Thursday’s Grand Island Central Catholic Invitational served as a district preview.
Seven out of the 12 teams competing will return to Indianhead Golf Club on Oct. 8 for the Class C, District 4 meet.
For GICC, its home invite showed promising signs while also displaying that work still has to be done over the next month.
The Crusaders finished fifth with a 451. Three district opponents placed ahead of Central Catholic — team champion Kearney Catholic (393), third-place Broken Bow (425) and fourth-place Cambridge 436.
Columbus Scotus was the runner-up with a 404.
“This is the largest tournament that any of these girls face before districts or state,” GICC coach Dee Hanssen said. “Kearney Catholic, Cambridge, Broken Bow — they are in our district. So we know we have the toughest district in the state, we really do.
“The thing is I can see how my girls can still get better, and hopefully we can be one of those top three teams.”
Kearney Catholic’s Addison Mitchell was the individual medalist with an 86, two shots ahead of Cambridge’s Maria Jauken.
Broken Bow’s Madison Jackson (third, 90) and Heartland’s Elizabeth Mestl (fourth, 91) were the top area finishers.
The Crusaders left with one medalist. Ashlyn Kucera placed 10th with a 101.
“Ashlyn Kucera came on strong again,” Hanssen said. “She just keeps improving.”
Central Catholic had its struggles throughout the day.
“We had a tough day, but the girls reminded me that we were 15 strokes better than we placed at Kearney Catholic,” Hanssen said. “They’re improving, but our putting was terrible today. My girls who are usually more in the 50s (for nine holes) had some high scores. That was tough to see.”
Making steady progress is a focus for a GICC team that lacks varsity experience.
“Even though four of these girls are seniors, I had five seniors last year, so they didn’t see a lot of varsity time,” Hanssen said. “I’m really proud of them how they are improving their game. With each tournament, they’re getting a little more confident.
“What I love to hear is they’ll talk later and say, ‘If I had done this here or that there...’ So they are starting to see how they can improve.”