Consistency has been one of the strengths of the Oshkosh West girls’ golf team all season.
That was also the case during the Fox Valley Association golf meet at Wander Springs Golf Course as the Wildcats tied Appleton East on Saturday, but were crowned the FVA champs after also finishing the regular season dual meet season undefeated.
The championship is determined when combining the point totals from both the regular season and the conference meet finish.
“We were good during the season because we were undefeated, but it doesn’t matter until you come here,” Oshkosh West coach Nicole Peterson said. “You still have to perform.”
Oshkosh West and Appleton East tied for first at the conference meet with combined scores of 381. Neenah (394) and Kimberly (402) finished third and fourth, respectively, with Appleton North (413), Oshkosh North (422), Kaukauna (432) and Fond du Lac (456) rounding out the eight-team field.
Oshkosh West’s Heather Zuleger was the medalist after firing an 81. Neenah’s McKenzie Paul was second with an 85.
Paul, who was The Post-Crescent’s athlete of the year in golf last season, thought she underperformed Saturday.
“I was really disappointed on how I played,” Paul said. “I don’t know if I can explain what went wrong. I was mostly playing just bogey golf and I’m not used to that.
“I’ve never played here, so every hole was kind of a new experience for me. There’s a lot of quirks to this course, so it’s pretty much like target golf and you can’t use your driver all the time and I don’t like that. I like to know where I need to put it and straight-forward holes. So with that, it was kind of difficult for me to adjust.”
Appleton East coach Mikki Duran said the Patriots played a practice round at Wander Springs, but that you can’t always account for certain variables.
“It was a relatively new course for us,” Duran said. “We played a practice round out there and tried to plot out a strategy for them, but you can’t plot the wind and weather, so that was an added thing.
“The girls have performed well all year and it was difficult conditions with the wind and the rain. It’s also a tough little course, so I thought they all played really well.”
Rachel Reichardt shot a 92 to lead the Patriots, who also got good days from Kaitlyn Schneider (94), Kathryn Sauter (96) and Sydney Jacques (99).
“I think it’s great that we tied and we played well today,” Jacques said. “Even though it’s a tough course, we just grinded it out. Second is still good and it was a great day.”
Alexa Laurino shot an 89 to lead Kimberly, while Olivia Robinson had a 98 to pace Appleton North. Faith Williamson was Kaukauna’s top finisher at 99.
APPLETON EAST 381, OSHKOSH WEST 381, NEENAH 394, KIMBERLY 402, APPLETON NORTH 413, OSHKOSH NORTH 422, KAUKAUNA 432, FOND DU LAC 456
Top 5 individuals: Heather Zuleger OW 81, McKenzie Paul NEE 85, Alexa Laurino KIM 89, Rachel Reichardt AE 92, Tara Daly OW 93.
Appleton East: Kaitlyn Schneider 94, Kathryn Sauter 96, Sydney Jacques 99.
Neenah: Nicole Rued 100, Jennie Hackinson 103, Amy Brennan 106.
Kimberly: Kate McChesney 101, Holly Van Eperen 105, Emily Spence 107, Chelsey Barnes 107.
Appleton North: Olivia Robinson 98, Lizzy Hidde 100, Sierra Widule 107, Olivia Kapheim 108.
Kaukauna: Faith Williamson 99, Marissa Schroeder 108, Sammy Paris 109, Jaclyn Dedering 116.
Appleton West: Tess Verhyen 108.
— Ricardo Arguello: 920-993-1000, ext. 558, or email@example.com; On Twitter @PCRicardo