Girls golf: Smith's repeat in the heat fires up Barrington
The heat was on Saturday at the Fox Run Golf Links in Elk Grove.
But despite temperatures in the low 90s, Barrington girls golf team didn't flinch.
Caroline Smith called the humidity "scorching" and that was also a good way to sum up her round.
Smith became the first player to win a Mid-Sububan League golf meet as both a freshman and sophomore by shooting a 1-over par 71 that led her team to a score of 302, easily good enough for a third straight MSL team crown.
The Fillies' round was just 1 stroke shy of their school record 301 for an MSL meet set just last fall at Arlington Lakes.
Coach Jodi Schoeck's squad placed six girls in the top 20 while Mid-Suburban East champ and runner-up Prospect (324) had five all-conference players.
Conant (337) and Buffalo Grove (337) tied for third while Schaumburg and Wheeling deadlocked for fifth (367).
Haeri Lee of Buffalo Grove shot a 73 to take second place followed by Barrington's Nicole Ciskowski (74), Wheeling's Adrienne Rohwedder (74), BG's Jasmine Yi (76), Schaumburg's Trinity Corwin (77), Barrington's Ishani Majmudar (78), Prospect's Kelly Kavanagh (78), Barrington's Maggie Hoffman (79) and Conant's Nimra Syed (79).
Smith became the first Filly since Pam Buff (1995 and 1996) to win back-to-back titles.
"She owned the place out here today," Schoeck said. "She had a remarkable round. She had some difficult shots but was able to put some birdies together. I had no idea it was going to be a 71. I am so happy for her."
Smith birdied her first hole, which was No. 2 in the shotgun start.
"That dictated the rest of her round," Schoeck said. "Caroline is so mentally tough. She goes out and expects success from herself. The teams builds off that confidence."
"I just feel like this course and I get along really well," Smith said. "I had a practice round here and felt real comfortable with my game."
She said it wasn't a matter of defending her crown of 2016.
"I don't like putting pressure on myself," she said. "I don't feel I can be my best doing that. I just keep everything loose and have the ball go where it goes, and it went the right way today."
It went the right way on the fairways for teammate Ciskowski, whose 74 was the third best in the field.
"I hit my driver really well," said the Wisconsin recruit, a junior. "I hit a lot of them in the fairway which set me up to hit a lot of greens.
"Unfortunately, I didn't make a lot of birdie putts. A lot of them just lipped out or barely missed the hole. But they can't drop every day."
Hoffman and Majmudar rounded out the Fillies' 302 score while teammates Stephanie Su (85) and Olivia Lee (86) earned all-conference honors by cracking the top 20.
"We put a lot of pressure on course; ourselves to be the best we can," Ciskowski added. "We want to get to state, and possibly win state, so it's really exciting."
Knights coach Jim Hamann was excited to see five of his players earn all-conference honors -- Kavanagh, Margherite Pettenuzzo (82), Emily Fleming (82), Amanda Stein (82) and Allison Buck (85).
"I am very proud to have five girls all-conference" Hamann said. "That's a fantastic accomplishment in a conference as competitive as the MSL.
"The girls have been wonderful. They went 10-1 in the MSL. To beat 10 teams in this conference and then finish second today is something to be very proud of."
The Knights started out on the front nine and shot a season-low 153.
"We played extremely well at beginning of the round." Hamann added. "Then we did not play very well on the back (170). It happens. We'll work on what we need to and definitely celebrate the East title. We saw a lot of good things."
Hamann saw one rarity in the Knights producing only 1 birdie from their top four scorers.
"That is very uncharacteristic for us," he said. "So the girls were really fighting hard for their teammates and their school. This is the week (invite in Champaign on Saturday) where we try to step it up and we feel like we are headed in the right direction."
Kavanagh's 78 included a birdie on No. 11.
"We had a lot of depth with our scores today," the sophomore said. "We all stayed pretty low. We're excited. We like that course in Champaign."
Lee's 73 helped boost the Bison into the top three.
"I think it was mostly my tees shots," said the senior, whose best high school score is a 71 in Rockford this fall. "I got a good start on all the holes."
Rohwedder got off to a good start despite hitting into water on her first hole. The junior took a drop, hit her next shot onto the green and sank the putt for par.
"She kept it consistent and solid," said Wheeling coach Peggy Ellsworth. "She plays steady. That's her game."
Rohwedder shot a 43 in a MSL tri meet at Fox Ron two weeks ago, On Tuesday she had rounds of 39 and 35.
"Her game rarely varies," said Ellsworth, whose team won its first invite in school history when it captured the Rolling Meadows Invite last week. "She might have off day, which is an anomaly, but she is very steady and it's hard to rattle her."
Chipping is her strength.
"I swear I see her chip one in almost once a week," Ellsworth said.
Corwin's 77 was a career best.
"This was wonderful for my last conference meet," said the Schaumburg senior who will play her regional at Fox Run next week. "You've got to save the best for last. Hopefully, I'll get to understand the course even more (for the regional) and be aware of what I need to do."
Rounding out the all-conference golfers were Conant's Alyssa Brand (82), Wheeling's Symantha Rohwedder (82), Palatine's Jenny Myslinski (83) and Conant's Michelle Zhang (84).
Barrington's title was completed a perfect MSL season.
"Our kids stepped up," Schoeck said " Having all six finish all-conference is a great honor for these girls who have been working so hard year-in and year-out.
"Caroline's round was simply amazing. Just looking at it hole by hole, it was a crazy good round. Winning this a third straight year is a great way for us to start our post season schedule."