MISSOULA — Riding the momentum of an undefeated September, Frenchtown's Katie Lewis built a comfortable lead on the first day of the State A golf tournament Friday at the Hamilton Golf Club.
The sophomore fired a 5-over score of 77 in brisk conditions. Karsyn Swigart of Miles City is a distant second with her score of 86 and Ashley Maki of Polson, who has been pushing Lewis all season, is in third with 77.
Lewis won all 10 meets she competed in this season. She finished third in the state meet last fall at Polson Bay and the two players ahead of her graduated.
Polson is running away with the girls team race after totaling 379 Friday. Frenchtown is in second at 400 and Hamilton is holding down third at 401.
Sophomore Aubrey Kelley of Livingston, who finished fourth at state last season, has built a three-shot lead on the boys side. He fired a 4-under score of 68, scoring an eagle 3 on No. 11 and adding three more birdies on the back nine for a score of 31.
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Polson's Carson Hupka sits in second place after shooting a 1-under round of 71. Billy Smith of Whitefish is in third at 72 and Max Cianflone of Hamilton in fourth at 73.
Defending champion Cameron Hackmann of Laurel sits in fifth place after carding a 2-over score of 74. He struggled on the front nine with four bogeys.
Laurel is looking like a good bet to repeat as boys team champions. The Locomotives posted a score of 302, which is 10 strokes better than second-place Polson and Livingston.
The State A tournament will conclude Saturday afternoon. The forecast is calling for temperatures around 60 with overcast skies in Hamilton.
To follow the tournament on Saturday, log on to golfgenius.com and enter the password STATEA22.
Bill Speltz is Missoulian Sports Editor and has served as Sunday columnist the past 15 years. Do you have a story idea? Email Bill at firstname.lastname@example.org.