The O’Fallon Panthers girls golf team returned home from the Class AA State Tournament on Saturday with the feeling of accomplishment.
One of the top Class AA teams in the state for the past two years, the Panthers won 12 tournament titles during the 2016 season and while a 10th place finish at Hickory Point Golf Course in Decatur this weekend, didn’t earn them any more hardware for the OTHS trophy case, there is little doubt, the trip north was a big success.
Led by a top junior quartet of Natalie Meinkoth, Brooke Boatman, Emily Marrs and Alyssa McMinn, the Panthers finished with a 36-hole total of 652, 47 strokes behind state champion Wheaton Warrenville South. But the 652 score was 90 strokes better than the 742 score O’Fallon finished with when it placed 12th in a 12-team meet the previous year.
“I am very proud of my girls... They had a great weekend,’’ O’Fallon coach Chris Eddy said.
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Meinkoth led the way for O’Fallon, recording rounds of 78 and 79 to finish with a 36-hole score of 157. Marrs was a stroke back with scores of 76- and 82 to finish at 158, while McMinn (81-86-167) and Boatman (89-81-170) round out the top four scores for O’Fallon.
The Panthers return all six of their top six players for the ‘17 season.
Near misses in Class 2A boys meet
With nine holes remaining in the Class 2A Boys State Golf Championship this weekend in Normal, three players from the metro-east, Alex Gorman of Mascoutah, Drew Sobol of Wood River and Dylan Davidson of Althoff were in posititon to place in the top 10 — and earn all state medals.
But it didn’t happen. Playing on the well manicured and challenging Weibring Golf Course layout, all three players finished with 36 hole scores of 154, two strokes over the 10th place total of 152.
“Dylan played great all weekend. He was tied for fourth place at one time on Saturday, but I think he may have been thinking about being all state coming down the stretch,’’ Althoff coach Dan Polites said on Monday. “He hit the ball very well. He just had a little bad luck with a couple of pitch shots coming in and played the last four holes 6-over par.’’
Davidson had rounds of 78 and 76 and was one of eight players to finish tied for 14th p;ace with 154 totals. Sobol, a co-leader after a first round 73, shot 81 on day to finish at 154 while Gorman shot back-to-back rounds of 77.