Girls golf: Libertyville pulls together for NSC title
Missing a teammate didn't mean Libertyville's girls were going to miss out on winning another conference golf championship.
"We're hoping the others pull through," senior Simone Mikaelian said as she waited for teammates to finish their rounds. "I tried to get my score as low as I could to help out."
Mikaelian delivered, and so did the Wildcats. Mikaelian shot a 4-over-par 76 and was the only golfer to break 80, as Libertyville captured the North Suburban Conference title at Bonnie Brook Golf Course in Waukegan on Wednesday.
It was the third NSC championship in a row for the Wildcats, who were minus Megan Sturonas and will be for the state tournament. The senior, who along with Mikaelian led Libertyville downstate last year and is a four-year varsity member, was dismissed from the team for disciplinary reasons, coach Greg Pedersen said.
Even without Sturonas, the Wildcats still shot a 345, 11 strokes better than runner-up Warren (356).
"I think we all were just trying to shoot our best score and try to get as low as we possibly could," Libertyville junior Colby Roberts said. "We obviously miss her, but it's not something that we really thought about."
Libertyville also won the overall conference championship. Because the Wildcats lost to Lake Forest during dual-meet action, they needed to win the tournament and have Lake Forest place no better than third in order to claim the overall title. That's what happened, as the Scouts (361) finished 5 shots behind Warren in third place.
Warren was led by senior Kelsey Campbell, who finished in second place with an 83, 7 strokes behind Mikaelian on a day that featured a variety of weather that made it tough to post good scores.
Mikaelian played about six holes in a rain heavy enough that she had to pull out her umbrella.
"It was fine at first and then it got really bad -- wet, cold," Mikaelian said.
"It got really, really windy at one point," Campbell said. "Then you had to guess what club to hit and hope for the best. I got lucky a couple of times today."
Mikaelian was at 2-over par heading to her last hole, No. 9, but she three-putted for a double-bogey 6. Her lone birdie came on the par-5 first, as she drained a 7-footer.
Campbell's second-place finish was the highest ever for a Warren golfer at conference. She sank a 20-foot putt for birdie on No. 11.
"That (83) was my best (score) here, so it was a good day," said Campbell, who was playing Bonnie Brook for the third time this season with her teammates. "My putting was a lot better than it has been. I made putts when I needed to make them, instead of making three-putts."
Stevenson freshman Joyce Bai took third with an 86. Her stellar season has included a 72 at Vernon Hills Golf Course.
"I definitely could have done better this time," Bai said. "I think it was just nerves. I tensed up a lot and made a lot of stupid mistakes."
Roberts finished in fourth place with an 87. She shot an 84 last week in the Freeport invite. Her round Wednesday was devoid of any birdies.
"It's not my best, but it's not my worst," Roberts said. "Everything was average."
Libertyville also counted 91s from senior Sydney Spracklen (12th) and senior Madeleine Hollinger (13th).
Besides Campbell, Warren also got medal-winning efforts from Annika Johnson (seventh, 89), Danielle Guzman (eighth, 89) and freshman Chloe Morrissey (17th, 95).
Stevenson boasted five medal winners in Bai, Olivia Stomberg (11th, 91), Olivia Hancock (14th, 92), Gina Shanley (19th, 97) and Tanya Chanprung (20th, 97). Katie Hannahs (21st, 99) also broke triple digits for the Patriots, who took fourth with a 366 and fourth overall.
Kelsey Kee carded a 90 and placed 10th to pace Lake Zurich (426, fifth). Mundelein's Isabella Loverde also had a 90 and was ninth.
Lena Benjakul (fifth) and Julia Loghinov (sixth) each shot an 88 to pace Lake Forest, which also counted Isabella Martino's 92 (15th) and Erin Shalala's 93 (16th). Olivia Spiega of the Scouts had a 97 to place 18th and earn a medal.