When Blue Springs South senior Ayden Sackewitz shot a 96 at sectional Wednesday afternoon at Lakewood Oaks Golf Club, her heart sank.
"I've shot a 96 every year at sectional, and every year I've missed going to state by two or three strokes," Sackewitz said. "I was in the clubhouse, getting warm, when they started announcing the scores of the kids going to state and I heard another girl's name, and she shot a 96, and I thought, 'If she shot a 96 and is going to state, am I going?'"
Sackewitz's name was then announced as the final state qualifier.
"I couldn't believe it," Sackewitz said, "I was just totally overcome by emotions. I'm cold, I'm overcome by emotion and I am going to state. Going to state was the only thing I never got to accomplish playing golf at South. I am just so excited, I can't even put it into words."
With the help of parents and coaches who used flashlights on their cell phones, coaches were able to finalize the team and individual scores. The nearly seven-hour tournament finished at 7:20 p.m. with Notre Dame de Sion taking the title with a 322 and St. Teresa's Academy taking second with a score of 369 to earn the two automatic team state berths.
The next 12 golfers who were not on Notre Dame or St. Teresa's also qualified for state. Area golfers joining Sackewitz were Blue Springs junior Lauren Muller (85), Blue Springs senior Sierra Heuston (87) and Lee's Summit North's Julia Scism (93). The state tournament is Monday and Tuesday at Swope Memorial Golf Course in Kansas City.
"I've never had to write down the final team scores by flashlight," joked Blue Springs coach Jill Courter, whose Wildcats posted a sixth-place team score of 402 because they had four golfers competing. "I am so proud of Lauren and Sierra. This is Lauren's third straight year and Sierra's fourth year of going to state. As happy as I am for them, I feel badly for Caroline (Duvall, 109) and Sophie (Mermelstein, 119), who didn't make it. But that's how it is at this time of year – a lot of happiness and some sadness because the girls on the team are very special to me."
Muller and Heuston were more excited about finding someplace to get warm than visiting about keeping their state streaks alive.
"It was so cold out there," said Muller, who kept warm with "lots and lots of layers.”
“I'm still cold, but I am so happy,” Muller added. “I knew that everyone was playing in the same cold conditions I was playing in, and that helped me focus, but I have never been in a tournament that finished when it was dark. It was a long day, but going to state makes it all worthwhile.”
"I'm a senior and it was important for me to go to state my senior year since I made it the three previous years. Like Lauren said, I wore a lot of layers and did my best to keep warm, but it was hard. The sun never really came out today, and it was cloudy and windy all day. But there was nothing you could do about it, so I just went out and played the best golf I could, and I guess it was good enough to go to state."
Notre Dame's Megan Propeck fired a 3-under par 68 on the par-71 Lakewood course despite the tough conditions to win by 14 strokes over Sion’s Barbara King (82).
Fort Osage junior Gabby Vaoifi failed to earn a return trip to state, shooting 99. Grain Valley's Taylor Hileman (101), Shelby Kimbrough (103) and Laney Rose (108) and Lee’s Summit North’s Harrison Clemmons (110) also failed to advance.
CLASS 1 SECTIONAL 4: Vera Bohning of St. Michael the Archangel Catholic claimed medalist honors and earned a berth into the Class 1 state tournament.
Bohning fired an 8-over-par 79 at the par-71 Moila Country Club in St. Joseph to earn her spot in the Class 1 state tournament Monday and Tuesday at Mozingo Lake Golf Course in Maryville.