COLUMBUS — Confidence and composure helped carry the Lima Central Catholic girls’ golf team to its second straight Division II state title Saturday at the par 70 Ohio State University Gray Course.
The Thunderbirds posted a 329 on day two of the state tournament for a two-day total of 647 to finish 11 strokes ahead of state runner up Alliance Marlington which finished with a 658. Finishing third was Zoarville Tuscarawas Valley with a 669. St. Henry finished seventh overall with a 718.
LCC has won back-to-back titles for the first time in school history since the boys’ golf team accomplished the feat in 2002 and 2003.
Individually, Mary Kelly Mulcahy led the T-Birds with a 72 and with her 73 on day one she placed sixth overall in the individual standings with a 145. By virtue of her top 10 finish she received All-Ohio honors.
“I am in kind of in shock and it is the best feeling ever,” Mary Kelly Mulcahy said. “At the beginning of the day I had confidence and I had confidence all weekend so it is great to actually be able to do it and it is over now and it a great feeling.”
Mary Kelly Mulcahy added that the confidence the whole team showed was instrumental in holding off Marlington.
“Confidence was the key to success,” Mary Kelly Mulcahy said. “All of our team had confidence, and I think that proves a lot that we got it done.”
Teammate and twin sister Erin Mulcahy narrowly missed placing in the top 10 after finishing 11th overall with a two-day score of 152. She fired a 75 on day two.
Erin Mulcahy, who was a member of last year’s state champion, said many thought this might be a down year for LCC but she said they pulled it together to repeat as champs.
“We were just expecting to go out and play our best golf and we knew that we could shoot good enough to win a state title and fortunately we played good enough today that we won,” Erin Mulcahy said. “We all get along really well and practice a lot together. We like being with each other and competing against each other.”
Erin Mulcahy added that having her sisters on the team is definitely a plus.
“That is kind of an advantage because we kind of know our strong suits and weaknesses and we know where to help each other when we are practicing so just having the overall family and sisters on the team is great and we feel super close.”
Younger sister Bridget Mulcahy tied for 20th overall with a score of 170. She shot an 86 Saturday. Carlie VanMeter was fourth on the team with a 180 after carding a 96 Saturday that placed her 40th. Emma Mayers came in 62nd with a combined score of 194 after scoring a 102 on day two.
“It always comes down to how the four, five and three play,” LCC head coach Dan Reinicke said. “It is a team event and it takes those scores to win and they know it. They knew coming in it was going to come down to the fours and fives and somebody needed to post a good score and just like last year we did it again.”
Coming into the second day of competition, LCC was tied with Marlington at 318, and it appeared to be a two-team race for the coveted state crown.
Facing a chilly morning with temperatures hovering in the lower 40s and a slight breeze, the teams endured an inconsistent first six holes. LCC shot 21 over and Marlington did not fare much better by going 24 over. In fact, Tuscarawas Valley came out hot and shot 11 over to slice in the leaders’ lead.
However, as the teams neared the back nine, LCC slowly began to pull away from the pack and by the time the Thunderbirds hit 12th hole they enjoyed a slight 11-shot cushion.
From there, LCC did what it does best and played consistent solid golf down the stretch to secure the crown.
Reinicke admits he prefers the old days when the scores were not as instantaneous as they are now and said that makes him even more nervous throughout the match.
“Before I was a dumb coach worrying about how the girls hit the ball and now every one knows the scores every few holes and we are more aware of the score and I become nervous and they do to,” Reinicke said. “The electronic scoring has brought in a new level of coaching because you know what is going on than just being a dumb coach helping them along.”
This year Reinicke said he did a little more coaching at this year’s event to help some of the players through some of the more difficult holes or when a girl might have a blow-up on a specific holes. Throughout the day, players from all top three schools had girls break out into tears after a poor hole.
Reinicke added that there were the inevitable hiccups, and he was there to make sure the players maintained their focus as well as some comforting words.
“We always talk about when you get in trouble to get out of trouble and go forward and don’t be a hero because it is a team game even though it is also an individual sport,” Reinicke said. “It is a series of individual performances that add up to a team score. They know what they need to do and go out and do it, and I am proud of how the girls played.”
In other area results, St. Henry finished tied for eighth with Youngstown Cardinal Mooney (718). Ellen Naumann led the way, earning all-Ohio honors and tying for ninth with Williamsport Westfall’s Maddi Shoults with a 150 total. Calli Hemmelgarn (184), Claire Clune (186), Alana Siefring (199) and Gwyn Elking (205) also competed for St. Henry. Kalida’s Grace Miller finished her high school career, finishing 20th overall after shooting an 84 on day two for a two-day total of 164.
Boys Division III
Kalida shot a 348 on day two of the Division III state championships to finish with a team total of 702 for the tournament and an eighth place finish on the par 72 Ohio State University Scarlet Course.
Wildcat Josh Recker was the top scorer with a 166 to finish tied for 23rd overall. Other Wildcat scores were Ryan Klausing (84-85 – 170), Justin Siebeneck (94-85 – 179), Alex Elderbrock (93-96 – 189) and David Peck (95- 94 – 189).
Minster finished the day in fifth place after finishing with a 678 for the tournament. Minster shot a 335 on the second day of competition. Berling Hiland won the overall team title with a 628 and Columbus Wellington School was second with a 644. Fort Loramie finished with a 711 for ninth place and Botkins placed 12th with a team score of 749.
“It was a little better today,” Kalida head coach Ken Schnipke said. “I think the difference was Justin Siebeneck. He played better today. He shot an 85 today and he shot a 94 yesterday. That was the difference.”
Schnipke says good-bye to one of the most successful senior classes at Kalida. A trio of players went to state all four years.
“Four of the top six were seniors so I have a lot to replace next year to say the least,” Schnipke said. “They (the team) had a really successful career. “
Temple Christian’s Lincoln Waters struggled on day two and shot a 100 to finish with a 182 for the two days and finish tied for 47th overall.