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SPOTLIGHT
Indians second at own invitational

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Indians second at own invitational

Published on -8/28/2012, 10:06 AM

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By KLINT SPILLER

kspiller@dailynews.net

Hays High School girls' golf coach Mark Watts said his team isn't focused on what it graduated last season.

The Indians are more interested in what they have now, and they showed Monday what they have now is pretty good.

The Indians finished second at their Hays High Invitational at Smoky Hill Country Club.

"We graduated some girls, but we always say that was last year's team," Watts said. "We've got to move on from that."

Defending Class 6A runner-up Garden City won the meet with a score of 188. Hays High trailed them by 19 strokes at 207, and Salina Central was third with 213. Thomas More Prep-Marian finished ninth with 252.

All the Western Athletic Conference schools also were there.

"This is not a measuring stick right now, but it shows we can compete with our regional teams and get back to state," Watts said.

Hays High sophomore Lexie Schaben had her best performance at Smoky Hill, finishing fourth with a 46.

"I think we did really well," Schaben said. "We can do better, but I'm happy with what we got."

It was a huge improvement for Schaben. She played at the Hays High Invitational last season and recorded a 62. It was the only varsity meet she competed in last season.

"She's put some time in this summer," Watts said. "She has a desire to play golf."

Senior Courtney Hess medaled ninth with a 51, and senior Taylor Herman carded a 54.

Sophomore Elissa Jensen and senior Zoey Gubitoso each shot 56.

Though he was hoping the team's score would have been closer to 200, Watts said he was happy with his team's finish overall.

"With 56, they beat half the field," Watts said regarding the finishes of his No. 4 and No. 5 golfers.

TMP got a strong performance from senior Emily Leiker.

Leiker said she shot in the 70s at Smoky Hill last season, and on Monday, she recorded a 54 -- just one stroke away from medaling.

Leiker said she practiced this summer and fixed her swing near the end of last season.

"It's really exciting because it's the best that I've done so far," Leiker said.

Leiker was the only Monarch to shoot in the 50s.

Senior Jenna Schuckman, a first-year player, had the team's second-best performance, shooting a 63.

Junior Monica Michaud posted a 67, and juniors Haileigh Jacobs and Jena Ernsting recorded 68 and 69, respectively. Senior Andi Marsell, another first-year player, shot 77.

Monarchs coach Judy Mitchell said she was happy with her team's performance considering it was the first meet and none of her girls have played more than two years of high school golf.

With TMP the only Class 3A school at the meet facing Class 5A and 6A schools, she wasn't worried about competing for a high team finish.

"We are just trying to get some practice in on this one," Mitchell said. "They are all bigger schools than we are."

Hays High will compete next at 3 p.m. Tuesday at the Salina Central High School Invitational, while the Monarchs will play at noon pn Sept. 4 at the Goodland High School Invitational.

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