After watching Chloe Kraus go through a couple of tough tournaments recently, Olathe Northwest coach Sydney Tucker decided to pull her senior captain aside for a low-pressure round on Friday.
Whatever was said or done in that practice session seemed to pay off when Kraus walked up to collect her regional championship medal on Tuesday.
She shot an 83 to edge Blue Valley Northwest’s Kaleigh Ashen by one stroke for the Olathe Public Schools regional title at Overland Park Golf Course.
“She got it back,” Tucker said. “I’m thrilled for her because it means so much to her. She is a great girl and she has really stepped up and supported her teammates this year.”
One of her responsibilities this year was to help the Ravens overcome the loss of 2013 Kansas Class 6A state champion Audrey Judd, who is now completing for Nebraska. However, after winning the regional title and ending the regular season as runner-up in the Sunflower League, the Ravens appear to have found a worthy replacement.
Her individual performance also helped fuel a team victory as well with Rosie Klausner adding a fourth-place finish and Abby Julo finishing 10th.
“We’re continuing a legacy,” Kraus said. “We had Audrey Judd last year and we depended on our top three players, but this year we have depended on every player. Every one of them played tremendous today.”
When the team travels to the Topeka Country Club next Monday, Kraus will try to build on her 25th place finish from a year ago. She was the top returner for the Ravens who placed sixth as a team.
Behind Ashen’s runner-up effort, Blue Valley Northwest also earned a state tournament bid. Elizabeth Cha finished third behind her and Ally Pappas took sixth to help fuel the attack.
“The ladies played very well under tough conditions,” coach Ken Thomas said, referring to the gusty winds. “They have worked hard all season and have been consistent with their scores. I’m just so proud of them and the way they’ve fought through things this year.”
Olathe East was the final team qualifier, finishing six strokes ahead of Olathe South. The Hawks were led by Emily Kaemmer, who shot a 92 to finish fifth. Carolyn Schmidt added a 95 to the effort.
Although Olathe South did not qualify as a team, the Falcons will be well-represented when they send four individuals. Rachel Stupp finished seventh and was the top individual qualifier. She will be joined in Topeka by Claire Beeler, Madison Newman and Breanna Jorgensen.
The final individual qualifier was Jasmine Bailey of Gardner Edgerton.