By KEVIN THOMPSON
HUGOTON — The bad news is, the wind blew and blew and blew.
The good news is, the Hugoton meet was completed earlier than expected when it was shortened from 18 to nine holes.
The bad news is, most coaches wanted to get an 18-hole meet in as regionals approach.
But the best news for the home crowd was the tournament as host Hugoton, with sophomore Lawson Fiss shooting a 1-over-par 37 finishing as the tournament medalist.
Gusts of 40 mph and some dirt storms that obstructed the view of the city were the norm, but the young Fiss managed his home course as though it were nothing.
Fiss said he usually shoots around 42 on Forewinds Golf Course, but this day proved to be exceptional.
"I really played very well. A lot better than normal actually," Fiss said.
Maybe even more incredible was the fact that Fiss won by five strokes over six other golfers. Course conditions were excellent, and all he did was keep the ball in play.
"I was really focused and really confident the whole round, especially on my short game" he said. "And I putted very, very well."
The wind was a factor, he said, but he managed it and kept the ball in play.
"We had plenty of time to read the time because of waiting, so that helped me a lot," he added.
"He had a really good round today," Hugoton coach Jason Hajek said of Fiss. "He's just a sophomore, but he keeps getting better and better each day. I want to say he was in the zone today."
Finishing the meet in shortened time definitely wasn't in the cards for such a big meet, Hajek said, but because it was so big, the coaches just had to decide to make the call.
"I met with all the coaches and we got a little scared because it was about 6:50 and one team out there had only got to hole No. 10. We knew we weren't going to get it in," he said.
The wind and 77 golfers — the most the meet has ever had — were the holdups, he said.
Meade won the team title with a score of 173, followed by Ulysses (179) and Colby (180). Each team has six players with the low four counting for the team total.
No team dominated the top 10. Meade's Blake Wornkey and Adrian Pfanenstiel finished second and ninth while Ulysses' Brady Buxman and Jacob Mendoza were fourth and 10th.
For Ulysses' coach Jack Wolf, the meet was a bit of a letdown.
"Maybe it builds character," a chagrined Wolf said. "It kind of demoralizes your game trying to play in these conditions, but who's to say we won't play in these conditions down the road when it's more important."
Wolf said the Tigers have played in the wind this season, but this was by far the worst.
"Our scores were a little higher than they should have been, than they have been," he said. "The course was in pretty decent shape but the wind really affected most people's game."
Lakin's Christian Blackburn finished in a five-way tie for second with a 42 to lead the Broncs.
"The course was nice. The greens were really nice. The fairways were really nice," Blackburn said. "But the wind was an absolute killer today. You just had to keep it low today."
See results in Scoreboard, page D2.