By: Daniel Stickradt
GIRLS GOLF: Rochester shoots state record 289 in winning D-1 regional title
Troy Athens, Rochester Stoney Creek also advance
BY DAN STICKRADT
OAKLAND TOWNSHIP — For a program that has finished in the top 10 at the Division 1 state finals 15 times in 20 years, Rochester’s girls golf team outdid even itself Wednesday on the links of Twin Lakes Golf Course.
The Division 1 top-ranked Falcons put together a play-five, count-four team score of 289 to blow away the 12-team regional field.
Not only did they win the event by 71 strokes over the nearest competitor, but the team score is a new all-time state record for girls golf in Michigan.
Rochester’s 296 back at the 2008 state finals was the previous state mark. The Falcons also shot a 297 earlier this year, which was part of Rochester’s 11 straight tournament wins this fall.
Troy Athens was a distant second with a respectable 360 team score, while Rochester Stoney Creek (370) landed third.
The top three teams, plus the top three individuals not on the top three teams, all advance to the Lower Peninsula Division 1 state finals Oct. 14-15 at Michigan State University’s Forest Akers East Golf Course.
“Wow. We talked about four goals at the beginning of the season,” said Rochester coach Jeff Haney, whose squad has won three state championships with three state runners-up. “We wanted to win our league, the OAA-Red; win the Oakland County, because this group of girls had not won that tournament; win the regional and of course, win the state title. We’ve won three of those, now we have one left. But to shoot a score like this — you can only imagine putting together a score like that and break the state record.”
Troy was the first of the teams left on the outside looking in with a fourth-place team score of 385. Utica Ford finished fifth (393), while Utica Eisenhower (416), Macomb Dakota (419), Macomb L’Anse Creuse North (4200, Romeo (438), Utica (444), Fraser (444) and Sterling Heights Stevenson (450) rounded out the team standings.
Rochester was so dominant under perfect conditions Wednesday that the Falcons grabbed the top three slots in the medalist standings, had four of the top five finishers and all five golfers finished amongst the top eight golfers.
Rochester senior Brooke Busse was medalist, carding a two-under round of 69. Senior Victoria Haque and freshman Savannah Haque tied for second with one-over rounds of 72, senior Erika Yang claimed fifth (76) and junior Keri Yang tied for seventh (82) the Falcons, although her score did not figure into the team’s scoring as the teams fifth golfer.
“I thought my drives were really good, and I just felt I was hitting the ball well the whole time,” said Busse, a Division I college recruit.
“Our school record was 296 and one of our goals this season was to beat it,” continued Busse. “To beat that today felt good because earlier this year at this course we shot a 297, so we improved on it.”
Stoney Creek senior Lauren Ingle placed fourth (74) to break up Rochester’s dominance. Athens junior Shikha Jha was sixth (81), Troy’s Sahiba Singh tied for seventh (82), Athens’ Emily Lin finished ninth (83), while Dakota’s Heather Jennings and Stevenson’s Ava Gardiner tied for 10th with 89s in the field of 59 competitors.
Singh, Jennings and Gardiner all qualified for the state finals as individuals.
Athens qualified for the first time since 1993, long before any current player was even born. Dan Cooper, in his 10th season at the helm of the Red Hawks, has witnessed a slow and steady climb over the past decade for his once doormat program.
“My best experience in my first year was a 28-stroke loss,” recalled Cooper “It’s terrific. We haven’t made (the state finals) since like 1993 — a long, long time ago. The golf in our area is phenomenal and it’s nice to be able to qualify for state and compete against the best in the state.”
Stoney Creek qualified for the first time since 2013, the year the Cougars finished second at state. Stoney Creek also finished second at the state finals in both 2010 and 2011.
DIVISION 1 REGIONAL
(Oct. 5 at Twin Lakes G.C., par 71)
TEAM SCORES — 1. Rochester, 289 (state record); 2. Troy Athens, 360; 3. Rochester Stoney Creek, 370; 4. Troy, 385; 5. Utica Ford, 393; 6. Utica Eisenhower, 416; 7. Macomb Dakota, 419; 8. Macomb L’Anse Creuse North, 420; 9. Romeo, 438; 10. (tie) Utica, 444; Fraser, 444; 12. Sterling Heights Stevenson, 450.
TOP FINISHERS — 1. Brooke Busse (Rochester) 69; 2. (tie) Victoria Haque (Rochester) 72; Savannah Haque (Rochester) 72; 4. Lauren Ingle (Rochester Stoney Creek) 74; 5. Erika Yang (Rochester) 76; 6. Shikha Jha (Troy Athens) 81; 7. (tie) Keri Yang (Rochester) 82; Sahiba Singh (Troy) 82*; 9. Emily Lin (Troy Athens) 83; 10. (tie) Heather Jennings (Macomb Dakota) 89*; Ava Gardiner (Sterling Heights Stevenson) 89*.
ROCHESTER (289): Brooke Busse, 69; Victoria Haque, 72; Savannah Haque, 72; Erika Yang, 76; Keri Yang, 82.
TROY ATHENS (360): Shikha Jha, 81; Emily Lin, 83; Caroline Frey, 95; Laurie Lessard, 101; Katie Stover, 102.
ROCHESTER STONEY CREEK (370): Lauren Ingle, 74; Sophia Ubaydi, 94; Hailey Kelley, 95; Jillian Nilligan, 107; Caroline Porter, 113.
TROY (385): Sahiba Singh, 82; Rijul Maini, 92; Lydia Durham, 102; Alice Fahy, 109; Carley David, 113.
UTICA FORD (393): Princess Wells, 94; Andrea Conigliard, 98; Megan Barney, 99; Karley Graham, 102; Crystal Schultz, 106.
UTICA EISENHOWER (416): Allison Gotshall, 96; Isabell Wallace, 97; Emma Shewell, 111; Catie Wagner, 112; Ellaina Dibenedetto, 117.
MACOMB DAKOTA (419): Heather Jennings, 89; Selma Sukara-Svraka, 101; Haley Jennings, 114; Catheryn Kotenko, 115; Mya Wielgosz, WD.
MACOMB L’ANSE CREUSE NORTH (420): Maddie Quick, 95; Ireland Papa, 102; Shea Pawl, 110; Michaela Kerr, 113.
ROMEO (438): Karen Brown, 93; Olivia Medaugh, 107; Cate Bova, 121; Amanda Laurie, 117; Allison Temple, 122.
UTICA (444): Julia Candela, 101; Emily Lorkowski, 110; Makenna Galui, 118; Morgan Aho, 115; Sienna Schultz, WD.
FRASER (444): Katelyn Fetterolf, 100; Angelique Breeding, 109; Shelbie Schwall, 116; Savanna Peraino, 119.
STERLING HEIGHTS STEVENSON (450): Ava Gardiner, 89; Allie Darroch, 96; Lexi Madak, 106; Lindsey Serrino, 159.
(The top three teams, plus the top three individuals not on the top three teams, all advance to the Lower Peninsula Division 1 state finals Oct. 14-15 at Michigan State University’s Forest Akers East Golf Course. An asterisk denotes an individual state qualifer.)