Sports

Washington wins third girls? state golf title in four years

AMES ? The statement was simple and succinct, summing up the achievement.


Washington (Iowa) senior Sarah Nacos said, ?She?s coming back home,? while holding on to a state team title trophy.


The Demons claimed their third state trophy in the last four seasons, winning the team championship at the Class 3A state meet Wednesday at Coldwater Golf Links. Washington scored 662, topping runner-up Creston by 28 strokes.


?It?s a great way to go out with my team, with my seniors,? Nacos said. ?I said the team was more important than the individual because I didn?t want to celebrate on my own. I wanted to celebrate with my team.?


The Demons have earned trophies in each of the last four seasons. They won consecutive crowns in 2015 and 2016, finishing third a year ago. Third just wouldn?t suffice again this season, shooting 328 for the final round.


?It?s really exciting,? Washington senior Megan Strabala said. ?We brought it home. We were able to do it this year and made sure that we came out on top.?


It may not have been the 4-for-4 feat that some anticipated. Nacos had a chance to become the IGHSAU?s third four-time state champion. She finished her career with a strong third-place finish to go along with three previous medalist honors.


Nacos carded a 75 during the second day, improving by eight strokes. The first-round score was uncharacteristically high as she found herself in the rough after a few tee shots. She worked in between rounds and adjusted.


?I drove the ball a lot better than I did yesterday,? Nacos said. ?I went to the driving range with my dad for an hour (Tuesday) night. Just worked on driving and it paid off today (Wednesday).?


Gilbert?s Britta Snyder won medalist honors with 142. Nacos shot a total of 158, three shots back of second place. She did finish one spot and one shot ahead of a familiar face ? her sister, Anna.


?I wanted to do something that involved my little sister, too,? Nacos said. ?I think it?s pretty cool that I?ve got to go through this entire occasion with her by my side.?


Washington Coach Leonard Kull said, ?She?s real pleased that her team was able to be successful. Looks to me that we just witnessed a passing of the torch from Sarah to Anna.?


Freshman Kiki Guo tied for 16th, shooting 169 including 83 Wednesday. Strabala added a 176 to close out scoring for the Demons. All six Washington golfers, including Josie Tanner (182) and Allison Vogel shot 190 or better.


Kull said the three seniors and three freshmen set themselves up for success, starting strong and setting up for an even better conclusion.


?All of them are great young ladies are great to be around,? Kull said. ?They have a lot of fun. When they?re out there playing, they just play hard.


?This has been a great year. It was kind of a trying year because of the weather and just getting started but we were able to persevere. We started with a great couple meets and held it together.?


In Class 1A, Iowa Valley also captured a team title, shooting 740 overall at American Legion Golf Course in Marshalltown. The Tigers shot 371 for the second round, tying first-day leader New London, but Kyra Alexander?s 104 as the fifth scorer was the tiebreaker and secured Iowa Valley?s first girls? state golf team title.


Caleigh Smith led the way for Iowa Valley, placing fifth with 163.


Clayton Ridge?s Courtney Olson and South Winneshiek?s Jaden Schweinefus tied with the second-best total of 159 in the 1A individual race.


Linn-Mar nabbed some hardware of its own at the 4A state meet Wednesday at Elmwood Country Club in Marshalltown. The Lions fired 352 for the second round to place third with a total of 720.


Linn-Mar had three individuals in the top 16. Tori Niemeyer and Tatum Depuydt tied for 11th. Niemeyer shot 83 for a two-day total of 175. Depuydt closed with 87 Wednesday. Kristen Harding tied for second with 180.


Cedar Rapids Xavier?s Ellie Braksiek returned with a medal. The sophomore shot 80 Wednesday and tied for fifth with a total of 168.


Williamsburg placed fourth in the 2A state meet at Lake Panorama National Golf Course in Panora.