Tigers’ Trujillo finishes 15th at state golf, signs LOI

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Los Lunas High golfer Monica Trujillo recently capped off her high school career with a Top-15 finish at the Class 4A Golf Tournament in Las Cruces and signed her national letter of intent to become part of the first women’s golf squad at Northern New Mexico College in Española.

Monica Trujillo: LLHS golfer

Trujillo officially signed with NNMC on Wednesday, May 15 at Tierra del Sol Golf Course in Rio Communities, with family and personal golf coach Craig Tabet in attendance, along with NNMC golf coach Tom Velarde.

“I’m excited,” Trujillo said after the signing ceremony. “It’s a good opportunity for me to play golf more and get a better understanding of the game.”

Trujillo said she talked to a few other coaches about joining their college teams and entertained a partial scholarship offer from Glendale Community College in Glendale, Ariz., but ultimately the best offer came from Velarde and NNMC.

“I’m excited about this because I have the opportunity to play more golf,” Trujillo said. “It feels good.”

Velarde, who spent 10 years as head golf coach at Española Valley High School, said he’s watched Trujillo on the high school links for three years and said he thought she was a good recruit because of “her demeanor and they way she handles herself” on the golf course.

“She’s got a great family and a lot of support,” Velarde said. “She’s just a great kid, the kind of person you’d want on a team. She is somebody that you can take around the country and know they’re going to represent the institution very well.”

Trujillo ended her state title quest in 15th place after the two-day state tournament at New Mexico State University May 13-14, shooting a 178 two-day total.

Trujillo shot a 20-below-par 92 on the first day, but rallied on day two to shoot a 14-below-par 86 and climb back into the Top 20 for the tournament.

“I didn’t get frustrated as much and I focused more on my shots and what I was doing,” Trujillo said of her second day at state. “I was just more focused overall.”

Trujillo said the first day was a bad round, overall.

“I think I was just maybe a little nervous and got frustrated with myself when I hit a bad shot,” she said. “On the second day, I just let it go and went with it.”

Reflecting on her high school career, which included a tie for 13th place in the 2012 Class 4A Golf Tournament, Trujillo said she was happy with her time on the links for LLHS.

“It was a good experience,” Trujillo said of her prep career, which started her freshman year. “I learned a lot.”

Trujillo started as a three-sport athlete at LLHS, playing basketball and softball as well as golf. But she dropped the other sports to focus on golf — a decision that has now paid off with a full scholarship.

As part of the 10-woman NNMC squad, Trujillo will be doing a lot of travel. The team is an independent in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. Velarde said the Eagles will “pretty much crisscross the country” to play in tournaments.

“We’re playing in the Carolinas, we’ll play in Phoenix, we’ll play in the West Coast — in Oregon,” Velarde said. “We’re looking at Florida and we’re looking at putting Hawaii on the schedule. So it’ll be an active schedule.”

After the signing, Trujillo said she thanked her family as well as Tabet, Los Lunas High golf coach Marty Zeller and the staff at Tierra del Sol for their help and backing.

“I had a lot of support,” Trujillo said. “(My family and coaches) were always there for me. They were always there to support and watch me. That was very important.

“Without that support, I wouldn’t have done as well as I have,” she said.