COLUMBUS — It was a case of close – but no cigar – for the Lima Central Catholic girls golf team Saturday at The Ohio State University Gray Course.
The Thunderbirds entered day two of the state tournament in second place, trailing Independence by 12 strokes.
LCC had dug itself too big of a hole and by the time play was done. Shelby had snuck by the T-Birds to claim the state runner-up trophy with Independence claiming the Division II title and the T-Birds finishing third.
Freshman Mary Ellen Mulcahy fired 74 both Friday and Saturday for a 148 total that was good for fifth place individually.
“I wanted first or second place but I’m still pretty happy.” Mary Ellen said. “We could have performed better but we did pretty good; I definitely could have done better but am happy with 74-74.”
Twin sister Erin shot round of 82-80 and is already looking forward to next year.
“I feel like I could have played better.” Erin said. “We are excited for next season, hopefully we can get back down here.”
Junior big sister Meghan (90-85) spoke of the thrill of playing at the par 70 Gray Course.
“I was really excited to be here, this is a really cool environment to play in.” Meghan said. “It was a good learning experience and we hope to get back here next year.”
Junior Hannah Garver shot 86-96 while the only senior on the LCC team, Callie Koenig, fired rounds of 99-98.
LCC coach Dan Reinicke knows he has a lot to forward to.
“That was a lot of strokes to try to make up and this was the first trip to state tournament for all of our girls.” Reinicke said. “Independence was runner-up last year, had four senior, and they were hungry. We only lose one senior so things look good for the future.”
Final team standings showed Independence first, Shelby second, LCC third with Versailles 10th and St. Henry coming in 12th.
Ellen Naumann (85-88 — 173), Karlee Staugler (95-89 — 184), Allyson Hemmelgarn (99-99 — 198), Claire Clune (101-105 — 206) and Elizabeth Rockwell (110-108 — 218) competed for St. Henry.
Jill Schmitmeyer saved her best for last. The St. Marys senior finished 19th as a sophomore, fifth as a junior, and ended up her senior season tied for second after firing a one-under par 69 Saturday for a two-day total of 142.
“I’m pretty excited; I had a double bogey on the back nine but finished birdie, par, par.” Schmitmeyer said. “My tempo was good and my putting was good.”
Sarah Willis of Eaton was the medalist with a score of 139 on rounds of 72-67.
Schmitmeyer and Mary Ellen Mulcahy were both recognized with first team all-state honors for their performances.
Division III boys
Kalida bounced back from a 349 score Friday to post a 333 Saturday for a two-day total of 682 that was good for seventh place overall. Josh Klausing led the Wildcats, following his Friday 80 with a 76 Saturday at the par 72 Scarlet Course at The Ohio State University which put him in a tie for 13th. Teammate Christian Nartker (79-78 — 157) finished in a tie for 16th. Josh Recker (93-85 — 178), Alex Edelbrock (97-96 — 193) and Luke Erhart (102-94 — 196) also played for Kalida.
Spencerville, making it first-ever trip to the state tournament, posted rounds of 372-370 for a total of 742 to finish in 11th place. Ethan Harmon (89-86 — 175), Gavin Harmon (85-92 — 177), Collin Davis (94-98 — 192), Alex Gallman (104-94 — 198) and Drake Mertz (104-98 — 202) competed for the Bearcats.
Bluffton’s Aaron Belcher followed his first-round 81 with a 78 for 159 that put him in a tie for 15th.