GIRLS STATE GOLF: Consistent Waukee nets third straight 5A team title

The Waukee girls’ golf team enjoyed an individual state champion with each of its team championships the past two seasons.

Tuesday, the Warriors proved they didn’t need one of their individual golfers to finish at the top to keep a stranglehold on their supremacy in Class 5A.

Senior Kelsy Shay made a late charge in defending her individual title with a second-round 2-over 73, and the Warriors finished day two with another four scores under 90 to complete the three-peat at the 5A Girls State Golf Tournament at Elmwood Country Club.

Waukee carded a 325, besting its first-round score by 15 strokes, and cruised to the team title with a 665. That was 43 shots better than runner-up and CIML rival West Des Moines Valley, which finished with a 708 after getting sub-90 rounds from its top two golfers in both rounds.

“I really hoped I could come back and win the title again after surgery, but I am super happy with second place after the way I played yesterday,” said Shay, who got off to a slow start this year due to elbow surgery. “It is always fun to win a team title though.”

Shay did not defend her 5A individual title but her 73, which included an eagle on the par 4 No. 15, pushed her into a tie for second with Cedar Rapids Washington’s M.J. Kamin. Senior Jasmine Wyzgowski also finished in fifth with a 166, while sophomore Paige Seiser ended up one shot back in sixth with a 167. The fourth and final counting score was junior Cheyanne Becker, who turned in a 176 and finshed in a tie for 17th.

“We had our leaders at the top, but the 3-4-5-6 girls also played well and supported them well the last two days,” said Waukee coach Marty Sullivan. “Our attitude towards the game of golf has changed over the past few years. The success of others has certainly been a positive for everyone. When you have success, it breads more success.”

Shay lost a cardback for runner-up medalist honors after she and Kamin carded a 156. Ankeny Centennial sophomore Karli Kerrigan won the first individual state title for the Jaguars with a 151. She fired a 76 in round two.

West Des Moines Valley was led by place-winner Dani Duerschmidt’s 10th place finish. The Tigers were eight shots better in the second round than they were in Monday’s first round. Duerschmidt finished with a 171, while Sonya Shah carded a 173 and Laney Vanscoy had a 180.

“We play in the toughest conference in the state, and there is no one that can or will dispute that,” Marshalltown coach Lucas Johnson said. “The top four teams on day one were all from the CIML and having that competition all season definitely made our squad better.”

Pleasant Valley made the biggest jump from day one to day two. It came into the day two strokes back of Iowa City West for sixth place but a 31-shot improvement catapulted the Spartans all the way to third, vaulting past Dowling Catholic, Iowa City West and Johnston.

Pleasant Valley got a 10-stroke improvement from Rachele Miller, who moved into fourth after her second-round 77. She finished with a 164, while Abby Elceser had a 176 and Maddy Hurning fired a 180.

The Spartans’ 717 was six shots better than Dowling Catholic, which improved by one shot to maintain its top-four finish. The Maroons carded a 723 behind a 170 from ninth-place finisher Anne Gradoville. Sophomores Erica Olberding and Allison Olberding were next at 175 and 182, respectively.

Iowa City West made a 15-shot improvement from day one to move into fifth. The Women of Troy got a 173 from Tiffany Danger and Mackenzi Marsh also improved her first-round score by 10 strokes on day two.

Iowa City West was 15 shots better than Johnston, which got four shots worse Tuesday. Linn-Mar (754) and Dubuque Hempstead (765) remained in the same positions it started the day in and finished seventh and eighth, respectively.