Last fall, Amanda Noakes and Megan Strole were key members of Lakeview High’s girls’ golf team that finished runner-up in the state in the MHSAA Division 2 championships at The Meadows Golf Course on the campus of Grand Valley State University in Allendale.
This year, coach Tony Evans’ Spartans won their seventh straight All-City and SMAC East titles, and were runners-up (instead of champs for the first time in seven years) to St. Joe in the SMAC Big 16 tournament. And Lakeview then was unable to make it 11 straight state finals appearances as a squad, as the Spartans — needing a top-three finish — placed fifth at regionals.
Yet keeping the Spartans’ streak of being at least represented at the state finals alive this weekend are now-seniors Noakes and Strole. They finished second and third, respectively, as individuals at last week’s D-2 regional at Eldorado GC in Mason.
And on Friday, Noakes put herself in prime position to earn a top-10 individual all-state medal.
Competing in the D-2 championships at Forest Akers East GC on the campus of Michigan State University, Noakes — this fall’s SMAC East medalist and SMAC Big 16 medalist runner-up — opened with a round of 84 and is tied for seventh place individually heading into Saturday’s final 18 holes of competition.
Meanwhile, Strole — SMAC East medalist runner-up and All-City co-medalist — opened Friday with a 90.
Low individual scorer Friday at FAE was Okemos’ Elle Nichols with a 76, as the Chieftains — who won the D-2 Eldorado GC regional — led the team race Friday with a 326. Second team-wise was Birmingham Seaholm with 343, third was Midland Dow with 349, seventh was St. Joe with 377, and 13th out of 15 teams was four-time-defending D-2 state champ Muskegon Mona Shores with 413.
At The Meadows GC at GVSU, Coldwater’s team was ninth after Friday’s first round with 404 and Marshall was 11th with 417.
First as a team was Detroit Country Day with 347, second was Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood with 360, third was Grand Rapids South Christian with 363, and sixth was Jackson Northwest with 382.
For coach John Petzko’s Coldwater squad — which placed third this fall in the SMAC East and is ranked No. 9 — senior Anna Wendorf (an individual state qualifier last year) led with a 98, followed by senior Jamie Maxson with a 99, junior Emma Dwyer with a 100, senior Cecelia Ward with a 107, and Madison Zinn with a no-count 118.
For 34th-year-coach Dick Hamilton’s Marshall squad — which was SMAC East runner-up, is ranked No. 8, is making its sixth straight state finals appearance and which placed 12th last fall at state — junior Sammy Price had a 101, junior Shannon Hicks had a 103, junior Annie Cape had a 104, senior Jill Puckett had a 109, and junior Alena Buczynski had a no-count 136.
Low individually at The Meadows was Cranbrook-Kingswood’s Cordelia Chan with a 78. A score of 87 or lower was needed to be in the top-10 individually.
Bedford Valley Golf Club in Battle Creek, part of the Gull Lake View chain of courses owned and operated by the Scott Family, is hosting an MHSAA final for the second straight year, but there are no local teams or individuals competing at the site.
The top three teams Friday were Grosse Ile with 356, Grand Rapids NorthPointe Christian with 362 and three-time-defending state champ Lansing Catholic with 372.
The first-day individual medalist was Lansing Catholic’s Jacqueline Setas with a 77.