Steady high winds led to higher-than-normal golf scores for most girls golf regionals across Michigan on Thursday – but Brighton kept its scores low enough to sweep the top three individual spots and take the team title for its second regional crown in four years.
“Relieved that it’s over,” Brighton coach Paul Parsell said. “We had a good time today but in tough conditions. But we’re a strong mental team so we were able to get through the round and take it hole by hole and shot by shot. We’ve done that all year but today tested it for us.”
The Division 1 regional, hosted by Farmington Hills Mercy and played at Fox Hills in Plymouth, was arguably the toughest in the state. It featured five of the top-10 ranked teams, but just three could advance. After Brighton at 347 (ranked No. 4) was host Mercy (No. 5) with a 359 and No. 6 Northville scoring 374. Teams not making it to next weekend’s state finals included No. 7 Novi (383) and the No. 10 combined team of North Farmington-Harrison at 387.
“A lot of good teams here; a very competitive region,” Parsell said. “Unfortunately there’s a couple that are going to get left out. But this makes us a little more confident going into states to get through this region, winning it; but it was close and we’re happy to come out on top.”
Brighton senior Hannah Pietila was medalist at 80, followed by teammates Jennica Long, 85, and Logan Street, 87. Mercy’s Brenna Hammond also shot 87, and in fifth overall was teammate Sarah Montone at 88.
Pietila was unhappy with her play and said she was surprised it was low enough for the win. But she liked the tough competition going after three precious team invitations to the state finals, which takes place next Friday and Saturday at Michigan State’s Forest Akers East course.
“That’s the fun of it,” Pietila said. “You’ve all got to fight for it. It made our team more nervous but they do well with their nerves. It’s good to play in that environment, to prep more for next week.”
Also landing spots at the state finals were three individuals who had the lowest scores from teams that had not qualified. They are Laura Shureb, 89, of Livonia Stevenson; Lauren Cojei, 89, of Novi; and Brooke Schwandt, 92, of Walled Lake Western.
At Sunnybrook (Hudsonville): East Kentwood (381) bested Rockford (386) and Holt (398) to win the region. Holt junior Pader Her was medalist with a 75. East Kentwood was bolstered by sophomore Sarah White and freshman Mackenzie Keenoy who finished tied for second with an 85. Taylor Keho of Traverse City West, Bethany Meyer of Hudsonville and Haley Blumer of Grand Ledge qualified individually.
At Pine View (Ypsilanti Lincoln): Medalist Kelsey Murphy (74), second-place finisher Sarah Thompson (78) and sixth-place finisher Sydney Murphy (86) lifted Plymouth to the regional title with a team score of 330. Saline was second with 349 and Ann Arbor Pioneer third with 361 to reach the finals. Madison Smith of Ann Arbor Huron, Canton’s Kelsey McDougal and Livonia Churchill’s Jackie Burdette qualified individually.
At Twin Lakes (Rochester Hills Stoney Creek): Andrea Richards earned the medalist honor with a 77 to lift Davison to the team title with a 351 score, followed by team qualifiers Rochester (359) and Rochester Adams (364). Chloe Guschewski of Rochester Hills Stoney Creek, Port Huron Northern’s Dominique Molinaro and Midland’s Amanda Walsh qualified individually.
At Bowen Lake (Greenville): Mona Shores won with a scored of 317, ahead of qualifiers Greenville (354) and Forest Hills Central (368). Hailey Hrynewich fired a 76 for medalist and Mona Shores teammate Morgan Smith was second with a 79. Britni Gielow and Kelsey McKinley shot 81 to tie for third for Mona Shores and teammate Rylee George finished 13th. East Grand Rapids’ Claire Ludlow (81), Forest Hills Northern’s Melissa Cox and Breanna McCarthy of Reeths-Puffer qualified individually.
At Stonehedge North (Richland Gull Lake): Lakeview (340) and Okemos (340) knotted up in several ways. East Lansing grabbed the third spot at 350. Both Lakeview’s Danielle Little and Okemos’ Elle Nichols shot 77 to earn co-medalist. Lakeview’s Megan Strole and Okemos’ Marie Lazar each shot 82 to finish fourth. Portage Central’s Jessica Heimonen and Gull Lake’s Cydney Martell qualified individually. St. Joseph’s Hanna Grall (88) won a playoff to earn the third individual spot over Caledonia’s Emily Short.
At Pontiac (Birmingham Seaholm): Freshman Jordan Michalak and junior Megan Lam both shot 79 and Michalak won a playoff to earn medalist for Birmingham Seaholm, which won the regional with 333 points. Fenton (361) and Grosse Pointe North (376) also qualified. Seaholm had four players in the top 10, including Riley Miller (fourth, 85) and sophomore Jamie Greene (ninth, 90). Milford’s Gabby Brackrog and Olivia Kresic were the first and third individual qualifiers and Auburn Hills Avondale’s Mackenzie Bloomberg was the second individual qualifier.
At Angels Crossing (Vicksburg): Kylee Nemetz’s 87 (tied for third) and Lindy Kloosterman and Katie Brown’s 89s (tied for sixth) powered Hastings to the top spot with 367. Darby Wagner (81) was medalist in lifting Plainwell to the second spot with 391. Amanda Genise finished second (84) to help Marshall claim the final qualifying spot with 392. Battle Creek Harper Creek’s Jozlin Johnson and Three Rivers’ Holly Hines took two of the three individual qualifying spots. Coldwater’s Anna Wendorf earned the final spot with a playoff win over Vicksburg’s Abyy Stasik.
At Spring Meadows (Linden): Four players finished in the top 20 to help Chelsea (373) edge Jackson Northwest (374) and Tecumseh (375) in the day’s tightest regional. Gabby Triveline led Chelseas with an 86 (fifth). Linden’s Julie Guckian was medalist with 83. Karsen Johnson of Clio grabbe the second individual qualifier spot and Clio’s Ayla Bogie won on the second hole of a playoff against DeWitt’s Hanna McManus. Northwest’s Kelsey Gough (84) finished second and Ashley Carney (92) finished eighth. Dori Watts, Kylie Gough and Allie Lefer all finished tied for 21st for Northwest with 99.
At Willow MetroPark (New Boston): Codelia Chan (76) and Clausen Greer (80) finished second and third, respectively to help Birmingham Cranbrook Kingswood win with 343. Birmingham Detroit Country Day (345) finished second behind fifth-place finishes by Jayatilak Piumi and Elli Miller (84). Marisa Piunti (82) powered Grosse Ile (353) with a fourth-place finish. Dearborn Divine Child’s Natalie Blazo was medalist with a 75 to qualify individually. Marysville’s Jasmine Sattler and Bloomfield Hills Lahser’s Suzanne Miller claimed the other two individual qualifying spots.
At Eagle Glen (Farwell): Grayling took top honors with 405, followed by Glen Lake (407) and Farwell (412). Bria Colosky (86) was medalist and Farwell teammate Sammie Baldwin (92) finished second. Shubba Vedula of Mt. Pleasant Sacred Heart, Cheboygan’s Megan Murphy and Manistee’s Fallon Gates were the individual qualifiers.
At Milham Park (Kalamazoo Hackett): NorthPointe Christian took top honors with 357, followed by Kalamazoo Hackett’s 358 and Calvin Christian’s 406. Muskegon Catholic Central’s Aya Johnson was medalist with 77. West Michigan Christian’s Abbie Alfree and Comstock’s Megan Sims took the other two individual qualifying spots.
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