ROOSEVELT — Union High School put on a spirited charge, but was unable to make a significant dent in Park City High School's lead during the championship round at the 3A state golf championship on Thursday. The Miners had established a 16-shot lead on the first day and won by 12, shooting a 603.
It's the fifth time in a row Park City has won a state title in 3A. Also repeating was the individual medalist, Justin Shluker, a senior who won last year in a driving snowstorm. This time around, playing conditions were perfect, and three players tied for second place, one stroke back of Shluker's 146: Kaden McDonald and Dakota Denver, both of Union, and individual qualifier Dalton Jackson of Juab.
"We knew they would not lay down," Park City head coach George Murphy said of the Union Cougars. "We knew they would make a charge — they beat us here in region play. The cushion we had from yesterday was a huge deal. We needed those strokes for breathing room."
McDonald and Denver were grouped with Shluker and Harry Hanskat of Park City, respectively, and both came on ferociously during the second round. McDonald threw up a 71 and Denver went even lower, shooting a 70.
"Those guys kept it together," Murphy said of Shluker and Hanskat. "I'm proud of all my kids."
Shluker had back-to-back 73s, and Hanskat shot a pair of 76s. Teammate Mitchell Schow dropped four strokes on the second day, shooting a 73.
Shluker said the one-stroke win was "way too close" for his liking, but said winning state individually was "better the second time."
"It's very special to come out here with my teammates and win another title for Park City," he said.
Union's Digger Arnold dropped five strokes from his score on Wednesday, shooting a 75 to help his school put up a 296 on Thursday, for a cumulative score of 615.
"I'm glad we gave Park City a run and didn't let them run away with it," said Union head coach Darci Olsen.
Scores were markedly improved over Wednesday, when winds whipped the Roosevelt course steadily throughout the afternoon.
"Everyone was in perfect conditions," Shluker said. "It was a scoring course today."
Pine View placed third with a 647, led by Hayden Hayward's 152. Hayward dropped four strokes in the second round, shooting a 74 after putting up a 78 in the wind.
Next year Park City returns all of its top scorers except for Shluker, as it goes for six in a row.
"I don't look at it as pressure," Murphy said. "I enjoy the challenge. We have been fortunate to rebuild quickly the last few years."
Hanskat, Schow, and Jalen Roberts, who tied for ninth place by shooting a 155, will all be back for the Miners next year.
Eight of the top 10 scorers play in 3A's best golf region, Region 10.
Roosevelt Golf Course
1. Park City 603; 2. Union 615; 3. Pine View 647; T4. Spanish Fork 651; Wasatch 651; 6. Desert Hills 654; 7. Juan Diego 665; 8. Payson 666; 9. Snow Canyon 672; 10. Ogden 684.
146 – Justin Shluker, Park City (73, 73)
147 – Kaden McDonald, Union (76, 71), Dakota Denver, Union (77, 70), Dalton Jackson, Juab (75, 72)
150 – Mitchell Schow, Park City (77, 73)
152 – Harry Hanskat, Park City (76, 76), Hayden Hayward, Pine View (78, 74)
154 – Janzen Davis, Uintah (79, 75)
155 – Jalen Roberts, Park City (77, 78), Digger Arnold, Union (80, 75), Kade Meason, Spanish Fork (79, 76), Caden Henderson, Wasatch (79, 76)
156 – AJ Orchard, Dixie (79, 77)
157 – Jared Kerber, Canyon View (80, 77)
158 – Ryan Lowe, Juan Diego (76, 82)
160 – Devin Brown, Wasatch (84, 76), Trey McCloud, Payson (80, 80), Bridger Layton, Bear River (82, 78)
161 – Brandt Pierce, Pine View (80, 81), Aaron Babbitt, Morgan (83, 78)