EAST LANSING – Lansing Catholic entered the Division 4 golf state finals ranked No. 9, so it’s not that much of a surprise that after one round Friday at Forest Akers West, the Cougars sit solidly in 8th place with the final round scheduled for today.
What was a bit of a surprise, however, was coach Kim Johnson was forced to make a last minute entry when Erin Murphy became sick Thursday night, and was replaced by a freshman, Addison Johns.
“It turned out to be a great day for us,” Johnson said. “We had to bring in a freshman who has of course never been to states before, Addison Johns, so in a positive takeaway it was good for us for her to be a part of the team and get the experience.
“Now she has that experience and it’s a great building block for the program. Unplanned, but we’ll take all the experience we can get.”
Lansing Catholic won three consecutive state titles from 2010-to-2012, so the Cougars came in with tamer goals this time.
“Our goal was just to try to stay in the moment and keep playing forward,” Johnson said. “So I think we accomplished that.”
Abigail Meder leads the squad as one of three seniors who were all in 8th grade the last time Lansing Catholic earned its third consecutive state championship. Meder sits in a tie for 6th place (at 82) with 18 holes remaining as everyone in the top 10 is looking up at two-time defending state champ Nichole Cox of Maple City Glen Lake, who shot even par 72.
“I’m really happy with how I did and our team did today,” Meder said. “We were all a little nervous going in since states is a big deal, but I think we all put in a really good effort, and (are) doing our best.
“You always have that in the back of your mind how it’s a legacy here, you’re thinking about the other people that played before you and you want to do well to represent them,” she said about the former state champions from the program. “I don’t think we focus a lot on that but it’s in the back of your mind, something we’re aware of.”
No. 1-ranked Macomb Lutheran North leads the pack with a 335 team total. Livonia Ladywood is second at 351 and two-time defending champion Kalamazoo Hackett stands at 357. Lansing Catholic totaled 395. In addition to Meder, Grace Castle posted an 87, Keighen Morley had 105 and Johns scored a 121 as the first-timer.
Meder said they try to communicate with former Cougar, Jaqueline Setas, to connect with the program’s history.
“She’s always giving us tips, and really is an inspiration to all the girls on the team because she has done so well and is playing at Michigan State, so she’s definitely a role model for all the girls on our team, a very positive presence for us.”