COLUMBUS, Neb. — Mc Kenna Kime and her Grand Island Central Catholic teammates finally have their storybook ending.
After being the favorites to win state the past two seasons and falling short, the Crusaders came through to claim the Class C girls state title by firing a two-day total of 746, five strokes better than runner-up Ogallala on a cold, windy Tuesday at Quail Run Golf Course.
Kime took home the individual title by winning a one-hole playoff against Ogallala's Maaika Mestl after both had 36-hole scores of 166.
“This is the absolute best ending to my high school career,” Kime said, “being a state individual champion and having the team win it as well.”
Grand Island Central Catholic's Erin Boon tied for third at 171.
A teary-eyed coach Dee Hanssen said she was happy to see her Crusaders finally get the job done.
Two years ago, Grand Island Central Catholic had a six-stroke lead after the first day, only to see Boone Central come back to win by 10 strokes. Last year, the Crusaders finished fifth. They entered Tuesday in second place at 369, four shots behind Ogallala, but closed with a 377 to the Indians' 386.
“This was a goal that these girls have been dreaming about for so long, and to see them finally get it done is like a dream come true,” Hanssen said.
Kime, who had a four-stroke lead after the first round, was 5 over on the front nine Tuesday as Mestl pulled into a tie.
Mestl led by one most of the back nine until Kime caught up on the 17th hole. Both parred the final hole to force the playoff.
“McKenna is such a good competitor and has a great mental part to her game,” Hanssen said. “She has such a strong mindset that I just knew she was going to come back and force a playoff.”
Kime had a little bit of luck on her second shot in the playoff. Her ball nicked the top part of the windmill on the course, but the ball landed just off the green. She made par while Mestl bogeyed.
“I had a little luck on my side but I was thrilled to be in the playoff,” Kime said. “I'm glad it worked out in the end.”