high school playoffs: Four local golf teams, Huron's Madison Smith, Dexter's Mary So advance to state championships
Melanie Maxwell | AnnArbor.com
Updated with Friday's Division 2 regional results
The Saline High School girls golf team will get the opportunity to defend its Division 1 state title next weekend after placing second in its region on Thursday at the University of Michigan Golf Course in Ann Arbor. Plymouth took first place.
Saline senior Karla Gross won medalist honors after shooting a 7-over-par 78, edging out Plymouth’s Sarah Thompson by one stroke.
Saline coach Betsy French hopes the performance can be a tuneup toward a run at an individual state title for Gross, who placed seventh as a junior and fourth as a sophomore.
“I would like to see her finish strong, she’s been all-state twice. We’re hoping she can have two more good days and two more competitive rounds,” French said.
French’s goals for the team are a bit more modest as just two scorers remain from last year’s championship squad -- Gross and sophomore Emily White.
Melanie Maxwell | AnnArbor.com
Joining Saline at the state championships will be Pioneer, which edged out Temperance Bedford 386-393 for the third and final qualifying spot.
“We thought we’d be fighting for that third spot. I’m really happy to go with this young team and get that experience,” said Rodriguez, whose team didn’t qualify last year for just the third time in 26 years. “After not making it last year, it feels good to get back on the right track.”
“Most coaches there were talking about how tough the conditions were with the thick roughs and fast greens and (Supica) scraped together a very good score,” Rodriguez said. “She’s by far our leader.”
Huron junior Madison Smith shot 92 and qualified as an individual. It will be her second straight trip to the state finals as an individual qualifier.
“(Smith) didn’t play as well as she’s capable of, but shot a strong back nine,” said Huron coach Brian Miller. Smith shot a 50 on the front and improved by eight strokes on the back nine. “She hits the ball a country mile her area of concern is the short game. Next week we can just focus on that and get better.”
The Division 1 state championships will be held at The Meadows at Grand Valley State University next Friday and Saturday.
Greenhills School and Father Gabriel Richard placed second and third, respectively, at the Division 4 regional tournament at Cracklewood Golf Club in Macomb on Thursday to advance to the state finals.
With a team score of 376, Gabriel Richard finished one stroke ahead of Macomb Lutheran North to qualify for the first time in the history of the program. (Complete results)
“We are very excited,” said Gabriel Richard coach Steve Royce.
Both teams will compete at Forest Akers East Golf course at Michigan State University next Friday and Saturday.
Dexter's Mary So was an individual qualifier at a Division 2 regional at Fox Hills Golf Course in Plymouth, shooting a 95. Her Dreadnaught team finished in fourth place, one shy of state-qualifying status.
Ypsilanti (seventh) and Milan (ninth) also played at the 10-team regional. (Complete results)
In Division 3, Chelsea fell short of qualifying for the state tournament with a fifth-place finish at its regional. Senior Taylor Hansen finished fourth as individual from a non-qualifying team, one spot shot shy of individual qualification.
“Everyone shot really well. I’m pleased with our season,” said Chelsea coach Trisha McKim. (Complete results)