Manhattan High girls’ golf overcame adverse weather conditions and its own youth and inexperience to qualify for the Class 6A state tournament after a fourth-place finish Monday at the Olathe Northwest regional at Heritage Park Golf Course in Olathe.
“The conditions were not ideal,” MHS head coach Paige McCarthy said. “They played in constant rain for three hours at least, and then it was off and on. I think we got sun for the last hour that we played, so I’m so proud of them for how they did. They’re young golfers who don’t have a lot of experience, and many of them have never played in the rain, much less cold and wind. So I’m just tickled for them.”
The Indians carded a team score of 399, which put them behind regional champion Washburn Rural (345) as well as Olathe West (359) and Olathe Northwest (368). Freshman Kaitlyn Lagabed led a young Indian team that features three freshmen, two sophomores and one junior. She tied for seventh overall with an 88 (43-45).
“The freshmen have been a really nice surprise,” McCarthy said. “We knew they were athletic, but what has really raised their game is how they’ve worked.”
Sophomore Rylee Wisdom shot a 97 (46-51), which tied for 17th.
“She did so well while also leaving a lot of strokes out there,” McCarthy said. “She’s hitting the ball really well, but she did struggle a little bit on the greens because they were really large. Today she even said that she could’ve dropped double-digit strokes off her game. I know we only have one tournament left, but I feel like her best is yet to come.”
Freshman Emily Wuggazer finished just behind Wisdom, shooting a 103 (51-52) which tied for 19th
Sophomore Jennifer Kim carded a 111 (51-60), which tied her for 27th, junior Lexi Smith shot a 123 (63-60) for a 39th-place finish, and freshman Ruby Wendt scored a 124 (55-69), which was good for 40th.
The trip to state will be the first for all of the Indian golfers.
“They’re all green, which could be an advantage this year,” McCarthy said.
“People aren’t going to have any expectations, so we can just go and play loose.”
The Indians will have the week to prepare before traveling down to Emporia for the 36-hole state meet at Emporia Municipal Golf Course.
Golfers will tee off at 9 a.m. Oct. 18 and 10 a.m. Oct. 19.
Wamego girls capture regional title
All six Red Raider golfers finished in the top 12 of the individual standings Monday, powering Wamego to a 4A regional title at the Clay Center regional at Clay Center Country Club.
Junior Kirby McKee finished third overall with an 86 (43-43) to lead the way for the Red Raiders, followed by sophomore Sara Springer (44-45-89), who placed fourth, and junior Ashten Pierson (43-47-90), who finished fifth.
Junior Trista Hoobler (50-43) tied for seventh with Hayden senior Kate Roeder with a 93, while seniors Creighton Sanner (50-50) and Bailey Thornton (51-49) tied for 11th with 100.
Other team qualifiers from the regional included Hayden, Tonganoxie and Clay Center.
Wamego will travel to Salina next week for the 4A state tournament at Salina Municipal Golf Course. The meet will begin at 9 a.m. Oct. 18 and 10 a.m. Oct. 19.