COLUMBUS — On the way to the big goal Lima Central Catholic’s girls golf team reached another goal on the first day of the Division II state tournament on Friday.
Actually, they reached it then exceeded it.
LCC, which is trying to win its third consecutive state championship, shot a 310 team score, a Division II state tournament record. The previous record was the 318 the Thunderbirds and Marlington had on the first day of last year’s tournament.
That 310 put LCC 30 strokes ahead of second-place Columbus School for Girls. Shaker Heights Laurel was third with a 346 and Kettering Alter was fourth at 352.
This is the fourth year in a row LCC has played in the state tournament at Ohio State’s Gray Course.
So, they’re familiar with the course and what they can do there. During a practice on Wednesday at the Shawnee Country club, senior Erin Mulcahy suggested a 315 would be a good target score on Friday.
“I just knew, adding up what all of our girls could shoot and what they’re capable of doing, 315 sounded like a good number,” she said.
LCC coach Dan Reinicke said, “We talked about just going out and playing our game the way we’ve been playing all year. We did well with our goal and that’s all we were looking at is playing for our goal. It didn’t matter what anybody else did, we were going to shoot for that.”
Mary Kelly Mulcahy led the Thunderbirds with a three-over-par 73 on Friday. Erin Mulcahy shot a 75 and Emma Mayers had an 80. Bridget Mulcahy’s 82 gave LCC four golfers in the Division II top 15. No. 5 player Carlie VanMeter’s 87 ranked 23rd out of the 72 players in the tournament.
Mayer’s 80 was three strokes away from her career best 77, and a 12-stroke improvement over the 92 she shot on the first day of the state tournament last year.
“I came here and wanted to do better than I did last year. That was my goal,” she said. “My putting was good on the front nine and my iron striking has improved since last year. And I can drive it farther. Overall, everything was better than last year.
“I feel like all we care about is playing against the course and we don’t really worry about competition. So we just play our best and we’ll see what comes out,” Mayers said.
Back-to-back state championships in 2019 and 2018, along with a third-place finish in 2017 have helped build that level of confidence.
We’ve played here for four years in a row so the nerves have definitely settled. We’re just going out to just play what we normally do,” Erin Mulcahy said.
Mary Kelly Mulcahy said, “I couldn’t ask for more from our team here. Coming up and performing that well at state is something that we have always tried to do.”
LCC’s final step toward a third straight state championship will begin this morning. The Thunderbirds’ tee times are 9:50, 10:00, 10:10, 10:20 and 10:30.
St. Henry’s Ellen Naumann, playing as an individual, shot a 76 and is tied for fourth among the players not on a team.
Division III boys
Lima Central Catholic’s boys golf team was seventh with a 348 team score after the first day of the Division III state tournament at the NorthStar Golf Club in Sunbury.
Canton Central Catholic led the team standings with a 300. Minster was ninth at 362 and Delphos St. John’s was twelfth with a 377.
Parker Judy’s 81 led the Thunderbirds. Alex Wisser shot 83, Ross Otto had an 88 and Casey Koenig had a 96. No. 5 player Brady Koenig shot a 105.
Joseph Magoto’s 85 was the low score for Minster. Brady Hoelscher had an 89 and Ray Purdy and Eric Schmidt shot 94. No. 5 player Nathan Beair had a 98.
Jack Gerker led St. John’s with an 85. Jeffrey Odenweller had a 91, Collin Feathers a 93 and Caden Wright a 108. No. 5 player Nathan Gable shot 112. Allen East’s Zach Miller, playing as an individual, shot 81.