Cubs finish fourth as a team at regional finals

CHARITON – The team performance wasn’t what the Nevada girls’ golf team wanted at the Class 3A regional final meet at the Lakeview Golf Course Monday, but the Cubs still can take solace in knowing one of their golfers is moving on to state.

A week after winning the regional first-round meet at Albia, the Cubs went into Monday’s meet with high hopes of placing in the top two and qualifying for state. But their swings just weren’t on as they placed last out of four teams with an 18-hole score of 406.

"It was a tough day for our team to end the season on," Nevada head coach Mike Lawler said. "We simply had a bad day at the wrong time. But I am so proud of the effort and focus our girls demonstrated over the whole season. They have accomplished so much and they should be extremely proud of all those accomplishments."

Nevada finished six strokes behind Albia’s third-place score at the regional final meet. Atlantic and Clarinda easily advanced on to state with the two best scores at 376 and 384 respectively.

Though the Cubs won’t be moving on as a team, Christine Ausman gets to continue her outstanding junior season after qualifying individually.

The top five individual scorers qualify for state, and Ausman turned in the third-best score with a 92. She carded a 44 on the front nine and 48 on the back to edge Atlantic’s Bailey Walter and Albia’s Cassie Crall by one stroke for third.

"It was great to have Christine advance to state," Lawler said. "She has been our No. 1 all season and is definitely deserving of a trip to state. It’s a testament to her abilities that she has not played her best golf the past couple weeks, yet she still placed in the top five at both regional meets. We are really looking forward to watching her compete next week."

Atlantic’s Brooke Fletcher was the medalist with an 87. Prairie City-Monroe’s Maddie Peters – an individual regional final qualifier – took second with an 89.

Haley Ellingson closed out her career with a strong round for Nevada. Ellingson wasn’t that far off from making state as she shot a 99 with nine-hole rounds of 48 and 51.

"Haley has been a tough competitor for us this entire season," Lawler said. "She was really grinding through her round on Monday and did a great job."

Maddie Beauchene and Megan Pringnitz were the other Cubs to have their scores counted. Beauchene finished with a 107 after shooting a 56 and 51 respectively, and Pringnitz had a 108 with 53 and 55.

Alexis Houseman just missed the scoring cut for Nevada. She struggled on the front, but shaved an impressive 13 strokes off that score on the back nine to shoot a 109.

Katie Heiden also competed for Nevada. Heiden was consistent with a 57 on the front and 56 on the back to card a 113.

"Alexis had a great back nine and Megan had a really strong showing and was consistent all day," Lawler said. "Those two gave glimpses of what they’re capable of on Monday. We have six returning letterwinners and a host of young talent that improved a lot over the season. I’m very excited to see if we can kick it up a notch next season."

The 3A girls’ state meet will take place this Tuesday and Wednesday at the Ames Golf and Country Club. Tee time will be at 9 a.m. both days.

Final team scores (18 holes): 1. Atlantic 376, 2. Clarinda 384, 3. Albia 400, 4. Nevada 406.

Nevada (406) – Christine Ausman 44-48-92, Haley Ellingson 48-51-99, Maddie Beauchene 56-51-107, Megan Pringnitz 53-55-108, Katie Heiden 56-57-113, Alexis Houseman 61-48-109.

Individual state qualifiers: 1. Brooke Fletcher (A), 45-42-87; 2. Maddie Peters (Prairie City-Monroe) 43-46-89; 3. Christine Ausman (N), 44-48-92; 4. Bailey Walter (A), 46-47-93; 5. Cassie Crall (Al), 47-47-93.