Blue Springs junior Mariah Peters was finishing up her round when the rain started to fall, but that couldn’t dampen her excitement after hearing from a teammate that they were headed to state.
By KATHLEEN GIER
Special to The Star
Peters finished 8-over and lifted the Wildcats to a first-place finish at the Missouri Class 2 Sectional 4 girls golf tournament on Wednesday. Notre Dame de Sion also qualified along with 12 individual golfers who will play next Monday and Tuesday at Meadow Lake Acres in New Bloomfield.
“It’s so exciting,” Peters said. “I’m so proud of all of them. There aren’t words to describe it.”
It will be Peters’ third consecutive year at state after finishing sixth as a freshman and second as a sophomore. This will be the second consecutive state appearance for Blue Springs, which finished fourth last season.
However, head coach Jill Courter said she didn’t really see it coming, due to a rough start.
“I felt like right at the beginning we really struggled on the front nine, and I thought we were just kind of struggling to stay alive, really. But they came back strong on the back nine, and I am really proud of them,” Courter said.
Notre Dame de Sion coach Dana Howper said her squad also struggled on the front nine and had uncharacteristically weak performances from her top two girls.
“A lot of it was nerves more than anything on the front nine and some mental mistakes. With the wind, it was really hard,” Howper said. “It is great practice to be able to come back. I’m really proud of them. They all actually played better on the back, all five of them.”
Anna Ciani led the way for Sion, finishing 12-over, while Molly Marx, Amanda Malecki and Maura Healy all tied at 16-over.
The top overall performer was Blue Springs South senior Jordan Rehkow, who finished at 3-over. Even though Blue Springs South was eliminated by one point at District last week, all three sectional qualifiers are headed to state.
Rehkow is headed for her third state appearance. Madison Frerking finished second with 7-over and Tara Thorp finished fourth at 15-over.
“You just have to play target golf on this golf course,” Rehkow said. “You don’t have to try to overpower anything — you just have to play your game and swing smooth.”
In addition to the rolling hills at Winterstone, the golfers also had to fight the wind, which Rehkow said she used to her advantage.
“The whole course is uphill, and playing uphill into the wind makes you think about your club selection a lot,” Rehkow said. “I knew a lot of girls were going to struggle with it and be indecisive. My practice round went well, and I played it like my practice round.”