Mustangs saving shots in early golf rounds 

By Neil H. Devlin
Mullen Sports Information Specialist

Mullen finished sixth of eight teams on Wednesday in the second Centennial League gathering of the girls golf season.

It was held at Littleton Golf and Tennis, a par-63 executive course that contained 11 par 3s and only two par 5s.

Individually, the Mustangs’ top finisher was 20th of 36 who were listed in scoring as they already have improved finishes than a much-more inexperienced team in 2017.

Three golfers on each team counted toward team scoring. Grandview was first at plus-7 202. Next were Cherry Creek, plus-16; Eaglecrest, plus-23; Arapahoe, plus-25; Cherokee Trail, plus-49 and Mullen, plus-58. Overland and Smoky Hill each had only two players listed in scoring.

There was a three-way tie for the top spot. Grandview had two of them, Ami Chitkoksoong and Sydney Szarka, at 2-over-par 65. Cherry Creek’s Kaylynn Xia also shot 65.

For the Mustangs, who earlier opened with a nine-hole event and are operating under new head coach Ashley Tait, freshman Anna Kreiling shot 74 to take 20th; sophomore Morgan Gross finished at 78 for a tie at 25th; junior Jessica Bryan and sophomore Paige Sowitch tied for 27th at 79; and senior Marie McCarthy was at 85 for 33rd.

Mullen will be idle until Monday, March 19, when it will be at a Grandview-sponsored event at Heritage Eagle Bend in Aurora, tee times at 12:30 p.m.

Spring Preview: Mustangs at least a stroke ahead from 2017 

By Neil H. Devlin
Mullen Sports Information Specialist

It’s a new look for the Mullen girls golf. From the top to throughout the roster, changes and improvements have been made.

And the Mustangs will be seeking better results.

In 2017, Mullen’s roster was basically full with players who played more for fun than anything else, although they did manage to qualify for state as a team. It finished 12th of 13 teams in Class 3A.

In 2018, the Mustangs have multiple players taking lessons and are aiming to make a better mark this season.

“It’s going really well and I’m excited,” new Mullen head coach Ashley Tait said. “The girls have been fun and it’s going to be even better when the weather warms up.”

Tait is a former Mustangs assistant who takes over for Kate Walker. She’s also a three-time schoolgirl medalist for the Mustangs and accomplished collegiate player who continues to flirt with making one of the regular professional tours.

For now, Tait is working to get the Mustangs back to the level they owned early in the previous decade when they won five consecutive team titles. A year of practice and commitment, she said, should make a considerable difference.

Paige Sowitch, Tait said, probably will be team’s top player. Freshman Anna Kreiling could be a top prospect. Morgan Gross is a returning state qualifier. Mel Robles was an alternate qualifier a year ago and Jessica Bryan is back from being injured in 2017.

“We have to come prepared,” Tait said. “But I feel good about these girls.”

As usual, the Mustangs will compete ahead in two classifications, in the Centennial league. The Mustangs will open on Thursday, a nine-hole meet at The Links Golf Course in Highlands Ranch, a league gathering.    


Mustangs grad Ashley Tait is school’s latest hire

Three-time golf champion and 3-year assistant now heads program  

By Neil H. Devlin
Mullen Sports Information Specialist

The trend of current and former professionals coaching in the prep ranks has been real for decades in Colorado, although not notably relevant in golf.

Mullen’s girls team has been an exception as Ashley Tait has served as an assistant over the past three seasons. It got better recently, when Tait was named the team’s new head coach.

“I’m really excited and I think the girls are happy I’m coming back,” Tait said this week.

One of the best Colorado players since the game was sanctioned in 1990, Tait, a Mustangs alumnus, was Class 4A medalist in 2002, 2003 and 2005. She went on to Tulane, then SMU after Hurricane Katrina and finished North Carolina-Wilmington. Her list of accomplishments also includes competing in three U.S. National Publinx Championships, being a college conference championship winner, runner-up in a couple of state opens and playing on the Symetra Tour, the step before joining the LPGA.

Also employed at Raccoon Creek Golf Course in Littleton, where her father, Pat, is the pro, Tait is currently rehabbing a back problem before again attempting to join the ladies big tour.

When she heard that longtime Mustangs coach Kate Walker resigned and opted to go to Middle Park, Tait, who was on four of Mullen’s five consecutive state-championship teams, said she approached athletic director Vince Massey “and told him I was willing to take it over.”

Some rebuilding will be required, Tait said, “and we have a lot of new players to golf, some who may have picked it up the last few years. But we have a lot of potential and athletes in general.

“We have some improving to do, but they’re a fun bunch of girls.”

Tait likes the fact that “I’ll actually be able to teach them,” and “depending on my playing career, I would like to help in some long-term capacity. I enjoy coaching.”

First Day of 3A Golf Tourney

By Neil H. Devlin
Mullen Sports Information Specialist

Mullen ran into the debut of Class 3A girls golf on Monday.  And the debut was convincing over the par-71, 5,434-yard layout.  Competing at The Broadlands Golf Course in Broomfield, launch of the latest classification provided some high-end play in the first of two rounds.

