It's possible freshman Simone Mikaelian has never shined brighter.
Then again, the same could be said about all of her Libertyville golf teammates.
Sporting excessively bright orange shirts and led by their even brighter young talent, Mikaelian, the Wildcats indeed stood out Thursday. They shot 348, beating darkness just in time as well as four other competing teams, as Libertyville won its own LHS invite at Pine Meadow Golf Club for the first time in the tournament's five-year history.
Runner-up Lake Forest (352), Glenbrook North (368), Vernon Hills (374) and Lake Zurich (386) also comprised the field. Four Grayslake Central girls and two from Grayslake North formed an unofficial "Grayslake" team.
The standout player, for sure, was Libertyville's tiny ninth-grader in the almost fluorescent orange.
"I'd rather (wear) white," Mikaelian said after shooting a 78, which was the low score of the day and the only sub-80 round. "But I like (the orange shirt)."
Mikaelian, who stands just 5 feet 1 and is about as thin as her golf bag, is no stranger to Pine Meadow. She lives two minutes away, on the east side of Butterfield Road across from the golf course.
"I used to go out with my dad (Brian)," Mikaelian said. "We'd play twilight, nine holes."
Mikaelian sank a birdie putt on No. 2, a par-5, and then chipped in for birdie on the par-4 third hole, only to card a 7 on No. 4, another par-5. Her final score was 1 stroke off the 77 she shot in an IJGA tournament at Sportsman's in Northbrook this year.
"She was dialed in," Libertyville coach Greg Pedersen said. "Kids love to play in her group because she's a genuine, good kid. She makes her teammates better golfers."
"She's fun," Libertyville junior Jessica Lovinger, who sank a 20-foot birdie putt on No. 18 to finish with an 88, said of her teammate. "She keeps people's moods up, and she's always focusing on the game."
Mikaelian's strengths on the golf course?
"Most everything," Lovinger said. "I'd say (particularly) chipping and putting."
Mikaelian played with Vernon Hills junior Kari Lee (83), Lake Forest sophomore Emily Young (83) and Lake Zurich senior Megan Malcolm (97).
"It was a lot of fun," Lee said. "All the girls are energetic, and we were all nice to each other. I think that's what made us all play well."
Lee and Young tied for second, while Glenbrook North's Amy Hong and Emma Vickery each had an 84. Lee counted 2 birdies and 2 double-bogeys.
"It was OK for me," Lee said. "My long putts were pretty good, and I had some nice drives."
Libertyville also counted the scores of sophomore lefty Maggie Piazzi (90) and freshman Megan Sturonas (92).
Grayslake North's Ireland Dunne and Grayslake Central's Shelby White shot 94 and 97, respectively. Lake Zurich junior Aine Mattera, who's made great improvement in her game, Bears coach Mel Fox said, carded an 86.