On a day when scorching temperatures climbed almost into triple digits, the Althoff Crusaders golf scores continued to plummet at the Hills Golf Club at McKendree University.
Althoff senior Abigail Irwin and junior Gabby David tied for medalist honors with rounds of 79 to lead the way as Althoff raced to a 34-stroke win at the 15-team Mascoutah Girls Invitational Golf Tournament.
Still riding the emotion of a win at the Goalby/Haas Invitational at St. Clair Country Club in Belleville on Thursday, the Crusaders shook off an early 7:30 a.m. start time with solid play throughout the round as they finished with a 324 score.
O'Fallon (358) and Belleville West (375) also had solid days on the links but were no match for the top girls golf team in the metro-east area.
"I did my part today,'' Althoff coach Tim Gehrs said. "I got them here (The Hills) for their tee-off times. That wasn't an easy thing either. With the early start time, the girl wanted to sleep in.
"I'm very pleased. I was very worried about these first two tournaments at St. Clair and then here today. But the girls played very well. I wanted to use this as an early gauge on just how good we could be. It's a good start.''
Junior Alaina Irwin added an 82 while senior Madison Weilbacher and freshman Tia Kimbrough added rounds of 84 for Althoff.
"I can live with those scores. The first five were able to put good consistent rounds on the board today and considering the (heat) conditions, those scores are even more impressive,'' Gehrs said. "It was a great effort by girls from all 15 schools. To walk 18 holes, carrying a golf bag with the heat index at 115 degrees, was something I sure couldn't do. I was riding in a cart all day and I was sweating."
While Althoff won for the second straight outing, O'Fallon was the runnerup for the second time in 48 hours. The Panthers also placed second at the Goalby/Haas Tournament.
Madison Harris and Emily Marrs led the way for the Panthers with rounds of 88, while Sophie Laing added an 89. Natalie Fox rounded out the Panthers' four scores with a 93.
The third-place effort was the best in recent memory for Belleville West. Senior Mikaela Hickey led the way for the golfing Maroons with an 80.
Freeburg's Meaghan Kreighbaum tied Hickey for third place with an 80. Defending Class A state champion Nashville (380) and Highland (381) rounded out the top five teams.
While Althoff dominated the team competition on Saturday, the shot of the day came from Triad sophomore Brianna Benardin.
Benadin recorded a hole-in-one on the par 3 15th hole.
Contact reporter Dean Criddle at 239-2661 or firstname.lastname@example.org