Aspen High golf team in first place after Day 1 at state; Nic Pevny commits to DU

The Aspen High School boys golf team stops for a photo during dinner on Monday, Oct. 4, 2021, following the opening round of the Class 3A state tournament, played at Spring Valley Golf Club in Elizabeth. Courtesy photo.

The Aspen High School boys golf team finished the first day of the Class 3A state tournament in first place, while senior Nic Pevny, who is chasing a repeat championship, announced his commitment to the University of Denver men’s golf team.

Pevny is one of five tied for third after the opening round on Monday at Spring Valley Golf Club in Elizabeth. He shot 1-over 73 and is six strokes back of leader Thayer Plewe of Montezuma-Cortez. Vail Christian’s Connor Downey is in second with 69.

“Everybody was playing well and pulling for each other in a nice way and yet competitive against each other. It was a great dynamic to see,” AHS coach Mary Woulfe said. “It’s nice to start out tomorrow with a little bit of an advantage, but it’s kind of like halftime. We are at halftime and we got to step it up tomorrow.”

Woulfe said the real story was the play of senior Will Stiller and junior Sky Sosna. Sosna finished the round tied for eighth at 2-over 74, while Stiller is tied for 17th after posting a 4-over 76. Stiller had been 3-under at one point before struggling over the final few holes.

“What an amazing round for Will Stiller. While he couldn’t hold on, he had some hard holes and took his knocks but was never unhappy about it,” Woulfe said. “The huge surprise was Sky Sosna. … It could not have been a better experience for him out there today. It was foretelling of our future, and I really like that. That kid has really worked hard and the more pressure there was, the more he rose to the occasion. Let’s hope he can do it again tomorrow. We are just going to take it one shot at a time.”

AHS senior Lucas Lee shot 84 and is tied for 60th after the first of two rounds.

Basalt’s best round Monday came from sophomore Garrett Exelbert, who also shot 74 and is tied for eighth. BHS sophomore Alec Claassen shot 83 (T53) and senior Braden Exelbert, Garrett’s older brother, shot 86 (T67).

As a team, Aspen shot a collective 223 and has a four-stroke advantage over Lutheran, with Montezuma-Cortez sitting in third with 230. Basalt’s three-player crew shot 243, placing them 10th among teams.

The Skiers have only won a single team championship in boys golf, that coming in 2018 at Boulder Country Club when then-senior Jack Hughes and then-junior Jack Pevny, Nic’s older brother, led the way.

Nic Pevny’s individual title a year ago is the only one for the program, although AHS has had numerous runner-up finishers.

“There is no glory in winning the one-day event,” Woulfe said. “It’s a two-day event. We need to ramp it up tomorrow and double down on our efforts from today.”

Aspen High School senior Nic Pevny has committed to the University of Denver for golf. Courtesy photo.

As far as Nic Pevny goes, he announced Monday he’ll continue his golf career at DU, putting to rest a challenging recruiting process with roster spots difficult to come by in many cases because of the NCAA allowing extra years for athletes due to the pandemic.

“I went on a visit there at the end of August. I really like the facilities and the coaches. I thought it was a good fit,” Pevny said. “It’s fun to not have to worry about it anymore and have the recruiting process over. I’m glad I made the decision.”

The Aspen to DU connection has been strong this past year, with 2021 AHS graduate Kylie Kenny signing there for lacrosse and with former AHS athletic director Martha Richards recently stepping down to take over as DU’s women’s golf coach.