MITCHELL — In weather conditions more suitable for a British Open in the countries of Ireland or Scotland, the Gering High School girls golf team managed the fierce winds better than anyone else to finish on top of the Western Conference Tournament on Thursday at Mitchell’s Scenic Knolls Golf Course.
The Bulldogs fired a 342 to win their third straight Western Conference title. Scottsbluff followed in second with a 366 and Sidney finished third with a 431.
All five of Gering’s team members medaled in the top 10 individually. Madi Schlaepfer led the way as the individual champion. She tied her career-best score with a 78.
“For the conditions we played in today with it being so windy, I felt that I played well,” Schlaepfer said. “I have been working on some things that I need to get better at, and I feel like I improved in the areas I needed to improve in today. I really felt that my putting was super good today. I made some putts and did what I needed to do.”
The individual title was the first of her junior season for Schlaepfer. She’s carded a pair of 82s and an 80 in her other tournament rounds.
Schlaepfer said she tried to manage her game the best she could in the wind.
“I just tried to play my game and kept hitting my clubs the best I could,” she said. “I was proud of my 78 today because of the wind and I was able to improve on the things that I’ve been working on.”
Finishing right behind Schlaepfer in second was her Bulldog teammate Ali Boswell. Boswell shot a season-low score of 79 to finish just one stroke behind Schlaepfer.
Gering’s other medalists included Avery Mitchell in fifth with an 89, Tayber Meyer in seventh with a 96, and Kelsey Le in ninth with a 101.
Schlaepfer said winning the conference again was on the Bulldogs’ list of goals for this year.
“It was really good for our team to be able to win it again,” she said. “It was nice to see Ali come so close to me and I was glad to see Tayber break 100. It was just a good team effort. Our goal was to leave with our third Western Conference. It was great to win that again.”
Gering hit the road right after the tournament to compete in Friday’s Lexington Invitational.
In finishing runner-up in the team race, Scottsbluff was bolstered by four top-10 medalists. Anna Kelley led the Bearcats in third place with a round of 86. Kelley, a freshman, won her first title in a playoff on Tuesday in Chadron.
Emily Krzyzanowski also finished with an 86 to place fourth for the Bearcats. Carson Hauschild followed in sixth with a 92 and Halle Shaddick placed 10th with a 102. Also for the Bearcats, Lehla Ehler shot a 102.
Mitchell ended fourth in the team standings with a 459. Brooklyn Briggs led the Tigers individually by medaling in eighth with a 98.
Chadron finished fifth with a 508 and Alliance was sixth with a 514.
1, Gering, 342. 2, Scottsbluff, 366. 3, Sidney, 431. 4, Mitchell, 459. 5, Chadron, 508. 6, Alliance, 514.
Individual Top 10
1, Madi Schlaepfer, Gering, 78. 2, Ali Boswell, Gering, 79. 3, Anna Kelley, Scottsbluff, 86. 4, Emily Krzyzanowski, Scottsbluff, 86. 5, Avery Mitchell, Gering, 89. 6, Carson Hauschild, Scottsbluff, 92. 7, Tayber Meyer, Gering, 96. 8, Brooklyn Briggs, Mitchell, 98. 9, Kelsey Le, Gering, 101. 10, Halle Shaddick, Scottsbluff, 102.