Hallie Jones placed third in Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017, district tournament with 86. Maddie Lamp (100), Hannah Haakonstad (108), Lexi Hargrave (109), Jensen Simmer (112) also earn right to play back on home course next week
La PLATA, Mo. — For the first time in a dozen years, Chillicothe High School’s entire girls’ golf team has qualified for sectional competition. As a reward, they’ll get to make their individual and combined bids for state-level competition on their home course.
Led by freshman third-place individual finisher Hallie Jones’ 18-holes round of 86, the 2017 Lady Hornets on Tuesday advanced as a group to next week’s sectional tournament at Green Hills Golf Course here the difficult way.
They put all five of their entries among top 15 individual finishers (from teams other than the top two team finishers) in the Class 1 District 6 Tournament at the La Plata Country Club course Tuesday.
While Kirksville (381) and Gallatin (390) earned the right to take their full, 5-players lineups to sectional by using their four best scores to finish first and second, respectively, in the tourney’s team standings, third-place Chillicothe (403) gained the same result by having good top-to-bottom showings.
Joining Jones in the overall top 15 and thus earning district medals and all-district status were junior Maddie Lamp with a 100, which tied her for 12th place in the medalist standings, and Hannah Haakonstad, another 11th grader, whose 108 tied her for 14th place.
Lexi Hargrave, yet another CHS junior, had her best showing in a while and was only a stroke behind Haakonstad. Tying for 16th place, her 109 gave her a 3-strokes cushion below the sectional-qualifying cut line.
The fifth Lady Hornet, senior Jensen Simmer, ended up matching the 15th-lowest score (among non-team qualifiers) with a 112. While only the 23rd-best individual score overall, it was good enough to send her through to sectional also with all of her teammates.
The most-recent occasion Chillicothe advanced all of its entries to sectional was in 2005 when the Lady Hornets won the district team championship and eventually finished second in the state tournament.
While Kirksville was taking first place in Tuesday’s team competition, it was Hamilton’s Samantha “Sam” Cornelius showing the way individually, although not by a wide margin.
Cornelius, the Hamilton Lady Hornets participating, carded a 9-over-par 80 on the rain-dampened northeast Missouri course, which has lots of water hazards on the second nine holes anyway, the C-T learned.
She finished only two strokes ahead of tourney host Kirksville’s Abby Boyer with Chillicothe’s Jones another four swings back in third. Trenton’s Werthen Gass was one swing behind Jones.
Jones’ 86 was created by a 45 on the front nine and 41 on the incoming nine, CHS coach Bob Long reports. Along the way, she posted a half-dozen pars (holes No. 5, 8, 9, 11, 12, and 15) and one birdie – on No. 17.
Having practiced on the course Sunday, Jones whacked a half-dozen shots off her season average with her medal-winning effort.
Lamp fashioned her overall score with a 51 on the first nine and 49 on the second, including three back-side pars (No. 12, 13, and 16), Long discloses.
Her round was seven strokes better than her average 18 holes during the season.
Neither Haakonstad or Hargrave managed to match par on any holes, but still managed to better their regular-season averages by four and five strokes, respectively. Haakonstad’s scorecard read the same on each side – 54-54; Hargrave, a sectional and state qualifier a year ago, was similarly steady with a 54-55.
Simmer made it a full handful of Chillicothe advancers with a 53-59 which included paring Nos. 8 and 16, according to the Lady Hornets coach. She unofficially was three strokes better than her season average.
A couple of other C-T-area schools besides Hamilton had players compete in the district tourney, with one player– Stephanie Gates of Braymer – also advancing to sectional.
Southwest Livingston's Marley Anderson and Meredith Oesch each shot a 116, tying for 30th place in the 48-players field.
Braymer had a 4-players contingent, so it had a team score.
Gates led the Lady ’Cats with the same 112 which qualified CHS' Simmer. Anna Clariday shot a 132, Tiffany Campbell a 142, and Kylie Ward a 147.
Although not officially confirmed from CHS sources yet, the sectional tournament is likely to be played Monday at GHGC.
Just as at district, the top two teams from the sectional play here – which will involve teams from districts five and six – will move on as teams, in this case to the following week’s state tournament. Additionally, the 15 lowest scorers outside those teams’ ranks will qualify for state solo play at the Columbia Country Club Oct. 9-10.