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Prep golf will have new title format

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If practice makes perfect, then perhaps no practice makes for a more perfect championship.

That, at least, is what the Utah High School Activities Association and local PGA section officials are hoping for. Beginning this fall, they will install a new format for the high school golf state championships, one they're hoping will help to ensure that the very best of the best will be crowned champ.

Instead of a one-day golf tournament, the top linksters in the state will now swing their sticks for 36 holes over a two-day period.

"This is something we've wanted to do for a long time," said UHSAA executive director Evan Excell. "The timing is right now."

Officials had been hesitant to move to a two-day format because of out-of-school concerns. In the past, student-athletes missed two days of school for golf tournaments — one day for practice and one day for championship competition.

But now, the practice round has been eliminated as a concession for holding the two-day tournament.

The tournaments also will have cuts for the first time. Forty percent of the teams will be dropped after the first day, while golfers within 10 strokes of the leader will be allowed to play on for individual medalist honors.

The golf tourneys for the biggest classifications will take place Oct. 3-4. The sites are: Valley View for Class 5A, Thanksgiving Point for 4A and Tri-Cities for 3A. The 1A/2A golfers will compete next spring in Moab.

AQUATIC ACCOLADES: Robby Young was recently named as the Utah men's distance freestyle swimmer of the year in the Open Division for the third consecutive year by Utah/USA Swimming.

Young is a 2000 graduate of Waterford, where he participated in varsity swimming, basketball, tennis and baseball, as well as achieving academic honors. Aggressively recruited by several schools throughout the United States, Young will be attending the University of Denver, where he will be a member of its NCAA Division I swimming team. He trains with Coach Russ Lauber of Brighton High and the Cottonwood Heights Aquatic Team.

SOFTBALL SUCCESS: The softball world has been taken by a SilverStorm as of late. The local softball squad comprised of many of the best high school players won the 18-and-under national AAU Softball Championships recently in Salt Lake City.

Crystal Johnson, a recent graduate of Cyprus High and future Colorado Northwestern Community College pitcher, had a great tournament from the mound. She was unscathed in five of the six games the SilverStorm played. Taylorsville's Keisha Namba was also a key for the Utah squad, picking up tournament MVP honors for her outstanding play.

Also on the team were Cottonwood's Kate Nygaard, Hillcrest's Emily Voshall, Jordan's Jill Margetts, Judge's Michelle Peterson, Terilyn Peterson and Paige Tanner, Layton's Cassity Knapp, Murray's Mindee Dallof and Heather Murray and Olympus' Jessica Olsen. The team was coached by Dean Voshall.

Most of that same group of young women — along with Tana Alvey from Alta High — also placed third in the 18-and-under "A" division American Softball Association Region 13 tournament last month in Fort Collins, Colo. That team was coached by Judge's Tom Rodgers and Russ Peterson along with Paul Margetts.