Golf: New Albany girls capture third straight state title
After the first round of the Division I state girls golf tournament was played Oct. 23 at Ohio State’s Gray Course under mostly sunny skies with temperatures soaring into the upper 70s, New Albany coach Rich Ritter said he expected his team to enjoy a second round the next day with conditions in the mid-40s and a persistent wind.
“It’ll be fun. It’ll probably be the worst weather we’ve played in in three years,” Ritter said. “We look forward to whatever the weather throws at us.”
As usual, the Eagles thrived despite the conditions, using consistency to win their third consecutive state title with team scores of 293 in each round, 41 shots ahead of runner-up Mason.
Madison Spiess shot a two-day total of 141 to win the individual title by three shots ahead of Rocky River Magnificat’s Cara Heisterkamp and Massillon Jackson’s Avery Wright.
In the boys tournament at Ohio State’s Scarlet Course, Dublin Jerome’s three-year streak of state championships came to an end with a fourth-place finish (618) behind champion Akron Hoban (606). Olentangy Orange finished sixth (629).
New Albany led by 17 shots after the first round and steadily widened its lead throughout the second, thanks to Spiess shooting a 70 and Kary Hollenbaugh a 71, a nine-shot drop from the previous day.
Anna Ritter finished with a 149, followed by Hollenbaugh (151), Emerson Purcell (152) and Anna Coccia (154).
“Every hole felt about 20 yards farther (Oct. 24). It was cold and not as windy, but balls weren’t flying as far so it was definitely tougher,” said Spiess, a Santa Clara commit and four-time state qualifier. “It means so much. I love my team. We all work hard. It’s exciting to be together and able to do this.”
Anna Ritter, last year’s individual champion, was fifth overall. Hollenbaugh tied for sixth and Purcell tied for 10th with Olentangy Berlin’s Mia Raines.
“It was a fantastic team effort the past couple of days,” coach Ritter said.
Led by Annika Manjunath’s two-day total of 153, Dublin Coffman finished seventh (650) in its first appearance as a team since 2015.
Ellie Lim totaled 160, Ava Guilliams shot a 164 and Alex DeRee had a 173. Megan Kestner finished with a 175.
“Our expectations were to finish a little higher but we had a great year,” Shamrocks coach Randy Patton said. “We won some tournaments and even beat New Albany once (during the OCC-Central Division tournament). We accomplished a lot.”
Raines shot a 75 in the final round, two shots better than the previous day.
Celtics to fourth
Jerome’s Tyler Groomes shot a 150, including 73 in the final round, to tie for fifth place and lead the Celtics to fourth as a team.
Groomes, an Ohio State commit, finished seven shots behind individual champion Jordan Gilkison of Springboro.
“It was tough out there, cold, windy and I had a rough front 9, but I was able to come back on the back 9,” Groomes said.
Brett Podobinski shot a 153 for Jerome. Jake Kuhlman had a 157, followed by Ryan Miller (158) and Jake Yarbrough (164).
Corbin Bentley’s tie for 10th place (152) paced Orange, which was at state as a team for the first time since the program’s inaugural season of 2008. Luke Johnson shot a 153, followed by Jonathan Green (160), Nathan Brown (164) and Mitch Perdue (175).
Westervile Central’s Josh Qian tied for seventh place with a 151, but was disappointed after following up his 71 in the opening round — which had him one shot off the lead in second place — with an 81.
“Nothing was on and I couldn’t get things going,” Qian said. “I definitely learned a lot this weekend.”
St. Charles’ Leo Walling shot a 159 and tied for 34th place.