Addison Trail's DelaCruz takes regional win in stride
The weather and the pin placements seemed to bother everyone through an unusually long round Wednesday at Maple Meadows Golf Course in Wood Dale.
Everyone, that is, except Addison Trail's Gia DelaCruz.
One of the first golfers off the course and out of a steady drizzle, DelaCruz had a couple of hours to wait and see if her 6-over-par 77 would hold up at the Class AA York regional.
It did, with room to spare.
On a day when most scores soared past 100, DelaCruz won the tournament and advanced to next week's Burlington Central sectional at Randall Oaks in Dundee, winning by 5 strokes over West Chicago's Hanna Netisingha.
"The conditions weren't as bad as I thought they were going to be," DelaCruz said with a shrug and a smile. "It was raining, but it wasn't raining that bad. The pin placements, they were a little tricky, but it wasn't that bad."
"The conditions with the weather were kind of tough, so we knew that the scores were going to be a little bit different than usual," Blazers coach Eric Norberg said. "We just had her focus on making good shots and talked about staying out of trouble and attacking when you can attack. My gosh, she just went out there and played an incredible game."
Glenbard West's Ellen Nighbor and Wheaton Warrenville South's Renee Solberg tied for third at 83, with Solberg and her Tigers teammates also bringing the team championship plaque back to Wheaton with them.
Actually, DelaCruz didn't spend much time worrying about whether she would win.
"As long as I played well, that's fine with me," DelaCruz said. "I wasn't expecting much. There are so many better competitors out here."
In the team standings Glenbard West took second with a 371 and West Chicago was third at 391, despite Netisingha being the only Wildcat under 100, to qualify for Monday's sectional.
"It was rough out there," WW South coach Art Tang said. "We're happy we won, but I don't think the girls are satisfied with the scores. I don't know what they shot in the other regionals, but I'm sure that's not going to be good enough to make it downstate, so we've got a lot of work to do between now and Monday to get ready for sectionals."
Wheaton North missed qualifying as a team by 4 strokes but had Caitlin Berry and Brittany Pfaff advance as individuals. Glenbard South saw senior Hannah Taylor and junior Lilly Mittenthal move on, York sent Linnea Wethekam and Kerri Carlquist through, along with Willowbrook's Amanda DiNella, Glenbard North's Bridget Everson and Lake Park's Erika Stark.
But this day belonged to low-key DelaCruz,
"I'm so happy for her," Norberg said. "She works so hard. ... She deserves that score."
DelaCruz knew just how she would celebrate.
"I just want to go home and nap," she said with a laugh.
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