If you gave Notre Dame de Sion sophomore Megan Propeck nothing but a blindfold, spotter and five clubs, odds are she’d have no trouble knocking the ball around Blue Hills Country Club.
In addition to being her school’s home course, Propeck and her family are also members of the club.
The fact that Propeck’s 1-under round of 71 took medalist honors at Monday’s 18th annual Mo-Kan Golf Varsity Invitational at Blue Hills Country Club was hardly a surprise.
The surprise was Propeck’s ability to score despite the constant, swirling and often gusting late summer breeze.
“I’m obviously really familiar with it, and I love the course, but it was a tough day out there,” Propeck said. “The wind was blowing, and I think that affected everybody’s play. I think a 71 today was a good score. It wasn’t the best score I shot out here, but it was the lowest I’ve shot out here, but it was definitely a good score for today. It could’ve been a couple strokes lower for sure, but I think in the wind it was probably close to the best I could do.”
The Storm finished second in the team competition, 1 shot behind St. Joseph’s Academy out of St. Louis. That was exactly how the two schools finished in last year’s Missouri Class 2 girls tournament.
Propeck was the medalist at state as well, and she likes the way the team is shaping up this season.
“This is probably the most competitive tournament before the state championship. It gives you a really good example of how the state championship field is going to be,” Propeck said. “Our team is really good this year, I think. We have the same girls as last year, and everybody’s gotten better, so I think we’re going to have a really good shot at the state title.”
Lee’s Summit West senior McKenna Rice shot 79 and was the only other player in the field to break 80.
“She’s worked really hard the last three years on her game. She’s been to state three years in a row, and never gotten all-state, and that’s her goal this year,” Lee’s Summit West coach Richard Myers said. “She has the shots. She knows how to hit it high and low, especially today with the wind. And she has a good short game. She played well.”
The field featured 20 schools from Kansas and across Missouri.
“It’s why we play here. When you play better players, you get better. I think it’s part of the reason McKenna played well today. When you play better players, it helps,” Myers said.
Notre Dame de Sion’s Caroline Giocondo (80, tied for third), Liberty North’s Averi Mickelson (84, tied for eighth) and Shawnee Mission East’s Megan Stopperan (85, tied for 10th) finished in the top 10. Shawnee Mission East took third in the team competition, with Staley rounding out the top five.
Notre Dame de Sion coach Dana Hafer was pleased with the Storm’s performance.
“I think it’s good when you don’t go out and win right away,” Hafer said. “It just shows you what you need to do to keep working hard. I’m excited for the season. In the end, I think we could do it. Hopefully.”
Top three teams: 1. St. Joseph’s Academy, 325; 2. Notre Dame de Sion “A” team, 326; 3. Shawnee Mission East, 346.
Top individuals: 1. Megan Propeck, Notre Dame de Sion A, 71; 2. McKenna Rice, Lee’s Summit West, 79; 3. Caroline Giocondo, Notre Dame de Sion A, 80; 4. Mia Rallo, St. Joseph’s Academy, 80; 5. Nicole Rallo, St. Joseph’s Academy, 81; 6. Drew Nienhaus, St. Joseph’s Academy, 81; 7. Grace Aromando, St. Joseph’s Academy, 83; 8. Averi Mickelson, Liberty North, 84; 9. Lauren Gallagher, St. Joseph’s Academy, 84; 10. Greta Hinds, Helias Catholic, 85.