The New Albany High School girls golf team didn’t show any signs of jitters in its first appearance in the Division I state tournament.
The Eagles shot a tournament-record 592 to run away with the championship for the 36-hole event that concluded Oct. 20 at Ohio State’s Gray Course. They finished 26 strokes ahead of runner-up Olentangy Orange (618), the two-time defending state champion.
New Albany shot a 292 in the final round after shooting a 300 in the first round Oct. 19.
“The girls came right out of the chute playing strong,” Eagles coach Rich Ritter said. “You could tell they had a lot confidence and a high energy level. They felt good about where they were and what they were here to do. They really embraced the moment.”
New Albany was led by Madison Spiess, who placed fourth overall with a 144. Kary Hollenbaugh (148) was next for the Eagles, followed by Anna Ritter (149), Morgan Pankow (151) and Gwynnie Lee (166).
Spiess also finished fourth last year when she shot a 142 playing as an individual.
“It’s so much more fun this year. It was crazy fun,” Spiess said. “If you have a bad hole, you know you have your teammates back there to pick you up. It meant so much to have my team here.”
Orange shot a 310 in the first round to sit fourth behind New Albany, Centerville (305) and Ashland (309), but the Pioneers turned in a 308 in the final round to move past the Elks and Arrows to place second in the 12-team field. Centerville (624) finished third and Ashland (642) was fourth.
“I was really proud of the way we were able to come back in the tougher conditions with the wind and everything,” said Orange coach Cari DeAngelis, whose team had set the previous tournament record last year when it shot a 602. “We knew we could shoot lower and all the girls did a good job.”More video
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Ashley Au (143) placed third overall to lead the Pioneers, followed by Riley Dean (149), Natalia Sompolvorachai (155), Natalie Au (171) and Sydney Krupp (190).
Centerville’s Marissa Wenzler carded a 69 in both rounds to earn medalist honors with a 138. Olentangy Berlin’s Leila Raines was runner-up with a 141, and Upper Arlington’s Emily Hummer placed fifth with a 145.