Between the combined 801 swings the Olentangy Orange and Medina Highland girls golf teams took during Saturday’s Division I OHSAA State Golf Championship, the difference between a state title and runner-up honors came down to a single stroke.
Both teams’ top four players navigated the Ohio State University Gray Course in 311 shots, but Orange’s fifth score, junior Emily Fisher’s 89, was one better than Highland’s, giving it the tiebreaker and the win.
The championship was the school’s first team title in any sport.
“I’m having a hard time finding the words to explain it … just amazing,” Pioneer coach Cari DeAngelis said. “I’m beyond proud of what they accomplished the whole season.”
Sophomore Ashley Au led the way, firing a 35 on the front nine and a 37 on the back for a two-over-par 72 — a mark good enough for third-lowest among individuals. Dublin Jerome junior Abby Kiefer and Highland senior Madison Butler finished tied at the top with 71s.
Riley Dean (77), Alyssa Kim (78), Brittany Miller (84) and Fisher smoothed out Orange’s cumulative scorecard.
“I think the biggest thing for us was how steady all of the girls played through some tough conditions,” DeAngelis said. “Every girl contributed to this win … just a true team win.”
Olentangy’s Leila Raines, who qualified for the showcase as an individual, finished tied for seventh among the 72 girls in action with a 74.
Oh, and she’s just a freshman.
“For her first state tournament, I thought she did great,” Olentangy coach John Feasel said. “I think anytime you finish in the top 10 out of 72 golfers you had a good tournament. Add in she is a freshman, and it’s a great job.”
Raines had a 38 on the front nine and a solid one-over-par 36 on the back, including a birdie on the par-three 13th.
“I know she wanted to do better,” Feasel said. “She always wants to win, and she left some strokes out there on the course, but that’s just the way she’s wound … it’s what makes her a great player.”
Beats out Medina Highland with 5th-score tiebreaker