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Hays High pleased with state finish

Published on -10/16/2012, 10:25 AM

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By KLINT SPILLER

kspiller@dailynews.net

Hays High School girls' golf coach Mark Watts said his squad should be satisfied with its 2012 campaign.

The Indians finished sixth Monday at the Class 5A state golf tournament at Emporia Municipal Golf Course -- just five months after graduating five seniors off its state runner-up team.

"A lot of people thought since we had a senior-dominated team and not a lot of experience coming back that we would struggle," Watts said. "But being sixth place, you beat six teams and all the teams that didn't make it. That's an outstanding season."

Hays High was sixth with a team score of 393. St. Thomas Aquinas won the team title with a 336. The Indians qualified for state with a third-place regional finish, but at state, they defeated their regional opponents Newton (eighth, 410) and Salina Central (10th, 429).

Sophomore Lexie Schaben, in her first year of varsity competition, tied for 17th with a 95 and earned all-state honors.

"That gives her something to look forward to next year," Schaben said.

Senior Taylor Herman recorded a 96 and was just one stroke away from all-state, tying for 22nd. Her goal entering state was to finish in the top 20.

"They all say, 'If I would have done this or if I would have done that,' and I'm sure she's upset she didn't get a chance to get a medal," Watts said. "But that's the way it is."

Senior Courtney Hess and sophomore Elissa Jensen tied for 39th with a 101 to round out the team score. Senior Zoey Gubitoso also competed, finishing 49th with a 104.

"We were grouped together, and that's how our season's been," Watts said. "The girls have been pretty consistent and right close to each other from one through five."

Trio of Monarchs at Cheney

Thomas More Prep-Marian sent three girls to the Class 3-2-1A state tournament at the Cherry Oaks Golf Course in Cheney.

Junior Monica Michaud, a two-time state qualifier, and freshman Annaka Applequist each carded scores of 116.

Senior Emily Leiker finished with a 133.

None of the girls earned all-state honors, but head coach Judy Mitchell said she was pleased with their results.

"It was a hard course," Mitchell said. "It really was a hard course, so I thought they did very well."

Mitchell said they played a practice round during the weekend, and she thought it helped. She said Applequist shot a 130 in her practice round and improved by 14 strokes at state.

"Annaka was just hitting the ball straighter," Mitchell said. "She put it in the fairways more to avoid trouble. Their rough was pretty rough."

Area golf results

In Class 3-2-1A, Russell earned some state hardware, placing third with a 411. The Broncos tied for second with Cheney, but lost on the tiebreaker.

Freshman Megan Boxberger led Russell with a fifth-place finish and score of 97. Senior Anna Plante tied for 16th with a 102, and junior Alex Ptacek was 19th with a 104.

Individually, Kyla Bandel of St. Francis earned all-state honors, placing 10th with a 99.

In Class 4A, Goodland finished seventh with a 404, and Colby placed 10th with a 417.

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