Two years ago, the Park City High School girls' golf team finished a disappointing 16th place at the 3A state tournament. Last year, the Miners finished in a less-than-ideal seventh place.
This year's squad set out to bring the girls' golf program back to contention and regain some of the respect it used to have.
It accomplished exactly that on Thursday afternoon at Mountain View Golf Course in West Jordan.
No, the Miners weren't able to outshoot powerhouse programs like Desert Hills and Dixie, teams that benefit from the warm St. George weather for most of the year. But they were able to put together their best scores of the season to finish in third place.
Desert Hills won the title, with Dixie (316) finishing six points ahead of Park City (310). Uintah claimed fourth place with a team score of 294.
Park City coach George Murphy was thrilled with how his team battled all day long, overcoming a slow start from several golfers to finish on a positive note.
"They came through and I couldn't be prouder of them for what they did," he said. "They're pretty excited to take third it's a big improvement from the last couple years. We definitely got a little respect back for the girls' team. We're kind of back to where we used to be when the girls' program had just started in Utah."
Four of the six Park City golfers posted scores in the 80s, with senior captain Abbi Briscoe and freshman standout Saylor Rabe leading the way with 83s. Hanna Shluker was right on their tails with an 84 and Sarah Marshall rounded out the Miners' top four with an 88.
Park City's other two state qualifiers, Catherine Cunningham and Sam Tan, shot a 95 and a 97, respectively.
Though Murphy acknowledged that there were some strokes left on the course, he said the girls played some of their best golf all year.
"They talked about how they missed a few short putts out there," he said. "But that's golf sometimes they fall and sometimes they don't.
Murphy added that Briscoe did a great job all day and showed a lot of poise while playing alongside the Desert Hills player that won the individual title.
"She did well," he said. "She's led us all year long. She's a great example for the team we've got other girls that see that and are impressed by how she played."
In fact, Murphy said, his entire senior class was outstanding this year. Cunningham, Briscoe and Maggie Hale (who just missed out on qualifying for state) will all be missed, he said.
"Catherine and Abbi and Maggie have been awesome this year," he said. "The chemistry hasn't been better than what we've seen this year. The girls all get along and they love playing golf with each other. There will be some big shoes to fill, but we've got some younger girls looking forward to it.
"The seniors will be missed. Catherine, I've known her family since I started coaching in 2004. I've had her brother, her other sister and her. It's been a good 10 years with the Cunninghams."
Briscoe agrees that the future looks bright for Park City, with players like Rabe and Marshall set to lead the way for a few years to come.
"I think our team is going to be really good next year and the years to follow," she said. "We have a really deep team with everybody this year. We had a sophomore and a freshman on the state team, which was awesome."
Though she's proud of the foundation she helped to establish in her two years on the team, she said she wishes she had another year to play for Park City.
"I'll definitely miss Murphy and the whole team aspect of this," she said. "We're all such good friends."
Rabe and the rest of the Miners who will be back next year are excited to get going on the summer season and want to improve on this third-place finish.
"Our girls are excited about the offseason and playing tournaments down here in Salt Lake and down in St. George with the UGA," Murphy said. "They want to get better and better every year. We've got a lot of strong girls coming back and they're going to play together all summer."