The 20-mph winds were enough to nearly blow 5-foot-4 Mia Tovkach over. But that didn’t stop her from taking second place at the Kansas Class 6A girls golf championship on Monday.
Tovkach shot a nine-over 81 at the Country Club of Leawood, 2 strokes behind overall winner Megan Lucas of Washburn Rural.
“It was really difficult out there,” Tovkach said. “You’re actually falling over from how strong the wind is.”
Winds gusted steadily throughout the day. Temperatures were also abnormally high for October, at nearly 90 degrees in the afternoon.
Despite the conditions, defending 6A champs Shawnee Mission East used four sub-90 scores to finish second as a team with a 350 total. SM East’s top overall performer was Teagan Noblit, who shot an 84 through 18, then went to a playoff to solidify her seventh-place finish. Jessica Parker was also a medalist in ninth place, with an 88.
Still, that depth was no match for Washburn Rural, which won the team title by 13 strokes.
Monday was also SM East coach Ermanno Ritschl’s final state tournament before he retires. He has been coach of both the boys and girls teams at East for 20 years, and has won two state titles with the girls.
“It’s a little bittersweet because we’re a little disappointed we didn’t win,” Ritschl said. “But I’m elated they tried their best, and that’s all I can ask for. … The conditions were brutal, and we just had some hiccups we couldn’t overcome.”
Also finishing in the top five was Blue Valley West’s Molly Saporito. She shot an 83, which was good for fourth place. That score helped BV West place fourth in the team standings, with a score of 370.
“I played really well on the front nine, I shot 39,” Saporito said. “Then (on) the back nine I struggled; there were harder conditions on the back, and I didn’t play as well coming in.”
Olathe Northwest used Rosalyn Klausner’s 12-over 84 to shoot 369 as a team and place third overall. Klausner won a three-way sudden-death playoff for fifth place.
Sophomore Anh-Dao Do leads Piper in 4A
Piper sophomore Anh-Dao Do tied for 18th in the Class 4A tournament at Hesston, shooting an 89 to earn an individual medal.
Piper’s four-player team score of 379 was sixth out of 12 teams. The Pirates were eighth at last year’s 4A tournament.
Spring Hill finished 11th at 390. The Broncos were led by Erika Ingold, who shot a 90.
Wichita Trinity, led by freshman medalist Madison Slayton, posted a 328 and won the team title by 26 shots over Topeka Hayden.
Scott Paske contributed to this report.