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WIAA state girls golf preview: Waunakee, defending D2 champ Edgewood, Lakeside earn team berths
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WIAA state girls golf preview: Waunakee, defending D2 champ Edgewood, Lakeside earn team berths

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THE BASICS

What: The 49th annual WIAA state girls golf championships.

When: 8:30 a.m. Monday; 8:30 a.m. Tuesday. Division 1 players start on Hole No. 10 on Monday and Hole No. 1 on Tuesday; Division 2 players switch those starting holes/days.

Where: The Meadows Valley Course at Blackwolf Run, Kohler.

Format: The tournament has been relocated away from University Ridge Golf Course in Madison, with a reduced field, due to COVID-19 issues. Division 1 features eight teams of five players each and 12 additional individual qualifiers; Division 2 will include six teams and nine individual qualifiers.

Last year: Team champions were Middleton (Division 1) and Madison Edgewood (Division 2); individual champs were Jo Baranczyk of Bay Port (D1) and Grace Welch of Edgewood (D2).

Live streaming: The 10th and 18th holes will be streamed live at no cost by the NFHS Network through a link at WIAA.tv.

On the Web: A free download of the state tournament program can be found at http://shorturl.at/lrzOT. Live results and tee times will be posted at https://www.wiaawi.org/Sports/Fall/Girls-Golf/Tournament

AREA TEAM QUALIFIERS

Division 1: Waunakee — Aly Kinzel, sr.; Sydney Grimm, sr.; Izzi Stricker, fr.; Jordan Shipshock, fr.; Natalie Hoege, sr.; Emily Humphrey, jr.; coach Paul Miller.

Division 2: Madison Edgewood — Caitlyn Hegenbarth, sr.; Grace Jaeger, sr.; Sarah Nakada, so.; Allyssa Thao, jr.; Jacklyn Thao, fr.; coach Mary Welch; Lakeside Lutheran — Maya Heckmann, sr.; Ava Heckmann, so.; Lauren Lostetter, jr.; Kaylea Affeld, jr.; Ella Butzine, sr.; coach Kyra Lostetter.

THE BREAKDOWN

TEAMS, PLAYERS TO WATCH

Division 1: Brookfield Central, last year’s state runner-up, has been ranked No. 1 from start to finish in this year’s state coaches’ poll. Junior Sarah Balding was last year’s state runner-up, finishing one stroke behind Baranczyk after entering the final day with a six-stroke lead over the defending champ. Seniors C.J. Romero, Kyley Wipper and Erin Rosencrantz all played at state last year. … Second-ranked Hartland Arrowhead is led by super freshman Jessica Guiser, and junior Lauren Peterson, seniors Kylie Lanza and Jada Chang and sophomore Audrey Kaiser all played on last year’s fourth-place team. … Wales Kettle Moraine, ranked third, finished third at state last year and returns top three players Jenna Anderson and Madeline Fiebig, both juniors, and senior Reagan Stuke, who tied for 10th last year. … Fourth-ranked Waunakee took second in the Tomah sectional to earn a return state trip after finishing fifth last year. The Warriors’ top players are seniors Aly Kinzel and Sydney Grimm, and coming on strong has been freshman No. 3 player Izzy Stricker, the daughter of Steve and Nicki Stricker. Freshman Jordan Shipshock has found herself on top of the Waunakee leader board this year, too. … Cedarburg, ranked fifth, is led by senior Elise Hoven, who finished third last year, two strokes out of first with a 151. … Eighth-ranked Tomah won its sectional behind the play of sophomores Brin Neumann and Amelia Zingler. … Hortonville and Green Bay Notre Dame earned honorable mention in the state polls and did not qualify for state last year. Notre Dame sophomore Grace Durkin won her sectional, and New Richmond junior Lanie Veenendall won the Tomah sectional.

DIVISION 2

Fifth-ranked Madison Edgewood first appeared in the WIAA state tournament in 1995, taking seventh. Following that year, the Crusaders have made 21 other state appearances, earning 15 championships since 2001 (including the last two) and adding three runner-up finishes. This year, coach Peggy Gierhart has stepped aside temporarily to serve as a “virtual assistant coach” due to COVID-19 concerns, and sisters Jane and Mary Welch have stepped in to serve as co-head coaches. This year’s team is led by seniors Caitlyn Hegenbarth, who finished eighth last year at 185, and Grace Jaeger, who took 15th at 187. Hegenbarth shot 77 and Jaeger 82 in the Arcadia sectional. Sophomore Sarah Nakada, junior Allyssa Thao and freshman Jacklyn Thao have all been solid players. … Lakeside Lutheran, ranked 11th, has ridden the talents of senior Maya Heckmann and sophomore Ava Heckmann to the school’s first-ever team state berth. Last year, Maya took 11th and Ava took 17th as individuals. … The state favorite this year, however, is top-ranked Prescott, which shot 349 to win its sectional and is led by sophomores Ava Salay (last year’s state runner-up) and Rhi Stutz and juniors Jessica Heinsch and Liz Rohl. Second-ranked Hammond St. Croix Central finished 22 strokes behind Prescott in the Rice Lake sectional, led by juniors Sally Vangsness and Sarah McHenry and senior Jenna Wehausen. Fourth-ranked Racine Prairie won its own sectional with a 358 score, finishing 16 strokes ahead of seventh-ranked Freedom. Prairie is led by sophomore Sophia Lawler and freshman Kadyn Peery. Freedom junior Callie Berg won the sectional, shooting 80.

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