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October 24, 2012

Utica golf finishes third at states

Chieftains wrap successful season; Clark places second

By Jon Malavolti
C & G Sports Writer

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Utica golf finishes third at states
Utica High senior Julia Montgomery hits her ball out of a trap during the Division 1 state finals. The Chieftains finished third in the state, while senior Taylor Clark finished as the runner-up in the individual standings. For more photos from the state finals and regionals, visit our website at www.candgnews.com.

Utica High’s girls golf team finished off the season with a third-place finish at the Oct. 19-20 Division 1 state finals at Forest Akers East Golf Course on the campus of Michigan State University.

Plymouth High won the D-1 team title with a final score of 659, while Farmington Hills Mercy (670) finished in second place. Utica scored 672.

“I’m proud of the kids,” Utica coach Anthony Adamo said. “We had a good season. They worked hard all year. I don’t think we played our best golf this weekend. The conditions weren’t the best with the rain and the wind. We played better at times during the season. We still played decent; hats off to Plymouth and Mercy.”

Senior Taylor Clark led the Chieftains, finishing with 149: one stroke behind individual champion Kelsey Murphy of Plymouth.

“She’s probably Macomb County’s best golfer for girls,” Adamo said. “She’s a three-time placer, four-time qualifier (at the state finals). I don’t think we’ve ever had that.”

Adamo said Clark’s highest round all season was a 77, while she finished under par three times her senior year.

“It’s just unbelievable. She’s had just a great year,” the coach said. “She’s so consistent. It’s fun to watch. She’s never in trouble.”

While it will be tough to replace Clark and her senior classmates — including fellow state finals competitors Julia Montgomery and Courtney Clark — Adamo hopes their success, including winning a regional title this year, will carry over to the underclassmen.

“What’s nice is some of the younger girls this year were able to look up to our seniors,” the coach said. “It just kind of sets the bar high, and once it’s high, they want to achieve that level. They see how much they practice, how committed they are — that’s what it takes to be good.”

Sophomores Killian Casson and Samantha Merandi rounded out the squad’s state final group. Casson shot a 158 to finish ninth overall.

Mustangs finish fifth
Macomb Lutheran North’s girls golf team finished fifth in the state at the Division 4 finals the same weekend at Forest Akers West.

The Mustangs finished with a score of 824. Lansing Catholic won the D-4 team state title with a 685, while Muskegon Catholic Central’s Aya Johnson won a one-hole playoff to take the individual title with a score of 153.

Lutheran North’s state finals squad consisted of Katie Humphreys, Kelly Murdock, Samantha Banaszak, Miranda Weatherly, Rachel Booth and Miranda Holmes.

For complete state finals results, check out www.mhsaa.com.

You can reach C & G Sports Writer Jon Malavolti at jmalavolti@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1040. Twitter Follow Jon on Twitter.