Olympians take third in conference tourney

A pair of bad holes was perhaps all that kept Columbus East’s Rebecca Smith from having a very good afternoon in Saturday’s Hoosier Hills Conference Girls Golf Tournament at Otter Creek.

Instead, the jovial senior settled for a “pretty good” one as she finished with individual runner-up medalist honors and helped her team garner third place.

Smith fired an 83, which included a 40 on the front-nine that topped all competitors at the midway point. The Olympians finished with a 391, just missing team runner-up honors by a couple of strokes as Bedford-North Lawrence carded a 390.

Fifteenth-ranked Floyd Central took the team title with a 357, which featured a 78 from Lauren Decker to grab the individual medalist award. All four of the Highlanders scorers turned in sub-100 results.

Madison followed East in fourth with a 407. New Albany (458) placed fifth, while Seymour (473) and Jennings County (485) garnered sixth and seventh, respectively, and Jeffersonville (566) took last.

“Holes 5 and 6 were the only ones that got me,” said Smith, who fired an 87 in last year’s HHC Tournament. “I shot triple (bogeys) on both. I can’t really tell you what went wrong. All I know is, it just happened.”

Smith said the last thing she wanted to do was let the bad holes bring her down, so she just kept playing the way she knows best — with a positive attitude.

“I put it behind me and never looked back,” she said. “And good thing I did because I birdied the next hole. So overall, it was a pretty good day.”

Sophomore teammate Lily Shelp carded a 99, while fellow seniors Nicole Bodi and Megan Hashimoto rounded out the scoring with a 104 and 105, respectively. Sophomore Autumn Fateley turned in a 107.

“The course got the best of a lot of us today,” East coach Troy Buntin said. “It poured for a couple of holes, which didn’t help the situation, but the girls got through it and did pretty well.”

The Olympians stood in second place heading into the back nine, trailing Floyd Central 181-192, but were outshot 176-199 down the stretch. Bedford, meanwhile, carded back-to-back 195’s to end up catching and slipping past East.

“I thought going into the tournament, Floyd Central was obviously the favorite, but would shoot a little higher on here,” Buntin said. “So maybe if we played our best golf, we would have a shot at getting them. Unfortunately, that didn’t work out.

“We’ve got some work to do but I expect us to be improved for the upcoming sectional,” he said. “Nicole was not feeling well, so she should do better, and I think the girls as a team will be better focused as we move forward.”

Seymour was led by junior Hannah Thompson with a 101, while juniors and Andrea Axsom and Bailey Goben recorded a 111 and 115, respectively. Freshmen Jenna Ebler and Kara Rice notched a 146 and 148, respectively.

Jennings was placed by Kassi Whitehead with a 104 and Peyton Whitehead with a 107, while Sydney Campbell (133) and Marina Sigmund (141) rounded out the scoring. Rachel Greene finished with a 143.