Cathedral has won 29 sports state titles, the fourth-most in state history, across 10 sports since its opening. One sport that doesn’t own a state-championship trophy: girls golf.
Based on the way the fifth-ranked Irish are playing heading into Friday’s first round of the girls state golf meet at Prairie View Golf Club in Carmel, that could change. Cathedral is coming off sectional and regional titles – topping No. 3 Columbus North by eight strokes in the latter – and has the second-lowest 18-hole tournament average in the field.
“We’ve been playing pretty well the past two to three weeks,” said Irish coach Pat Fagan, whose team has turned in scores of 302 and 311 in the postseason. “And I think everyone on the team is playing pretty well. Our goal is to get ourselves in a position to be in the mix Saturday. Then we can go from there.”
The Irish have been led by Butler recruit Betsy Werner, who finished tied for 10th among individuals in 2014 and has shot a pair of 70s in the tournament. Gabi Sharp (76.5). Maddie Dittoe (79.5), Ally Mattingly (82.0) and Sophia Alexander (82.5) round out a very balanced group.
“I think our depth is one of our biggest strengths,” Fagan said. “We’re going to go out and play the best we can and see what happens.”
Westfield ready to move up
The Shamrocks, averaging a 307 in the postseason, finished sixth in 2014, their first appearance at the girls state golf meet. With four of five starters back from that squad, optimism among the team is high that experience will help the team move up a few spots.
“Last year we tried not to make a big deal of being there for the first time, but you really could tell the nerves were there,” Westfield coach Trevor Neu said. “So I think having that experience can be a huge advantage (this year).”
Westfield’s Cailyn Henderson, who finished tied for second in 2014, is averaging a 72.0 in the state tournament, just ahead of teammate Adrienne Montalone (73.0). Margaret Wentz has posted back-to-back sub-80 rounds in the postseason.
“Adrienne has come on strong in the last month and a half,” Neu said. “She’s added a new level to her game. And Cailyn just does her thing. She’s magic.
“All of our kids are playing well. I like our chances with the way we are playing.”
Zionsville, Fishers, Center Grove in field
Eighth-ranked Zionsville, No. 9 Fishers and No. 11 Center Grove also are in this weekend’s field. Zionsville has been led in the postseason by Avery VonDielingen (82.5 average), while Fishers’ Morgan Lewis (73.5) and Kennedy Brooker (77.5) have been strong in the tournament. Shelby Schier is averaging an 82 in the postseason for Center Grove.
Top-ranked Evansville North, which won the 2014 state title, will try to make it back-to-back crowns. The Huskies, with four starters back from last season, are averaging a 299 in two postseason rounds. They edged out Westfield by a stroke earlier this season in the Hall of Fame Invitational at Country Oaks Golf Club in Montgomery, Ind.
Otter looking for repeat
Bloomington South’s Cherise Otter, the 2014 individual champ, will try to defend her title this weekend. She’s posted a pair of 71s in the postseason.
Local individuals in the field this weekend are Hamilton Southeastern’s Ciara McAree (73.0 tournament average), Martinsville’s Sloane Winders (74.0), Mt. Vernon’s Charley True (74.0), Brownsburg’s Maddison Cody (75.5), Lapel’s Natalia Campbell (76.5), and Plainfield’s Kayla Benge (76.0) and Tori Treash (80.0).