High schools

Olathe Northwest's Audrey Judd wins state golf title

Updated: 2013-10-22T02:10:43Z

Star news services

Olathe Northwest senior Audrey Judd thought she had figured out how she needed to finish to win her second straight Class 6A individual golf title at Garden City’s Buffalo Dunes Golf Course.

But she bogeyed her final two holes. Not that it mattered. She finished with a 1-under 71 and won.

“Coming in, I got a little nervous,” said Judd, who has made an oral commitment to play at Nebraska. “I kind of knew where I stood, and I wanted to par out. Unfortunately I made two bogeys. … I hit all good shots, I just didn’t score well.”

Washburn Rural won the team title with a 339, while defending champion Shawnee Mission East took fourth.

“This group of six girls has not been beaten this year,” Washburn Rural coach Jared Goehring said. “They have not been beaten. Since they’ve been together, they’ve played 10 events and won all 10 of them.”

Washburn Rural’s Haley Flory, Sam Mitchell and Anna Eichten finished fifth, sixth and seventh.

Judd had seen a change in her game from her junior season, including a maturation mentally and emotionally.

“As a golfer, there’s always room for improvement,” she said. “I continued to learn, and I matured mentally and emotionally. I was able to keep that together. Of anything I did on the course today, my emotions and mental state were at its best.”

Judd started rolling after she birdied Nos. 9, 10 and 11.

“That’s when I gained my confidence,” she said. “I told myself, ‘I got this, just keep pushing through.’”

Judd played well the entire round, though, even though she knew it was a tough course.

“Everything contributed today,” Judd said. “I was able to hit fairways, I was able to get myself good birdie looks. My putting was great today; I drained everything that I knew I could.”

Aquinas falls short in 5A

St. Thomas Aquinas golfer Ashley Root’s competitive juices were still flowing Monday after she won a playoff for an individual medal at the Kansas 5A girls state tournament in Wichita.

The Saints’ streak of six consecutive state team titles ended with a third-place finish behind Wichita schools Kapaun Mount Carmel and Bishop Carroll. But Root was already looking ahead.

“We’ll get them back,” Root said. “Eventually, we’ll get them back.”

Root, the Eastern Kansas League and regional medalist, will have to turn the task over to Aquinas’ underclassmen. The lone senior in the Saints’ lineup, Root shot an 88, finishing eighth individually in her final high school tournament. Aquinas’ team score of 373 fell 13 strokes short of Kapaun and seven behind Carroll at Tex Consolver Golf Course.

Freshman Tatum King and junior Austin Palmer placed in the top 20 for Aquinas. But the Saints, who started their streak with a 6-5A title in 2007 before Kansas’ biggest two classes branched off, couldn’t match their firepower of previous years.

“I think the inexperience is hard to overcome,” said Aquinas coach Ryan Best, who had Root and five state tournament newcomers in his lineup. “You can’t really coach it.

“It’s nice to get varsity experience, but state experience is something different.”

Salina Central senior Alissa Kim earned medalist honors with a 5-over-par 77. She was the only player in the field to break 80, as the course featured several challenging pin placements.

St. James Academy took fifth out of 12 teams at 387. Junior Abby Dorsey, who was part of the five-person playoff with Root, tied for 11th, leading the Thunder.

Blue Valley Southwest junior Jamie Rickert edged teammate Nikki McCurdy in a playoff for sixth after both shot 87s.

“All year, those two have played really close to one another,” BV Southwest coach Nate Winslow said. “They’re both very competitive and work very hard, and it showed today in the way they finished.”

Mill Valley freshman Meg Green finished 10th with an 88.

Piper fifth in 4A

Piper senior Emily Pennington placed seventh at the Kansas 4A state golf tournament in Pittsburg at Crestwood Country Club on Monday and led the Pirates to a fifth-place finish.

Senior Taylor Jenkins tied for 21st, freshman Josey Jones tied for 53rd and Mikaylee Anaya tied for 70th for the Pirates who ended up with 406 points, 32 behind Topeka Hayden who won its first team title since 2009.

Senior Madison Krull placed eighth for Spring Hill and freshman Erika Ingold added a 90th place finish.

Junior Regan Semien, the lone qualifier from Bishop Miege, tied for 34th place.

| Joanna Chadwick, Special to The Star | Scott Paske, Special to The Star | Kathleen Gier, The Star

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