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RHS wins golf invitational

Aug 25, 2013 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports Editor

The Wolverines will continue the season Thursday and Friday at the 36-hole Worland Invitational.

Three Riverton High School freshmen placed in the top 10 to carry the home squad to the boys team golf title on Friday at the Riverton Invitational.

RHS freshman Easton Paxton claimed his first individual championship of his career after shooting a two-day total of 141 at the Riverton County Club. Par for the course is 72.

Paxton took control of the tournament with a score of 66 on Thursday in the opening round. Paxton scored a 75 on Friday to win the crown by five strokes over Green River's Nathan Green. The tournament was the season opener.

"A 66 is a phenomenal high school score, especially on this course," RHS coach Lars Flanagan said. "I'm sure he would have liked to shoot better than the 75, but you look at the whole body of work."

Flanagan said Paxton hit the ball very well on Thursday, building his big lead in the first 18 holes.

"He was a little dissatisfied with his play around the greens," Flanagan said. "In his mind, he could have played a little bit better. He has worked hard for many years. It's a great start to his high school career."

Green delivered scores of 72 and 74 for a 146.

Paxton's teammate Alec Richardson placed seventh with a total score of 157 in the two-day tournament. Richardson started the event with an 83, but he came back strong on the second day for a score of 74.

"Alec played 35 great holes," Flanagan said. "He just had one bad hole on his last hole on his first round. Alec didn't let that bother him. He came back to finish with the best Riverton score on Friday."

Jayd Dion posted scores of 77 and 81 for a total of 158 to bring home an eighth-place medal.

"Jayd was one of the top eight guys after his score on Thursday," Flanagan said. "He played his own game after a bogey on the first hole Friday. He played a great second day."

The future of the program looks solid after the first weekend.

"We had three young players who performed very well," Flanagan said. "They could have gotten nervous, but they didn't."

The other varsity scores were from Jordan Yowell (89-91--180) and Lars Becker (85-82--167).

"The scores were better on the second day," Flanagan said. "I think for some of our young players we had some mental toughness. Lars didn't putt well, but he stroked it really well. He competed (at) all of the holes."

In the girls field, Riverton's Kendra Miller placed eighth (103-104-207). She is the only female player on the team.

Team race

Flanagan said he thought the team could win based on his high regard for Kelly Walsh High School in Casper.

"We competed well against Kelly Walsh," Flanagan said. "This weekend, we scored better than them. I think that is a great boost for our next five weeks."

The Wolverines finished the 36-hole tournament in the top spot with a score of 623. Kelly Walsh was in the runner-up position at 628. Lander Valley High School placed third (641). There were nine teams in the field. Kelly Walsh won the 2012 Class 4-A state title.

"We still have a lot of kids that want to improve their game," Flanagan said. "It's good that it's not all resting on one or two players."

The Wolverines play Thursday and Friday at the Worland Invitational.

After Worland, Flanagan said his team will probably go play in Green River for a match play tournament.The Class 4-A West regional tournament is Sept. 19-20 at the Riverton Country Club. Golfers will play at the 4-A state tournament Sept. 27-28.

Riverton varsity scores

from home tournament

Easton Paxton, 66-75--141; Lars Becker, 85-82--167; Alec Richardson, 83-74--157; Jordan Yowell, 89-91--180; Jayd Dion, 77-81--158; Oakley Hackleman, 88-87--175; Chris Quayle, 85-95--180; Tayte Thomas, 95-103-198; Jaden Nyberg, 95-89--184; Ryan Axthelm, 93-92--185.

RHS girls

Kenda Miller, 103-104--207.

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