Nevada’s Ausman returns to state

Story and photos by Joe RandlemanStaff Writer
Nevada’s Ausman returns to state

NEVADA - Nevada junior Claire Ausman is headed back to state for the third year in a row after qualifying individually at the Class 3A regional second round meet held Monday at the Indian Creek Country Club in Nevada.

Ausman shot an 86 over 18 holes to take second individually at the meet. She tied Center/Gladbrook-Reinbeck’s Jill Itzen, who also shot an 86, but won a cardback to finish second behind the 80 shot by Atlantic’s Brooke Newell.

“I am very excited that Claire advanced and gets to compete at state,” Nevada head girls’ golf coach Mike Lawler said. “She has been playing well and really deserves to be there.”

Ausman shot a 45 on the front nine and shaved four strokes off that score on the back nine.

Grace Davidson of Clarinda placed fourth with an 87 and Atlantic’s Erin Olsen and Shenandoah/Essex’ Anna Carlson tied for fifth after each carding a 90 as the other individual state qualifiers from the meet.

As a team, Nevada fell one spot shy of returning to state for the third consecutive season. The Cubs shot a 391 to place third out of four teams, beating Grundy Center/Gladbrook-Reinbeck by one stroke.

“Yesterday was a difficult day for our team as we had a great team this year and high expectations that matched our abilities,” Lawler said. “It came down to us having a bad day as a team. You cannot have a bad day at a regional final. There are four really good teams competing for only two spots. I really hope we learn from this experience. Mekenlie (Jones) is the only person not returning next year, so we have a fantastic team coming back. I know this loss will be on my mind for the next year and I hope it becomes a motivating factor for the team to get better and be even more prepared for next season.”

Atlantic and Shenandoah/Essex were the two teams to advance to state from the meet. Atlantic shot a 363 and Shenandoah finished with a 383.

Emma Griffin and Chloe Davis were the two other Cub golfers to shoot under 100 on the day. Griffin carded a 95 with nine-hole rounds of 48 and 47 and Davis finished with rounds of 53 and 46 to finish with a 99.

“Emma had a breakthrough round and missed advancing by only five strokes,” Lawler said. “That’s very exciting as a freshman. Emma has probably improved more than anyone else over the course of the season.”

Jones shot a 111 to turn in the final counted score for Nevada. Madison Abraham finished with a 117 and Brittny Bottorf a 123 as the other varsity participants for Nevada.

The 3A girls’ state golf meet will be held next Tuesday and Wednesday at the Coldwater Golf Links in Ames.

Final team scores (18 holes): 1. Atlantic 363, 2. Shenandoah/Essex 383, 3. Nevada 391, 4. Grundy Center/Gladbrook-Reinbeck 392.

Nevada (391) - Claire Ausman 45-41-86, Chloe Davis 53-46-99, Mekenlie Jones 56-55-111, Brittny Bottorf 59-64-123, Emma Griffin 48-47-95, Madison Abraham 60-57-117.

Individual state qualifiers: 1. Brooke Newell (A), 80; 2. Claire Ausman (N), 86; 3. Jill Itzen (GCGR), 86; 4. Grace Davidson (Clarinda), 87, 5. (tie) Erin Olsen (A) and Anna Carlson (S/E), 90.