Overland Park Aquinas' girls' golf team ran away with the Lawrence High Invitational, but Lawrence High freshman Sydney Wilson sent a message Wednesday at Alvamar Golf Course watch out.
That might be a bit premature, but Wilson had every reason to revel in her third-place finish. Her 6-over-par 78 was a season-low, and she was a foot from going 1-under on the back nine, just missing a putt on 18. More importantly, Wilson was just five strokes back of the defending state champion, Aquinas' Annie Giangrosso.
"Today, I have to admit, I did play pretty well," Wilson said. "I don't have that many birdies normally."
Aquinas had the top two golfers Wednesday, with Giangrosso and Kathryn Cotter, followed by Wilson, Olathe North's Haley Goucher and Shawnee Miege's Michelle Regan.
Manhattan took second, carding a 354, with Olathe East (362), Topeka Washburn Rural (372) and Miege (376) rounding out the top five.
Free State High, led by senior Ashley Johnson's 94, was 11th overall, and Lawrence tied for 13th with Blue Valley and Shawnee Heights.
FSHS coach Steve Grant said Johnson probably wasn't pleased with her score, but considering the senior has been sick the past few weeks, she didn't shoot too badly. Besides, the consistency he got from the rest of his squad landed the Firebirds about where Grant expected.
"I told the girls if we could finish in the top half, that'd be really good because there were some pretty good teams there," he said. "In that respect, it wasn't bad."
LHS coach Mike Lewis said the Lions might have done better if their No. 2 golfer, Whitney Juneau, had been playing. Juneau, unfortunately, had to attend a funeral.
"I feel like I can count on Whitney for somewhere in the 90s," Lewis said. "And Kelly Jacob improved by 10 strokes on her Eagle Bend performance."
But, Wilson clearly stole the show. The freshman started slow, then triple bogeyed No. 7. That might faze most golfers her age, but it didn't Wednesday.
"From (Nos.) 7 to 18, she was two under," Lewis said. "That tells you something about Sydney, being able to refocus her thoughts for the next 11 holes was something."
Wilson has been able to improve her game by juggling two sports, too. She practices with the Southwest Junior High volleyball team in the afternoon, then hits the golf course after practice.
"I either hit balls, or I try to play a couple of holes," Wilson said.
Of course, with the fall approaching, its getting harder to squeeze in any tee times. "It's getting later and later. If I'm lucky, I get an hour."