State meet on deck for impressive Seaholm linkers

State meet on deck for impressive Seaholm linkers


State meet on deck for impressive Seaholm linkers


Senior All-State standout Allegra Cunningham second low medalist with a four-over 76 at Thursday’s Division 2 regional at Heather Highlands in Holly.

Senior All-State standout Allegra Cunningham second low medalist with a four-over 76 at Thursday’s Division 2 regional at Heather Highlands in Holly.

All-State standout Allegra Cunningham was impressed with the way her team performed at Thursday’s Division 2 regional.

The Maples, with all five golfers placing among the top 11 in the 58-player field, won with a 328 at Heather Highlands Golf Course in Holly. Grosse Pointe North was a distant second at 344 and Bloomfield Hills Marian third at 357.

The results left Cunningham and her teammates feeling good as they head to next weekend’s Division 2 state tournament set for Oct. 16-17 at Bedford Valley in Battle Creek. The Maples will be shooting for their third consecutive state title.

“As a team, nobody shot over 90 which is insane,” said Cunningham, one of three team captains along with senior classmates Jordan Michalak and Catherine Markley.

“We had a great day together as a team. I haven’t talked to (one of my teammates) who was mad at herself for what she did today,” she said. “We are a cohesive unit which is very, very nice. I’m so proud of the way we played today and I hope we can follow up with another great performance at states.”

Seaholm has won four state titles and earned four state runners-up trophies since 2004. The Maples also won 11 of a possible 12 regional crowns during that time.

Keeping it fun

The Maples head into this year’s state tournament ranked No. 2 behind Midland Dow. Despite the high standards the program has established over the years, co-head coach Cathie Fritz believes the Maples have handled the pressure and are peaking at the right time of the year.

“They are feeling the pressure (of repeating), but we are trying to keep it fun for them,” said Fritz. “We are trying to keep it all in perspective. There are quite a few teams at state that will be neck and neck. It will be a race to the finish.

“But, I’m optimistic that we are coming into our stride at the right time of the season,” she said. “Until this week, it was very slow. It was disjointed. But we’re finally in unison as a team. This is the time when they are truly comprehending the team side of golf.”

Fritz said Seaholm’s regional performance was its best outing of the season.

The Maples were led by Cunningham’s four-over par 76 which was good for second behind Grosse Pointe North senior Liz Gallagher’s 75. Seaholm senior Jordan Michalek was the only other person in the field to break 80 as she carded a 79 to finish third.

Seaholm showed its depth as senior Catherine Markley was seventh at 86 and sophomore Cote Joelson and freshman Hailey Roovers were right behind with 87s.

“I’m thrilled that Jordan and Allegra were both in the 70s and that the other three were all in the 80s,” said Fritz. “This team, in my five years of coaching with Leon (Braisted), is the best at their course management.

“They were smart in what they chose off the tee to put themselves in position to either make a par or bogey,” she said. “I was just extremely pleased with their course-management skills today.”

One more weekend

Cunningham’s total in the sunny, but a bit windy conditions, included three birdies and eight pars on the 5,120-yard course. It is the second straight year she finished second at the regional.

“I’ve been in a bit of a funk, but today I was able to pull it all together,” said Cunningham, who will play next year at the University of Dayton. “Today I didn’t come out here having any expectations whatsoever considering my last tournament scores were higher than I usually shoot.

“I’m not mad at myself. I did the best I could do and I just tried to stay in the moment,” she said. “Being able to focus was the big part of being able to play well today.”

Cunningham was second at last year’s state meet, six strokes behind Seaholm teammate and current Seton Hall golfer Jamie Green who won with a 151. Cunningham shot 169 as a sophomore and finished among the top 15 at state.

Cunningham is looking forward to one more weekend of high school competition.

“We are going to try our best,” Cunningham said. “It’s a new team with some new girls playing. All you can hope for is that everyone puts in their time and at the end of the day all you can do is give it your all.

“Our goal is not to win, but to prepare as best as we can and go in as a cohesive unit,” she said. “We want to play as a team, and play for ourselves and each other. We know if everyone tries their hardest that’s the best kind of day you can have.”

Fritz believes experience and focus will be the key to a three-peat.

“We do have a seasoned team,” said Fritz. “(The regional) is the first tournament that we had our top five play together because we have such a large team and we’ve been switching kids in and out just to see who the top five will be.

“All three of our senior captains have had great tournaments throughout the season,” she said. “The good thing is all the kids are focused on the here and now.”

Driving to states

WHAT: MHSAA girls golf state championships

WHEN: Oct. 16-17

WHERE: Division 1 – The Meadows (Allendale); Division 2 – Bedford Valley (Battle Creek); Division 3 – Forest Akers West Golf Course (East Lansing); Division 4 – Forest Akers East Golf Course (East Lansing)

NOTABLE: $5 per individual or $10 per car where applicable.

DEFENDING STATE CHAMPIONS: Division 1 – East Kentwood; Division 2 – Birmingham Seaholm; Division 3 – Spring Lake; Division 4 – Kalamazoo Hackett


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