When word got around to some of the district's other coaches that it took a 320 to win the Division I high school girls golf sectional tournament last Tuesday at Mentel Memorial, there wasn't much shock involved.

That course traditionally posts scores that are much lower than the other two sectional sites, Mill Creek and The Links at Groveport, and the same was true as the nine district-qualifying teams were determined Tuesday.

Even at a course like Mentel Memorial, though, there's still something that struck Dublin Jerome coach C.D. Butcher as impressive about both Watterson and Upper Arlington shooting a score that low when he began to think about which teams are the favorites to make it to state.

The district tournament is Tuesday at Bent Tree, where the top two teams and two individuals not on qualifying teams advance to the state tournament Oct. 23-24 on Ohio State University's Gray Course.
Watterson and UA were the state-qualifying teams a year ago.

"It's hard to bid against Watterson and Upper Arlington, and then you've got four other teams with an outside shot," Butcher said. "Dublin Coffman has the potential to go really far, and there's us, Gahanna and Marysville.

With Upper Arlington having Alex (Brown), Allison (Harper) and Jackie Hobson, and with Watterson being so deep, they're both very strong teams. I still like our chances. We're playing pretty well right now, which is right when we want to be."

Alexandra Meyers shot a 75, followed by Lauren Grogan (77), Chloe Campisi (82), Camille Veri (86) and Natalie Meyers (92) as Watterson edged UA on its fifth-player score.

Both Brown and Harper shot a 74 to earn co-medalist honors, Hobson carded a 78, Corinne Cullinan shot 94 and Carly Starkey finished with a 102 for UA, which played most of the regular season without Brown because of injuries.

Last fall, Brown returned for the postseason after missing all the regular season with injuries and helped the Bears win sectional and district titles.

At state a year ago, Watterson finished third (656) and UA was sixth (691) of 12 teams behind Mason (630) and Cuyahoga Falls Walsh Jesuit (656, beat Eagles on fifth-player score).

"We're pretty balanced," Watterson coach Rick McQuade said. "Everybody's got one or two players this year capable of shooting really low. UA had two players shoot 74 (last Tuesday) and we were fortunate to stay with them. Sometimes it comes down to the fifth-player score, so it's nice that we don't usually have to use a 100."

At district last year, UA shot 330, Watterson finished with a 331 and Jerome took third with a 340.

The Celtics shot 352 to win the Mill Creek sectional last Tuesday as Joon-Hee Shim led with an 81 followed by Michelle Herbert and Catarina Seo (88 each), Michelle Koren (95) and Amanda Koren (96).
Marysville was second (355) as Tess Frazier shot a 77 and Lancaster took third (369) as defending state individual champion Samantha Swinehart was medalist (71). New Albany missed qualifying to district as a team by one stroke but had two individual qualifiers.

Gahanna won its first OCC championship this season and followed by capturing a sectional title for the first time as it shot 357 to edge Pickerington North (358) and Olentangy Liberty (359). Liberty's Julie Lechner was medalist with a 75.

Sierra Everson led the Lions with an 80, followed by Melinda Hunkler (83), Jennifer Nelson (95) and Shannon Schobelock (99).

"It wasn't our best day, but we won," coach Patty McQuirt said. "(District is) a tough call. It really depends on what team has four girls shoot well that day. It's anybody's guess as to who will make it out."