EL DORADO — The Winfield High School girls golf team took the first step toward defending their Class 4A State championship Tuesday afternoon, rolling to the title at the Ark Valley-Chisholm Trail League Division III & IV Championships at Prairie Trails Golf Course.
Well, it could be deemed the “next” step.
The Lady Vikings, who have won every team title in which they have fielded a full team this season but one, rolled to the league title with a 361, beating league runner-up Buhler by 29 strokes.
In fact, the only team title that Winfield did not win this season was the humongous Hutchinson Invitational on Oct. 1 against almost exclusively Class 6A and 5A teams. Oh, and the Lady Vikings only lost that one by two strokes.
How competitive was that Hutch meet? The Lady Vikings shot a team score of 340. They won the league title despite needing 21 more strokes.
The Lady Vikings have shown steady improvement in scores from top to bottom this season. Tuesday afternoon was no exception.
Winfield placed four golfers in the top 10 on the leaderboard.
In years past, Divisions III and IV combined their scores into one meet. However, this season they split between the two divisions.
Thus, WHS sophomore Carley Littell turned in her best showing of the season and captured the Division III title. Though her score of 85 was two more than she shot last week at both the Hutchinson Invitational and the Buhler Invitational, it was enough to nip her big sister, senior Chaney Littell, by two strokes and push her down to second place.
“Carley played extremely well. She is just a sophomore and has been playing very well as of late,” WHS coach Dave Bertholf said. “Chaney has been our No. 1 player this year, but got off to a horrible start. She was 8-over through the first three holes. I was proud of how she fought back. A lot of kids would have given up, but she sucked it up for the team and helped us to a league title. I was very proud of her effort.”
Margaret Ulrich of Wichita Collegiate won the Division IV league title with a 3-over 74.
Winfield senior Celine Mendoza tied for fifth with a 91, just one stroke off of her career best at Buhler.
Junior Savanna Nickum was just one stroke and one place behind her teammate, carding a 98 to place seventh. Nickum also recorded her career low of 83 at Buhler.
“Savanna Nickum also got off to a slow start, but kept on fighting and made All-League,” Bertholf said. “Celine Mendoza played a solid round and was also All-League. Neither girl played their best, but played well enough to make All-League. I was happy with the effort and attitudes.”
Freshman Clover Maples has played just six 18-hole meets and after opening the season with back-to-back 140s has shown marked improvement. She got down to a 125 on Sept. 23 at the Arkansas City Invitational before hitting a milestone 111 the next day at the Ark City meet before struggling to a 131 last week at Hutch. However, she is headed back in the right direction with a 126 at the league meet.
The Lady Vikings now turn their attention to the Class 4A Regional Championships with a 10 a.m. Tee time next Monday at Stone Creek Golf Course in Chanute. In addition to the host Lady Blue Comets, Winfield will compete alongside Fort Scott, Girard, Independence, Labette County, Mulvane, Parsons and Wellington.
The top four teams, along with the top six individuals not on those teams, qualify for the two-day KSHSAA Class 4A State Championships, set for Oct. 18-19 at Salina Municipal Golf Course.
“We hope to continue our winning streak in Chanute next Monday,” Bertholf said.
AV-CTL D-III & IV Championships
Monday at El Dorado
Prairie Trails Golf Course
Yards: 4,939. Par: 71.
Team Scores — 1. Winfield 361; 2. Buhler 390; 3. Wichita Collegiate 405; 4. Towanda-Circle 410; 5. Wellington 422; 6. Augusta 423; 7. Andale 435; 8. Mulvane 441.
1. Carley Littell, Win 85
2. Chaney Littell, Win 87
3t. Mikayla Phillips, TC 90
3t. Callie Cooper, Buh 90
5t. Alexa Zweifel, Aug 91
5t. Celine Mendoza, Win 91
7. Savanna Nickum, Win 98
8t. Adie White, TC 99
8t. Taylee Hummel, Buh 99
10. Marlie Cooper, Buh 100
11. Elise Gover, Buh 101
12t. Kyra Carrell, Aug 107
12t. Crislyn Frank, Buh 107
12t. Jocelyn Edwards, TC 107
15. Brooke Miller, Buh 108
16. Autum Hubbard, Aug 110
17. Emma Hinton, TC 114
18. Jordyn Simpson, Aug 115
19. Kimber LaFever, Aug 118
20t. McKenzie Bowman, TC 123
20t. Elise Richardson, Aug 123
22. Emma Kern, TC 125
23. Clover Maples, Win 126
1. Margaret Ulrich, WC 74
2. Laney Dillon, Well 91
3. Hyemin Choe, WC 97
4t. Jorja Knodel, Mul 101
4t. Hillary Niemann, And 101
6t. Kasiah Richmond, Well 106
6t. Macey Hensley, And 106
8. Elly DeJarnett, Well 107
9. Payton Fox, Mul 108
10t. Arabella Clevenger, And 110
10t. Brooklyn Loveless, Mul 110
12. Adelaide Fitzwater, WC 114
13t. Hannah Goff, And 118
13t. Keoni Cabalquinto, Well 118
15. Trinity Goodwin, And 119
16t. Addison Seiler, And 120
16t. Aubrey Hunt, Well 120
16t. Ellie Schulte, WC 120
19. Kaia Moore, Mul 122
20. Marley Bowker, Mul 144