(Tarkio/Fairfax) — East Atchison girls golf will make their third consecutive trip to the Class 1 state tournament early next week.
The Wolves won Class 1 District 4 at Hidden Valley Golf Course in Lawson earlier this week, posting a school-record score of 367 to win by 31 strokes over the rest of the field.
“The location has changed on us a little bit, but they were still able to pull through,” East Atchison coach Melody Barnett told KMA Sports. “That was their goal from the beginning of the year – to three-peat.”
Kelsea Kirwan led the way with an 83, sharing the district championship with Maysville’s Hannah Riner. Alex Barnett was right behind Kirwan and Riner with an 84 to place third while Josie King shot a 97 in 7th and Sydnee Bruns had a 103 in 12th. Kamryn Brown added a 111 in 25th.
“It’s been a lot of fun, but sometimes it’s also a lot of work,” Coach Barnett said of her team’s season. “They do put a lot of work in, and they put a lot of extra work in before the season even started, which is really what helped get them going. We try to have a little bit of fun while we’re concentrating on how we can maintain what we’ve got going now.”
While East Atchison has made it look this way all season, it’s hardly easy. There was plenty of pressure on the team to make it back to state for a third time.
“They hold it together pretty well,” Barnett said. “Every once in awhile when one has an off hole or an off day, I notice that pressure is getting to them. It’s tough, and it’s a lot to carry forward. Thank goodness they’ve been able to keep their heads on their shoulders and fight through.”
East Atchison will play Monday and Tuesday at the Country Club of Missouri in Columbia.
“We have never been to that course,” Barnett said, “so it’s going to be a new adventure for us. This week at practice, I made a big checklist and had different things for them to do. Anywhere from hitting from the 150 mark in with 10 balls, hitting from the 100 mark in, lots of chipping and putting. That can really adjust your score if you’re chipping and putting well.”
Stanberry’s Isabella Wright, Rock Port’s Payten Shrader and Worth County’s Bridgette Hightshoe and Eva Engel will also compete in the Class 1 State Tournament on Monday and Tuesday.
Listen to the full interview with Coach Barnett below.