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Disqualification mutes celebrations for Class 6A state individual champs

FARMINGTON — The boys medalist didn’t quite know how to feel. The individual girls champion felt distressed.

It was anything but a conventional finish Tuesday at the Class 6A state golf tournament.

Piedra Vista’s boys — winning the school’s first state crown as a 6A program in their backyard — and La Cueva’s girls were the team champions at Piñon Hills Golf Course.

And yet the tournament, for a second consecutive year, had a player disqualification that had a major impact on the event.

Cleveland High sophomore Enrique Armijo signed for an incorrect scorecard Tuesday; he shot 71 but signed for a 70.

That didn’t affect on the team championship, since Piedra Vista would have still won by three shots over the Storm. As it was, the Panthers finished 28 shots better than runner-up Clovis.

But that DQ proved quite penal, anyway. Had Armijo signed for the 71 he shot, he’d have won medalist honors by a single stroke.

“I just thought I checked the scorecard right,” said a dejected but gracious Armijo, who self-reported the error. “But that passed over my eyes.”

He made a 4 at the par-4 16th, but there was a 3 on his scorecard, officials said.

Centennial senior Nolan Gillihan, in his final amateur tournament — he has no plans to play in college — took first place instead with a two-day total of 148, 4-over par. He carded a 75 Tuesday on a breezy day at Piñon Hills, including a triple-bogey 7 on the 18th hole — which he was certain would cost him medalist honors.

“I kind of feel bad for the guy that got DQ’d. I told him that he actually won,” Gillihan said. “(But) in my last junior tournament, it’s a good way to finish, for sure.”

Nolan Gillihan of Centennial High won the Class 6A boys individual state golf title. (James Yodice/Journal)

Cleveland junior Jacque Galloway won her third state title with a three-shot triumph over La Cueva’s Victoria Jamharian.

And yet, few people at Piñon Hills were as gutted as Galloway — who labored to an 82 in the second round and finished at 17-over 161 for the two days — when it was over. It was the first time in her prep career at Cleveland, she said, that she didn’t break 80.

“I’m frustrated with my game,” she said. “It’s the worst golf I’ve ever played.”

The physical golf was only part of her pain; Armijo is her boyfriend, and the two of them were seen hugging and crying together away from the rest of the crowd after the awards ceremony.

“I’m heartbroken for Enrique,” Galloway said, wiping away tears. “He deserved to win.”

The DQ pushed the Storm down a spot into third place.

Piedra Vista endured an up-and-down day to avenge a brutal loss last year in Roswell, when its own player disqualification cost the Panthers the state crown.

“I didn’t care how we won, honestly,” a relieved Piedra Vista coach Tom Yost said. “I think I lost 10 years off my life today.”

La Cueva’s girls repeated by putting together something first-round Cleveand could not: two consistent rounds. The Bears beat the Storm by 14 shots.

“It’s amazing,” Jamharian said.

Click here for Class 6A state, individual scores.

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