The greens were fast and the winds kicked up on Friday afternoon, but the scores remained consistent for the Nashvilkle Hornettes at the Class 1A girls state golf tournament at Red Tail Run Golf Course in Decatur.
Senior Jill Guetersloh shot a 7-over par 79 while juniors Hope Rueter added rounds of 82 and 84 respectively to lead the way for Nashville, who is second after the first round of competition at the state finals.
The 2013 state champions, Nashville finished a challenging first round with a team score of 337, 11 strokes behind Charleston (326) and 14 strokes better than third-place Rockford Boylan heading into the final 18 holes of play on Saturday.
Nashville, which earned three state trophies — including the state title — from 2010 through 2013, also got a round of 92 from Jordan Stiegman. Nashville coach Doug Kell, who led the team to its fifth state tournament appearance in seven years, said that he was pleased with how his team played.
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“I was proud of them. For most of them, this is the first time playing in an event like this, and I didn’t think we were that nervous on the first tee today,” Kell said. “Coming in we thought we would get three good scores and we did.
“We gave some shots away on the greens. The greens were quick and with the wind picking up in the afternoon and people walking on them they got even faster as ther day went on. But we’re right there with a chance. We just need to get off to a good start on Saturday and cut into the (Charleston) lead. One stroke at a time.”
Individually, Meg Schnoeker of Okawville shot 89 and is tied for 57th place, while Waterloo senior Makensy Umscheid is in 79h place after shooting 97.
Class 2A girls
Making their second state tournament in as many years, the O’Fallon Panthers recorded a respectable score of 324 but still find themselves in tenth place after the first round of the Class 2A girls state tournament at Hickory Point Golf Course in Decatur.
The Belleville News-Democrat Player of the Year a year, junior Emily Marrs led the way for O’Fallon with a 76, while Natalie Meinkoth added a 78 and Alyssa McMinn chipped in with an 81.
Junior Brooke Boatman added an 89 for the Panthers, whose total of 324 puts them 26 strokes behind first-round leader Wheaton Warrenville South (298).
Also enjoying a great first day at the state finals was Collinsville senior Abbey Burns. The first Kahok player to reach the state girls tournament since 1996, Burns fired a 75 on Friday and is tied for 13th place. The top 10 finsishers in all classes earn all state medals.
Edwardsville senior Kayla Weinacht shot 83 on Friday, while Trias senior Breanna Benardin fired a 91.
Class 3A boys
After having a player win the state championship a year ago in Justin Hemings, the Edwardsville Tigers are on the verge of having two more all-state players in Tanner White and Ben Tyrrell.
Taking advantage of ideal playing conditions, White shot a 72 and Tyrrell added a 73 and both find themselves in the top 10 after the first round of the Class 3A state tournament at the Den at Fox Creek Golf Course in Bloomington.
Two of the top players in the state, White, who is tied for fourth and Tyrrell, who is ninth find themselves, trailing Brendan O’Reilly of Hinsdale Central. O’Reilly shot 69 on FRiday.
Edwardsville also got rounds of 82 from John Raterman and 83 from Luke Babington as it finished first day play with a total of 310. The Tigers are currently seventh in the team competition, 19 strokes behind perennial state power Hinsdale Central which is at 291.
Belleville East senior Austin Galloway is cuurently tied for 71st place after shooting an 82.
Class 2A boys
East Alton-Wood River senior Drew Sobol shot a two-over par 73 and is in a four-way tie for the lead after the first round of the Class 2A state tournament at Weibring Golf Course in Normal.
One of the top players in the metro-east for the past four years, Sobol had three birdies and finished with nine hole totals off 35 and 38 to finish with his score of 73.
Also in the hunt for possible state medals are Alex Gorman of Mascoutah and Grant Goebel of Mater Dei. Both are tied for 22nd place after shooting rounds of 77. Althoff junior Dylan Davidson is another shot back and tied for 32nd place at 78.