By KEVIN HARRIS
The Floyd Central girls’ golf team wrapped up its successful season on Saturday by finishing 11th at the IHSAA State Finals at The Legends Golf Club. The 11th-ranked Highlanders fired a two-round score of 684, shooting 343 in Friday’s first round and 341 in Saturday’s second and final round while battling intermittent rain showers throughout the weekend.
Floyd Central coach Lenny Hartlage expected a better performance from the Highlanders, who were making their fifth state finals appearance in program history and their first since 2007.
“Honestly, we didn’t play well at all. We didn’t play anywhere near our potential,” he said. “We got off to a bad start [on Friday] and we just couldn’t get going. I thought we were a top-five or top-six team, but we just didn’t do it.”
Floyd Central senior and last year’s News and Tribune Area Player of the Year Eliza Hudson placed 38th overall with a two-round score of 162 (18-over-par). She fired an 81 in each round.
It was Hudson’s second consecutive appearance in the state finals. She placed 47th in last season’s state finals at Legends with a score of 167 (23-over-par).
Sophomore Jessica Ingram shot Floyd Central’s second-lowest score this weekend with a 171 (27-over-par). After firing an 89 in the opening round, she concluded the tournament with an 82 on Saturday to finish 57th overall.
Highlander junior Morgan Stanley placed 62nd with a 173. She shot 82 in the opening round and 91 in the final round. Floyd Central senior Scarlett Hartlage finished 71st with a 178, firing 91 in the first round and 87 in the final round.
Highlander freshman Sydney LaDuke ended up in 86th. She carded a 189, as she shot 95 on Friday and 94 on Saturday.
Coach Hartlage thought the rain was not really a factor in his team’s performance.
“It was a nuisance-type rain, but everybody plays in the same conditions,” he said.
The Highlanders say goodbye to Hudson and Scarlett Hartlage, the coach’s daughter. Lenny Hartlage says both golfers are looking to play at the college level.
“Our graduating seniors are proud that they got to play at state,” he said.
As for next season, the Floyd Central mentor expects Stanley, Ingram and LaDuke to return, which should give the Highlanders another great shot of making the state finals.
“If we can fill a couple spots, we could be better next year,” Coach Hartlage said.
Second-ranked Carmel won its second state championship and its first since 1980 with a team score of 604. The Greyhounds were state runners-up in last year’s state finals to first-place Yorktown, which ended up fifth this season.
No. 1 Penn placed second (631), followed by No. 4 Zionsville (639) and No. 6 Hamilton Southeastern (652).
Valparaiso senior Harley Dubsky won state medalist honors with an even-par 144, firing a 68 in the opening round and a 76 in the final round. She also won the mental attitude award.
IHSAA STATE FINALS
At The Legends Golf Club, Franklin, par 72
Team scores: Carmel 604 (304-300), Penn 631 (319-312), Zionsville 639 (322-317), Hamilton Southeastern 652 (328-324), Yorktown 660 (333-327), Evansville North 663 (339-324), Noblesville 666 (331-335), Martinsville 671 (336-335), Valparaiso 674 (333-341), Lake Central 675 (340-335), Floyd Central 684 (343-341), Madison 689 (385-331), Chesterton 713 (352-361), Rochester 724 (358-366), NorthWood 736 (361-375).
Medalist: Harley Dubsky (Valparaiso) 144 (68-76).
Floyd Central: Eliza Hudson 162 (81-81), Jessica Ingram 171 (89-82), Morgan Stanley 173 (82-91), Scarlett Hartlage 178 (91-87), Sydney LaDuke 189 (95-94).