RED BUD — For Columbia High School senior Allie Leingang it was business as usual on Monday at the Cahokia Conference Girls Golf Tourament.
One of the top Class A players in the metro-east for the past three years, Leingang shot a two-over par 72 as she captured her third straight league championship at North County Country Club.
Taking advantage of near ideal weather conditions on a beautiful fall afternoon and a well-manicured North County Country Club course, Leingang played consistent golf throughout as she posted a 12-stroke win over Katelyn Frerking, of Freeburg.
But on this day, nobody was even close to Leingang ,who captured her third tournament title of season. Leingang also has wins in 2013 at the O'Fallon and Okawville tournaments.
"I'm always a little nervous when I play. But after I get a couple of holes in and I settle in, I'm fine. Today I played well. I hit greeens and it was probably the best putting round I've had all year.
"I tied (former Columbia teammate) Megan Biscan here last year and to be able to be a three time conference champion goes beyond my expectations. It means a lot to me.''
Led by the brilliance of Leingang, Columbia finished with a team score of 374 and earned a share of its second straight league crown. Freeburg, getting scores of 84 from Frerking and 86 from Meaghan Kreighbaum, also finished at 374 to grab a share of its 11th Cahokia Conference win in the last 12 years.
Pre-tournament favorite Central placed third with a 381 score, while Marissa (403), Red Bud (406) and Steeleville (470) also competed in the annual event.
The win also makes Eagles coach Matt Duguay a conference champion in his first year at the Columbia helm. Duguay knows Leingang is a special player.
"Allie is not only a great player, but she's also a great young lady and a real leader on this team. She works a lot with the other players on their games as well,'' Duguay said. "She's having a great senior year.''
But Leingang didn't do it alone on Monday. Teammate Clara Taake shot an 89, while Katie Staelins (105) and Chrissey Bolen (108) also ha solid rounds.
"I'm almost certain that this was the first time Clara (Taake) has broken 90 and I think Katie and Chrissey also had their best 18-hole scores today,'' Duguay said. "They picked a good day to do it.''
Freeburg, which had its 10-year Cahokia Conference title streak snapped a year ago by Columbia, bounced back in this year, thanks in a large part to the play of Frerking and Kreighbaum.
Isabella Schwartz had a 95 while Haley Schwartz carded a 109 for the Midgets.
"It was a good day. I was thinking that Katelyn may shoot a couple of strokes higher and that Meaghan may shoot a couple of strokes lower then what they did, but it all evened out,'' Midgets coach Doug Haas said.
"But I'm pleased at we played as a team today. It's great to be a conference champion and now hopefully we can build on this for the remainder of the season. It was a great effort by the girls.''
Contact reporter Dean Criddle at 239-2661 or firstname.lastname@example.org