COTTAGE GROVE — Throughout the season, Stoughton cousins Caylie and Myranda Kotlowski had a goal to reach the WIAA Division 1 state girls golf tournament.
To accomplish that at Tuesday’s DeForest sectional, the Kotlowskis realized they’d likely have to claim two of the three individual spots available to players not on the two qualifying teams.
They made certain there was no suspense in achieving their goal.
Junior Caylie Kotlowski fired a 4-over-par 74, including a 1-under 35 on the front nine, in earning the sectional medalist title at The Oaks Golf Course.
Myranda Kotlowski, a senior, finished second with a 75, sending both cousins to next week’s state tournament at University Ridge Golf Course.
“I was pretty confident that we both could make it,” Myranda Kotlowski said. “I was hoping we both could because we are both really good golfers.”
Caylie Kotlowski, fourth at the Division 1 state meet last year, said: “I thought it would be cool. I’m glad we did (make it).”
Caylie, who had two birdies and a bogey on the front, led by four strokes after nine holes (with Myranda second).
“It feels good,” Caylie Kotlowski said about her outing. “I was going in here just to play. I was 1-under on the front and I knew I was going to shoot a pretty good round. I had a couple (rough) holes on the back, but overall I kept my game going. (Confidence) is what kept me going.”
Myranda Kotlowski rallied on the back nine, recording one birdie and shooting 2-over 36.
“I was super-excited,” said Myranda, who didn’t qualify for state last year. “I was pretty consistent the whole day. I had a lot of pars and a couple bogeys here and there. But throughout I was really consistent and I was really happy with how I played.”
Middleton, top-ranked in Division 1 in the Golf Coaches Association of Wisconsin poll, was the team champion with 324. The Cardinals cruised to a 33-stroke victory over runner-up and seventh-ranked Waunakee.
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Sophomore Glenna Sanderson, Middleton’s No. 2 golfer, and senior Kate Meier, Middleton’s No. 1, each shot 79, while sophomores Ellie Frisch and Milanne Dahmen scored 83 apiece.
“It was impressive, for sure,” Middleton coach Becky Halverson said of her team’s performance. “It was a little more wind than we thought it was going to be today. Luckily, the practice round we played in the wind. They stuck to the plan today.
“We had a plan when we were doing our practice round and the entire time today we just kept sticking to that plan of where to hit certain shots. ‘You just don’t go up there and blast away. We have places we want it to go.’ They really stuck to that the entire day and played one shot at a time.”
Sanderson — who didn’t play in the Big Eight Conference and regional tournaments due to injured feet, according to Halverson — and Meier tied for third (Sanderson won a scorecard playoff). Jefferson junior Courtney Draeger was fifth with an 82 and that earned her the third individual qualifying spot — one shot ahead of Sun Prairie senior Sydney O’Hearn.
Middleton’s runaway performance left the drama to which team would earn the second state berth, who would make it to state as individual qualifiers and whether the tournament would conclude prior to sunset at 6:26 p.m. (it did, but barely).
Waunakee placed second with a 357 total and, like Middleton, will make a return trip to state. The Warriors finished seven shots better than third-place Madison Memorial (364) in the eight-team field. Stoughton was fourth with 372.
Middleton and Waunakee entered as the favorites.
“That’s hard because you have that expectation,” Waunakee coach Paul Miller said. “So, we emphasized, ‘Don’t worry about what’s going on today on the course. Let the results take care of themselves.’ All year, our strength has been our team depth. We have had good rounds and some great team scores, but, ultimately, we just needed to be ourselves today and shoot our averages. But it was different people today.”
Junior Sydney Grimm, Waunakee’s No. 2 golfer, led the way with an 85.
“She has been extremely consistent all season and continued to do that today,” Miller said of Grimm.
Senior Carsen Genda, the Warriors’ No. 4 golfer, turned in an 88, which Miller said was a personal best for 18 holes.
Junior Ana Kielley’s 87 led Madison Memorial, which had been seeking its first state berth since 2012.