PLAINFIELD – The girls golf teams from Lockport and Joliet Township turned in good performances at Thursday’s Plainfield North Invite at The Links at Carillon to start what they believe will be successful seasons.
Geneva easily won the 13-team invitational with an impressive 316 total, while the Porters took second place with a 343, Downers Grove North was third at 344 and JT shot a 345 to just miss out on winning a plaque for a top-three showing.
The champions also had the medalist in the competition, as Reese Clark finished with a round of 72, which was three strokes better than Lockport’s Claire Ancevicius and Yorkville’s Kait Natividad, who each had 36-39 totals for a round of 75.
“I was about 2-under through 12 or 13, and my drives weren’t the best, but I knew how to handle it because I’ve done it before,” Ancevicius said. “I kind of just played my game and was really relaxed, and I play my best when I’m relaxed. I worked really hard and been practicing six or seven hours a day, so I’ve put in the time being there every day. I’ve got a great coach and colleagues to push me harder.
“Lizzie [Anderson] is out with her shoulder right now, but she’ll come back stronger, and that’s really going to help. There were really good girls at this tournament, and we’re also in that group of good girls. We each push ourselves really hard, and it pays off in the end.”
Other leaders for the Porters were Megan Kohley (82), Rachel Kuzel (85), Fiona Heeney (101) and Maddie Renfro (104). Most of that group, with Ancevicius and the injured Lizzie Anderson, made up Lockport’s sectional qualifying team last season. Longtime coach Matt Major was pleased with his team’s debut performance.
“Lizzie was our only player to go downstate last year, and she was the only one who wasn’t here today,” Major said. “We’ve seen a lot of improvement, and we got second today. These are good kids, so it will be a lot of fun.”
Leading the way for JT was Maddy Palmer, who shot an 81 for 10th place, and Morgan Anderson, who added an 83. Next best were McKenna Anderson (90), Emma Cameron (91) and Skylar Hauert (95). The strong showing gives coach Jim Grzetich plenty of optimism for the upcoming season as they hope to qualify for sectionals again.
“We had a good summer, and the girls all came out and worked real hard,” Grzetich said. “A lot of them played IJGA, plus our summer camp and fitness as we extended our schedule a little bit this summer, and it worked out well. We feel very good. Obviously, Maddy won the [Southwest Prairie Conference] two years ago, and last year took second, and Morgan has consistently been under 80 this summer, so we have a good front two.
“We have a strong core that is going to get us below 90 a lot of times, so we’re going to score this year. I think we’ll be right there going down the stretch since we have four seniors who’ve all been playing for four years, mostly on varsity. And at the end of the year, I think you’ll really see what our front two can do.”
The host Tigers finished with a 390 total with Makayla Mussatto (89), Julianna Gerdes (94) and Mia Bernasol (102) leading the way. Bolingbrook was paced by Analise Boyd (96), while Plainfield East was led by Hailey Pokorski (100).