Through gusting winds and dropping temperatures, the Newton girls golf team was able to overcome the elements en route to a win at home on Tuesday and a 3-0 record in the Little Hawkeye Conference.
The Cardinals shot a team total of 207 and stuck through the cold to win the triangular meet by 14 strokes over Pella Christian, which shot a 221. Knoxville finished third with a 311.
“I am happy we were able to survive the elements,” coach Scott Enyart said. “The temperature dropped a full ten degrees from the start of the meet until the end. I give the girls a ton of credit for sticking it out through rough elements. They concentrated well and did what they needed to do. I’m happy about our 3-0 conference record, and I like where we are as a team.”
There were two medalists at Tuesday’s meet. Junior Madeline Wellik and freshman Jessica Reynolds both shot 49s. This is Wellik’s first round under 50 this season, and her coach noticed the difference in her game.
“Madeline really found her rhythm. She was pretty consistent all day. Her chipping was very effective,” Enyart said. “She really did a great job of getting on the green in a spot where she was able to at least two-putt. She’s very much a rhythm player once she finds her swing. It was nice to see that out of her today.”
Reynolds has medaled twice in the team’s three meets, showing the freshman is not intimidated by playing against more experienced girls.
“Jessica had a par on hole five. That was the first time in her life she had parred that hole,” Enyart said. “She also had a par on nine. She really needed this meet. She was a little down after scoring high on Monday, but I loved how she bounced back. It was a sigh of relief.”
The third lowest score for the Cardinals was sophomore Shelby Cochran. Cochran shot a 53, which was tied for second lowest score at the meet. The final counting score for Newton was junior Carrie Cunningham’s 56.
“Shelby had another consistent round. As long as she keeps working, she will be under 50 soon,” Enyart said. “Carrie drove the ball really well. She was really striking the ball well. We need to work on her short iron game. She can save some strokes there, but I really love the way she was hitting the ball.”
The two non-counting scores for the meet belonged to senior Bailey Kellogg. Kellogg shot a 59 after shooting a round in the 40s on Monay. Junior Madigan Hillyard rounded out the action for Newton with a 62.
The Cardinal’s next meet is scheduled for Thursday at Marshalltown, although if the weather is too severe or cold, Enyart indicated he may hold the team out.
“It just doesn’t make much sense to make them play in 40 degree weather with wind and rain,” he said. “That doesn’t do them or their confidence any good.”