Holy Family freshman Hailey Schalk fired a 6-under-par 65 to open a six-shot lead.  And teamwise, Colorado Academy, the winner in 4A a year ago, combined for an opening-round 2-over total of 215, some 23 strokes better than second-place Holy Family.  As for the Mustangs, senior Meghan Witt carded a 58-50—108. She was followed by Paige Sowitch (113) and Morgan Gross (157).  Witt said “the course isn’t that hard, it’s just the water. And at least this is a two-day tournament.”

With Tuesday being her last round as a high-schooler, Witt said “it’s bittersweet, but it has been a good four years and I’ve improved every year. And it has been fun being on the team.”  On Tuesday, Witt and teammates will go off from the No. 10 tee. Witt will be at 8:39 a.m., Sowitch at 9:24 a.m. and Gross at 10:27 a.m.

As one of 40 schools to be represented, Mullen will be in the inaugural Class 3A girls golf state tournament on Monday and Tuesday.  The third classification to join the fray since sanctioning, the 3A group will compete at the Broadlands Golf Course in Broomfield.  Three Mustangs have qualified, enough to get them into the team chase. They will begin at hole No. 10, each in succession. Meghan Witt will tee off at 9:24 a.m., Morgan Gross at 9:33 p.m. and Paige Sowitch at 9:42 a.m.  

The Broadlands opened in 1999. It will play at a par 72 for the girls with a course rating of 72.9 and slope rating of 135.  

Inexperienced Mustangs qualify as a team

By Neil H. Devlin
Mullen Sports Information Specialist

The weather turned awful, but the results proved awfully pleasant.

Competing in one of the new Class 3A girls golf regionals on Monday, Mullen, after lightning delays, some rain and plenty of wind, did something it hadn’t done in more than a decade, according to coach Kate Walker.

The Mustangs qualified as a team (three players) for the first time since 2007 – the last time it won a state title -- and may add a fourth qualifier. At Spring Valley Golf Course in Elizabeth, Morgan Gross, Paige Sowitch and Meghan Witt advanced as individual qualifiers. Moving three to the 3A state tournament at The Broadlands G.C. in Broomfield from May 22-23 gives Mullen team status. In addition, Melicia Robles was named as second alternate. Walker said Robles’ chance to compete is fairly good as conflicts with testing, graduation and other end-of-school-year activities could easily change the field.

As it was, the 3A Region 2 field came with an assortment of players who picked up their balls as well as no-shows.

“It could happen,” Coach Walker said.

As for being represented at state in full, Walker said “It’s a great feeling because it has been since 2005 that we’ve had a team (at state), since Ashley (Tait, a Mustangs assistant coach) was here. That’s kind of a cool note. It was Ashley’s senior year. Now, she’s here as a coach.”

Witt, a senior who made the 4A state field a year ago, led Mullen’s scoring. She went 45-50—95, a stroke off her best output of the season (she scored 94 in a round at Englewood’s Broken Tee G.C.).

“The front nine was a lot easier than the back,” she said. “And the weather and rain delay made me, like, stiff.”

Witt turned in a birdie and a par back-to-back at the end of the front nine for her best holes of the day and was able to keeping grinding as “I think a lot of the girls thought they were going to shoot better.”

Walker said she kept reminding the Mustangs about the unknown in a new classification and it worked. Sowitch shot 111 and Gross 112.

“A lot of the scores could be higher,” Walker said before tee off and it was true. It also gave the inexperienced Mustangs better opportunity.

A freshman, Sowitch’s first foray into postseason golf was successful “and really fun, and I’m really excited. I worked hard for it.”

Sarah Hwang of St. Mary’s fired a brilliant 4-under-par 68 to take top individual honors. She won by five strokes over Kent Denver’s Charlotte Hillary, who was 1-over. Witt’s effort was good for ninth. Sowitch was 19th and Gross 20th.

Teamwise, Kent Denver, which took individual sports 2 through 5, walked to the team title with plus-23 239. The Sun Devils were regular challengers in 4A. Host Elizabeth was next but way back at 299. The Classical Academy was third (302) and Mullen fourth (318).

Team was the relevant word for the Mustangs. They were in a new group, noted Witt, as “I had never seen any of these girls before,” other than those on Kent Denver.

However, dropping down into a new class “probably gives us a good chance since we played in a higher (league, the Centennial).”

Entering the regional, Walker said, “I was fairly, cautiously optimistic. The girls still had to persevere and compete. I knew the scores would be high and they would not be discouraged if they had some bad holes, and to never give up. Ashley told them that. And the challenging weather …

“And two weeks to get ready? One exciting opportunity is The Classical Academy will have a tournament at the Air Force Academy. So that will be an opportunity the Wednesday before state and be a good way to stay competitive and have something to play toward and keep the competitive juices flowing.”

The array of conflicts at the end of the school year will be testing, Walker said, but going to state as a team “makes it more special when you have your teammates there.”



At Spring Valley G.C.

Par 72

Top teams – Kent Denver 239; Elizabeth 299; The Classical Academy 302; Mullen 318; Burlington 330.

 Top individuals – Sarah Hwang, St. Mary’s, 68; Charlotte Hillary, Kent Denver, 73; Marin Halvorsen, Kent Denver, 82; Sadie Mauger, Kent Denver, 84; Austine Jobe, Kent Denver, 85.

Mullen – Meghan Witt, 95; Paige Sowitch, 111; Morgan Gross, 112; Melicia Robles, 116.


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