By Mark Schnabel
HESSTON — The Newton High School girls’ golf team placed fourth Monday at the Class 5A regional tournament at the Hesston Golf Course, but qualified two individuals for the state tournament.
Defending state champion Kapaun-Mt. Carmel won the team title at 342, 30 strokes ahead of second-place Andover. Salina Central was the third qualifier at 404.
Newton and Valley Center each shot a 436. The two teams tied the fifth-score tie-breaker at 123. Newton won the sixth-score tie-breaker 147-170. Salina South was sixth at 454. Wichita Heights had just one golfer competing.
After an 80 minute weather delay, we were able to tee off this morning,” Newton coach Joanie Pauls said. “The course played longer than usual with a significant amount of casual water.”
Emma Whitaker of Kapaun-Mt. Carmel, last year’s state runner-up, was top medalist with an even par 71. Whitaker downed Ellie Cobb of Salina South and Analisa Bridge of Salina Central by 10 strokes. Cobb won the playoff for second. Baylee Bloom of Andover and Erin Johnson of Kapaun-Mt. Carmel each shot an 82 with Bloom winning the playoff for fifth.
Newton was led by junior Katheryn Kingsley, who took ninth at 96 to claim a medal and qualify for state. The top five individuals not on the top three teams qualify for state.
“Kit had a rough start to her round, going 15 over in her first six holes,” Pauls said. “She broke one of her fingers over the weekend and started out play with a large splint, which affected how she gripped the club. She wasn't able to get her usually length from her driver and irons. She adjusted her game and went up a club or two on most of her shots after hole 7. She made some great par putts on the back nine and was able to go 10 over on her last 12 holes. She played through a lot of pain, it was good to see her earn a medal and state berth.”
Senior Kathleen Smet placed 12th at 103, two strokes off a medal and the fourth individual qualifier.
“Katie had a great start, going one over through her first four holes,” Pauls said. “She finished the front nine in 45, a career best for nine holes. On the back nine Katie had some trouble with the increasing speed of the greens as they dried out. She had a couple holes where she gave away some strokes with her short game. She stayed out of trouble to finish at 103 and earn a state berth.”
Senior Haley Southern shot a 118, followed by senior Margaret Rostetter at 119, sophomore Brynna Walton at 123 and sophomore Naomi Kuhn at 147.
“Haley played well at times, but had some holes where she got in deep rough and was unable to keep her ball in play,” Pauls said. “She played much better after the turn, until some trouble on 14 and 15 hurt her. Maggie had some problems with her chipping on the front nine. She was able to make some corrections in her short game and improved seven strokes on her back nine. Brynna and Naomi have both improved since the beginning of the season. They had some bad holes that hurt their scores, but kept battling. We tied with Valley Center for fourth and ended up winning the tie breaker based on our fifth and sixth scores. I was glad to see all the girls helped with our team finish. Kit and Katie will play next Monday at Crestview Country Club in the 5A State Championship. Haley and Maggie are both seniors that have played golf for the last four years. The team will miss the experience and leadership they brought.”
The state tournament is Monday at the Crestview Country Club in Wichita. Tee time is 8:30 a.m.
Class 5A Regionals
Team scores (top three qualify for state) — Kapaun-Mt. Carmel 342, Andover 372, Salina Central 404, Newton 436-123-147, Valley Center 436-123-170, Salina South 454. Wichita Heights no team score.
Medalists — 1. Emma Whitaker (12) KMC 71, 2. Ellie Cobb (11) SC 81-p, 3. Analisa Bridge (12) SS 81-i, 4. Baylee Bloom (11) And. 82-p, 5. Erin Johnston (12) KMC 82, 6. Vivian Brown (12) KMC 87, 7. Hannah Coggeshall (12) And. 88, 8. Hayley Jones (11) And. 95, 9. Kathryn Kingsley (11) New. 96-i, 10. Hannah Arneson (12) VC 101-i.
Remainder of the field — 11. Nicole Graf (10) KMC 102, 12. Kathleen Smet (12) New. 103-i, 13. (tie) Maggie Duncan (10) KMC 104, Taylor Latimer (12) VC 104-i, 15. Tisha Jayne (12) SC 106, 16. (tie) Kelsey Hawley (9) And. 107, Bailee Steinle (11) SC 107, 18. Sara Weber (12) And. 108, 19. (tie) Elena Ewing (12) SC 110, Sydeny Harbert (10) KMC 110, 21. (tie) Rilee Courson (10) And. 111, Wylie Glover (12) VC 111, Sara Mermis (12) SC 111, 24. Marisa De Luna Gomez (11) SS 117, 25. (tie) Natassja Norwood (10) WH 118, Haley Southern (12) New. 118, 27. Margaret Rostetter (12) New. 119, 28. Bethany Reeves (12) VC 120, 29. (tie) Edie Reese (11) VC 123, Brynna Walton (10) New. 123, 31. Cristiana Rivera (11) SS 124, 32. Jacquelinee Sanchez Espinoza (12) SS 132, 33. Maci Miller (10) SS 135, 34. Alison Dose (11) SS 136, 35. MacKenzie Wilcox (12) SC 145, 36. Naomi Kuhn (10) New. 147, 37. Kaci Kipp (9) VC 170.