Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Hawken’s Ella Wong wins second straight district title

Hawken’s Ella Wong is headed back to the state tournament for the third time after winning the Division II Sable Creek District on Wednesday.

Wong, who tied for the district title last season and finished third as a freshman, shot a tournament-low 73 to win by four strokes.

“It is very exciting to have won the district tournament this year because over the past three years I have been able to lower my score at Sable Creek,” Wong said. “My freshman year, I shot 77, 75 sophomore year, and posted 73 today.”

Sable Creek is one of the most challenging district courses in the state and even Wong had her problems on the course.

“Sable Creek is challenging due to its narrow fairways and tight shots,” she said. “Initially, I struggled off the tee box because I was hitting my driver right, and to overcome this challenge, I began using my 5-wood on shorter holes. Additionally, the par 3 yardages were longer, and I missed the greens on most of these holes, but my short game allowed me to still save par. I remained focused by playing one hole at a time and not dwelling on my previous outcome, good or bad.”

Off the tee box, Wong struggled but she made up for it with her putting.

“I made two long birdie putts which helped me to recover from a double bogey,” she said.

Last fall, Wong placed eighth at the state tournament. Six of the top 8 finishers have since graduated, leaving Wong as one of the top returning players.

But, she knows nothing will be handed to her and she’s going to have to be laser-focused to win the state title.

She’s heading into her third state tournament in the right frame of mind.

“My prior experiences at the state tournament allow me to feel more relaxed and confident heading into this year’s competition as I am more familiar with the course and tournament format,” she said.

Hawken’s Kate Petersen shot an 87 to finish 10th, Juliana Pollard finished 42nd with a 105, Helen Yanchar placed 56th with a 115, and Marissa Goldberg finished 63rd with a 126.

Perry’s Emily Capitosti placed 36th with a 101.

Independence’s girls’ team will make its fourth trip to the state tournament since the program was founded in 2014.

The Blue Devils finished third as a team to earn its state berth.

Hillary Esper led the Blue Devils with an 89, Emma Konopa and Molly McGreal both shot a 90, and Kate Coljohn rounded out the scoring with a 104.

The Blue Devils finished fifth as a team at state last year but graduated their top three golfers.

“The story this year is that we graduated our No. 1, No. 2, and No. 3 girls in a school that has about 40 girls per grade, in a school that has a tremendous volleyball program, a very competitive soccer program, and a solid cross country program, and somehow, someway, these girls come out and produce,” said Independence coach Karl Schuld. “It amazes me at how successful not only is our girls’ golf program but across the board how successful Independence is in girls’ sports. It’s insane.”

Dist. Tournament: (NE) Division II Girls – Sable Creek
Sable Creek Golf Course – October 06, 2021

Qualifiers: Top 3 teams and 3 individuals not on a qualifying team.

Team Place:

* Indicates qualifying team.

1. Canton C.C.* 353 (Kristen Belden 82, Kaitlin Belden 89, Caroline Harold 89, Sarah Colucy 93, 0); 2. Marlington* 357 (Zoe Mort 83, Maria Warner 84, Jayden Mitchell 78, Kelsey Nieman 113, Becky Kuhlman 112); 3. Independence* 373 (Molly McGreal 90, Emma Konopa 90, Hillary Esper 89, Kate Coljohn 104, Macey McGhee 115); 4. Hawken 380; 5. SVSM 382; 6. Southeast 395; 7. Columbia 398; 8. Laurel 431; 9. Ursuline 439; 10. Columbiana 452; 11. Hubbard 459; 12. Lakeview 505; 13. Crestview 0; 14. Poland Seminary 0; 15. John F. Kennedy 0; 16. United 0; 17. Ravenna 0; 18. Beaumont 0; 19. Perry 0; 20. VASJ 0; 21. Northwestern 0; 22. Field 0; 23. Orrville 0; 24. Lake Center Chr. 0;

Individual Scores:

* Indicates qualifying individual.

