When Columbus North tees off Friday and Saturday in the Girls Golf State Finals at Prairie View Golf Club in Carmel, the Bull Dogs won’t be intimidated.
That’s because North is full of state golf experience. All five players are back from the team that finished seventh at state last fall, and four played two years ago when the Bull Dogs placed fifth.
“We’ve been there, so we know what to expect,” North coach Scott Seavers said. “We’re very optimistic.”
The Bull Dogs are ranked No. 4 in the state, and they’re looking for nothing less than a top-four finish. But beyond that, they want to compete for the title.
Senior Holly Anderson, who won medalist honors at the Greensburg Sectional and Lapel Regional, is hoping for a top-10 individual finish and All-State honor.
“I think as a team we want to win, or at least get top three if we don’t win,” Anderson said.
North is coming off their first regional championship in 30 years. They carded a 311 on Saturday at Edgewood Golf Course in Anderson, but the score would have been a 300 if not for an incorrect scorecard signed by junior Danbi Kim.
Kim, who would have had a 75 at the regional, wants to shoot in the low 70s this weekend.
“I’m excited because my shots haven’t been going the way I’ve wanted the last couple of weeks, but I think I’ve fixed them somehow,” Kim said. “We want to win state for sure.”
Anderson, Kim and sophomore Alex Munnicha have been giving the Bull Dogs three low scores all season. Junior Julia Luken has been a solid No. 4 player, and senior Aubrey Smith fired a nine-hole school-record 32 in a dual match a few weeks ago.
Munnicha tied Anderson for sectional medalist honors with a 75 at Greensburg Country Club. She came back with another 75 in the regional.
“I feel really confident,” Munnicha said. “We did really well in sectional, and we did really good at regional. Hopefully, we can bring that to state. We feel pretty confident, and this year, the weather will be much nicer than last year, so hopefully, that will help us.”
Top-ranked Westfield, which will be playing on its home course, and No. 2 and two-time defending state champion Evansville North will be the favorites. No. 3 Carmel, which is playing in its hometown, also will likely be a factor.
The Bull Dogs have been within four shots of Westfield and Evansville North and have beaten Carmel once this season.
“Anything can happen,” Seavers said. “We’re excited. We’ve been playing well.”
Meanwhile, Brown County senior Emma Bawinkel will be the first girls golfer in school history to play at state. The former speedskater just picked up golf three years ago, but has taken the sport by storm.
Saturday, Bawinkel broke her own school record with a 77 at Country Oaks in Montgomery to qualify as an individual out of the Washington Regional.
“I’m really excited for the opportunity to even go (to state),” Bawinkel said. “It’s huge. I feel like when you put your best out there, and you are calm and you’re positive about yourself when you’re out there, you’re going to do well. I’m excited to represent my school, so I’m going to do my best for them and then just do the best for me.”
East runners set for HHC
Columbus East and Jennings County figure to be among the contenders for the Hoosier Hills boys cross-country title Saturday morning at Bedford North Lawrence.
The Olympians and Panthers likely will battle with Floyd Central, New Albany and Seymour. East has beaten Floyd Central and has been close to Jennings and Seymour this season.
“We’re excited about our chances,” East boys coach Ryan Burke said. “We’re coming off two strong races in a row, and we’re looking to continue that run.”
The Olympian girls will look to finish in the top half of the eight-team conference. No. 20 Floyd Central and Seymour, which has been ranked for most of the season, are the favorites.
“I think we’re ready,” East girls coach Jesse Shoaf said. “We’ve kind of positioned ourself to kind of peak at this time. We’re happy, and we’re looking forward to this weekend. We’re just trying to get better each day and work on our personal-bests and get ready for sectional.”
Pairings to be televised
The IHSAA Football State Tournament Pairings Show will be from 8 to 9:30 p.m. Sunday on Fox Sports Indiana.
Sectional action begins Oct. 21 for Classes A through 5A and Oct. 28 for Class 6A. The state finals are Nov. 25-26.
North senior hosting clinic
Columbus North senior basketball player Imani Guy will host the “No Dog Left Behind” one-day basketball clinic Oct. 29 at Memorial Gym for her senior project.
The clinic is open to boys and girls in Grades 5 to 8. Fifth- and sixth-graders will be from 1 to 2:30 p.m., and seventh- and eighth-graders will be from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Cost is $15, with net proceeds to be donated to the Bartholomew County Humane Society.
Registration forms can be picked up at the North athletics office or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org to request one. Registration forms should be submitted by Oct. 20 to be guaranteed a T-shirt.