May 3, 2012 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports EditorEastern Wyoming College sophomore Zach Waxler, a former Riverton High School golfer, won the Region IX collegiate golf title to qualify for the National Junior College Athletic Association Golf Championship.
The one-time RHS standout hopes make a run up the leaderboard at the four-day tournament later this month in Newton, Kan.
"I just played solid during the whole year," Waxler said.
Waxler finished second twice. He also placed third and fourth.
Waxler had tournaments in Wyoming, Colorado and Nebraska.
"The competition at the top of the junior college level is pretty high," Waxler said. "There are some great players. We had a good team this year."
Waxler was the leader for the Lancers, helping Eastern place second in every tournament.
Trinidad State Junior college won the Region IX team title. Eastern Wyoming finished second, Lamar College came in third, and Otero placed fourth.
Waxler said one of his best tournaments of the season came at the McCook Invitational.
In the 36-hole tournament, Waxler fired a 78 on the first day and a 74 on the second to finish with a two-day total of 152.
Trinidad's Michael Marquez won the tournament (76-75--151).
"The tournament at McCook was the hardest one that we played in," Waxler said. "It was raining a little bit before the first round. That made you really focus to grind it out. The second day was in much better conditions."
Waxler finished second in his home tournament at the Eastern Wyoming Invitational. Walker had scores of 73 and 72 for a 145.
The national tournament is set for May 15-18.
"It's a very nice course," Waxler said. "it's a links-style course. I just want to take in all the good competitive play that I will get. I want to shoot right around par."
After his season is finished, Waxler is planning to take part in seven golf tournaments this summer. One is the annual Saltwater Classic held at the end of this month at the Riverton County Club.
Waxler hopes to continue his college golf career at either Utah State or the University of Wyoming.
"The coaches will look at the whole picture," Waxler said. "They will look at my swing and what they can work with. If I do play well at nationals, then they will be impressed."
Scores from Zach Waxler's tournaments Otero/Lamar Invitational held March on 29-30
1. Keelen Gunderson, Trinidad, 67-72-139.
2. Kyle Roll, Trinidad, 69-71--140
3. (tie) Zach Waxler, Eastern Wyoming, 70-72--142 and Josh Woodworth, Trinidad, 68-74--142
Northeastern Junior College
Invitational on April 4-5
1. Kyle Roll, Trinidad, 68-73--141.
2. (tie) Josh Woodworth, Trinidad, 74-69-143
3, Kaelen Gunderson, Trinidad, 70-73--143
4. Zach Waxler, Eastern, 76-74--150.
held on April 12-13
1. Michael Marquez, Trinidad, 76-75--151
2. (tie) Zach Waxler, Eastern Wyoming, 78-74--152 James Willis, Southeast Nebraska, 82-70--152
Eastern Wyoming Invitational
held on April 19-20
1. Joe Apache, Trinidad, 71-73--144.
2. Zach Waxler, Eastern Wyoming, 73-72--145.
Trinidad State Invitational
held on April 26-27
1. Ben Vetrovsky, Milles Community College, 71-69--140
2. Kalen Gunderson, Trinidad, 72-75--147.
3. Josh Woodworth, Trinidad, 73-75--148.
4. Zach Waxler, Eastern, 72-77--149.
Get your copy of The Ranger online, every day! If you are a current print subscriber and want to also access dailyranger.com online (there is nothing more to purchase) including being able to download The Mining and Energy Edition, click here. Looking to start a new online subscription to dailyranger.com (even if it is for just one day)? Access our secure SSL encrypted server and start your subscription now by clicking here.