On Tuesday, Oct. 5, the Prescott girls golf team secured its third straight WIAA Sectional championship and its third consecutive trip to the state tournament in Madison after winning the Division 2 …
On Tuesday, Oct. 5, the Prescott girls golf team secured its third straight WIAA Sectional championship and its third consecutive trip to the state tournament in Madison after winning the Division 2 sectional at the Pheasant Hills Golf Course in Hammond.
The Prescott Cardinals shot a team score of 318 at the meet. That score was good enough for a first-place finish ahead of second-place Saint Croix Central, which shot a 327. The dominant victory for the Cardinals was on display not only in the team standings, but also in the individual scores that were posted.
Four of the five Prescott varsity golfers finished tied for fifth or better in the individual results. Prescott junior Ava Salay was the medalist at the event after she posted a level par round of 72. Her 72 beat second-place finisher Sally Vangsness of Saint Croix Central, who shot a 73. Other Prescott scores in the top five included Jessica Heinsch’s 80, as well as Liz Rohl and Rhi Stutz who both posted an 83. The final score of the day was Maddie Reiter whose 96 finished tied for 21st place as an individual.
The Prescott Cardinals and Saint Croix Central Panthers proved that they’re competing at another level compared to the other schools in the respective sectional meet. Prescott’s team score of 318 was nine shots better than Saint Croix Central’s 327 and was 39 shots better than the third-place finisher which was Regis/Altoona, a team that posted a 357. Prescott head coach Chad Salay spoke about what it means to win a third straight sectional championship.
“It feels good, we’re just happy to – our main goal is to make it back to state,” Salay said after the sectional meet. “The chemistry that we have on this team, they’ve been together so long it’s huge. That’s the biggest thing. These guys are like a family they’ve been together so long. They’ve built relationships that go beyond just being a golf team. We’re trying to make this year cool and make it special.”
The sectional effort was led by the aforementioned Ava Salay who posted an impressive twounder- par front nine score of 34. Ava Salay began the front nine with three birdies in her first four holes. After making par at the first she made birdie at the second, third and fourth hole and was pouring in putts from anywhere inside 20 feet.
“After the first couple of holes I got in my groove and then I was set for the rest of the round,” Ava Salay said after walking off the 18th green at Pheasant Hills. “When starting that well it makes me have to focus more because you can start falling apart at any time. Golf is one of those games where anything can happen. It’s not over until it’s over and you have to ride it out all the way until the end.”
Ava Salay’s scorecard included five birdies for the day. A couple of bogeys and a double bogey and the par three 12th hole contributed to the even par final score. Ava Salay spoke about how it feels to be a sectional champion for the third straight year.
“It feels really good,” Ava Salay said. “I’m happy that I posted a good score today. Coming into today I was a little nervous, as you always are going into a sectional tournament.”
Ava Salay also spoke about the mentality of being a huge favorite at the sectional meet and how she manages her expectations. She also spoke about how her game will play at University Ridge in Madison, where the state golf tournament is being held on Monday, Oct. 11, and Tuesday, Oct. 12.
“Moving on and moving forward, we see it as just another opportunity,” Ava Salay said. “We never go into it expecting to make it to state because we don’t want to have that expectation. Going into state we are going to shoot the best scores that we possible can and try to take home another state title. I really like (University Ridge) for my game. Every time I’ve played it since my freshman year it’s been great for me, so I’m really excited to play there this year.”
Last year the Prescott girls golf team took home the state title by 20 shots in what was a blowout victory over the rest of the field. Ava Salay finished in second place as an individual after missing out on first place by one stroke. This year, Ava Salay is looking to take home not only a state title for the Prescott Cardinals, but is also trying to win the individual state title as well.
Ava Salay and the Prescott girls golf team gets their opportunity on Monday, Oct. 11, and Tuesday, Oct. 12, at University Ridge in Madison. Tee time are scattered throughout the morning, but all Prescott players will be teeing off between 9:40 a.m. and 10:20 a.m.