The Civic Memorial girls' golf team poses with the Class A Alton Marquette Regional title on Wednesday at Spencer T. Olin Golf Course.
CM's Sara Gwillim putts on Wednesday at regionals.
Marquette's Brittany Barta fires a drive off the tee box at Spencer T. on Wednesday.
Roxana's Bailey Sharpmach putts on Hole No. 18 at Spencer T. on Wednesday.
ALTON — The Civic Memorial Eagles and Alton Marquette Explorers were rewarded after a wickedly difficult day Wednesday at Spencer T. Olin Golf Course.
The reward was a berth at sectionals. The Eagles won their first-ever regional title, firing a 373, while the Explorers slipped in at second with a 384 at the Class A Alton Marquette Regional at Spencer T. Highland was the other advancing squad, nabbing third with a 389.
The rest of the field rounded out with: Carrollton (415), Mater Dei (423), Breese Central (426), Staunton (431), Hillsboro (431), Roxana (433), Carlinville (439) and Raymond Lincolnwood (459).
“It was a good day and we didn't think we played well,” CM head coach Jane Middleton said. “We even had one girl in tears because she didn't think she was playing well, but we knew all the numbers were high coming in after nine. My No. 1 (Sara Gwillim) and No. 2 (Allison Hemingway) came through for me.”
Gwillim was second individually on Wednesday, firing an 87, just one stroke off of medalist Ashley Wendt (86) of Carlinville.
Hemingway shot 92, while Kayla Slavens (94) and Lisa Logterman (100) also figured into the team tally for the Eagles. Isabella Roberts (116) and Angelina Bailey (127) also competed for CM on Wednesday.
“Last year we got third, so this year to get first it's really exciting,” Gwillim said. “We have four seniors on our team, so it's really memorable for those seniors to be able to get first at the regional.”
Gwillim added, “I played OK. I could have done a lot of things better, but I was putting pretty well. Without that I probably wouldn't have shot anywhere close to where I shot.”
The course itself was a big bugaboo for the girls. It plays long and on Wednesday the greens were very fast.
“They had pin placement very difficult today so that putts were high,” Middleton said.
With the difficulty of the conditions and sporting such a young team, Marquette head coach Deb Walsh was stoked to see her team get out. There were no seniors in the lineup for the Explorers.
“It was a great, great achievement for us,” Walsh said. “We were seeded fourth and I did not know how today would go, but the players stuck in there. It was a stressful day, the greens were very very fast, but they hung in there and came out in second place. I'm very proud of them.”
A pair of juniors paced the Explorers, with Brittany Barta shooting a team-best 89 and Carlee Cronin firing a 93. Other scorers for Marquette were: freshman Lauren Walsh (96) and sophomore Madi Connors (106). Freshman Hayley Booker (110) and sophomore Claire Chappee (126) also played Wednesday.
Unfortunately for the Roxana Shells, they were unable to get out of the regional as a team. Fortunately, junior Andrea Mellenthin will represent the Shells as an individual though. Mellenthin carded a 96 to be one of the 10 individuals on a non-advancing team to qualify for the sectional.
“It's very exciting,” Mellenthin said. “I'm incredibly nervous, but I'm very excited. It's my first year moving on to sectionals so that's awesome. I really wanted to go this year, because last year it was very close for me and I was very upset. That's OK though, because I made up for it this year.”
Miranda Cunningham (105), Lindsay Chapman (109) and Bailey Sharpmach (123) also contributed with Mellenthin to the Roxana score. Emily Richards (138) and Amanda Morgan (142) played for the Shells Wednesday, too.
Now Mellenthin, along with the Eagles and Explorers, will head to Franklin County Country Club in West Frankfort as part of the Zeigler-Royalton Sectional.
CM will just put forth its best effort in the next round. After the Eagle boys' golf team qualifying as a team for a sectional for the first time ever on Tuesday and the girls' title on Wednesday, it's been a couple of historic days for the golf program.
Gwillim hopes it helps put CM on the map in golfing circles.
“It's really exciting,” she said. “Golf is never looked at really. Nobody really follows golf and I just really feel like CM is putting golf on the map here lately.”
IN CLASS AA ACTION — The Alton Redbirds advanced to the Class AA Champaign Centennial Sectional on Saturday by finishing in second place at the Springfield Regional at Lincoln Greens Golf Course on Wednesday.
The talented Redbirds fired a 344 to finish nine strokes off the lead. Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin took home the championship with a 335. Chatham Glenwood was the other advancing team with a 381.
Alton's Tori Hays earned medalist honors at the tournament, carding a 75. Hays was four strokes better than Sacred Heart-Griffin's Meghan Kramp, who shot 79.
AHS' other scorers were: Natalie Long (83), Courtney Hachmann (85) and Samantha Patton (101). Ashley Orr (106) and Annie Maynard (123) also played for Alton.