Hallett places 2nd in golf States
FF’s Watson ends up third in Class C tournament
VASSALBORO, Maine — Jenna Hallett has only been back golfing for a little over a month while still recovering from the knee surgery she had last October.
Still, the Presque Isle High School senior was able to improve her score by one stroke from last year’s state individual tournament, in which she tied for first place.
“I honestly surprised myself with my performance,” Hallett said. “I was worried that my knee wouldn’t hold up, but once again it did.”
Hallett shot a 75, tying for second place with Lincoln Academy’s Bailey Plourde. The two had also shared last year’s title. However, neither could match the incredible round put together by the tourney champion, Hashilla Rivai of Thornton Academy, who carded a 70 on the day. Fifty golfers competed in the girls’ event.
Presque Isle coach Daren Hunter called Hallett’s round on the Arrowhead course “remarkable,” especially considering she had played just a handful of rounds of competitive golf since her surgery a year ago.
“We talked a lot about tempered expectations at States and I think that really helped her get into a ‘nothing to lose’ mindset,” Hunter said. “She tore up the front nine with an even-par 36 and limited her mistakes on the very difficult back nine to shoot three over.”
Hallett said she went in wanting to “just have fun” and that attitude paid off.
“That was a great experience since most of the time I’m a nervous wreck hitting off the first tee,” Hallett said. “I’ve worked a lot on my short game and my chipping saved me a lot of strokes.”
She admitted that she struggled a bit on the greens, which prevented her from posting an even lower score.
“My putter wasn’t too hot and I had a handful of three-putts, so I failed to capitalize on a lot of birdie and some par opportunities, but that’s the game of golf,” Hallett added.
Wildcat sophomore Hunter Flynn, competing in his first-ever state individual tourney, also performed admirably in shooting an 82, good for ninth place overall out of 36 for Class B boys.
“He has played on the Tomahawk course twice before and did well in those two rounds, so he was very comfortable there,” Hunter said. “We had talked before the round to try to get through the back nine without any major blowups and finishing strong, and he did just that.”
Hallett and Flynn had both qualified at the Oct. 2 Penobscot Valley Conference championships, held at JaTo Highlands in Lincoln.
In Class C, Fort Fairfield senior Robbie Watson was unable to defend his state title from a year ago, but he still finished tied for third with a 76. He was four strokes behind winner Logan Thompson of Mattanawcook Academy.
The only other local competitor was Alex Folsom of Central Aroostook. The senior shot an 88 to place 19th.
Both Watson and Folsom had earned berths in Saturday’s state tourney after qualifying at the Aroostook League championships, held at Aroostook Valley Country Club in Fort Fairfield Sept. 19, 2014.