LINCOLN — The Gering girls golf team didn’t have quite the performance it was hoping for Monday in the first day of the Class B state tournament.
The good news for the Bulldogs, though, is that they remain in solid position to bring home a top-three finish.
Gering ended the opening round at Mahoney Golf Course in third place with a 361. And while that score was “average” for the Bulldogs, it was good enough to keep them within striking distance of McCook, which sits in second place with a 348. Elkhorn South, meanwhile, holds a commanding lead after firing a 328.
“Ultimately, if we play great tomorrow, we’d like to get runner-up,” Gering coach Annie Boggs said.
The Bulldogs, whose scoring average this season is a 361, fired that exact score Monday. It wasn’t necessarily a disappointment for the Bulldogs, but they left the course feeling like they could do better.
“I thought things went about average,” Boggs said. “We’re hoping to play better [today] and see what happens.”
Gering was once again led by senior Kaitlyn Krzyzanowski, who ended the first day in fourth place with an 82. She’s five strokes behind the leader, Kaylee Samway of McCook, and just three shots behind Elkhorn South’s Ann Pearson and Nicolle Barmettler, who are tied for second.
Boggs said she considers Krzyzanowski to still be very much in the title hunt.
“Kaitlyn didn’t putt well today,” Boggs said. “So if she putts like she knows how to putt, I really think she can make up the five strokes [today].”
Gering got a huge lift from Kendall Bayne, who enjoyed a season-best performance. Her 87 was two strokes better than her previous best this season, and it also left her in a tie for 13th place.
“She was extremely happy,” Boggs said. “She did a great job.”
Gering’s Samantha Rahmig also had a good showing, carding an 89 to finish tied for 17th. Also for the Bulldogs, Amber Fertig and Ashlyn Schultz both shot a 103.
Boggs said all of her golfers seem driven to perform at a high level today.
“I think they’ll be on a mission to improve,” she said.
At least the Bulldogs should feel a little more comfortable going into today’s round. All but one of Gering’s golfers is at the state tournament for the first time.
“I thought they handled it great,” Boggs said.
Not too far back from Gering is Scottsbluff, which is in a two-way tie for fourth place. Both the Bearcats and Elkhorn shot a 367 – only six strokes out of the top three.
Scottsbluff was paced by Megan Pilkington, who tied for 17th place with an 89. Kim Moore carded a 90 and is tied for 20th place, and Jordan York sits in a tie for 28th place with a 93. Ashlee Pilkington is tied for 32nd with a 95, and Hannah Holloway is tied for 50th place with a 102.
Another Panhandle golfer who is making some noise in the Class B state tournament is Alliance’s Danielle Brennan, who is tied for 13th place with an 87.
Elkhorn South 328, McCook 348, Gering 361, Elkhorn 367, Scottsbluff 367, Beatrice 380, Omaha Duchesne 380, Blair 389, Gretna 391, Adams Central 392, Omaha Skutt 398, York 412.
Individual Top 15
1, Kaylee Samway, McCook, 77. T2, Ann Pearson, Elkhorn South; and Nicolle Barmettler, Elkhorn South, 79. 4, Kaitlyn Krzyzanowski, Gering, 82. 5, Hannah Kunzman, Beatrice, 83. T6, Jacy Hawk, Gretna; Ashlyn Hoegh, Norris, 84. T8, Raluca Maiefski, Omaha Roncalli; Megan Vetrovsky, McCook; Kathryn Hanson, Elkhorn South; Lindsey Thompson, Elkhorn South, 85. 12, Alexa Rowe, Elkhorn South, 86. T13, Kendall Bayne, Gering; Breanna Redl, McCook; Danielle Brennan, Alliance, 87.