A Franklin Academy senior hit a hole-in-one as a number of area girls golfers prepared to head off to next week’s state championships.
The top three teams in each of the state’s three regions automatically qualify for the competition, followed by the next top 17 players. A top-three team could still qualify its fourth or fifth player.
The state championships are two-day, 36-hole events.
4A East: At Pine Hollow in Clayton, defending state champ Cardinal Gibbons edged Wakefield and Apex Friendship for the regional title while Athens Drive’s Jennifer Chang, a two-time defending state champion, carded a 70 to clip Gibbons’ Riley Smyth and Garner’s Kayla Ward (72 each).
Holly Springs’ Natalie Petersen (74) was fourth followed by Friendship’s Caroline Duggan (75) and Hailey Freedman (75), Athens Drive’s Kayla Parsons (76) and Leesville Road’s Mogie Adamchik (77).
Gibbons (227) was followed by Wakefield (248) and Friendship (250).
Gibbons will be a favorite to repeat after qualifying all five players – including Hannah Bruxvoort and Emily Brubaker.
Wakefield will have Lotte Fox, Rachel Hulicki and Susannah Ireland in the state championship and Friendship – making its first appearance – will have Duggan, Cassidy Vaughn and Elizabeth Tart.
Individual qualifiers include: Ward; Petersen; Leesville Road’s Adamchik and Madeline St. Louis; Athens Drive’s Chang and Kayla Parsons; Middle Creek’s Jillian Preisach; Panther Creek’s Jenna Nagy; Jordan’s Nyilah Anderson; Green Hope’s Lauren Nee; Broughton’s Cate Brewer; West Johnston’s Grace Olmstead; Sanderson’s Alicia Carlson.
4A Central: Pinecrest proved it is a state title threat by dominating its regional at Pinehurst No. 1 on Monday, shooting 226 as a team – well ahead of Greensboro’s Page High (252). Elizabeth Nguyen (73) tied for medalist but lost in a playoff.
Teammate Mackenzie Battle (74) was third while Lorign Wagler and Mara Hirtle tied for sixth. Jaclyn Kenzel was 11th. and all of them are heading to the state tournament
3A East: South Johnston entered the year without so much as a conference title to its name but now has a regional title to pair with its first league championship. The Trojans posted a 283 on their “home” course of Reedy Creek on Monday, followed by Lee County’s 294. Both qualified for the state championship.
Corinth Holders’ Peyton LaBonte (79) was the medalist with South Johnston’s Sydney Wheeless (83) in second. Triton’s Kathryn Elliott (84) was fourth, Hunt’s Kellie Boykin (88) tied for sixth, Smithfield-Selma’s Margaret Riley and Natalie Hill and Lee County’s Alyson Von Cannon (95) were in a three-way tie for eighth.
South Johnston’s Wheeless, Anna Weaver and Mackenzie Honeycutt will be heading to the state championship as a team. Lee County will be represented by Von Canon, Cherokee Hall and Morgan McRae.
Individual qualifiers include: Triton’s Elliott; Hunt’s Boykin and Sarah Bunn; Smithfield-Selma’s Margaret Riley and Natalie Hill; C.B. Aycock’s Abby Sauls; Southern Lee’s Emma Langston; Cleveland’s Taylor Hasick; Fike’s Madeline Harrell and Southern Nash’s Elisabeth Collie.
3A Central: Defending state champ Gina Kim of Chapel Hill carded a 64 to beat the field by six strokes at Greensboro National on Monday. Northwood’s Katharina Floyd (73) was tied for fourth. Northwood’s Cameron Bernstein also qualified for the state meet. No area teams qualified.
1A/2A East: Franklin Academy senior Erin Walsh hit a hole-in-one on the par-3, 106-yard No. 6 at the Timberlake Golf Club in Clinton. The Patriots were second in the regional to Currituck County (268-285) while N.C. School of Science and Math (300) edged South Granville for one stroke for the final spot.
Walsh and teammate Sara Allen were both in a three-way tie for eighth (89). Emma Bowers was the Patriots’ third finisher. NCSSM’s Evin Flinchum and South Granville’s Claire Patrick tied for third (81).
Just like last year, North Johnston will compete at the state competition as a team despite not finishing top three. Haley Narron, Jessica Phillips and Caroline Baker all finished close together and made the individual cutoff.
NCSSM will be represented in the state championships by Flinchum, Claudia Sisk and Dahee Jung.
Individual qualifiers include: South Granville’s Patrick and Abbi Colclough; Carrboro’s Meghan McPeak and Grace Tobias; Princeton’s Casey Mitchell; Voyager Academy’s Anna Teer Barringer; Beddingfield’s Sarah Godwin; East Wake Academy’s Caitlyn Seastrunk and Ali Embry-Knight; Falls Lake Academy’s Sara Vaught; Bunn’s Taylor Longmire.