STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — This is not volleyball, although it seems like it.
Athletes wearing blue of some form representing Vail go back and forth, besting each other. The ball is just smaller. And we don’t think it’s a good idea for the spikers to have golf clubs on opposite sides of the net.
The Vail Mountain School won Thursday’s round over Vail Christian at the Haymaker Golf Course up in Steamboat Springs, 236- 238. For the Gore Rangers, it was their best team score in school history and the first time they had two golfers in 70s (Ben Baron, 76, and Harrison Alonzo, 78).
Class 3A Vail Mountain flexed its muscles, finishing fourth as a team behind only 4A Steamboat and 5A Grand Junction and Fruita. The Gore Rangers were the top 3A team in this go-round with the regional tournament at Gypsum Creek in 11 days — not that anyone is counting down or anything. Vail Christian was fifth overall among mostly 4A and 5A schools.
Barron was the pleasant surprise of the day with a personal-tournament low of 76. His driver was working well — it’s never operator error, right?
“After my second hole, I was 1-under (par), and I felt the tournament would go well from there,” Barron said. “I was just focusing on how well I was playing and just continuing it on the next hole.”
Barron had multiple birdie putts, but couldn’t convert as many as he would have liked. On the other hand, those did not turn into three dreaded three-putt bogey.
Alonzo had a nice bounce-back from his 84 at Tuesday’s tournament at the Vail Golf Club. Seventy-eight is much more like it for the senior. VMS sophomore Oliver Pesso continues to be steady, carding an 82.
The low local was Vail Christian’s Cooper Gould with a 73. He finished second behind Grand Junction’s Donny Kinnamon (72).
“It’s definitely my best ball-striking. My swing’s in groove,” Gould said. “I hit 13-of-18 greens in regulation. That’s a big improvement on other rounds this season.”
Gould might have reeled in Kinnamon, if not for a triple-bogey on No. 15.
The Saints’ Tony Clark had 76, highlighted by a hole-out for eagle from 135 yards out on No. 15. Parker Poage had a day he’d rather forget with an 89. It happens to everyone.
Eagle Valley was 10th with a 256, followed by Battle Mountain in 11th (258).
Next up for all four squads is a Monday round at Eagle Ranch. For those with older schedules, that tournament was originally set for Aspen, but moved to Arnold Palmer’s course.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 and cfreud@ vaildaily.com.