Harris leads MHS girls to second at Turk Bowman

AMES – Maintaining their focus for an entire 18 holes had been an early challenge for the Bobcats.

But with the way they’re starting to close, opponents may want to focus their attention on a resurgent Marshalltown girls golf team that is heating up at the right time.

Ashley Harris led the rally, responding from a front-nine 50 with an even-par 36 to lead Marshalltown to a runner-up finish (415) in the Turk Bowman Invite at Veenker Memorial Golf Course Tuesday.

Waukee cruised to the win with a 326 and swept medalist honors as the Warriors’ Paige Seiser carded a two-over 74 and Jasmine Wyzgowski added a 79.

Harris’ 86 tied for third overall with Waukee’s Brittany Best, and her meet-best tally on the back nine helped the Bobcats shed 29 strokes from their previous performance at Veenker (219) after the turn with a total of 190.

“Ashley played lights out golf on the back nine,” MHS coach Lucas Johnson said.

“To finish as strong as she did will give her a tremendous amount of confidence as we head into the two biggest meets of our season.”

While Harris’ strong finish may have caught her opponents off guard, it came as no surprise to her coach who has seen her dedication.

“She has a phenomenal work ethic and it’s a wonderful thing to watch when a golfer sees the payoff for the hours and hours of practice,” Johnson said.

Marshalltown’s Kallie Davis (106) and Shelby Brennecke (108) turned in their best rounds of the year, while Katie Lynch and Natalie Kueny each fired a 115 to complete the team score. Niccole Wolken was just one stroke back with a 116.

“As a team I couldn’t be prouder of how the girls battled today,” Johnson said.

“Veenker can be an intimidating course and though we took some knocks, we kept our focus for all 18 holes.”

Fort Dodge finished third (416), while Des Moines Roosevelt/Hoover (423) and host Ames (432) rounded out the top five.

The Bobcats will try to ride their momentum into the Central Iowa Conference meet Thursday at Otter Creek Golf Course in Ankeny. Tee-time is 9 a.m.