The Moffat County High School girls golf team overcame steady wind and other difficult conditions to finish a two-day, two-tournament trip this week with a pair of top-5 finishes.
For coach Ann Marie Roberts and her team, playing outdoors came as a welcome relief from the indoor blues.
"We spent five weeks in the gym (practicing), so it was exciting to get out of there," Roberts said. "The girls did well. I'm real pleased with them."
Roberts took five golfers with her to compete Wednesday and Thursday, three of whom hadn't competed in a high school event before. Sophomore Nike Cleverly and freshmen Sam Fox and Jamie Brown joined junior Heather Nicholson and sophomore Callie Papoulas on the trip.
On Wednesday, the team played Deer Creek Golf Course, a par 72 course that plays about 5,300 yards, in Cedaredge.
It was MCHS' first team meet of the year.
Roberts said conditions were OK for the front nine, however, winds reaching 40 miles per hour and a tight, keep-it-in-the-fairway back 9 awaited players as they made the turn.
Still, her players performed, she said.
Nicholson placed second out of 48 players Wednesday. She finished her round with a 94, tied for first place.
On the first hole in a sudden-death playoff, Nicholson narrowly missed a birdie, which would have given her a tournament victory. She tapped in for par. On the second, she settled for a bogey and a second-place overall finish.
Papoulas also fared well.
She shot a 108, good for a top-10 tournament finish, the first of her career.
Overall, the team finished fourth out of eight teams.
On Thursday, at Devil's Thumb Golf Course (par 72, 5,300 yards) in Delta, the team again played well. Roberts said many of her golfers improved their score from the previous day.
Nicholson led the way with a 94 and a third-place finish. Overall, MCHS finished fourth out of 10 teams competing.
The junior is off to a fast start this season.
Last week, at a tournament at Tiara Rado in Grand Junction, she shot a 95 and finished third.
"She's gotten a medal every tournament of the year so far," Roberts said. "It's nice to see her win like that."