District champ Krzyzanowski leads Bulldogs to state golf: Rahmig, Bayne also medal, pacing Gering to 2nd-place finish
     2012-10-05      By Terry Gaston   
Photo by Elizabeth Gross/Gering Citizen Gering’s Kendall Bayne takes a stroke during the recent Gering Invitational tournament at Monument Shadows. Bayne tied for tenth place at 99 (49-50) during the district tournament qualifying for the state tournament. 
Gering senior Kaitlyn Krzyzanowski has reached one goal, winning the District B-4 championship Monday at the Hastings Country Club.

And after qualifying for the Class B State Tournament for the fourth time, Krzyzanowski gets to take her Bulldog teammates of the past two years with her to compete next week in Lincoln.

On a windy day that played havoc with many golfers’ short games, Krzyzanowski’s 81 stood as the lowest score — shooting 41 and 40, the best scores on each side of the course.

And she led the trio of Gering competitors who earned top-10 medals on their way to a four-player score of 378 — finishing second only to district champion McCook’s winning count of 371.

“The conditions were tough,” second-year Gering coach Annie Boggs said. “The wins were a constant 20 miles per hour and we hung in there hole by hole. Kait shot a good score, considering the conditions.

“We’re just excited for the opportunity to go down there and prove we can play golf.”

Gering sophomore Sam Rahmig finished seventh by shooting a 94 (48-46) and junior Kendall Bayne was tied for 10th at 99 (49-50).

Other Bulldogs who will also make the trip to state are junior Amber Fertig, who shot a district score of 53-51 — 104, and sophomore Ashlyn Schultz, who carded a 56-51 — 107.

“The girls deserve it,” Boggs said. “Kaitlyn was playing over the summer anyway, but they all worked hard on their game this summer and it really showed.

“The girls weren’t thrilled with their scores. They are happy that they made state, but they know they can do better and that’s probably a good thing as they prepare for state.”

Scottsbluff also qualified its quintet for state by finishing in third at 384, led by junior Megan Pilkington’s runner-up finish at 86 (45-41), senior cousin Ashlee Pilkington’s sixth-place 94 (47-47) and sophomore Jordan York’s 10th-place tie at 99 (50-49).

Bearcat junior Kim Moore had a 53-52 — 105 and freshman Hannah Holloway followed with a 55-51 — 106 in rounding out Scottsbluff’s team ladder.

Krzyzanowski attended and played for Scottsbluff when she finished 15th at state as a freshman and third as a sophomore. She transferred to Gering for the spring 2011 semester and last fall finished a frustrating second after leading late in state tournament.
One rung of the ladder remains.

“I think I’m going to use them all as learning experiences,” Krzyzanowski said of past state trips and shortcomings. “I know the switches I need to make from past years and using those to my advantage in bettering myself.”

Krzyzanowski will look to become the first Gering girl to win a state medalist title since Sabrina King in 2009. King then won state medalist honors for Scottsbluff in 2010.

Gering’s first state champ was Mandi Schlaepfer in 2001. Schlaepfer led the Bulldogs to the state team championship as well.

Krzyzanowski missed the chance to take her Gering teammates to play at state last year after the Bulldogs finished fifth in the district meet, and she savors that opportunity next week at Mahoney Golf Course in Lincoln.

“I’m really proud of them, that’s so exciting,” Krzyzanowski said of her team, which has finished in first or second in every team race this season while she has won eight of 10 medalist honors. “It’s been a good year and going to state will be really fun for them.”
Rahmig said she “was really surprised when I saw what the scores were” and put her in the top 10. “The conditions weren’t really great, so I was really surprised.”

Bayne’s 10th-place tie was just icing on the cake for the Bulldogs, Rahmig said.

“It was really great having her come in 10th and have all three of us placing,” she said as the team was leaving Holdrege. “It hasn’t in that we’re going to state. It is exciting to go and hopefully we will play well.”

Rahmig credited Krzyzanowski’s arrival as a huge factor in the Bulldogs’ success this season and qualifying for state as a team within two years.

“She has been a big influence,” Rahmig said. “She is like a second coach and is always trying to help us with everything.”

The Bulldogs had three team championships — the Western Conference Tournament in Sidney and the Gering and Ogallala invitationals — and the district second place was their sixth runner-up finish. Gering also unofficially won the Best in the West team title because team scores were not kept.

“We’ve met two of our three goals: to win the Western Conference and qualify for state,” Boggs said. “And our third is to have a good showing at state. We feel like we have a legitimate chance.”

A four-team battle for the three state team spots never developed in Holdrege, as Sidney finished a distant fourth at 416, 32 strokes behind Scottsbluff. Even more surprising is that the Red Raiders did not even have one individual qualifier.

“I felt bad for them,” Boggs said of the Red Raiders, whose best score was a 101 carded by No. 2 player Karson Langley while two others had scores of 102. “I don’t know what happened.”

Alliance had a qualifier in senior Danielle Brennan, whose 97 placed her in ninth.

District B-5 at Ogallala

Bayard junior JaLee Pilkington earned a second berth into the Class C State Tournament and Mitchell sophomore Emily Snyder will make her first state trip after they earned top-10 finishes in the District C-5 Tournament at West Winds Golf Course in Ogallala.

Snyder finished fifth with a score of 92, while Pilkington came in eighth with a 95 in an individual pack led by Chadron senior Kelli Haynes and her winning score of 78.

Bridgeport senior Tara Harding paced the Bulldogs to a third-place team finish and state qualification by placing seventh at 94. Senior Jada Huck was next for Bridgeport at 103, while sophomore Cassidy Mitchell shot 115, junior Kimberly Mueller was at 116 and junior Breanne Franklin carded a 120.

The Bulldogs were solid third-place finishers with their four-player score of 428, which was well behind team champion Ogallala at 357 and runner-up Chadron at 365 but well ahead of fourth-place Kimball’s 452.

The Class C State Tournament will be played Monday and Tuesday at Quail Run Golf Course in Columbus.

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