CARMEL – Gusting winds at Prairie View Golf Club made temperatures in the low 60s feel much colder during Friday’s opening round of the IHSAA girls golf state finals. But that didn’t stop the defending state champs from taking a huge step toward becoming back-to-back champs.
Top-ranked Evansville North shot a 332 to open up a 16-stroke lead on the rest of the field heading into Saturday’s final round. The Huskies, which got a 76 from Emma Kieffer, will be chased by No. 11 Center Grove (348). Westfield (350) and Zionsville (350) are the only other teams within 20 strokes of the Huskies.
While the conditions wreaked havoc on some teams, Center Grove coach Jim Williams said it may have helped his squad. “The wind and all the elements might have brought us into the thick of things,” he said. “I think if it had been sunny and in the 70s, it might have been a different story. And I think the elements may help us (Saturday).”
The Trojans got an 81 from Hannah Wilson, while Shelby Schier carded an 85 and Sydney Abbott an 89.
“They’ve been fighting all the way through this entire season,” Williams said of his team. “The kids stayed with it, battled and did everything they could through the course of the season. They deserve to be here. They should be there. The question is how do we handle it?”
Second-ranked Westfield got a pair of 85s from Cailyn Henderson and Adrienne Montalone.
‘We talked about how we just wanted to be in a position to … have a chance to make a run at it,” Shamrocks coach Trevor Neu said. “I think the kids probably all have a handful of holes where they know they could have done better. And we made up 11 strokes over the final nine holes in the sectional, so the kids know that.”
Eighth-ranked Zionsville got an 80 from Avery VonDielingen and an 88 from Pauline Wilson.
Fifth-ranked Cathedral (356) is tied for ninth, while No. 9 Fishers (358) is in 11th.
Mt. Vernon freshman Charley True shook off the conditions to shoot a 78, tying her for sixth overall and putting her just three strokes behind Lafayette Central Catholic’s Morgan Brown, who shot a 75 to set the pace on the individual side.
State Meet-Day 1, Prairie View Golf Club
Par 72, 5,523 yards
Team scores: Evansville North 332, Center Grove 348, Westfield 350, Zionsville 350, Chesterton 353, Columbus North 353, Bloomington South 354, Evansville Memorial 354, Cathedral 356, Fishers 358, Crown Point 360, Western 375, Leo 378, NorthWood 384
Top 10 individuals
Morgan Brown (Lafayette Central Catholic), 75
Emma Kieffer (Evansville North), 76
Cherise Otter (Bloomington South), 76
Kiley Swisher (Seeger), 76
Alexis Miestowski (Lake Central), 76
Charley True (Mt. Vernon), 78
Kara Blair (New Prairie), 78
Kayla Benge (Plainfield), 79
Reece Malapit (Yorktown) 79