What a difference a week can make.
On Sept. 11, the Cary Academy girls golf team cruised to a 44-stroke rout at Prestonwood Country Club in a match that saw East Wake Academy shoot a season-high team score of 184. It was tough night for a young Eagles team and first-year program on a challenging course.
Fast forward to Sept. 18 and the same group of Eagles was hardly recognizable, with confidence sprouting and smiles beaming. Cary Academy won their rematch at Wendell Country Club but it came by a mere 11 strokes, 145-156.
Topping off the turnaround story, East Wake Academy sophomore Caitlyn Seastrunk strung together four pars on the front nine at the Wendell course (including three straight on holes 6-8) on her way to medalist honors and a career low round of 46.
Freshmen teammate Katie Tobin also put together her best round of the year with a 53 and Ali Knight contributed a 57.
“We are very proud of the improvement we are seeing from all the girls on the team,” said Eagles coach Jason Seastrunk. “We improved 11 strokes from our first to second conference match and the stroke difference between the non-conference matches versus Cary Academy speaks for itself.”
While Seastrunk has established herself as the team’s clear No. 1, the other four members have each broken into the top three in at least one match this season. That sort of balanced scoring could make the Eagles a formidable threat come time for the conference championship on Oct. 13 at Hillandale Golf Club.
Expectations were tempered at the beginning of the season with nearly the entire five-member team new to golf in the last year, but the crew is turning those expectations on their ear.
“The girls have exceeded our expectations as a team and individually this year,” Seastrunk said. “They’re all just such a pleasure to be around and get along so well that you couldn’t ask for anything else as a coach.”
The Eagles were fresh off a third place finish out of an eight-team conference field at Wendell C.C. on Sept. 15. East Wake Academy took bronze with a team score of 160, ahead of Franklin Academy (164), Bunn (165), Granville Central (172), Voyager Academy (173) and River Mill Academy (178).
“We’re going to keep working, stay positive, and just focus on getting better individually and collectively,” Seastrunk said. “You can’t worry about what the other player is doing. It’s just us versus the golf course and confidence is huge. Right now, you see the girls’ confidence is booming.”
The Eagles are set for another league match this Monday, Sept. 29, at 3:30 p.m. at Umstead Pines Golf & Swim Club at Willowhaven.