LOVELAND – For 30 agonizing minutes, Prospect Ridge Academy junior Hope Torres had to think about the biggest tee shot of her high school golf career.

She had just pulled ahead of two-time defending champion, St. Mary’s Academy’s Maddy Bante, when the horn sounded forcing all players to come into the clubhouse because of nearby lighting.

“There was a lot going on,” Torres said. “You’re almost there and it had been back and forth [during the day]. Seeing everyone around the green, it was kind of nerve racking.”

Her tee shot on 18 was short left, her chip skidded a little too far past the flag and she ended up making a bogey. Bante held on to make par pushing the round to a 37th hole to decide the individual Class 3A championship. A bad bounce put Bante near a wall with relief unavailable and Torres cleaned up for a two-putt par to win her first state title.

Her teammates jumped in celebration as they had cleared Colorado Academy by 16 collective shots to the win the team state championship. Torres shot a 4-over-par 76 through the day, but when the putt fell on the playoff hole, her emotions took over. She was immediately embraced by Bante who has been gracious in victory the last two seasons. There was little surprise that while disappointed in her own result, she was happy for her fellow competitor.

“It’s been a joy playing with her in my three years,” Torres said. “I wish her nothing but the best in her next four years at Notre Dame.”

There was a moment where it looked like Bante was going to regain control of the round after the turn. Torres made back to back double bogeys to two Bante pars and the lead again stretch out to four strokes. But a pure shot into the green on the par-5 14th gave Torres a comfy eagle 3.

The momentum changed with that shot.

Torres played the next three holes at even par before the lightning delay hit. Her only bogey came on 18, but she made up for it with a par in the playoff to clinch her individual title.

“I’m still just speechless,” Torres said. “It was a lot of pressure, but I did it.”

The team title is the first girls golf championship in Prospect Ridge history and the first overall team championship in a sport outside of spirit. Ye Yoon Choi shot 87, Kate Dinges shot 88 and Leyni Stavola shot 90 to round out the championship-winning effort.

“There were lots of tears, lots of excitement and lots of love going on,” coach Anna Stavola said. “These girls are like sisters.”

Bante was hoping to become the fourth player in state history to win a third girls golf title, but fell just short of the task. Still, her time at St. Mary’s Academy and competing for the Wildcats has been instrumental in what she’s hoping to in the next four years. She’ll head to South Bend and play golf for Notre Dame starting in the fall.

“I love my team, I love my coaches, I just love the girls,” Bante said. “I think we have a fun team bonding situation and all together we work hard and no matter what happens, we’re still all there for each other.”

(Dan Mohrmann/

3A girls golf results:

1 Hope Torres Prospect Ridge Academy +6*
2 Maddy Bante St. Mary’s Academy +6
3 Kyndra Johnson Salida +11
4 CheyAnne Schrick Timnath +15
4 Lenna Persson Aspen +15
6 Addison Dorsey Manitou Springs +16
7 Emma Garcia Rye +20
8 Macie Doherty Sterling +23
9 Avery Lent Colorado Academy +25
10 Jordan Slutzky Colorado Academy +27
10 Brooke O’Sullivan Aspen +27

Top Teams

1 Prospect Ridge Academy 501
2 Colorado Academy 517
3 St. Mary’s Academy 522
4 Apsen 528
5 Peak to Peak 537