WIAA state girls golf: Tournament preview
What: The 47th annual WIAA state girls golf tournament.
When: Monday and Tuesday. First tee times for Division 1 are 8 a.m. both days; first tee times for Division 2 at 8:50 a.m. both days.
Where: University Ridge Golf Course.
Admission, parking: Admission is free; parking is free at the course, while available.
On the air: A live stream of action on Holes 9 and 18 will be carried without subscription fee on the NFHS Network at WIAA.tv.
On the web: Live scoring, qualifiers and tee times, sectional results and tournament archives can be found at www.wiaawi.org/Sports/GirlsGolf.aspx
Format: The Division 1 tournament features 12 teams of five players each and 18 individual qualifiers. Division 2 features six teams and nine individuals. In team competition, each team’s four best 18-hole individual scores count toward the daily team total, with scores added together after the second day.
2017 leaders: Teams — Division 1, Hartland Arrowhead 630, Milton 657. Division 2, La Crosse Aquinas 717, Madison Edgewood 732. Individuals — Division 1, Mia Seeman, Milton, 145; Division 2, Erika Priebe, Appleton Fox Valley Lutheran, 160.
Division 1 — Teams: Middleton; Milton; Waunakee. Individuals: Sophia Dooman, sr., Janesville Parker; Caylie Kotlowski, so., Stoughton; Kallie Lux, so., Janesville Craig; Carly Moon, jr., Baraboo; Klairissa O’Reilly-Dye, sr., Monona Grove; Kendra Swanson, sr., Beaver Dam.
Division 2 — Teams: Madison Edgewood. Individuals: Maya Heckmann, so., Lakeside Lutheran; Maddie Perkins, sr., Edgerton; Makenzie Suhr, sr., Edgerton;
Players to watch
Division 1 — Hartland Arrowhead’s Emily Lauterbach, a University of Wisconsin recruit, won the 2016 state championship but finished third last year behind the now-graduated Mia Seeman of Milton and Abby Cavaiani of Wales Kettle Moraine. Two of her top challengers could be Bay Port sophomore Jo Baranczyk and Lake Geneva Badger junior Holly Murphy, who tied for fifth last season. All three won individual sectional titles last week, along with sophomore Caylie Kotlowski of Stoughton, junior Rachel Kauflin of Wauwatosa East/West and senior Lexi Meade of Eau Claire Memorial (16th last year). Beaver Dam senior Kendra Swanson finished two strokes behind Lauterbach in her sectional, shooting 77.
Division 2 — Five of the top 10 finishers from last year are back, led by last year’s runner-up, senior Emily Neff of Hayward. Madison Edgewood junior Grace Welch took fifth last year and third in 2016. La Crosse Aquinas senior Annie Balduzzi has taken sixth, fourth and 13th over the last three years, and led the Blugolds to the team title last fall. Also back are Milwaukee St. Thomas More senior Katie Gerschke (eighth last year) and Edgewood sophomore Caitlyn Hegenbarth (10th). Other players who won or shared sectional titles last week are Appleton Xavier senior Clair Phakamad and Maple Northwestern junior Kiernan Smith.
Teams to watch
Division 1 — Hartland Arrowhead is seeking its third consecutive title and has plenty of talented players to back up Lauterbach. Junior Ellie Kaiser shot 79, freshman Lauren Peterson shot 82 and senior Caroline Kroeninger shot 89 in the sectional. … But the Warhawks will face a stiff challenge from Wales Kettle Moraine. The Lasers beat the Warhawks in the Classic 8 Conference meet and won their sectional with a 320 score, led by junior Julia Schilling’s 79 — although all four of the other players who shot 83 or better. … Milton, last year’s runner-up, is at state for the fifth consecutive year and eighth time in the last nine years. The Red Hawks lost defending state champ Mia Seeman to graduation, but won their sectional by 20 strokes as senior Taylor Hakala and junior Claudia Seeman each shot 81. … Waunakee and Middleton both shot 347 in the Reedsburg sectional, with Waunakee getting an 80 from senior Sam Soulier and an 85 from sophomore Aly Kinzel, and Middleton getting an 82 from junior Katherine Meier and 85 from sophomore Glenna Sanderson. Middleton was the runner-up in 2016 and took eighth last year. Waunakee’s last state trip was a 10th-place finish in 2011. Other sectional champs were Bay Port and New Richmond.
Division 2 — With La Crosse Aquinas out of the team field, Madison Edgewood has to be considered the favorite to win what would be its 14th championship since 2001. Coach Peggy Gierhart’s Crusaders also have three runner-up finishes during that stretch, including each of the last two years. The lineup features three juniors (Welch, Anaka Leske and Alaka Leske) and two sophomores (Caitlyn Hegenbarth and Grace Jaeger). The Crusaders won their own sectional by 38 strokes, shooting 337. … Appleton Xavier shot 372 to win its own sectional, led by Clair Phakamad. … Hayward, led by Emily Neff, won its own sectional, shooting 384.