennings. "Obviously, I'm so excited to win as an individual, but those young kids definitely have a few state titles coming their way if they just keep working.

"They're great players and great kids. I think they're going to do well in the future."

And as happy as he is for his Cheyenne Mountain golfers, Carricato is also excited about the future.

"It's hard to describe, but the reason [my team] accomplished what they did is because there are about 10 other kids in this program that push them," he said. "Those other players are good enough to be on a state team.

"Our depth is one of our biggest strengths, and we're lucky to be able to build that program with that depth," Carricato added. "We're looking forward to what's going to happen in the next couple of years, too."