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WIAA state girls golf preview

October 9, 2016 GMT

THE BASICS

What: The 45th annual WIAA state girls golf tournament.

When: Today and Tuesday; tee times begin at 8 a.m. (Division 1) and 8:40 a.m. (Division 2) each day.

Where: University Ridge Golf Course, 9002 County Highway PD, Madison.

Admission/parking: There is no admission charge. Parking is free, but limited.

Live streaming: Play on the 9th and 18th holes will be streamed live, with no subscription necessary, at WIAA.tv.

Tee times, scoring updates: Available at www.wiaawi.org/Sports/GirlsGolf.aspx

Format: The Division 1 field includes 12 teams of five players each plus 18 individual qualifiers; Division 2 includes six teams and nine individual qualifiers. Most Division 1 players start on Hole No. 10 on Monday and Hole No. 1 on Tuesday; the order is reversed for Division 2.

Area qualifiers: Division 1 — Middleton, Milton, Oregon teams; Kelsey Taebel, sr., Stoughton; Lauren Shorter, jr., Verona. Division 2 — Grace Welch, fr., Madison Edgewood.

THE LOWDOWN

DIVISION 1 TEAMS

After starting the season on top of the state coaches’ rankings, Hartland Arrowhead spent much of the year behind Middleton but regained the lead two weeks back. A tight battle between the Warhawks and Cardinals is expected — much like last year, when Middleton beat Arrowhead by a single stroke, forcing the Warhawks to settle for a second straight runner-up finish. … Arrowhead shot a 13-over-par 309 team score at Hartford Golf Club to win its sectional, and Middleton shot 322 to win its own sectional. … Milton also spent much of the year near the top of the state rankings, most recently ranked fourth, behind the powerful one-two punch of senior Mia Seeman (the individual champion of the Wilmot sectional, shooting 77 at Brighton Dale Links) and junior Taylor Hakala (11th at state last year at 79-78—157). … Oregon finished second in the Middleton sectional, 47 strokes behind Middleton. … Other ranked state qualifiers are Mequon Homestead (fifth), Brookfield Central (sixth), Wales Kettle Moraine (seventh) and Stevens Point (10th).

DIVISION 1 INDIVIDUALS

Last year’s individual champion, Beaver Dam senior Ashley Kulka (75-71—146), returns after shooting 82 to finish fourth at the Middleton regional … Middleton has a deep lineup, led by senior sectional champ Alexis Thomas, who finished fourth at state last year (80-71—151). No. 5 player Kate Meier, a freshman, finished third at regionals (80), and No. 3 Payton Hodson, a junior, won the Big Eight Conference title. … Arrowhead sophomore Emily Lauterbach showed her readiness for the big time when she shot a 4-under-par 70 in the Hartford sectional. Senior Alexa Holland shot 78 and junior Sarah Ernst shot 79. … Homestead junior Speedy Kent is back after taking seventh last year (79-75—154) and eighth as a freshman. Kent shot 1-under 69 at Mee-Kwon Park to win the Homestead sectional. … Senior Jessica Kuzniewski of the Waukesha co-op tied for eighth last year (79-77—156). … Oregon is led by state meet returnee Taylor McCorkle, a senior who shot 79 to finish second in the Middleton sectional. … Verona’s Lauren Shorter qualified with an 84 and Stoughton’s Kelsey Taebel shot 86 in the Middleton sectional. … Individual qualifiers who won their sectionals were Hudson’s Lexi Jonas at the Eau Claire Memorial sectional and Appleton North junior Sami Plankey at the Green Bay Preble sectional.

DIVISION 2 TEAMS

Defending champion Racine Prairie, the only Division 2 team in the state coaches’ Top Ten at No. 9, qualified for a return state trip by winning the Racine St. Catherine’s sectional at Racine Country Club with a score of 354 and a 36-stroke margin over Appleton Fox Valley Lutheran, last year’s third-place finisher. Prairie beat Madison Edgewood by four strokes for last year’s title. … Hayward won its own sectional with a 335, 14 strokes in front of Spooner. Last year, the Hurricanes took fourth and Spooner fifth at state. … Arcadia returns after finishing sixth last year.

DIVISION 2 INDIVIDUALS

Madison Edgewood missed out on a team state berth for the first time in 18 years, but freshman Grace Welch qualified as an individual after shooting 86 at Trappers Turn in the Wisconsin Dells sectional … … Hayward had four of the top five finishers at its sectional, with each player shooting 86 or better, led by senior Lauren Tremblay’s medalist round of 79. Tremblay finished 12th at state last year (85-89—174). … Freedom senior Lori Meyer took fifth at state last year (84-81—165) and was sixth the year before. … Fox Valley Lutheran senior Megan Glaeser was seventh last year (86-82—168). … La Crosse Aquinas sophomore Annie Balduzzi won the Dells sectional with a 79 and helped her Blugolds claim the team title. … Racine Prairie is led by seniors Olivia Scumaci (tied for eighth at state last year), Danielle Palmen (83 at the Racine sectional) and Rachel Gentile (85 at the sectional). … Appleton Xavier sophomore Clair Phakamad won the Racine sectional with a 77, beating Meyer by a stroke. … Spooner senior Dani DeWitt tied for eighth at state last year (87-83—170) and shot 82 for second in the Hayward sectional.

—Art Kabelowsky