• Shaw, Cats bounce back to take sectional title, earn state berth

  • Things couldn’t have started worse for Blue Springs senior Kristin Shaw.

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  • Things couldn’t have started worse for Blue Springs senior Kristin Shaw.
    It was bad enough that her potential last day of high school golf was being played at the notoriously difficult par-72 Staley Farms Golf Club with wind gusting throughout the afternoon. But Shaw also came down with a bout of motion sickness on the bus ride over, which plagued her through the first several holes of Monday’s Class 2 Sectional 4 Tournament.
    Things looked grim, but Shaw manufactured a remarkable turnaround by shooting par on the final four holes of the front nine before tallying a 43 on the back nine to finish with a 93 to tie for 11th and help Blue Springs to a first-place total of 356.
    The Wildcats topped Notre Dame de Sion (367), Blue Springs South (385), Park Hill (391), Liberty (427) and Staley (452).
    The day was vindicating for Shaw, who narrowly missed qualifying for state the last two years.
    “There’s relief and excitement,” Shaw said. “I’m probably going to cry or something when I get the plaque.”
    At the start, it looked like Shaw’s day was going to be a disaster as she shot a 14-over par on the first five holes and couldn’t shake her queasiness.
    “She was having a mental breakdown,” Blue Springs coach Jill Courter said. “Her swing was even funny.”
    Courter tried offering some pointers, but it was too much for Shaw to process. After shooting a nine on one hole, Courter approached her, gave her a hug and told her to just enjoy the day. It’s just a game, Courter said, enjoy it.
    Turns out that’s just what Shaw needed to hear.
    “I just said, ‘Let’s put this all in perspective,’” Courter said. “You’re out on the golf course today having a good time. Just relax. You’ll get there.
    “For her to come back like she did was huge. Just awesome. I’m so proud of her.”
    Shaw wasn’t the only Wildcat drawing praise from their coach. Sophomore Mariah Peters bounced back from a disappointing district performance to fire a 73 to claim medalist honors. Freshman Jailyn Marshall carded a 94 while senior Ally Guffey registered a 96 and junior Hannah Reynolds finished with a 127.
    While Shaw dealt with physical hurdles, all the golfers faced the brutal multi-tiered greens that were described as “cruel,” “crazy” and “impossible.”
    “I just had to prepare myself that bogey would be a good score today considering some of the holes,” said South junior Madison Frerking, who qualified for state as an individual by placing sixth with an 86. “It’s OK to double bogey here.”
    Two other Blue Springs South golfers joined Frerking by reaching the state cut of 95 as sophomore Tara Thorp took ninth with a 91 and junior Jordan Rehkow tied for 16th with a 95.
    Page 2 of 2 - South coach Mike McGown was thrilled to have three advance, but added that he hated to see his two seniors fall short as Tayler Haynes notched a 113 and Emily Wilhem finished with a 115.
    “With all the hard work they’ve put in to their game, I wish they would have had the opportunity to go,” he said. “But I am happy for the three girls that made it.”
    Lee’s Summit North’s Lindsey Graham narrowly missed the state cut by carding a 99 and Jessica Swaim finished with a 111.
    The Missouri Class 2 Championships are slated for next Monday and Tuesday at the Dalhousie Golf Club in Cape Girardeau.

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