No return trip for Harris, Bobcats slip into seventh

CEDAR RAPIDS – The Bobcats’ ride is done for now, though the journey will continue when the entire squad returns next season.

Ashley Harris finished a few strokes back of an individual qualifier spot and the Marshalltown girls golf team placed seventh (411) of out 10 squads at the Class 5A Regional Final at Gardner Golf Course Monday.

Dowling Catholic turned in a 359 to hold off Ottumwa by three strokes, while Burlington finished 16 strokes back of a team qualifying spot.

Ottumwa’s Whitney Dostal fired a six-over 82 for medalist honors, finishing one stroke ahead of Cedar Rapids Washington’s MJ Kamin.

Iowa City West’s 404 earned fourth, while Cedar Rapids Prairie and Muscatine tied for fifth at 406 each. Taylor Utter of Cedar Rapids Prairie (86). Ali Lindo of Cedar Rapids Kennedy and Ottumwa’s Darby Patritto (87) also punched their tickets to state.

The Class 5A state meet is at Panorama National Golf Course in Panora, May 28-29.

Harris rebounded from a 13-over 49 on the front nine, with a six-over 42 after the turn, tying for 10th.

“Ashley played fantastic stretches of golf, but unfortunately came up a bit short of qualifying for state,” MHS coach Lucas Johnson said. “She’d give a lot to be able to replay holes 3 and 4.”

Harris had quadruple bogeys of 8 and 7 on those two holes, but birdied the par-3 8th hole.

Niccole Wolken shot a 104, Madison Sogge had a 106 and Natalie Kueny’s 110 completed the Bobcats’ scoring quartet. Kallie Davis carded a 111, while Katie Lynch had to withdraw with three holes to play after injuring her wrist on a swing.

The roughs proved to be the most imposing Marshalltown had played throughout the season.

“Accuracy off the tee was critical,” Johnson said. “The rough was the thickest we’ve played in this year and in many spots all you could hope to do was advance the ball 50 yards down the fairway.”

While the road stops here, Marshalltown has some promising potential moving ahead.

The Bobcats are one of just two teams in the field that return their entire top-six next season, while four of their players – including Harris – have two years left. Marshalltown also claimed a Central Iowa Conference Northern Division title with a perfect 3-0 record in the conference after not winning a single dual last season.

“We’re a young team that continued to get better all season,” Johnson said. “I’m confident that with everyone back next year, we’ll continue to make strides forward.”