Submitted by Chris McLinden
The Waukee girls golf team did something they hadn’t done all season Tuesday, the first day of the two-day Iowa Girls Athletic Union state championship golf meet, they lost. The Waukee girls had not only won all year but won big all year with most of their matches not being closely contested.
How the Lady Warriors would react Wednesday after their day one loss was open to debate. But after a tough first day, the Waukee girls golf team more than made up for it by taking the state championship title with a Waukee High School record of 298, the first time ever in IGAU history that a school shot under 300.
Finishing 11 strokes behind last year’s champion Cedar Falls High School Tuesday with a score of 345, the Lady Warriors came roaring back as a team besting Cedar Falls by 8 strokes with a combined two day total of 643. Cedar Falls finished with 651.
And no player turned it around more from the first day than Waukee’s #1 player, Payton Minear. After shooting a season worst 86 on Tuesday, Minear shot 16 strokes better on day two with a one under par 70. This from the Junior Tournament Medalist (low score for the tournament) who in her own words, “was really hurting and hoping to have enough ‘oomph’ to get out there on Wednesday (after Tuesday’s round).” Minear’s hip flexor tendinitis had put her on the couch all night Tuesday.
"Payton has been struggling with a hip injury the whole season," Coach Marty "Sully" Sullivan said. "After day one she had a lot of discomfort so much that she hit maybe 15 balls in warm up for day two, goes out like the ultimate warrior and plays flawless."
Minear wasn’t the only storyline weaving through the Waukee team during the tournament. Junior Allie Oder, who typically was #5 or #6 this year in scoring, was #1 on Tuesday with an 83 and #4 for Waukee on Tuesday with an 83. Oder was the #14 scorer overall for the tournament. Sophomore Jasmine Wyzgowski was #3 overall with a combined two day total of 159 and fellow Sophomore Kelsy Shay was #7 with a 160. Also contributing for Waukee was Junior Brittany Best shooting a 173, and Junior Hannah Dammen with a 193.
Possibly the biggest story for Sullivan is that some really talented underclassmen, many whom were at the tournament cheering on Waukee, will be back to compete for slots next year. There were very few tears and many hugs being shared among the Waukee Lady Golfers after their victory.
"Our success - from past players to the present - has allowed us to achieve what most think is impossible in this game, perfection.We have finished the season unbeaten. Today we stand perfect," said Sullivan.
"But we have learned that this game gives us these opportunities graciously, while still demanding respect. We will continue to work harder and appreciate the opportunity to compete at this high level again," he concluded.
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