South Tama County graduated senior Kolton Smith tweeted Monday that he "Always wanted to be a state champ!"
Playing alongside a two-time girls' state golf champion, Smith certainly came close.
But not as close as a pair of golfers from Marshalltown.
The Bobcat duo of senior Connor Johnson and junior Ashley Harris finished just three shots off the pace at the Class 2A Co-Ed State Golf Tournament on Tuesday at Center Pointe Golf Course in Boone, finishing tied for fourth while earning fifth-place medals on a cardback.
The South Tama pairing of Smith and two-time Class 3A girls' state golf champion Paige Van Dyk, like Johnson and Harris, shot a 78 at Briggs Woods Golf Course in Webster City to finish five shots off the leaders. Smith and Van Dyk actually tied for third on the scoreboard but on a cardback got bumped back to fifth for the second year in a row.
Harris, a two-time state qualifier, and Johnson strung together a solid round and came up three shots off the winning score of 3-over-par 75 set by Ankeny Centennial's Karli Kerrigan and Andrew Huseman.
"Ashley and Connor found a nice groove and, after a double bogey to start their round, they made 11 straight pars," said MHS golf coach Lucas Johnson. "They made a few bogeys coming in, but were right there in contention for the title."
The Cedar Rapids Washington duo of MJ Kamin and Dominic Rodriguez won the cardback for fourth after tying with Johnson and Harris.
The Marshalltown tandem of Niccole Wolken and Sam Weatherman shot an 86 in the alternate-shot format and finished in a tie for 23rd.
"The alternate shot nature of the event is something new and different for the players," Coach Johnson said. "It makes for a fun event to end the season."
Van Dyk, who will play golf at Northern Iowa, and Smith, who has signed to play baseball at Kirkwood Community College, shot a 41 last year at Cedar Pointe in Boone to finish in a four-way tie for fifth.
The South Hardin pairing of Alaina Lake and Tyson Smith shot a combined 87 to tie for 24th in Class 1A, while AGWSR's duo of Brooke Harrenstein and Owen Abkes came in tied for 45th with their round of 97.