SYRACUSE – The inaugural Wawasee Invitational was, in a word, memorable.
Mother Nature provided a beautiful setting from start to finish, a finish that would prove to be a nail-biter. The Lady Warriors took home top spot in its own tournament with a score of 391, edging out Columbia City’s 392 Saturday at South Shore Golf Club in Syracuse.
If you were a fan that left South Shore early, you may be surprised to learn that the Lady Warriors came out on top as Columbia City had the advantage at the turn with three of Wawasee’s golfers having self-proclaimed “off-days”. The difference for Wawasee may very well have been the performance of freshman Aubrey Schmeltz.
Schmeltz came in at the turn with a 51 but flipped a switch on the back nine, turning in an impressive 46 to finish with a 97 on the day. Lady Warrior head coach Steve Coverstone was clearly impressed with the performance of his young ringer.
“Aubrey did a really good job for us on the backside. She had a 46 on the back and she was able to get that knowing exactly where the team was with its score when she teed off on 10. Her performance was a big key today,” stated Coverstone.
While Schmeltz was the closer for Wawasee, Mikala Mawhorter was the spark that got it all going for her team. The sophomore product turned heads by finishing with an outstanding score of 40 on the front nine and rounded her day off with a 45 on the back. Mawhorter’s final round score of 85 was good enough for medalist honors on Saturday, edging out an 86 from Mishawaka’s Aubri Young, who also had a 40 at the turn.
Wawasee’s Elizabeth Jackson turned in a 97 on the day which included a solid score of 44 on the front nine. Jackson’s front nine performance was highlighted by a birdie on the par three number eight. Rounding out the varsity five for Wawasee was Courtney McDaniel and Kylee Rostochak who both finished with a score of 112.
Coverstone was impressed by his team’s victory because he knew his girls were not happy with their overall performance.
“If you asked Courtney, Kylee and Elizabeth, I think they would tell you they are not happy with their scores. Most of that is because of how they did on the back nine. But the fact that we had a few girls have off-days and still pulled out a big win speaks a lot for what our team can do,” said a satisfied Coverstone.
Wawasee fielded two teams in Saturday’s invite, ironically named “Wawasee Green” on the leader board. The irony comes from the green team’s low score of 110 turned in by Warrior freshman Madison Beaman. Kamryn Foy (116), Megan Goralczyk (119) and Rebbecca Bender (140) rounded out the scores for Wawasee’s second squad.
Whitko returned to South Shore for the second time this season and while the team had a rough day, turning in a score of 474, two Wildcats showed great individual improvement. On August 8 April Bishop led her team with a final nine hole score of 52. On Saturday the junior turned in a 46 on the same front nine for a six stroke improvement. Bishop finished the day with a 99 to lead the Lady Wildcats. Fellow junior Elizabeth Gensch finished the day with a 124 but inked a 59 on the front, an outstanding improvements from the score of 71 she had on August 8. Samantha Shell (124), Kennedy Krull (130) and Aurelia Stephens (134) were the bottom three scores for Whitko.
The Wildcats (1-4) will next tee off this Tuesday against Northfield at Sycamore Hills Golf Course at 4:30 p.m.
Wawasee will look to stay undefeated in nine hole matches when it welcomes in Manchester Monday night at Maxwelton Golf Club. First tee is set for 4:30 p.m.
1. WAWASEE (GOLD) – 391
2. Columbia City – 392
3. Goshen – 418
4. Fairfield – 421
5. West Noble – 424
6. Concord – 430
7. WHITKO – 474
8. Northridge – 481
9. WAWASEE (GREEN) – 485
10. Mishawaka – 503
Top Individual Scores
1. Mikala Mawhorter, Wawasee – 85
2. Aubri Young, Mishawaka – 86
3. Teage Minier, Goshen – 86
4. Cheyenne Johnson, Columbia City – 95
5. Regan Raber, Fairfield – 96
6. Allison Yoder, Columbia City – 96
7. Alayna Fritchley, Faiefield – 97
8. Elizabeth Jackson, Wawasee – 97
9. Aubrey Schmeltz, Wawasee – 97
10. Kelly Seard, Northridge – 97