Your Prep Sports
SOLON – The rise of the Solon girls golf program over the past two seasons can be largely attributed to a deep and balanced lineup.
On Tuesday it was that depth that carried the Spartans to another record-breaking performance.
Solon continued an impressive season by setting an 18-hole school record on its way to winning the team title at its own Lady Spartan Invitational on a sunny afternoon at Saddleback Ridge Golf Course in Solon.
“I love that on our team it’s always competitive,” Solon sophomore Sydney Dee said. “Anyone on our team has a chance to be the low scorer, there isn’t just one standout dropping the score we are all working together to get our score down.”
Solon had four golfers shoot 89 or better on Tuesday and had three golfers finish in the top 10 while shooting a 341 to break the previous school record by seven strokes.
The Spartans finished tied with Washington with a 341 but depth ruled the day for Solon as the Spartans won the tie breaker by virtue of a better fifth score.
“We knew that Washington that’s the team we were gunning for because we knew they were good,” Hendrickson said. “It came down to the fifth golfer so we always stress that every single putt is important and today it really was.”
Senior Taylor Dee fired a seven-over-par 81 to earn individual runner-up honors and headline a list of three Spartans that closed in the top seven.
Sydney Dee was fifth with an 84 and junior Rylie Greazel was seventh with an 87.
Sophomore Izzy Frees was the fourth scorer for Solon on Tuesday shooting an 89.
“Everybody can score on our team,” Taylor Dee said. “Today our six scored so everybody is contributing and that’s great.”
Senior Lilly Houtakker, who has been the number one golfer for Solon this season, shot a 91 on Tuesday which was three strokes better than the fifth best score for Washington.
“I think it’s really helpful that we don’t have to count on just four scorers,” Houtakker said. “When you have that depth it doesn’t put pressure on one or two players.”
Seemingly everyone in the Solon lineup has had their turn posting the low score this season.
On Monday in a WAMAC Dual meet with Clear Creek Amana it was Sydney Dee.
In Tuesday’s home meet it was sister Taylor who fired a three-over-par 39 on the back nine to finish two strokes behind individual champion Makenna Conrad of Washington.
“I think I played really well,” Taylor Dee said. “The short game was definitely what was helping out today. My short game was on today. Coach has been having us work on our short game a lot of practice and it is definitely paying off.”
The win continued what has already been a big season for the Spartans.
Last season Solon qualified for the state meet for the first time since 1998.
The Spartans have picked up where they left off and then some this spring.
Solon broke the 9-hole school record earlier this season before shattering the 18-hole mark on Tuesday while finishing in front of Washington and West Delaware who placed fifth and sixth respectively last season at the 3A state meet.
“I would say that we’ve improved a lot, last year anything under 200 was good for a round and we haven’t played in the 200s yet this year,” Houtakker said. “I think that shows how much improvement we’ve made since last year.”
The depth and balance in the lineup has been the key to the success for Solon this season which also got a 95 from junior Peyton Pentico on Tuesday.
“They just kind of feed off each other,” Hendrickson said. “They don’t have the pressure of one person having to be the lead person so they kind of take turns doing it and you never know who it’s going to be and that’s kind of fun.”
West Branch finished fourth with a 370 and was led by Claire Jarrett and Tess Hammar who each shot 91 while Alex Poppen shot a 92.
Regina finished seventh with a 475 and was led by Leah Zimmerman with a 95.
Lady Spartan Invite
At Saddleback Ridge Golf Course
Team scores – 1. Solon 341; 2. Washington 341; 3. West Delaware 352; 4. West Branch 370; 5. Williamsburg 375; 6. Benton Community 384; 7. Regina 475
Individual leaders – 1. Makenna Conrad (WAS) 39-40 – 79; 2. Taylor Dee (SOL) 42-39 – 81; 3. Kennedy Klostermann (WD) 40-42 – 82; 4. Kaylin Long (WAS) 39-43 – 82; 5. Sydney Dee (SOL) 43-41 – 84; 6. Kaylee Culp (WIL) 43-43 – 86; 7. Rylie Greazel (SOL) 44-43 – 87; 8. Adalyn Long (WAS) 44-44 – 88; 9. Maylin Coates (WD) 45-43 – 88; 10. Emma Hogan (WD) 42-47 – 89
Solon (341) – Taylor Dee 42-39 – 81; Sydney Dee 43-41 – 84; Rylie Greazel 44-43 – 87; Izzy Frees 42-47 – 89; Lilly Houtakker 45-46 – 91; Peyton Pentico 45-50 – 95
West Branch (370) – Claire Jarreett 48-43 – 91; Tess Hammar 44-47 – 91; Alex Poppen 46-46 – 92; Gabrielle Rushton 48-48 – 96; Karley Staker 54-55 – 109; Marisa Herring 60-54 – 114
Regina (475) – Leah Zimmerman 44-51 – 95; Abby Schuessler 63-57 – 120; Hailey Hein 61-68 – 129; Rachel Eckhoff 66-65 – 131