Grand Island Central Catholic’s golf team was a big favorite to win the Class C, District 1 championship Tuesday at Jackrabbit Run Golf Course.
“When you’re picked as the favorite, that can be hard, too,” Central Catholic senior McKenna Kime said. “But everyone came out, played good golf and didn’t get in much trouble. It turned out well.”
The Crusaders easily outdistanced the opposition with a 350. Central City was second at 425 and Doniphan-Trumbull third at 445. The top three teams and top 10 individuals advance to the Class C state meet Monday and Tuesday at Quail Run Golf Course in Columbus.
Kime also easily outdistanced the opposition in the individual race too with a 77. Central City’s Katie Janky was second with an 88 and GICC’s Erin Boon third with an 89.
Kime was happy with her 77.
“That’s pretty good,” Kime said. “There are alway shots you wish you had played a little different, but I’m happy with how I played.”
Kime had one birdie for the round. That came on the fourth hole when she rolled in a long putt.
“I made a long putt,” Kime said. “That was really what got me going because I started off a little slow.”
Central Catholic coach Dee Hanssen said she was thrilled with how Kime played, too.
“I’m so glad to see her play her last round out here with that score,” Hanssen said. “She has just been an exceptional golfer. She’s so dedicated. What a way to go out.”
The Crusaders had four players in the top seven. Besides Kime and Boone, Alex Rieke was fourth (91) and Neha Sood seventh (93). Rebecca Riley shot 123 for GICC.
“A coach can’t ask for more,” Hanssen said. “I had one sick player yesterday (Rieke), so I was really worried but she came back and golfed well today. She looked tough this morning, but she was really a trooper and hung with it and played well.
“We need all those girls. It takes a team, but they golfed the way we knew we needed to today. We knew if we played our game decently that we should be in the top three, and they did.”
Central City coach Dan Negus said he knew that Central Catholic was a heavy favorite and his team was shooting for a second- or third-place finish.
“We knew if we played well we’d have a chance,” Negus said. “It worked out that we did. We knew there would be four or five of us that would have a good chance to get the other two spots. If we played well, we knew we’d have a good opportunity.”
Negus was particularly happy to see Janky, the only senior on the team, take second.
“She told me going into today that her goal was a 90,” Negus said. “She surpassed her goal. I knew if she went low it would really help our team score.”
The Crusaders will now start getting ready for the state meet where they will go in as one of the favorites.
“It’s so exciting,” Kime said. “All four years, I’ve been really lucky to be part of a really successful team. It’s been a good year. Making it to state just really tops it off.”
Hanssen said the Crusaders would play a practice round at Quail Run sometime before Monday.
“We’ve got some work to do the next few days,” Hanssen said. “This is where we’ll meet some heavy-duty teams.”
Other area state qualifiers include fifth-place Paige Mestl of Heartland Community, sixth-plade Nicole Thienel of Wood river, eighth-place Brandi Lemek of Doniphan-Trumbull and 10th-place Tori Ostrander of Fullerton.
Heartland Lutheran finished in eighth place with a 494. Alison Bockmann led the Red Hornets with a 109 followed by Emma Kreutzer 115, Jamie Bader 131 and Jamie Bader 164.
Class C, District 1
At Jackrabbit Run Golf Course
(Top threee advance to state)
Grand Island Central Catholic 350, Central City 425, Doniphan-Trumbull 445, Fairbury 448, Heartland Community 453, Tri County 458, Fullerton 461, Heartland Lutheran 494, Hastings St. Cecilia 543, Exeter-Milligan 562.
1, McKenna Kime, GICC, 77; 2, Katelyn Janky, Central City, 88; 3, Erin Boon, GICC, 89; 4, Alex Rieke, GICC, 91; 5, Paige Mestl, Heartland Community, 92; 6, Nicole Thienel, Wood River, 92; 7, Neha Sood, GICC, 93; 8, Brandi Lemek, Doniphan-Trumbull, 93; 9, Kellie Niemeier, Tri County, 97; Tori Ostrander, Fullerton, 100.