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Archive for Tuesday, October 22, 2002

Lawrence High freshman nearly earns medal at grueling six-hour tournament

October 22, 2002

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— No matter golf's preconceptions  fat old men walking around a golf course in tacky pants and swinging a club every now and then  six hours of golf can be incredibly taxing on a person's body and psyche.

Especially the psyche.

That's why Monday's 6A-5A girls state golf tournament at Prairie Highlands Golf Course was a grueling event, no matter the sport. So when Lawrence High's Sydney Wilson completed her round with a 93, it was a testament to a freshman's focus in her first state tournament.

She finished just out of the top 20, tied for 21st. With scores reaching the 120s and some holes taking up to 45 minutes to play, her consistency couldn't be overstated.

"I think that for a lot of the girls playing with what's going on with the course score-wise, a lot of them would've collapsed and shot a 120," LHS coach Mike Lewis said. "But that just shows that she's mentally tough."

Wilson, who splits her time with the Southwest Junior High volleyball team, wasn't pleased with her round, but considering the circumstances, that could be expected.

"It seemed pretty long," she said. "But I don't think I've ever played six hours before."

Free State High senior Ashley Johnson shot a 104, finishing back in the pack. She qualified for state last year, but she, too, had trouble with the long waits and Prairie Highlands' rolling fairways and ample bunker placements.

"I hit a lot of straight shots with my driver, but that was it," Johnson said. "That was about the only club I could hit all day."

Blue Valley's Jessica Wagner claimed the individual title, shooting a 76, just ahead of Overland Park Aquinas' Annie Giangrosso, the defending state champion. Aquinas claimed the team title though, easily besting Dodge City by 13 strokes, 345-358. As for Wilson, she expects a return trip next year, and plans on returning with a medal.

"It was disappointing, but inspiring at the same time," she said. "I'll be motivated to improve at state next year."

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