As the two-time defending Division 4 state champions, the Lansing Catholic girls golf team knows when it’s time to turn it up.
They showed that on Thursday at the CAAC White conference tournament.
The Cougars shot a team score of 305, their best at a tournament this season, to win the title by 52 shots over second-place Lakewood.
“I think we’re all confident, but we’ve just got to take it one step at a time,” junior Jacqueline Setas said. “We can’t think about winning states before we play regionals, because if we do that, we’re going to get ahead of ourselves.”
Setas completely overpowered a reasonably short par-70 layout at Wheatfield Valley Golf Course, reaching the par-5 17th hole in two and finishing with two birdies and 16 pars to establish a women’s course record with a round of 68.
“The long hitting, you can’t take that away. That’s huge. If you can get on a par five in two and you’re putting for eagle, that’s a big advantage,” Lansing Catholic coach Mary Schafer said. “She said she could have had a couple other putts.”
“It was all about consistency for me,” Setas said. “I had a bogey-free round, so basically it was just fairways and greens.”
It wrapped up an incredible CAAC White run for Setas, which included a nine-hole round of 30 that featured an ace in a match against Stockbridge at Groesbeck in mid-September.
While Setas was the headliner in this event, seniors Danielle Crilley and Janie Fineis provided the quality depth and balance that has made this Lansing Catholic program almost unbeatable the last three seasons.
Crilley carded a round of 75 while Fineis came in with a round of 76.
“My top three have just played so much golf in the summer and in the tournament-type atmosphere, and that’s so huge for them. Nothing seems to rattle them,” Schafer said.
“In golf you can’t get too high and too low, and their experience has definitely helped us and it’s carried over.”
Schafer said there’s not much competition between the three, and while the trio coasted to the top three spots individually, they were more excited for the scores of the rest of the lineup.
“Everybody came in and our number four, five and six all had record lows, they all had their best scores,” Fineis said.
“We were all excited, and it’s just a really fun team camaraderie. We like to win, too. We enjoy competing and it’s just all a lot of fun.”
Lansing Catholic will play its Division 4 regional Oct. 11 at Glenbrier in Perry.
“These last few weeks I get really excited,” said Crilley, a senior. “It’s a lot easier to get focused knowing what’s at stake.”
Lakewood was led by Olivia Barker, who recorded the lowest score of any non-Lansing Catholic golfer with an 80.
“She’s been very consistent as our number one,” Lakewood coach Carl Kutch said of Barker, who carded a 36 on her front nine.
“Her short game is probably one of the best I’ve ever seen for Lakewood and it’s really helped her along.”