The Parkway Central Colts team and two Lafayette Lancers will play in the high school girls golf sectional.
The Colts finished second with a team score of 336 in the Class 2 District 2 Tournament championship played at Links at Dardenne.
Lafayette junior Brooke Biermann won medalist honors in the Class 2 District 3 Tournament at Crescent Farms Golf Course. Sophomore Jenna Lovelace finished ninth with a 90 and also advanced to play in the sectional for the Lancers.
The top two teams in each district along with the top 15 players not on those teams advance to the sectional.
Parkway Central will compete in the Class 2 Sectional 1 on Monday (Oct. 14) at Crescent Farms Golf Club in Eureka along with defending state champion St. Joseph’s Academy, Summit and Jackson.
Biermann and Lovelace will be playing the Class 2 Sectional 2 on Monday (Oct. 14) at L.A. Nickell Golf Course in Columbia.
Francis Howell won the District 3 team title with a four-player score of 350. Marquette came in second with a 361. The teams from District 4 that will be playing are Rock Bridge and Helias.
Biermann won her third district championship.
“She is tough to beat. If you are going to beat her you better shoot low,” said Lafayette coach Katrina Clark. “Brooke has had a solid season. Many of her rounds have been under par, which is impressive. Districts was definitely a highlight, as well as winning the Angel Classic with a 2-under 70.
Clark was impressed with her round at Crescent Farms.
“She played solid. The funny thing is she did leave some shots out there,” Clark said. “Her ball striking has been solid, just needs to roll in the putts. She rolled some in late to get 3-under at the finish.”
Lovelace played well, Clark said.
“Jenna had a solid day,” Clark said. “I was really proud of Jenna for playing a consistent last half of the season. Her game is solid and I would love to see her earn a trip to the state championship.”
Both girls can reach state. At the sectional, the top 12 players not on one of the two teams advancing, will go to state.
“Brooke will be there,” Clark said. “She just needs to keep her game sharp so she can make a run at the state title. Jenna needs another solid day.”
The Lancers came in third as a team so the rest of the girls will not advance.
“Our entire team has had a solid season and unfortunately we didn’t show it,” Clark said.
Clark will not be at the sectional. She is expecting her second day. The due date is Oct. 19.
Junior varsity coach Chris Lofgren will be with Biermann and Lovelace at the sectional and state tournaments.
“He is excited about the opportunity and will do a great job,” Clark said.
The Colts entered the district meet after winning their conference tournament.
“I think they were determined,” coach Todd Pannett said. “We talked about just going out, staying focused and grind it out. We never talk about a number to shoot, just stay in the moment, stay focused and play your game, don’t worry about anything but your play. Tunnel vision.”
The Parkway Central score was lower than their tally in the conference tournament.
“I will take it, but we got a lower score in us,” Pannett said. “My No. 3 and No. 4 can shoot better and I think they will come Monday. We talked afterwards and they all felt they left shots out there. Hopefully, Monday they will come in and tell me they didn’t leave any out there, hopefully.”
Junior Amelia Marino led the way for the Colts with a 76.
“She wasn’t happy with the double she had, but she followed it up with a string of good holes,” Pannett said. “She is a grinder and has learned to just move forward, forget the last hole and look forward to the next.”
Campbell Marino was ninth with a 79. The other scores were Emily He, 89 for 14th place; Mary Buelter, 92 for 19th; and Ellie Yang, 97 for 25th.
“Campbell played well, she just got into a little trouble on a couple holes but a solid round,” Pannett said. “Emily and Ellie struggled, at times, but they worked it out. They will shoot better on Monday. Mary had a personal low for a tournament, so I was very proud of her as well. Very rewarding to see them having the success they deserve.”
The Colts has not reached the sectional round since 2015. Now, they are back.
“They were happy and excited. As always though, they feel their goals have not been reached and they have more to prove,” Pannett said. “I told them to enjoy today, but be ready to get back to work tomorrow. Like I always tell them, this is a process and our process is not over yet.
“(This was) Very important. We have finished second in districts two or three times in my tenure, but not with any of these girls,” Pannett said. “It is a big boost for our younger girls to understand if you put the work in good things will happen.”
At the sectional at Crescent Farms, the Colts will compete with three other solid programs.
“Jackson and Summit are both really good teams and are coached well,” Pannett said. “My kids have played with their girls several times over the past year so we know what we are getting into. My girls will be ready.”
To get to state, Pannett said he knows what must be done. St. Joseph’s Academy will be tough to dethrone. The goal will be score lower than Jackson or Summit.
“Like I said last week, it is going to be a battle for second place (between” Jackson, Summit and us,” Pannett said. “We have to play better than we did in conference and districts. I am hoping that I can get all five girls to shoot one of their best rounds. We need a total team effort and hopefully they can all go low.
“I don’t think we have played our best team golf yet, so hopefully with it all on the line we can get it done. These girls have worked their tails off over the past year to be where they are, now we just need to finish the deal. “
The talent is there among all the teams.
“I think, this is the two toughest districts in the state (are) about to square off,” Pannett said. “If you look at the cut off scores for all eight districts, we had the lowest two cut lines. District 2 was 95. District 1, our crossover district was 97.
“It is going to be a shootout and hopefully we are ready. I think my girls will be. (It’s an) Exciting time of the year for every girl still playing.”