MHS golfers storm back to state

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MTT News's picture
By: 
Rob Reischel
Morgan Miles shot a 78 at sectionals Tuesday, helping Middleton's girls golf team earn a return trip to state./Times-Tribune photo by Mary Langenfeld

They would have loved to hoist a sectional plaque. Make no mistake about it

But Middleton’s girls golfers remain poised to capture gold next week. And really, that’s the most important thing.

The Cardinals finished second at Tuesday’s WIAA Division 1 Madison West Sectional held at Odana Golf Course. Verona won the title with a 319-team score, while Middleton shot a 320.

Both the Cardinals and Wildcats qualified for the state tournament, which will be held at University Ridge Monday and Tuesday. Middleton will be making its fourth straight trip to state and 16th since 1997.

“Going back is exciting, especially since this is my fourth year going and we have one more chance to grab the title,” said Middleton senior Loren Skibba, who won the state individual title last year. “It’s going to be a tough battle, but our team got some feel for the state tournament last year, so I hope we are more calm playing there this year.”

The Cardinals, who won the state title in 2009, have been third each of the past two seasons.

“My team and I are very happy and very excited that we are able to take a run at state this year,” Middleton junior standout Alexis Thomas said. “We got through regionals and sectionals, which was great, and was exactly what we needed to get done. State is such a fun and competitive environment and we could not be happier that we get the chance to compete at University Ridge.”

Skibba, a Northern Arizona recruit, led the Cardinals with a 3-over-par 75 and tied for second individually. Skibba was rock solid throughout the day and is now headed to state for a fourth straight year.

“Loren said it best tonight, we are blessed,” Middleton coach Becky Halverson said. “For her to go to state all four years is great.”

Middleton also received a terrific 78 from junior Morgan Miles, its No. 4 player. Miles shot a blistering 38 on the front nine, on her way to a fifth place individual finish.

Thomas also had a big day, carding a 79 and finishing in a tie for sixth.

“To have Morgan Miles shoot a 78 is awesome,” Halverson said. “Having three girls in the 70s is huge.”

Middleton also counted an 88 from junior Payton Hodson. Verona had four golfers in the top 11, highlighted by a 74 from senior medalist Hanna Rebholz.

Now, the Cardinals will take aim at hoisting gold next week. Middleton, defending state champion Verona, Milton and Hartland Arrowhead enter state as the consensus favorites.

“Last year it was such a great experience and I can’t wait to experience state this year with everyone on my team,” Thomas said. “I completely believe that we can make big things happen at state as long as we stay in the moment and focus on what we do best! There’s going to be a lot of good competition there, but if we just focus on one shot at a time we should be fine!”

Skibba agreed.

“I know for me I’m just going to enjoy my last experience there,” she said. “And if we all play well and win, that would be a great way to end my senior year. But we’ll see how it goes.”

Halverson believes it can go awfully well, and that the Cardinals’ terrific season will have a memorable final chapter.

“We are thrilled to be going back to state,” she said. “We know that we have our work cut out for us at state, but we are ready for the challenge! We are all excited to make it a great end to the season.”

 

Oct. 6

WIAA Division 1 Madison West Sectional

Team scores: Verona 319, Middleton 320, Monona Grove 345, Sun Prairie 357, Oregon 376, Waunakee 382, Portage 389, Stoughton 393.

Middleton scores: Loren Skibba 39-36 — 75; Morgan Miles 38-40 — 78; Alexis Thomas 41-38 — 79; Payton Hodson 43-45 — 88.

At Odana Hills, par 72

 

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