CHATHAM ─ The Monomoy girls golf team had what one player dubbed a “roller coaster” day in the MIAA State Championship, but when all was said and done at Eastward Ho! Country Club, the Sharks placed third overall with a final score of 408.
Annie Howard shot a 121, while Erin Smeltzer had a 117 and Caroline Howard shot a 115. Haley Rae recorded a 106, and Maddie Leonard echoed her score from the team's big South Sectional victory of last week, shooting a 103, while Jen Keim had an 84.
Monomoy head coach John Anderson acknowledged the outing was a tough one for Keim, who faced some struggles along the course, coming in ninth overall in individual play.
“She was two down at the turn, and had a couple of bad breaks, and got into two really tough pot bunkers,” he said, adding that such bunkers are a big challenge at Eastward Ho! “But she's played right along with the two seniors in the group.”
This season marked one of great success for the team, in just its fourth year, punctuated by the unexpected and exhilarating win of the South Sectional title.
“Most of my team barely knew how to play four years ago, but as we got better and were always leaping – from 8-8, 10-4, 12-2 – I knew we could play with all the top teams,” said Anderson. “I didn't know if we could win, but I thought we would come in the top three.”
Winning the Sectional Championship, Anderson said, was a singular thrill for a team that he felt has had an amazing season, which he attributes to their work ethic.
“Mostly just their dedication and hard work,” he said. “The four seniors, they could have checked out early, but were with the team the whole way through, and Jen practices like a machine. We'll play 18 holes and then, for the next four hours, she'll be hitting bunker shots, and the rest of the girls have taken that on. I'm so proud of them.”