1. Ella Wong*(Hawken) 73; 2. Kylee Purdy*(Northwestern) 77; 3. Jayden Mitchell(Marlington) 78; 4. Kristen Belden(Canton C.C.) 82; 5. Samantha Turk*(VASJ) 83, Zoe Mort(Marlington) 83; 7. Sophia Yurich (Poland Seminary) 84, Maria Warner(Marlington) 84; 9. Lauren Bangasser (Beaumont) 86; 10. Kate Petersen(Hawken) 87, Siena Maschke(Laurel) 87, Abbie Retherford (Ravenna) 87, Raygan Hoover(SVSM) 87; 14. Hillary Esper(Independence) 89, Kaitlin Belden(Canton C.C.) 89, Caroline Harold(Canton C.C.) 89, Devon Carpenter (Field) 89; 18. Mati Zines (United) 90, Molly McGreal(Independence) 90, Emma Konopa(Independence) 90; 21. Sarah Colucy(Canton C.C.) 93; 22. Samantha Calderone (John F. Kennedy) 95, Alaina Goldstein(Southeast) 95, Maddy Yoder(Columbia) 95; 25. Emily Hill (Crestview) 97, Gracie Westover(Southeast) 97, Jessica Morlock(Columbia) 97, Taylor Kuhrt(Columbia) 97, Jules Dunlap(SVSM) 97, Abby Ankeman (Orrville) 97; 31. Noelle Trobek(Hubbard) 98, Reese Latta(SVSM) 98; 33. Taylor Blazek(Southeast) 99, Leah Starcher (Lake Center Chr.) 99; 35. Mia Ross(SVSM) 100; 36. Isabella Travis(Columbiana) 101, Emily Capitosti (Perry) 101; 38. Lola Reynolds(SVSM) 102; 39. Riley Nowak(Laurel) 103; 40. Kate Coljohn(Independence) 104, Skylar Werschey(Southeast) 104; 42. Daniella Patrone(Ursuline) 105, Juliana Pollard(Hawken) 105; 44. Alyssa Beach(Columbia) 109; 45. Tanner Schade(Ursuline) 111, Madalyn Rauzan(Ursuline) 111, Raegan Schick(Lakeview) 111, Chloe Isner(Columbia) 111; 49. Josie Bishara(Ursuline) 112, Katrina Patrick(Columbiana) 112, Becky Kuhlman(Marlington) 112; 52. Alayna Martinez(Hubbard) 113, Jade Gladue(Laurel) 113, Kelsey Nieman(Marlington) 113; 55. Cassie Klotz(Lakeview) 114; 56. EmmaRae Foy(Columbiana) 115, Macey McGhee(Independence) 115, Helena Yanchar(Hawken) 115; 59. Karlie Brenner(Hubbard) 118; 60. Ava Wirtz(Ursuline) 119; 61. Averi Mazei(Columbiana) 124; 62. Amanda Pan(Columbiana) 125; 63. Marissa Grossberg(Hawken) 126; 64. Liliana Embrescia(Laurel) 128; 65. Natalie Horvath(Hubbard) 130; 66. Isabella Shuster(Lakeview) 131; 67. Lexi Morris(Southeast) 132; 68. Julia Palumbo(Hubbard) 143; 69. Teagan Pierce(Lakeview) 149;


Steve Hare
Steve Harehttp://www.ohiovarsity.com
Steve Hare is the Chagrin Valley Conference's Sports Information Director. He also created and publishes OhioVarsity.com, an online publication dedicated to providing hyperlocal coverage to area high school athletic programs. Hare began covering high school sports for the Lake County News Herald in 1997. Hare attended Willoughby South High School through the middle of his senior year, then graduated from Berkshire High School in Burton in 1986. He played football, wrestled and was an all-Geauga county baseball player (1986). He lives in Chardon with his wife Paulette and their children.

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