The expectations were known. The pressure was heavy. And yet, Shawnee Mission East’s girl’s golf team didn’t shy away from them; they welcomed them and embraced them.
Class 6A State Tournament
1. Washburn Rural, 337
3. Shawnee Mission East, 350
3. Olathe Northwest, 369
4. Blue Valley West, 370
5. Manhattan, 375
1. Megan Lucas, WR, 79
2. Mia Tovkach, Gardner-Edgerton, 81
3. Macie Myers, Man, 82
4. Molly Saporito, BVW, 83
T5. Rosalyn Klausner, ONW, 84
T5. Abigail Glynn, WR, 84
T5. Teagan Noblit, SME, 84
8. Adyson Crough, WR, 86
T9. Victoria Klausner, ONW, 88
T9. Jessica Parker, SME, 88
T9. Chessa McCalla, WR, 88
T12. Marti Fromm, SME, 89
T12. Riley Ricket, SME, 89
15. Haley Bell, SME, 91
T21. Karoline Nelson, SME, 94
T45. Katyln Killeen, SMN, 103
Heading into Monday’s Class 6A state tournament, the Lady Lancers knew they were the favorite and that Washburn Rural would be their biggest challenger.
And when the final scores were tallied around 5:15 p.m. — nearly nine hours after the first groups teed off — it was Washburn Rural, who shot 13 strokes better than SM East, raising the first-place trophy.
There was a collective sense of disappointment from the Lady Lancers. Not because they took second — and they recognize how special that is given the fact that 30 other teams in Class 6A would love to be in their position — but because there was an expectation and a drive to finish first.
After finishing as runner-up as sophomores in 2014, senior Teagan Noblit recalled they talked about winning it the next two years.
“We’re used to being one of the top couple of teams, so we usually have pressure anyway,” Noblit said. “I’d rather be favored to win than favored to get second. I’d rather have to play well to win than push super hard and play our best rounds to win. I’d rather be favored. It didn’t make me more nervous.”
The Lady Lancers took care of business last year and wanted to experience that again this year. If not for themselves, but for coach Ermanno Ritschl, who officially retired after senior Jessica Parker rolled in her final putt.
Noblit led the way for SM East shooting a 12-over, 84, which was good for a three-way tie for fifth. However, she finished seventh after the tiebreaker.
“I came in with an 84, which is mediocre for me,” Noblit said. “I double (bogeyed) 16 and 17 coming in, so I’m kind of upset of myself. We’re happy for each other, we’re just sad it’s coming to an end, honestly.”
Parker tied for ninth with a 16-over, 88, but finished 10th after a tiebreaker.
Senior Riley Ricket and Fromm tied for 12th shooting 89 (+17). Senior Haley Bell carded a 19-over, 91, while freshman Karoline Nelson shot a 22-over, 94.
“We’re really close,” Noblit said. “We hang out all the time. Marti has been friends with us for so long and she’s a junior and she has another year without us. I know it’s really hard for her. Haley, Jessica, Riley and I are super close. We’ve been on varsity all four years together.”
The high numbers, like Noblit’s double bogeys on two of the final three holes, were the difference because Washburn Rural’s golfers didn’t score triples and quads on a day that consistently saw 30 MPH winds.
Parker had a quadruple bogey on the par 5, sixth. Ricket had a quad on the par 4, ninth, and a triple on the par 4, 16th. From shot a nine on the first hole — a par 4 — and an 11 on the par 4, 11th.
Turn those six holes into double bogeys or better and SM East wins the title.
“They all seemed to be playing well and one or two holes — bad decisions — cost them some big numbers,” Ritschl said. “You can’t recover from shooting 9 or 11 on a hole. Washburn Rural, have to hand it to them, perservered, kept the ball in play and didn’t do anything miraculous. They played well.
“I’m very proud of the girls how they came back through some tough holes. They never gave up and you can’t be any more proud of them for that.”