The newest member of the Ark Valley Chisholm Trail League Division I claimed the team title and top medalist honors at the league’s girls golf championships Tuesday at Sand Creek Station.
Maize South won the team title at 352, 21 strokes better than Salina South. Derby was third at 373, one stroke ahead of Newton. Campus was fifth at 389 and Hutchinson was sixth at 439. Maize had just three golfers and no team score.
Maize South senior Britney Wessley was top medalist with a 4-over 75, three strokes over Salina South’s Zoe Norton and Olivia Allen, of Maize.
"It was really fun out today," Wessley said. "It wasn’t too windy, which was good. I had a lot of fun. I hit the ball really well. My putting was good. I had a lot of birdie opportunities, but missed them."
It was the second straight league title for Wessley, who was top medalist in Division II last year. She was ninth at state last year.
"I shot the same as I shot today, but I won a playoff," Wessley said. "That was exciting. I ended up placing ninth (at state). It was crazy out there — 40 mph winds. I’m hoping to get back out there and show what I can do. I just need to prepare and work on my short game. That can cost a lot of strokes for a lot of people."
Newton was led by Mallory Seirer, who placed seventh at 90 to claim second-team all-league honors. Cadence Altum tied for 11th at 96, but missed a medal and all-league honors by tie-breaker. Lindsey Warsnak tied for 14th at 97. Alyssa Lujano tied for 22nd at 101. Ember Suter placed 26th at 107.
"We were missing our No. 3 today, Jaye (Skinner)," Newton coach Joanie Pauls said. "She’ll be back for our regionals. The other girls stepped up. Ember shot a 47 on the back nine, the first time she broke 50. The biggest problem today is each player seemed to have a hole where they blew up. Everyone took a nine or a 10 on a hole. If we can get rid of those, that’s going to be a big difference for us when we go to regionals. Mallory and Lindsey each had a slow start on the front, but they played really well on the back. Cadence, it was her first time under 100. She shot a 96.
"The league is pretty balanced. We finished fourth, a stroke behind Derby. That one stroke can be the difference. We’ve been able to beat Salina South this year. We’re going to have to get rid of those big numbers."
Newton competes at 9:30 a.m. Monday at the Class 5A regionals at the Emporia Municipal Golf Course. The top three teams and top six players not on the top three teams advance to state Oct. 19 and 20 at the Salina Municipal Golf Course. Teams will be limited to five players at both regional and state.
"There’ll be about 20 less kids at state this year compared to last year," Pauls said. "… It’s a different year, but we feel lucky the girls get the chance to compete this year."