Girls golf: Johnsburg's Ellie Johnson 3rd in sectional, Marian Central's Lauren McNulty 9th

Johnsburg senior Ellie Johnson walked away from her high school career in an upbeat mood Monday.

Johnson shot an 8-over-par 79 to take third place at the Class 1A Seneca Girls Golf Sectional at Nettle Creek Country Club in Morris.

Normal University High’s Reagan Kennedy led her team to the title with a 3-over 74, while Eureka’s Allison Pacocha shot 77 for second.

Marian Central senior Lauren McNulty tied for ninth at 84, and Harvard senior Emma Ackland shot a 94.

Marian finished fifth as a team with a 383; Johnsburg was sixth with a 384.

“I liked my round pretty well,” Johnson said. “The [practice] range was great; on the course was great. I was striking the ball well, got on a lot of greens in regulation. It felt pretty good today.”

The IHSA will not have a state tournament for its fall sports because of the COVID-19 pandemic, so the sectional round was the last competition for golfers.

The players battled through wind, along with some drizzling and some pouring rain during the round. There were no rain delays, although Johnson said her group waited for a few minutes for heavy winds to subside on one hole.

“It was a nice ending to the high school career,” Johnson said. “I’m pretty pleased with what happened today.”

Johnson, who went to Class 1A state as a sophomore and junior, had an Augustana coach follow her on the front nine. She and McNulty both are looking to play in college.

McNulty was pleased that her score would have qualified her for state if there was a tournament. The top 10 individuals, not on teams, normally advance to the state tournament.

“I was definitely disappointed because I felt I left a lot on the course,” McNulty said. “I did everything I could do, I just kept leaving a lot of putts right next to the pin. I could have shot a lot lower if I made some of those. I’m not too disappointed, I just wish I could have played my best.”

McNulty shot 80 and 78 at 1A state last year to finish 20th. Johnson was one shot behind her in 21st.

“I was definitely hoping to be able to do better [at state], but without the opportunity, it kind of stinks,” McNulty said. “I’m happy because my score would have made it to state.”

McNulty will compete in more tournaments, along with traveling to some winter tournaments in warmer areas, as she continues looking for a college at which she will play.

Marian’s Ella Notaro shot a 95, Ava Notaro had a 101, and Ingrid Reyes had a 103 to round out the Hurricanes’ scoring.

Johnsburg’s other three counting scores came from Gracie Berthoud (98), Hailey Bullamore (101) and Taylor Blake (106).

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