Weather conditions soured considerably for the second day of the 3A boys' golf tournament on Thursday at Mountain Dell Golf Course. Sunny, albeit chilly, weather from Wednesday gave way to a rainy, windy and cold day.
But that didn't faze the Park City High School boys' golf team. After posting a team score of 302 on the first day of the tournament, the Miners came back even stronger in the adverse conditions, finishing with a 294 on the second day, good for a grand total of 596.
That was good enough for first place, giving the Miners their sixth-straight 3A team title. Southern Utah schools Dixie (615) and Desert Hills (621) were Park City's closest challengers.
Sophomore Mitchell Schow led the way for Park City, shooting a two-under par 69 on Wednesday and a three-under 68 on Thursday to claim the individual state title.
Schow said he's happy to be able to follow in the footsteps of former Miner Justin Shluker, who won last year's individual title as a senior.
"It's a great feeling, especially since we did it as a team again," he said. "It's probably up there with one of the longest winning streaks."
"He really just never let up," Park City coach George Murphy added. "He had one bad hole, but he played solid both days."
Though Schow certainly proved he's the best 3A golfer in the state, he had plenty of help from his five teammates Harry Hanskat, Colton Kissell, TJ Mayo, Drew Fleming and Jalen Roberts each of whom finished in the top four (only the top four scores count towards the team total) at least one of the two days.
"That shows that everyone has the potential to put up a good score," Hanskat said. "We're not just depending on Mitchell to carry us, though we certainly hope he always comes in low for the rest of us."
For Hanskat, Kissell and Mayo, Park City's three seniors, ending their careers with a state title was a huge relief.
"That was the goal," Hanskat said. "Don't be the group that lost."
"It feels nice," Kissell added. "A lot of pressure is relieved because we added another trophy to the case.
Now, that challenge moves on to the next class of Miners.
"We'll put all the pressure on Jalen next year," Mayo joked.
For a few of the team members, this year was the first they made the state squad. It turned out to be something they'll remember forever.
"It was fun playing with all these guys and getting a ring for the first time," Mayo said.
"Yeah, it was alright," Fleming joked.
After numerous practices in similar conditions the past three weeks, Murphy said the Miners were well-prepared for Thursday, recalling a particularly rainy and windy practice a couple Wednesdays ago.
"We were the only ones on the course," he said of that practice round. "Granted, we only got through five or six holes, but we've been playing the last three weeks in cold, cold weather."
Perhaps that was just the edge Park City needed to take home its sixth-straight title over some tough southern schools.
"I think that might have been an advantage today," Murphy said. "We're used to playing in some tougher conditions."
"I wasn't even cold today," Roberts agreed.
"I was sweating halfway through the round," Hanskat added.
Overall, Murphy said he'll remember this team's balance and perseverance in the face of adversity.
"We knew it was critical to get out to a better start, a quicker start, than we did yesterday," he said. "We had kids birdieing the first three or four holes. It's cool to see them respond like they did. In these conditions, I couldn't be more thrilled for these guys. I had seniors step up today.