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SPOTLIGHT
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Local golfers qualify for state

Published on -10/9/2012, 10:21 AM

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By KLINT SPILLER

kspiller@dailynews.net

At the beginning of the school year, Hays High School girls' golf coach Mark Watts said his team had three goals: continually improve throughout the season, finish second in the Western Athletic Conference and, most importantly, qualify for the state tournament.

Mission accomplished.

The Indians checked off the final goal on their list by finishing third at the Class 5A regional tournament on Monday in Salina. Hays High was just four strokes away from regional champion Newton.

State will be Monday at Emporia Municipal Golf Course. The first tee time is 8:30 a.m.

"Taylor Herman had made it at state before but Courtney (Hess) hadn't and neither had Zoey (Gubitoso)," Watts said. "... It's nice to get the seniors to the state tournament. That's been our goal the whole year."

Newton won with 386, Salina Central was second with 387 and Hays High was third with 390. Great Bend was the next closest -- 23 strokes back.

All five Indian golfers finished in the top 15.

Senior Taylor Herman recorded a 92 to finish sixth, while senior Courtney Hess carded a 95 and placed ninth.

Sophomore Lexie Schaben and senior Zoey Gubitoso posted a 99 and 104 to place 12th and 14th, respectively.

Sophomore Elissa Jensen didn't count toward the team score, but she also had a 104 and tied for 14th.

With their finish, the Indians kept their school's streak at the state tournament alive. Hays High now has qualified for state seven years in a row.

"These seniors, they are keeping that tradition going of Hays High at the state tournament," Watts said. "They are excited."

Not only that, Hays High wrapped up second place in the WAC by a wide margin just the week before, checking off the second task on its list.

It's been a strong year for a team considered to be in the midst of a rebuilding season after graduating five players off last season's state runner-up team.

"The girls listened," Watts said. "They did the things in practice and worked hard in practice. It pays off."

State will be a difficult task, considering the historic programs who will be competing.

The defending state champions, Overland Park-St. Thomas Aquinas, made it from the east, while Wichita-Kapaun Mt. Carmel, Wichita-Bishop Carroll and Goddard-Eisenhower made it out of the regional in Wichita. All should be competitive teams.

However, Watts said a top-eight or even top-five team finish isn't out of the realm of possibility.

"The biggest goal is always to get back to state because it's hard to get there," Watts said. "... You want to finish it off right. We'll go down there and compete and see how we compete with the rest of the 5A schools."

Russell wins meet

TMP sends three

The Thomas More Prep-Marian girls' golf team qualified three girls for the second year in a row.

The Monarchs competed Monday at the Class 3-2-1A regional in Russell.

"I was hoping to be able to send three," TMP girls' golf coach Judy Mitchell said. "It depended on the other schools that were there, but when I saw the scores coming in I thought we had a a pretty good chance of sending three."

Junior Monica Michaud will make her second trip to the state meet, finishing 12th with a 115.

Senior Emily Leiker, a three-year player, made it with a 125, placing 15th, and freshman Annaka Applequist took the final individual qualifying spot with a 128 and placed 18th.

"I think they were excited," Mitchell said. "I don't think the nervousness has set in yet (for state), but they were kind of nervous before we started."

TMP was able to qualify so many since the three team qualifiers, Russell, Cheney and Hoisington, comprised 13 of the top-18 finishes.

Other TMP participants included senior Andi Marsell (20th, 133), junior Haileigh Jacobs (23rd, 143) and senior Jenna Schuckman (25th, 145).

As a team, TMP finished fourth with a 501.

Russell won the meet championship via a tiebreaker with Cheney. Each team scored 418. Hoisington was third with a 446.

Cheney senior Shianne Cokely won the meet with a 98.

Russell junior Alex Ptacek and freshman Megan Boxberger finished second and third with a 98 and 101, respectively.

Senior Anna Plante and junior Janna Schulte rounded out Russell's scoring with a 104 and 115.

Other area qualifiers

Saint Francis sophomore Kyla Bandel won the Class 3-2-1A regional in Cimarron, recording a 91. Oakley's Sydney Parsons also will compete at the state meet, finishing 12th in Cimarron with a 114.

At the Class 4A regional in Larned, Goodland tied with Colby and Ulysses for first with a 414, but Goodland won the meet title on the tiebreaker. Colby was second.

Goodland's medalists included Logan Perryman, tied for fourth, and Cortney Cowan, ninth.

Colby's medalists included Andrea Barton, tied for fourth; Karly Kriss, seventh; and Miranda Kern, 10th.

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