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Jags' McVey, Broncos' Clemmons earn state golf berths

By Bill Althaus
bill.althaus@examiner.net
Maya McVey

Lee’s Summit North junior Harrison Clemmons was thankful she didn’t have to sweat it out Monday morning at Hoots Hollow Golf Course in Pleasant Hill.

Blue Springs South sophomore Maya McVey discovered that a repeat performance can be more rewarding than an initial trip to the state tournament.

And former Grain Valley teacher and coach Kirk Hipple, now the activities director at Raymore-Peculiar High School, was trying to figure out the new district format.

These are just three takeaways from the Class 4 District 3 golf tournament that saw just two competitors from Eastern Jackson County advance to the state tournament Oct. 19-20 at Dalhousie Golf Club in Cape Girardeau.

Unlike past years, golfers will go directly to state from the district tournament, as the sectional qualifier has been eliminated because girls golf was expanded from two classes to four this year.

The top 18 golfers from the Class 4 districts advance to state, and that elite group includes McVey, who shot a fourth-place 79, and Clemmons, who was in a five-way tie for sixth with an 86.

Harrison Clemmons

Although no official team scores were recorded, Notre Dame de Sion ran away from the pack with a first-place 302, that included a 1-under-par 71 by medalist Megan Propek. Lee’s Summit North was fourth at 385 and Blue Springs South fifth at 393.

Ozark finished second with a 356, but did not qualify four golfers for state, which means it will be unable to compete as a team in Cape Girardeau.

“Ozark is second place with a 356,” Hipple said, “and we were third with 358. But our girls will get to go to state as a team because we had four qualifiers. I don’t really understand it, but I’m not going to argue. I’m happy for our golfers.”

Welcome to the new normal. Clemmons is also happy she’s going for a second straight season. And this time was a lot less stressful.

“This year was much more relaxing than last year,” said Clemmons, who in 2019 shot a 96 to be the last golfer from the sectional to qualify for state. “This year, I shot an 86 and didn’t have to sweat it out.

“Last year, every golfer who came in, I was looking at their score and trying to figure out what the cutoff would be for state. This year, the cutoff was 94, so if I had shot another 96 I wouldn’t have made it.

“But I’m playing much better this year. I’m a more consistent golfer. And when you get into big tournaments like this, consistency is very important.”

McVey went to state as a freshman and discovered Monday that going a second time in a row is even more fulfilling.

“Last year was great going to state as a freshman,” McVey said, “but I think this year means more to me because I proved that I am a state caliber golfer by going two years in a row.

“I want to go to state this year and come back with a medal.”

North’s Katie Page missed the cutoff by four strokes with a 98. Cassey Kinman (100), Hannah Keisker (101) and Paige Bruce (114) rounded out the Broncos’ card.

Maddie Brennaman shot 99 for Blue Springs South, followed by Dilynn Jones (104), Stephanie Giron (111) and Alexandria Frederick (113).

CLASS 4 DISTRICT 4: Blue Springs will send one to the Class 4 state tournament in Cape Girardeau. And one just narrowly missed.

Sophomore Lauren Mack fired a 100 to tie for 17th and finish in the top 18 to earn a trip to state in Monday’s Class 4 District 4 Tournament at the par-72 Outlaw Course at Paradise Pointe Golf Complex.

Lauren Mack

Junior Julianna Marshall, though, missed the cutoff by just one stroke, shooting 101.

Liberty North’s Bailey Burkett was the medalist with a 73. Columbia Rock Bridge, with Siena Minor’s second-place 77, topped the team standings at 331. Blue Springs was seventh at 441.

Lucy Beckenbach (117) and Raelee Terry (123) completed the Wildcats’ scoring.