Friday, September 22, 2023
The winning team, Riverton, smiled before getting ready for State this week (p/c Lars Flanagan)

Riverton wins again, Lander get close at Conference Championships

GREEN RIVER / WHEATLAND – While the Central Wyoming College golf team was winning on the home course in Riverton, the two Fremont County golf teams traveled to different cities around Wyoming for their chances at winning their respective 3A Conferences. 


Riverton’s boys, the back-to-back-to-back 3A East Conference champions, continued their dominating spirit by toppling the competition once again behind the play of seniors Parker Paxton and Brodie Dale, as well as junior Kyler Graham, who all finished in the top four in Wheatland. 

Paxton, who started the two-day conference championship with a 66, was closely followed by Graham (71), but Dale was in fourth with a 78. On the second day Paxton kept it going, shaving three strokes off his already-superior score by hitting a 63, while Dale climbed the rankings to third with a 74 and Graham slid to fourth with an 84. 

In the end, the only golfer that wedged themselves at the top with Riverton was Wheatland freshman Tate Nichols (150) who finished in second after shooting a 74 on the second day. Thanks to these impressive scores, which are all not surprising if one has kept up with Wolverines’ golf team these past couple years, were good enough to win another 3A East Conference Championship with a final combined score of 308, seven strokes ahead of Wheatland (315). 

Unfortunately, the girls of Riverton High School (RHS) did not have as spectacular of a weekend, finishing third with 312 behind Douglas (281) and Wheatland (277). Riverton’s star sophomore Tylynn McDonald has been near the top of the scoreboards all year long and led all Lady Wolverines at the end of the tournament with an eighth-place finish after a 96 on the second day. Wheatland’s superb senior Lily Nichols won the individual battle with a total score of 168, fifteen strokes ahead of second-place golfer Maddie Brace (183). 

Paxton, Dale, Graham and junior Triston Ladd finished in the top ten and were named to the All-Conference team. McDonald also earned an All-Conference nomination.


Lander Valley High School (LVHS) has had a tremendous regular season record thanks largely in part to the multiple team and individual victories from the Tigers’ experienced boys’ team. After such a great season the time for play was over, and the 3A West Conference Championships were a place to prove their talent and grit at Rolling Green Cross Country in Green River. 

On the girls’ side, the Lady Tigers were led by Keigann Watson (86) who finished the first day taking third behind Lovell’s Erika Cook (69), one of the best golfers in all of high school golf, and the hometown girl Isabell Salas (77) from Green River High School. Watson’s second day didn’t do her any favors, falling behind to finish at fourth overall after Cody’s Adelie Hall leapfrogged her to take bronze. 

Overall, the Lander girls team was helped out a lot by Watson’s finish, as well as Morgan Hill’s tie for tenth place with Evanston’s Hailee Ridenour. Their team finished fourth behind first-place winners Evanston (548), Cody (583) and Lovell (594). 

Evanston was helped on the other side of the tee box too, mainly by senior Ryker Lind who finished in first after a 72 and a 69, finishing five strokes ahead of teammate Sam Dolezal (146). LVHS was led by Hunter Kihn, who finished fifth with a combined score of 151. Kihn’s teammate Sequeil Lozier finished tied for ninth with Evanston’s Caden Hiatt, trailed closely by the Tigers’ Riley Stoudt (161). 

At the end of the two days, the Lander Valley Tigers (640) finished second to Evanston (593) after the Red Devils finished with five golfers in the top ten. Rounding out the top three was Pinedale, finishing seven strokes behind the Tigers. 

Kihn, Lozier, Watson and Hill all finished as All-Conference golfers for the 3A East. Up next, the State Tournament for both the RHS Wolverines and LVHS Tigers will take place in Worland on Friday, September 15 and finish up Saturday, September 16. Riverton’s boys will be looking for their third-straight state championship as a team while Paxton looks to go four-for-four individually before playing for the Colorado Buffaloes next year. 

BY: Shawn O’Brate