LINCOLN — Elkhorn South opened a 20-stroke lead Monday in defense of its Class B girls golf state title.
The Storm's five golfers had scores between 79 and 86 on a warm, windy day at Mahoney Golf Course. Defending individual champion Annie Pearson and Nicolle Barmettler had the 79s.
Much of Elkhorn South's cushion over second-place McCook was due to Kathryn Hanson's career-best 85. It was 10 strokes lower than what any other school counted for its fourth score toward the team total and 14 strokes better than anyone's No. 5 golfer in the lineup.
“She was pretty danged excited,” Storm coach Mimi Ramsbottom said. “We've had three golfers this year in the No. 5 spot and we've had a competition between Katie and the other two. After the Westside/Ralston tournament she started playing really well and she medaled at districts with a tie for 10th.”
Lindsey Thompson also shot 85 for the Storm, who posted a 328 score. Alexa Ruwe had an 86.
“It wasn't nervousness I saw in them this morning. Only eagerness,” Ramsbottom said. “You felt there was good energy. They weren't going to let one bad shot get them down.”
McCook, which saw senior Kaylee Samway shoot 77 for a two-stroke lead for the individual champion, shot 348. Gering was another 13 strokes behind entering Tuesday's final round.
Samway said she had a reward coming for following up a 41 on the front nine with a par score of 36 on the back nine. She birdied the ninth and 10th holes.
“My parents promised me Eileen's Cookies if I improved,” she said. “I had struggled a lot of the front nine. I had a 7. That's what hurt my score.”
Norfolk takes Class A lead on home course
NORFOLK, Neb. — Norfolk High's first round at the Class A girls state golf tournament was suitable for framing.
Panther coach Jerry Cover warned, however, to hold off on shooting team championship photos just yet.
“Anything can happen,” he said.
And on Monday's first day of competition at the Norfolk Country Club, it did — in a good way on the Panthers' home course.
Norfolk, which hadn't beaten Lincoln Pius X or Grand Island all year, held a seven-stroke lead over the Thunderbolts (345-352) and nine over the defending champion Islanders.
Omaha Marian senior Sarah Pravecek shot a 6-over-par 78 to lead Samantha Beal of Columbus by two strokes in the individual standings. Pravecek recorded 13 pars, four bogeys and one double bogey.
“It's strange,” Cover said. “We hadn't beaten Pius or Grand Island and the only two tournaments that we won they weren't in. But that's why I said before, you play the game. And we had a good day today. Overall, our front nine was a good as I could possibly imagine. The kids are playing with confidence and we're playing at home.”
Sydney Roenfeldt's 83, good for third place, was low for Norfolk. Jenna Weber had 86, McKenzie Essley 87, Kayla Bahle 89 and Tiffany Henning 100.
— Bruce Viergutz, World-Herald News Service
Ogallala, GICC tight atop Class C scoring
COLUMBUS, Neb. — McKenna Kime found an unusual route to the lead of the Class C girls golf state tournament Monday at Quail Run.
Kime, a senior at Grand Island Central Catholic, used the seventh fairway on her way to a bogey on the 17th hole.
“I got myself in some trouble off the tee box,” Kime said. “I ended up playing it off a different fairway and punching it through the trees to the green. I made a long putt to save a bogey, so I was pretty happy with that number.”
Her opening 82 was four strokes ahead of teammate Erin Boon and Ogallala's Maaika Mestl, who each shot 86.
“McKenna and Erin had great days again,” Central Catholic coach Dee Hanssen said. “They both just played really smart golf.”
Ogallala leads the team race at 365 with GICC second at 369. Norfolk Catholic is third at 386.
“I was really pleased with how the team played today,” Ogallala coach Kim Mestl said. “I didn't know what to expect. We have never made it to state in the seven years I've been the coach. We came out of districts well and we played like we've talked about all year.”
Hanssen was happy to be just four strokes back after what was a bit of an off round for the Crusaders.
“We're doing just fine right now,” Hanssen said. “We've been in the lead before, and sometimes it's good to have the monkey on somebody else's back.”
— Bob Hamar, World-Herald News Service