Northwest headed to the Class B, District 3 golf meet at Southern Hills Golf Course last week with the goal of qualifying for state for the second straight season.
The Vikings did just that.
Northwest shot 390 to finish second behind York with a 384. Holdrege, another Central Conference team, was third at 395
Those three teams had gone head-to-head in the Central Conference meet with Holdrege winning, Northwest second and York third.
“We knew the three of us would probably be in that conversation at the top,” Northwest coach Alex Hull said.
“It’s kind of funny that we stayed second and those two flipped and York ended up winning the district. But we knew the three of us would be in the conversation.”
Hull said the 390 score at Southern Hills was just about what he expected from his team.
“We have some girls who are stronger on those tighter courses and some girls who are stronger on the more open courses,” Hull said. “So it kind of plays to our strength on one half and challenges on the other. It was a good course because it gave some girls a chance to score pretty well.”
Now the Vikings head to the Class B state meet Monday and Tuesday at Quail Run Golf Course in Columbus.
Seniors Emily Jeffers, Nicole Phinney and Hannah Klanecky will represent Northwest along with sophomores Anna Korte and Madelyn Rivera.
The Vikings won the Columbus Lakeview Invitational earlier this season at Quail Run.
“We’re pretty excited that it’s a course that we’ve seen before,” Hull said. “We played well winning that tournament and it was a good day for the girls. They felt pretty strong leaving there.”
The Vikings’ main goal will be to beat their previous score at Quail Run. They shot 396 when they won the Lakeview Invitational.
“One of the things is to play against par,” Hull said. “We want to beat or previous scores on this course and continue to shoot better scores.”
Hull said the Vikings are better now than they were their last trip to Trail Run.
“I believe we’ve continued to improve since then,” Hull said. “It doesn’t always show in the scores, but we have improved as a team. We’ve gotten better at certain types of scores. We’ve gotten better around the greens. I think that’s really been a big help for us.”
Hull said comparing scores at different districts is somewhat pointless because of differences in courses and weather conditions.
“Different courses can produce a lot of different things,” Hull said. “To look at the district results and say, ‘This team shot this, they must be doing really well. You can have a course that is super difficult and provides a lot of challenges or you can have a course that is kind of a breather.”
Hull said he would point to Scottsbluff and Omaha Duchesne as potential favorites to win the Class B title. Hannah Holloway shot 79 and Shelby Poynter 80 for Scottsbluff at the district meet.
Duchesne had three golfers in the low to mid 80s and a fourth with an 89 at its district.
“Those teams are looking pretty good right now,” Hull said. “There’s a lot of good competition in Class B. There is a lot of parity in Class B. There are a lot of similar scores right now.”
Grand Island Senior High sophomore Faith Harris earned her second trip to the Class A state meet at the Norfolk Country Club.
Harris competed in the state meet a year ago as a freshman and shot 192 for the two-day tournament to finish tied for 21st.
“I feel pretty good about Faith’s game there,” Grand Island coach Kelli Jeffries said. “She’s pretty steady and doesn’t seek to get herself into trouble. She’s also really good with her short game. I think Norfolk will be a really good course for her.”
Jeffries said Harris has played very well the last month. She won the Lincoln East Invitational, finished fifth at the Heartland Athletic Conference meet and was fifth at the district meet.
“I thought the last month she’s played really well,” Jeffries said. “She’s had some really good rounds. Her scores have been coming down. She’s played really well the last few weeks and her short game is coming around.
“I think that’s really helped her confidence.”