JOHNSTOWN – Hannah Luft picked a perfect time for her only birdie Monday.
The Newark Catholic junior just did not know how significant it was. Luft birdied the par-3 No. 17, her final hole, to earn medalist honors in the second Licking County League meet at the Links at Echo Springs.
“I had a lot of ups and downs (Monday), but for the most part, it was a good day,” Luft said. “I brought it back together on the back nine. … I got on (No. 17) in one, and I just made a really long, good putt.”
Luft edged teammate Ashley Franks, Licking Valley’s Morgan Gossett and Johnstown’s Gabby Thomas, who each shot 83. Luft also led NC to its second team victory.
The Green Wave continued their outstanding start to the season, shooting 340 and putting all scorers in the 80s, which has been commonplace. Claudia Crumrine added an 86, shooting 1-over par for her final nine holes, and Patricia Windholtz and Natalie Hudson each had an 89.
“I had a shot to break 80, but of course, I fall apart a little bit,” said Franks, whose round was a season best. “It’s just golf. You have to take it as it comes. I don’t know anyone that can come in after a round and say, ‘I didn’t leave strokes out there.’ I left a ton of strokes out there.”
NC has been playing regularly since May and has been touring some of the best courses in central Ohio during the early part of the season. The Green Wave played a practice round Saturday at Darby Creek, the site of the district tournament.
“We have a really good work ethic, and I am really proud of them,” Franks said. “We wanted to play the district site because our one goal is to make it to state. We know that. if we prepare now. we will be in a better spot. I have a lot of confidence in my team, and I think we are on our way to doing it this year.”
Back-to-back birdies on Nos. 8 and 9 got Gossett rolling on a course she has frequently played. She drove the green on No. 8 and nearly eagled.
“(Familiarity) makes it a lot easier because you know all of the surroundings and it helps you set up your shots if you know pin placements,” she said.
Gossett dropped her personal best by four strokes. She admitted that it crept into her mind down the stretch.
“I think about my scores a lot,” Gossett said. “I will tally them up in my head, and I will just be like, ‘OK, I need to par this hole to have a good round or a (personal best).’ ”
Granville (380) edged Lakewood (381) for second. Scoring for the Blue Aces were Maggie Wolf (90), Alyssa Newsom (92), Anna Minton (96) and Ariana Long (102).
Crystal Hanbaum’s personal best (87) led the Lancers, and other scorers were Brenna Brownfield (96), Bray Wilson (99) and Leah Walker (99).
Watkins Memorial was fourth (395), and scorers were Emily Hayes (85), Alexis Cornely (95), Chelsea List (100) and Holly Klingerman (115).
Licking Valley was fifth (419), and other scorers were Hailey Cullop (104), Madison Scott (116) and Sydni Fleetwood (116).
Johnstown was sixth (429), and other scorers were Katie Grunkemeyer (84), Karleigh Green (93) and Elizabeth Thomson (169).