High school sports | Girls golf: Fairview's Hickey, Legacy's Milan, off to strong starts at 5A state tournament

May 20—BROOMFIELD — Fairview and Legacy senior golfers Ava Hickey and Ayla Milan are good enough to continue their careers into college, though it isn't expected to be for any team.

They're both attending the University of Colorado, where the flatirons will transform their games into an enjoyed-pastime rather than a competitive endeavor. On Monday, they assured this farewell will be a memorable one.

Hickey sits ninth, Milan 15th, after the first day of the Class 5A state tournament at Broadlands Golf Course.

The Fairview senior shot 5-over-par 77, six strokes back of Day 1-leader Ashleigh Wilson of Rock Canyon. Milan carded a 79.

"I'm just trying to have fun out here," said Hickey, the four-time state qualifier who's edged closer and closer to a top-10 finish at state. She was 31st as a freshman, then 16th, and 15th a year ago.

This one feels different. At least, from her perspective.

"I think in past years at state, I haven't really had the mindset I wanted, like having fun," she explained. "I put a lot of pressure on it. This time, I'm just trying to have a round I'm happy with afterward, no matter what that score is."

Both Hickey and Milan benefitted from an even-keeled approach Day 1. While each hit snags during the morning, moments where they thought a younger version of themselves would have been rattled, neither spiraled.

In fact, their responses were their catalysts.

The Fairview senior hit a water hazard off the tee on her ninth hole, leading to a double bogey. Her drives, she thought, went a little wayward throughout her round. Her recovery kept her in reach of the lead group.

After No. 9, she made par on her next seven holes.

"Just taking it shot by shot," she said.

Milan, who is also in her fourth year at the state tournament, had an even tougher start. She had a triple-bogey and was 6-over par early on before shooting even on 11 of her final 12 holes.

"When I was younger, I used to get in my head a lot," Milan said. "But I think as I've matured in my game, I've realized you can come back and save yourself."

In the team race, Milan led Legacy's trio of qualifiers and has them in eighth heading into Tuesday's final round.

The Lightning (41-over-par 257) got 89s from Jessica Chhour and Anjali Hagner. They are 34 strokes back of leader Valor Christian, which is trying to three-peat.

Monarch is 19th (314). Malone Schaefer shot 90 for the Coyotes, while Olivia Travers carded a 108 and Grasyn Trobaugh a 116.

Individually, Wilson is one shot ahead of defending champ Brenna Higgins of Valor Christian (72). Last spring, Higgins won the 5A crown on a 19th-hole playoff at Black Bear Club in Parker, edging Smoky Hill's Sophia Stiwich.

Tuesday, Milan and Hickey will have the latest tee times among local players, starting at 8:50 and 9:20 a.m., respectively. The forecast in Broomfield includes thunderstorms in the early afternoon.

"It'll be bittersweet, I think," Hickey said. "But I'm just going to have the same mindset I did today."