By RICK PETERSON
Hayden's girls golf team had a very good day in Monday's opening round of the Class 4A state golf tournament at Salina Municipal, opening up a 13-stroke lead over the field.
And the Wildcats were even better on Tuesday, improving by nine strokes over their Day 1 performance on the way to winning their first state championship since 2018 and their sixth title overall by a whopping 37-stroke margin.
Hayden followed up its first-round team score of 335 with a 326 on Tuesday, winning the team title by a 661-698 margin over Wamego, ending the Red Raiders' two-year title reign and avenging a loss to Wamego in regional competition.
“I thought all year we were the best team (in Class 4A),” Hayden coach Jayson Duncan told KSHSAA Covered. “But thinking doesn’t get you first place. You’ve got to go out and do it.”
Hayden out-classed the 4A field with its balance, with the Wildcats putting all of their top four in the top 16 places.
Sophomore Izzy Glotbach tied for ninth place individually at 161 (79-82) while senior Hannah Reynoldson placed 14th at 164 (84-80), sophomore Lauren Borjon 15th at 165 (85-80) and senior Avery Grunert 16th at 171 (87-84).
“We definitely knew it was possible,” Glotzbach said of the team title. “We knew we couldn’t do it last year, but this year we came in with a better mindset and had a good season.”
“It feels really good because we prepared a lot and practiced a lot and got better throughout the season,” Reynoldson said. “All of our girls are really consistent and we just have a really strong team. We were really excited to come back here (to Salina). We took third my sophomore year here (in 2021) and we were thinking we would win it our senior year.”
Addyson Baer carded a 176 (88-88) and Kyleigh Johnson a 189 (96-93) to round out the Wildcat lineup.
Wamego sophomore Addyson Douglass captured the individual title with a 36-hole score of 146 (73-73).
Wellington finished third in the team standings at 705.
Washburn Rural improved its first-round four-person score by 16 strokes Tuesday at Emporia Municipal Golf Course, moving up two spots to finish fourth as a team.
Washburn Rural carded a team score of 330 on Tuesday to finish with a two-day total of 676.
.Senior Raegan Petersen led the Junior Blues with a 17th-place individual finish to earn a 6A state medal, putting together back-to-back rounds of 83.
Olivia Smith finished in a tie for 22nd place at 169 (87-82), while Reece Randall tied for 25th at 170 (87-83), Natalie Peterson finished 27th at 171 (89-82), Colbey Stead tied for 30th at 174 (91-83) and Kailyn Petersen tied for 48th at 192 (99-93).
Olathe Northwest won the 6A team championship by 24 strokes over Manhattan (620-644) while Shawnee Mission East finished third (647).
Maize junior Kinlea Jones shot a 137 (71-66) to take medalist honors by three strokes.
Seaman junior Avery Samuelson tied for 18th place individually to pace the city contingent in the Class 5A state tournament at Hutchinson's Carey Park.
Samuelson followed her first-round 90 with an 86 on Tuesday to finish at 176.
Seaman's Kaitlynn Frye finished at 182 (91-91) while Seaman's Makenna Stuke (91-93) and Topeka West's Alex Baxter (88-96) tied for 29th place at 184.
Kapaun Mt. Carmel won the 5A team title by 31 strokes over Hays (649-680) while Bishop Carroll finished third (700).
Kapaun's Ximena Sarinana and Andover's Regan Dusenberry tied for the top spot individually at 144 (70-74).
Emporia's Elise Eckert finished fifth at 160 (82-78).