After a regular season of highs and lows, Althoff sophomore Tia Kimbrough saved the best for last on Monday at Green Hills Golf Course.
The Crusaders No. 3 player, Kimbrough shot 2-over par 73 to take medalist honors as she led Althoff to a 52-stroke win at the South Seven Conference Girls Golf Tournament.
One of three returning starters from the Althoff squad that won the Class A state championship a year ago, Kimbrough’s sophomore season has been a bit inconsistent. But on Monday, Kimbrough’s game was on the mark from the get-go as she posted a five stroke win over teammate Gabby David.
“We’ve always known Tia had the ability to shoot this kind of round. She struggled a little bit early in the year, but she’s played better in the last couple of weeks and today she was absolutely fantastic,’’ Althoff coach Tim Gehrs said. “From the start today she was right on the mark and she didn’t let up. She played awesome.’’
As did the rest of the Crusaders, who had five players finish in the top 10 and earn all conference recognition as they led Althoff to its finest round of the season (329) and sixth straight league championship.
David placed second in the individual competition with her 78 while senior Alaina Irwin finished third with an 86. Senior Maggie Tiernan rounded out the Crusaders top four players with a 92 to finish seventh overall. Megan Lewis was eighth with a 93.
“Both Gabby and Alaina are capable of playing much better than what they did today. They both got off to slow starts but actually played pretty well on the back nine,’’ Gehrs said. “To win six straight conference championships says a lot for the type of players we’ve had here at Althoff.
“And they are even better young ladies. I’m very proud of them.’’
Marion placed second with a 381 score, followed by Mount Vernon (436), Carbondale (446) and Centralia (467). But the day belonged to Althoff, which will compete in the Class A Wood River Regional next week at Belk Park Golf Course.
“If we can shoot 329 at the regional and sectional the next two weeks, I’ll write it down and take our chances,’’ Gehrs said. “I think we’re capable of doing that but right now, the key is to just advance.’’
Columbia wins Cahokia Conference title
Depth was the key for the Columbia Eagles on Monday as coach Tom Detmer’s talented squad eased to the Cahokia Conference boys championship at Governors Run Golf Course in Carlyle.
Foster Gundlach of Columbia shot an even-par 72 to take individual honors while five teammates also earned all conference with rounds of 82 or better as the Eagles posted a 25-stroke win over Central.
Andrew Wittenauer, Drew Nowak and Kyle Steve of Columbia all added rounds of 79 for Columbia, which finished with a 309 total. Jake Mueller of Wesclin was the tournament runner up with a 78.
Logan Kohrmann of Central completed the four way tie for third place with a 79, while rounding out the top 10 players and earning all league honors were John Cygnarowicz of Columbia (80), Brandon Harm of Columbia (82), Kolby Schulte of Central (82) and Thomas Taglieri (Wesclin (82).
Central placed second with a 334 team score, while Wesclin was third at 345.