Step 1 is complete for the St. Joseph’s Academy girls golf team.
Step 2 is Monday in the Class 2 Sectional 1 tournament that tees off at 8 a.m. at Cresent Farms Golf Club.
Teams in the sectional will be Nerinx Hall, Fox, Ursuline and Cor Jesu. The top two teams and 12 individuals not on those teams will advance to the Oct. 15-16 state tournament at Swope Park Memorial Golf Course in Kansas City.
Step 3 for St. Joseph’s will be returning to the state tournament and attempting to win its third consecutive state title.
“We’re definitely ready to play. We’re ready for Step No. 2 and work to get back to the state,” St. Joseph’s Academy coach Carol Fromuth said. “They’re ready to defend their title. But we’ve got to get there. We got out of the district and that was the first step.”
The Angels won the district with a team score of 308 at Quail Creek Golf Club. Nerinx Hall was second at 346.
“It couldn’t have gone any better for us,” Fromuth said. “We’re neck and neck with Notre Dame de Sion. They shot a 308 to win their district.”
The championships was St. Joseph’s 10th district crown in the last 11 years. It’s 21 overall for the program since 1980. The Angels also have 18 second-place finishes in the district.
This season, the Angels won every dual match and four tournaments before securing the district championship.
Other local team scores were Westminster Christian Academy coming in fourth with a 377. Parkway Central was fifth with a 380. Incarnate Word Academy was seventh at 405.
St. Joseph’s freshman Mia Rallo tied with Momo Kikuchi, of Pattonville, for medalist honors with a 2-over 74.
The other Angels also shot good rounds.
Sophomore Nicole Rallo was third with a 77. Drew Nienhaus came in fourth with a 78. Junior Grace Aromando was fifth with a 79. Senior Lauren Gallagher was seventh with an 82.
“It’s impressive to have five of the top seven scores,” Fromuth said.
Mia Rallo winning the district as a freshman is a big accomplishment, Fromuth said.
“That’s very impressive,” Fromuth said. “It’s good for her. She played that way this summer quite a few times. Playing so well last summer probably gave her confidence she could do it. On a team with all that talent and scoring ability made her realize she’s right there with them. I think it’s a good omen for us.
“She was good coming in to the team this season. She played at college yardages in the summer accelerated tour and did very well. This was nothing out of the ordinary for her. It’s great she did it.”
Fromuth was happy with how her other Angels scores, too.
“Sister Nicole likes to be around par and she’d like to be closer than 5 over but she played well, ” Fromuth said. “Drew and Grace were a little bit higher scores than they are accustomed to but the greens were very tough.
“I’m not making excuses for them but you have to adjust to that. Lauren played well. She was 6 over going into 18 and she hit an errant tee sot on 18. She could have been in the 70s like the others.”
The top two teams from each district advance to the sectional round along with the top 15 individuals from non-qualifying teams.
Also qualifying for the sectional were the following girls:
Westminster Christian Academy’s Ellie Johnson was 12th with an 85 and Chandler Estes was 14th with an 88.
Parkway Central’s Amelia Marino tied for 14th with an 88. Campbell Marino was 19th with a 93 and Emily He was 22nd with a 98.
Parkway North’s Petra Puronurmi was 16th with an 89.
Incarnate Word’s Catherine Salem was 20th with a 94 and Bella Barbaglia tied for 22nd with a 98.