CHEYENNE — For 17 holes, freshman Laramie High School freshman Jackson McClaren was cruising right along.
But McClaren triple-bogeyed his last hole, the 156-yard par-3 ninth (McClaren teed off on the back nine) to finish with a 7-over par 77 and in seventh place after the first day of the Class 4A State Golf Championships at the Airport Golf Course.
“I miss-clubbed. Anything above the hole was really hard to make a par so I tried to hit a feathered shot. It got away from me and went in the water,” McClaren said. “Then I missed a tap-in for a double bogey.
“I feel I played pretty solid. I hit shots I wanted to hit. I had one bad hole, but I’m not going to dwell on it that much. My game is there.
“I hit my tee shots well, I putted well but my iron-striking could have been a little better.”
McClaren is the only Plainsmen in the top 10 after the first day. The team is in eighth place in the 11-team field.
LHS sophomore Thayne Thatcher was second for the Plainsmen with an 89 while junior Braden Six shot an 98 and is 42nd.
“It isn’t even one hole, it was one swing,” Laramie coach Logan Spence said of McClaren. “He obviously was disappointed, but the message was this is halftime, make a plan and play better (today).”
Cheyenne East leads the boys team race after the first round at 301 with Casper Kelly Walsh three shots behind at 304. The Plainsmen are at 378.
East’s Blake Danni shot a 66 on Friday and leads Central’s Ethan Cates by nine shots.
The Laramie girls had a solid day. They sit in sixth place, but only nine shots out of third.
“This was our best team score of the year,” Spence said. “Our two seniors played a pretty good round. If a couple of girls have a bad day and we have a good day, we will be right there.”
Senior Kenzie Yeend led the Lady Plainsmen with a 92 and is in 13th place.
“I was super happy with my score,” Yeend said. “I had four rough holes in a row, but finished it off with a couple of pars. I came up here a couple of weeks ago and shot 91 and was hoping I could shoot something close to that.
“I think my putting can be better. The conditions were good, but the greens were fast and I had to get used to that.”
Camryn Nagy (96) is tied for 16th and Emily Cattles (97) is tied for 19th.
Kelly Walsh has a 25-shot lead for the girls team title after opening with a 244. Thunder Basin is at 269 and Sheridan 275.
Five girls are within five shots of the lead entering the final round. Kelly Walsh’s Nicole Klungness leads at 77, followed by Evanston’s Kyra Sponenburgh at 79 and Thunder Basin’s Maria Farnum with an 80.
The final day of the tournament begins at 8 a.m. today.
WYOMING CLASS 4A STATE TOURNAMENT
At Airport Golf Club, Cheyenne
Friday’s first round
BOYS TEAM SCORES
1. Cheyenne East 301, 2. Casper Kelly Walsh 304, 3. Cheyenne Central 323, 4. Evanston 340, 5. Sheridan 343, 6. Campbell County 348, 7. Casper Natrona 360, 8. Laramie 378, 9. Thunder Basin 380, 10. Green River 403, 11. Cheyenne South 456
BOYS TOP 10: 1. Blake Danni, East, 66; 2. Ethan Cates, Central, 72; 3. Logan Hensley, Kelly Walsh, 73; 4. Michael Pope, East, 74; 5. Taj Sutherland, Kelly Walsh, 75; 6. Dane Rasmussen, Kelly Walsh, 76; 7. Jackson McClaren, Laramie, 77; 8. (tie) Brady Hurd, Evanston, and Tristen Zitek, East, 79; 10. (tie) Ethan Wolf, Campbell County, and Ned Murray, Kelly Walsh, 80
OTHER PLAINSMEN RESULTS: 26. (tie) Thayne Thatcher, 89; 42. Braden Six, 98; 49. Titus Wookey, 114; 53. Colter Harvey, 122
GIRLS TEAM SCORES
1. Casper Kelly Walsh 244, 2. Thunder Basin 269, 3. Casper Natrona 274, 4. Sheridan 275, 5. Cheyenne Central 278, 6. Laramie 285, 7. Cheyenne East 299, 8. Rock Springs 314, 9. Cheyenne South 320
GIRLS TOP 10: 1. Nicole Klungness, Kelly Walsh, 77; 2. Kyra Sponenburgh, Evanston, 79; 3. Maria Farnum, Thunder Basin, 80; 4. Jocelyn Olson, Kelly Walsh, 81; 5. Abby James, Sheridan, 82; 6. Sarah Galles, Natrona, 83; 7. Megan Griffin, Kelly Walsh, 86; 8. (tie) Jennifer Gillotti, Central, Karissa Tranas, Thunder Basin, Paige Guille, South, Taylen Sewell, Central, 90
LADY PLAINSMEN RESULTS: 13. Kenzie Yeend, 92; 16. (tie) Camryn Nagy, 96; 19. (tie) Emily Cattles, 97