CLC takes fifth

The Crystal Lake Central co-op girls golf team placed fifth overall at this weekend's state tournament at Hickory Point in Decatur after shooting 71-over-par spanning the two days.

Coach Kathy Speaker said after the first day the Tigers set a goal of playing better Saturday, hoping to squeeze into third place. The Tigers finished 10 strokes off third-place Hinsdale Central and just two strokes behind fourth-place New Trier. Mt. Prospect took the state title by nine strokes and finished 36-over.

"We had a really good two days," Speaker said. "The girls were really calm and overcame some tough spots to finish strong.

Senior Lexi Harkins led the Tigers with a 6-over-par 78 Saturday and finished 10th overall with a 153. Emily Jean took second on the Tigers with a 164 while Larisa Luloff (165), Alex Siavelis (170) and Bailey Bostler (170) rounded out the scoring. Brianna DiGrazia added a 174 

Nequa Valley sophomore Jessica Yuen placed first with a 142.

"Lexi [Harkins] was a little rattled after she ended her front nine with a 42," Speaker said after Harkins made the turn after shooting a 6-over 42, her highest score this season.

Speaker told Harkins to relax and have fun during her last high school meet and the three-time state golfer did just that. She was even on the back nine en route to a top-10 finish.

Each of the six Tigers golfers contributed scores at either regionals, sectionals or state and Speaker hopes that type of consistency can continue into next season.

At the Class A state tournament at Red Rail in Decatur, Richmond-Burton finished ninth at the end of the two-day tournament, 178 strokes over par. Nashville won the tournament at 88-over. But just as the round, and season, came to a close the Rockets already began setting their sights for next season.

The Rockets went undefeated in the regular season and won three big tournaments on their way to state after winning the Big Northern Conference tournament along with regionals and sectionals and will return all of their contributors.

"Hopefully if we can continue to improve we can set a goal to get back there," Rockets coach Brandon Creason said of the state meet. "That should be a good goal for the girls to set. We had an undefeated season and a regional and sectional championship so that has to be a goal and repeat in those areas."  

The Rockets will not graduate any golfers that were a crucial part of this season's success, so making state should be an expectation as the young team hopes to build on their first state appearance.

Junior Black Betke led R-B with a two-day total of 171. Freshman Mackenzie Hahn was second for the Rockets with a 184. Juniors Kat Cummings and Jenny Wojcik carded a 199 and 200, respectively, to round out the top four. Emily Fox and Jessica Guenther, both juniors, shot  213 and 287, respectively.

"It was OK," Creason said of the two-day tournament. "It was a good learning experience for us but we showed our youth at times. We're inexperienced and 36 holes in two days plus an 18 hole practice round, we struggled putting a front and back together."

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