Laramie High junior Jackson McClaren dropped seven strokes from his first round to claim the Class 4A Wyoming State Tournament Saturday at Three Crown Golf Club in Casper.
McClaren, who tied for 23rd place at the state tournament last season, had the best final round in a field of 57 golfers. He shot an 80 during Friday’s first round and was sitting in third before firing a 1-over 73 Saturday to beat Evanston’s Braxton Lind by two strokes. Lind had rounds of 76 and 79.
“Jackson showed a lot of poise and worked to stay competitive the entire round,” Laramie coach Carlos Mellizo said. “Things got a little tight at the end, and he was able to close the door with a very nice final hole and a birdie.”
Sheridan’s Brock Owings (85-75, 160) and Thunder Basin’s Colter Praus (81-79, 160) tied for third place.
“The course was challenging, but fair,” Mellizo said. “It played consistently throughout the tournament until the last hour when the wind picked up and the conditions became pretty difficult right at then — it made Jackson’s closing hole all the more impressive.”
The Plainsmen finished fifth as a team with 692 total strokes after posting 343 on the first day and notching 349 on the next day.
Sheridan won the boys team title with 658 (340-318), followed by second place Jackson’s 670 (329-341) and third place Cheyenne East’s 683 (345-338).
LHS seniors Titus Wookey (84-93, 177) and Andrew Stannard (88-89, 177) tied for 24th place. Junior Caden McFate (91-94, 185) was 35th and junior Colter Harvey (99-99, 198) was tied for 45th.
Senior Camryn Nagy paced the Lady Plainsmen when she had a tremendous drop from the first round. After a 110 on Friday, Nagy posted an 89 to finish 31st.
The Lady Plainsmen finished ninth as team with 662 (343-319). Thunder Basin won the girls title with 495 (249-246), Jackson was runner-up at 505 (252-253) after a one-hole team tiebreaker with Sheridan (255-250).
LHS sophomore Samantha Kitchen finished 42nd (114-114, 228), junior Emma Master was 47th (119-116, 235) and sophomore Grace Kordon was 49th (128-116, 244).
“The Plainsmen and Lady Plainsmen had great seasons,” Mellizo said. “What a bunch of great, hard-working kids and we are looking forward to exciting times ahead for those returning in the spring and into next year. It was a successful season.”