CARMEL – One down, one to go.
The Wawasee girls golf team started its two-day mission at the 42nd Annual IHSAA Girls Golf State Finals Friday morning and things are shaping up to make this weekend a memorable one for the Lady Warriors. Wawasee finished day one with a team score of 365, two strokes ahead of New Palestine for 10th place.
Prairie View Golf Club was more than welcoming to all 15 teams, but Mother Nature was not quite as friendly. The day started with golfers bundled up and under umbrellas as strong winds and miserable rain were the setting for the first nine. After teams had made the turn, the sun peaked out and warmed up the course slightly. But despite the bitter setting, Wawasee’s Elizabeth Jackson weathered the conditions to lead Wawasee in its first State Finals appearance since 1986.
Jackson tallied nine pars on the day and would finish with an 85, placing her in the top-40 for day one. Jackson was the only Lady Warrior to shoot sub-90, but that did not spell doom and gloom for Wawasee.
Kylee Rostochak bailed herself out of a few bad spots and would end up with a 95, the team’s fourth-lowest score. Aubrey Schmeltz did a fine job for Wawasee, shooting a 91. Kamryn Foy struggled at times and would finish with a 106. No. 1 golfer Mikala Mawhorter struggled with a shoulder injury but still managed to shoot a respectable 94. Mawhorter may have also had the highlight of the day for Wawasee when she chipped-in for birdie on 15. The successful shot received a quick fist pump from the junior.
While the experience of getting to play at the State Finals is certainly a reward in itself, Wawasee still had goals entering this weekend. Last week the Lady Warriors had to hold their breath as they sat idly in third place at Cobblestone Golf Course in Kendallville waiting for the rest of the regional field to turn in scores. Of course Wawasee got out, but remained in third place behind Bishop Dwenger and regional champion Leo. After one day of play, Wawasee leads both of those teams which is something that head coach Steve Coverstone was very pleased with.
“We wanted to beat the schools that came down from our regional,” Coverstone said. “That was definitely a goal coming into the Finals. We knew we were good enough to beat them at the regional, we just didn’t play well enough. I’m happy to see our girls get ahead of both Leo and Dwenger today. Hopefully we can keep that going tomorrow.”
Coverstone also mentioned that his girls are aiming to finish in the top 10 this weekend. Again, that is one goal that is more than doable after one day out on the course.
Prairie View proved to be challenging on day one. With temperatures expected to be in the low 40s Saturday, nothing will get easier for any of the hopeful young golfers.
Wawasee will tee off at 9:51 a.m. on the No. 10 tee at Prairie View. Madison Beaman will take over the fifth spot for Wawasee, replacing Kamryn Foy. Beaman will tee off first, followed by Schmeltz, Rostochak, Jackson and Mawhorter.