After securing another trip to state, Lauren Muller was ready to take a deep breath and relax.
The Blue Springs senior qualified for a fourth trip to the Class 2 state girls golf tournament by placing among the top 12 individuals Monday in the Class 2 sectional at WinterStone Golf Course in Independence. Muller comfortably qualified by shooting an 87, but she still couldn't help but feel some jitters during the sunny and windy day.
"I'm not nervous anymore," Muller said. "Just calm, happy, only good vibes right now. I was pretty comfortable playing the course, but I didn't want to disappoint myself and I wanted to play my best."
The 87 was far from the best for Muller, who has shot as low as 75 with the Wildcats. But she collected a birdie on No. 9 and enough pars to pave her way back to state.
"It's not good at all, but it got me to where I needed to be," Muller said of her score. "The greens were kind of hard and it was windy. But it was a good day to play."
Muller recorded the lowest score of the four Eastern Jackson County area golfers who advanced to the state tourney, which takes place next Monday and Tuesday at Silo Ridge Golf and Country Club in Bolivar. Also advancing were Maya McVey of Blue Springs South (92), Taylor Hileman of Grain Valley (95) and Harrison Clemmons of Lee's Summit North (98).
McVey said she struggled on some holes and had trouble hitting her driver as she played WinterStone for only the second time. But she's only a freshman, so she was just excited to make the cut in her first try.
"At first I was a little worried, but once I started to see the scores I could tell I was going to make it," McVey said. "This whole season I wasn't sure about myself. Between now and sophomore year I plan on improving and being a lot better."
Hileman, a senior, is making her first trip to state. After Hileman missed the cut by two strokes last year, Grain Valley coach Randy Hughes was thrilled to see her come through in her last chance.
"We knew she had it in her," Hughes said. "It was just a matter of her making the shots when she needed to. And today she did. Even when she had a bad hole she kept her head down and stayed focused."
Notre Dame de Sion won the team title going away, posting a four-player score of 325. Liberty shot a 379 to take the other team qualifying spot. Sion's Megan Propeck, the Class 2 defending state champion, shot a 2-over 74 to take medalist honors.
Blue Springs’ Julianna Marshall five strokes away from qualifying at 103, while teammate Lauren Mack shot 122. Blue Springs South’s Maddie Brennaman shot 105, while Lee’s Summit North’s Katie Page (110) and Mimi Brown (126) also fell short of the cut.