Delta girls golf coach Garnet Ray is convinced his team is playing its best golf late in the season. Saturday’s performance at the Southside Sectional at Crestview Golf Club provided a boost to his case.
The Eagles had personal-best scores from each position in their lineup, logging a 365 team score to finish third and qualify for the New Castle Regional on Sept. 22.
State No. 1 Yorktown was its usual dominant self Saturday, shooting a 303 and winning the team crown by 55 strokes. All four Yorktown scorers shot below 80, and Morgan Clark and Tara Clark each shot a 73 to tie for the lowest individual score of the day. Sophomore Morgan Clark defeated her older sister in a sudden-death playoff to earn individual medalist honors.
While the Tigers breezed through to regional, Delta and fellow regional qualifier Winchester (the Golden Falcons shot a 358 and finished second,) entered the day expecting more drama. Both schools anticipated a three-team race for the two regional qualifying spots after Yorktown’s, with Wapahani also in the mix. The Raiders shot a 390 and missed team advancement, though Wapahani’s Hannah Stanley shot an 88 and will go to regional as an individual.
Delta was led by Jami Parsons, who shot a 79. Tamara Modglin shot an 89 to provide the Eagles’ second-best score. Rachel Russell shot a 98 and Mollie Elliott shot a 99 for the other two scores.
“It’s really given me a lot of motivation for regionals,” Parsons said. “I’ve never been in the 70s and it’s real exciting. I just was more focused today, and my coach has been working on my short game, which was pretty good today.”
Winchester was led by Jill Morrison and Mackenzie Mehaffey, who tied for third individually, each shooting a 76. The pair turned in similar rounds, each shooting a 38 on both the front nine and the back nine.
“I tried to be as focused as possible starting the round,” Morrison said. “As I’m going through, I just keep thinking, ‘Every three holes, it’s OK to be one-over every three holes. Just keep it in the 30s on both sides.’ And I felt like if I was in the 70s, I did my part.”
The Golden Falcons’ third scorer, Mallory Chalfant, posted an 88. Winchester’s lineup has been stacked at the top throughout the season, with the Golden Falcons’ other two golfers being freshmen new to the sport. Coach Missy Williams said she had hoped her fourth golfer, Keslyn Harris, would provide a score better than 120. Harris delivered Saturday, shooting a 118 to help her team finish second.
“Our magic number when we saw her all week was ‘120, you can do it, 120,'” Williams said. “And she really believed she could do a little bit better than that today. She was out for her personal best.”
Yorktown’s Kennedy Windlan shot a 78, and the Tigers’ Rachel Johnson shot a 79. The playoff between the Clark sisters was a bit awkward, coach Brian Hill said, but he said having two teammates tied for medalist was a good problem to have.
“You’ve got mom and dad out there rooting them on, and it’s just hard,” Hill said. “You don’t know what to root for, really in a situation like that.”
Along with Stanley, Southside’s Keely Townsend (who shot a 91,) and Central’s Sydney Norris (94) also advanced to regional. All of the advancers Saturday will head to the New Castle Regional, which also includes the top finishers from the Anderson, Greensburg, Lawrence Central, Mt. Vernon and Richmond sectionals.
Blackford’s Shade advances
Blackford’s Rebecca Shade shot a 103 at the Huntington North Sectional, qualifying for regionals as an individual. Shade won a two-hole playoff to clinch her place at the East Noble Regional, to be held on Sept. 22.