Thomas, MHS golfers win titles

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MTT News's picture
By: 
Rob Reischel
Loren Skibba and Middleton's girls golfers won the Big Eight Conference tournament last Thursday./Times-Tribune photo by Mary Langenfeld

As the ball hung in the air, Middleton girls golf coach Becky Halverson turned to standout junior Alexis Thomas.

Almost in prophetic fashion, White said, “That looks really good. Be good.”

It was.
Thomas holed a 52-degree wedge from 95 yards out for an eagle on the 11th hole at the Big Eight Conference tournament last Thursday. That shot helped Thomas capture medalist honors and sparked the Cardinals to a conference title in a meet held at Evansville Golf Course.

Thomas shot a 1-over-par 73 to win the individual title, while teammate Loren Skibba shot a 76 and finished second.

That dynamic duo helped Middleton post a 323-team score, 10 shots better than runner-up Verona (333).

The Wildcats won the conference tournament a year ago, so Middleton was thrilled to reclaim the crown.

“My team and I were very proud of ourselves for coming together and winning the conference tournament,” Thomas said. “This was one of our main goals for the season, and we couldn't be happier.

“Beating Verona is a huge deal to us because we know they are a great team and a threat to us whenever we play them. Overall our team played great and we couldn’t ask for more. We were all very excited and glad we could bring home the championship.”
Middleton also counted an 82 from junior Morgan Narowetz and a 92 from junior Morgan Miles to win the title.

The Cardinals also won the Big Eight regular season title with a 9-0 mark. So capturing both titles was doubly sweet.

“I am thrilled for the girls. That was pretty big,” Halverson said. “It was definitely one of our goals going into the 2015 season. 

“The first goal was to win the regular season Big Eight Conference. The second goal was to win the Big Eight Conference tournament. The girls have worked really hard to start checking their goals off one at a time.”

Thomas played a huge role in Middleton’s championship.

Thomas shot a 39 on the front nine, then got going with a birdie at No. 10. But the shot of the round came at No. 11, when Thomas made her memorable eagle.

“It took one hop and disappeared into the hole,” Halverson said. “She didn’t believe it. It was great! That really got her going. It was a lot of fun to watch.” 

Thomas was steady the rest of the day and finished with her lowest score ever at MHS.

“The mental part of my game helped me stay in it,” Thomas said. “I would just think about one shot at a time and tried to stay relaxed and focused throughout the whole day. Also, playing smart and not getting into trouble was key for me on the course.”

Skibba, who won the WIAA Division 1 individual state title a year ago, was steady as always. And the rest of the Cardinals did their part.

“I'm very proud of myself, but more proud of how my team did overall,” Thomas said.

Now, it’s off to the postseason where Middleton has even greater aspirations.

The Cardinals are at the Portage Regional Wednesday at 9 a.m. Middleton then heads to the Madison West Sectional at Odana Hills Oct. 6 beginning at 9 a.m.

The WIAA state tournament is then Oct. 12-13. And after finishing third each of the last two years, Middleton is thinking even bigger.

“I think we're doing great going into the postseason, but we definitely have work to do yet,” Halverson said. “There is definitely a tough road ahead.

“We have to keep focusing and getting better if we want to compete with the top teams in the state. As I told the girls on Thursday (after conference), our season starts now. Everything we have had leading up to this has been practice to get us ready for the postseason. The next 2 ½ weeks are going to be a lot of fun.”

Thomas agreed.

“I feel very confident within our team. We certainly have the potential to make it to state,” she said. “We just have to keep focusing at one round at a time, and start believing in ourselves.

“Winning state has been a goal of ours since the beginning, and it would be very exciting if we could get the chance to take a run at it. Our team is very close and I could not imagine it ending. We’re determined to keep working hard and just getting better and better each day and see where that takes us.”

 

Team scores: Middleton 323; Verona 333; Janesville Parker 360; Sun Prairie 364; Janesville Craig 415; Madison West 417; Beloit Memorial, Madison Memorial, Madison La Follette, Madison East incomplete.

Top individuals: 1. Thomas, Mid, 73; 2. Skibba, Mid, 76; 3. Kea. Richards, JP, 81; 4. Shorter, V, 82; 5. Narowetz, Mid, 82.

Middleton — Thomas 73, Skibba 76, Narowetz 82, Miles 92. Verona — Shorter 82, Smith 83, Biesmann 83, Opsal 85. Janesville Parker — Kea. Richards 81, Polglaze 90, O’Leary 94; Ken. Richards 95. Sun Prairie — Oehrlein 90, Rudnicki 91, Genter 91, Finucane 92. Janesville Craig — Roscovius 93, Roe 96, Christoph 103, Schmitt 123. Madison West — Hellmer 97, Knetter 99, Scholz 105, Kim 116. Beloit Memorial — Day 95. Madison La Follette — Mael 100. Madison Memorial —Elmes 88, Krieg 93. Madison East — None.

 

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