The straight-and-steady approach worked just fine for Blue Springs junior golfer Mariah Peters, and all four of her Wildcat teammates played well enough to join her another week.
Peters’ round of 4-over-par 76 was good for medalist honors in Monday’s Class 2 District 7 Tournament at Drumm Farm Golf Club, and Blue Springs clipped Blue Springs South for the second and final team qualifying spot for next week’s sectional tournament at WinterStone.
The Wildcats and Jaguars each totaled 358 among their top four golfers. Notre Dame de Sion took the top spot at 343, led by Amanda Malecki’s 81 and Anna Ciani’s 83 (34 on back nine). The Wildcats earned the sectional nod on a fifth-golfer tiebreaker – Kalli Wood’s 110 was 23 strokes better than the Jaguars’ No. 5.
In addition to Peters, freshman Mady Acers carded an 80, while Hannah Reynolds checked in at 99 and Jailyn Marshall 103.
Blue Springs coach Jill Courter, whose team finished fourth at state last year, said edging South made Monday’s advancement even more special.
“We’ve battled all season long,” she said. “They beat us pretty good at conference last week.
“Our No. 3, freshman Mady Acers, had the best round of her career. We were really inconsistent as a team. I’ve been preaching to the girls all week about how every stroke is important, and today was a perfect example. Every single player is important, too.”
Peters, who was second at state individually last season, said she thought the Wildcats had a chance to advance.
“Coach tries to keep us up-to-date,” she said. “I knew it was going to be close.”
As for her round, Peter said she didn’t have to do anything “crazy.”
“I was hitting a lot of greens, and then I was putting real well, so I had lots of pars,” she said. “I just kept it in play, just kept it pretty even all around.”
While South’s team missed out on next week, three of five Jaguars advanced. Seniors Jordan Rehkow and Madison Frerking each carded a 79, while Tara Thorp notched an 85. Brooke Howe (115) was the fourth scorer.
“We’ve been going back and forth all year with Blue Springs,” South coach Ted Linke said. “Today was their day – they took us and it couldn’t have been much closer.
“Those three girls have played extremely well all year. The two seniors have played consistent all year. The three of them were disappointed the team didn’t make it, but that’s what golf is about; that’s why you play the game. I’m sure they’ll do well next week.”
Lee Summit North finished fifth (416), Grain Valley seventh (457), Truman eighth (489) and William Chrisman ninth out of 12 schools. Fort Osage and did not have enough eligible scores for a team total.
Grain Valley’s Kaylee Hutchens shot the day’s seventh-best score (84) to join the Blue Springs South trio with individual sectional bids as the first golfer from the first-year Grain Valley girls golf program to advance. It wasn't Hutchens' first sectional berth, though, as she advanced as a member of the Grain Valley boys team last spring.
Emma McClellan from Truman (107), Marina Rios from Fort Osage (107) and Lee Summit North’s Brianna Combs (101), Madison Couts (104), Lindsey Graham (104) and Betsy Bartle (107) also qualified to play at WinterStone, having finished among the top 15 individuals not on a qualifying team.
Amanda Olsen (113) was William Chrisman’s top player.
Fort Osage coach Joy Kotzbacher said she’s excited and looking forward to Rios playing another week.
“We have some things to work on this week, such as putting, before we’ll be ready for sectionals,” Kotzbacher said of Rios.