Althoff and Nashville are favorites in girls golf regionals

News-DemocratOctober 8, 2013 

Logically, the Althoff Crusaders should be playing in the Nashville Class A Girls Golf Regional on Wednesday at Stonewolf Golf Club in Fairview Heights.

After all, the Crusaders play all of their home matches at Stonewolf, which is generally regarded as one of the more challenging golf courses in the St. Louis area.

But when Althoff begins postseason play early Wednesday, it will be at Colonial Golf Course near Sandoval. Why?

"I was told a couple of different things," Althoff coach Tim Gehrs said. "One was that because Nashville is hosting the regional at Stonewolf, (the Illinois High School Association) wanted to keep the schools located near Nashville in the same regional,. Would we like to be playing at Stonewolf? Yes. But it is what it is.

"We'll be at Colonial and hopefully play well enough to move on to the Effingham Sectional, the following Monday.''

Led by the Irwin sisters -- Abigail and Alaina -- the Crusaders begin what they hope will be a long postseason journey at 9 a.m. today at Colonial. Marquette and Civic Memorial, Central and Mater Dei may also contend for one of three spots in the Effingham Sectional, which will held on Monday at Effingham Country Club.

The top 10 individuals not on the advancing teams also move on to sectional competition.

Winners of three tournaments during the regular season -- including the South Seven Conference Tournament -- the Crusaders' advantage stems from their depth. In the Irwins, Madison Weilbacher, Jordan Lewis and Gabi David, Althoff has five solid players.

Following is a brief look at the rest of the regionals being played in the metro-east on Wednesday.

Class A Nashville Regional

Time: 9 a.m.

Where: Stonewolf Golf Club, Fairview Heights. Tournament favorite: Nashville

Local teams competing: Columbia, Freeburg, Marissa, Nashville, New Athens, Okawville, Red Bud, Sparta, Waterloo.

Top local individuals: Shawn Rennegarbe, Nashville; Allie Leingang, Columbia; Madi May and Natalie Johnson, Nashville.

Synopsis: The race here is for second and third place. Nashville, led by the top trio of players in the state in Rennegarbe, Johnson and May, will run away with the team title. Freeburg, Waterloo and Okawville, will be among those competing for the other two spots in the Effingham Sectional on Monday. Columbia senior Allie Leingang is also one of the state's top players.

Class AA Highland Regional

Time: 9 a.m.

Where: Timber Lakes Golf Course, Staunton

Tournament favorites: Highland, O'Fallon, Belleville East, Carbondale

Local teams competing: Belleville East, Belleville West, Collinsville, Highland, Mascoutah, O'Fallon and Triad.

Top local individuals: Emily Furlow and Colette Thro, Belleville East; Mikaela Hickey, Belleville West; Sophie Laing, Madison Harris and Maddy Ryan, O'Fallon; Shanna Welz, Highland

Synopsis: Both Highland and O'Fallon may not have the one golfer who will win the individual title, but both teams probably have an advantage in team depth heading into the postseason.

Class AA Quincy Regional

Time: 9 a.m.

Where: Westview Golf Course

Tournament favorites: Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin, Alton

Local teams competing: Alton, Granite City, Edwardsville

Top local individuals: Emilee Flaugher, Sam Doak and Ashlea Hearn, Edwardsville.Tori Hays, Alton.

Synopsis: This regional figures to be a two-team race as Springfield SHG and Alton will battle for the title. Edwardsville could also be in contention if it can get help for Flaugher, who should contend for the individual title along with Tori Hays of Alton.

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