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IT’S no secret that the Columbus North and Columbus East girls will have to play their best golf of the season Saturday to have a chance to qualify for the state finals.
Even then, at least one of the top three teams in the New Castle Regional would likely have to have an off day for one of the Columbus schools to make it, and two or three would for both have a shot.
That’s the outlook for the 14th-ranked Olympians and 17th-ranked Bull Dogs as they head into the regional at Westwood Golf Course. The top three teams and top five individuals on nonqualifying teams advance to next weekend’s state finals.
“I’m very positive that if we go in and play our best, we will have a chance,” North coach Scott Seavers said. “But I also know that there are some really strong teams there, so we’re going to have to play better than our average and play well that day as a team and hope the other teams don’t perform as well as they have in the past.
“We’re looking for help, but we certainly are positive and want to do well and think we can do well,” he said.
Saturday’s field includes three of the state’s top eight teams in No. 5 Noblesville, No. 6 Hamilton Southeastern and No. 8 Yorktown. No. 15 Cathedral will also be there.
“It’s a loaded regional,” East coach Troy Buntin said. “Then, it seems like there’s a team that’s not ranked that is really good, too.
“Like I told the girls after sectional, if we can play the way we did at the beginning of the season, anything can happen,” he said. “When you have the pressure of the state tournament, good teams can have bad days. If we can focus and tighten up our putting and short game, anything can happen.”
The Bull Dogs edged the Olympians 344-346 on Saturday to win the Greensburg Sectional.
“We really at this point in time don’t have any expectations,” Buntin said. “Finishing second in sectional and not playing our best at (Hoosier Hills) conference, we have the ability to play that spoiler role.”
Also on Saturday, Jennings County will play in the Roncalli Regional at Smock Golf Course in Indianapolis, and Seymour will play in the Washington Regional at Country Oaks Golf Course in Montgomery.
Coach to pull double duty
Saturday figures to be a big day for North volleyball coach Caitlin Greiner.
First, Greiner will run in the Mill Race Marathon, which begins at 8 a.m. She hopes to be done around 11:30 a.m. or noon and will then ride with her husband, Zach, to Muncie, where the Bull Dogs will be playing in the Muncie Central Invitational.
North plays pool games against Shenandoah at 10 a.m., Elkhart Memorial noon and Class 3A No. 6 Muncie Central at 2 p.m. and will play a placement game at either 3 or 4 p.m. Greiner figures she’ll make it for the Bull Dogs’ final two matches.
Varsity assistant Stephanie Meyer will lead the team for its first two matches with help from Kathy Cox, who coaches the freshmen.
“I had already signed up for the marathon before we were signed up to play in the Muncie Central Tournament,” Greiner said. “We were trying to add a tournament to our schedule, and this is one of the tournaments I wanted my girls in.”
The marathon will be the sixth for Greiner. She has ran the Boston Marathon twice and competed in three marathons in Indianapolis.
“It’s great that Columbus is finally having a marathon in town, so I wanted to run the very first one,” Greiner said.
East also will play in the Muncie Central Invitational. The Olympians will face Lawrence North at 10 a.m., LaPorte at 1 p.m. and 4A No. 5 Yorktown at 2 p.m., followed by a placement game at 3 or 4 p.m.
North to face top competition
For the second Saturday in a row, the third-ranked North boys and girls cross-country teams will see many of the state’s top teams, this time at the Culver Invitational.
Top-ranked Carmel will headline the fields in the Girls Elite and Boys Elite meets, both of which feature 10 of the state’s top 25 teams. The Girls Elite race also includes No. 2 West Lafayette.
Brown County will compete in the Girls Closed and Boys Closed races for small schools.
On Tuesday, North and East will make up their dual meet at 5 p.m. at Clifty Elementary. The meet was originally scheduled for Sept. 10, but was postponed because of a heat index that approached triple digits.
East hosting youth day
The East boys soccer team will host Columbus East Men’s Soccer Youth Day at its game tonight against Madison.
All youth players wearing a Columbus Express or parks and rec jersey or practice shirt will be admitted for free. The junior varsity game is scheduled for 5:30 p.m., with the varsity to follow at around 7:15 p.m.
North-Perry Meridian rescheduled
North’s home boys soccer game with Perry Meridian has been rescheduled for Saturday. The teams will play at around 3:45 p.m., following the 1:45 p.m. girls game between the Bull Dogs and Terre Haute North.
The Columbus North-Perry Meridian boys game was postponed Sept. 19 because of a wet field.
Ted Schultz is a sports reporter for The Republic. Send comments to email@example.com.
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