The New Albany High School girls golf team won its first district title and will get a chance to capture its first state championship.
The Eagles shot a 298 in the Division I district tournament Oct. 9 at Cooks Creek to run away with the title and advance to state Oct. 19 and 20 at Ohio State’s Gray Course along with runner-up Olentangy Orange (315), the two-time defending state champion.
The Pioneers held off third-place Upper Arlington (319), as the top two teams and top two individuals not on the qualifying teams advanced to state.
“I am very happy for (the girls) because they deserve this with the way they’ve played all year, but you still have to go out and do it when it counts,” New Albany coach Rich Ritter said. “For them to put up (a 298) is impressive. They showed good mental toughness and played very well.”
Dublin Coffman (331) finished fourth, followed by Olentangy Liberty (333), Dublin Jerome (336), Hilliard Davidson (353), Pickerington North (366) and DeSales (387).
Madison Spiess shot a 71 to lead New Albany and earn medalist honors. Also competing for the Eagles were Morgan Pankow (73), Anna Ritter (74), Kary Hollenbaugh (80) and Gwynnie Lee (86).
Ashley Au and Riley Dean both shot a 73 to pace Orange, followed by Natalie Au (84), Natalia Sompolvorachai (85) and Sydney Krupp (102).
“It was really nerve-wracking coming down (No.) 18,” said Pioneers coach Cari DeAngelis, whose team won the past two district titles. “We were down three (strokes from second place) with just the final three teams out there, so we were really nervous. We were able to grind it out on the back side because every stroke counts. We did a great job of that.”
Olentangy Berlin’s Leila Raines (72) and UA’s Emily Hummer (75) qualified for state as individuals. Liberty’s Kavya Manocha shot a 76, falling one stroke shy of forcing a playoff for the second state-qualifying spot.
“My goal was to shoot 2-under par (70) and I thought that would get me out,” Raines said. “It was way windier than I thought it would be. There weren’t as many birdies out there as I would have liked, but I’m happy with par.”