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Sectional Girls Golf: Dull leads area district qualifiers

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Lakota’s Kyleigh Dull watches her shot during Tuesday’s Division II sectional girls golf tournament at Fostoria Country Club. Dull shot a 79 to advance to next week’s district tournament. (Photo by Randy Roberts.)

By SCOTT COTTOS
sports editor
On her third hole of her first sectional golf tournament, Kyleigh Dull took a quadruple-bogey nine on No. 12 at Fostoria Country Club, a difficult 470-yard par 5.
The rest was business as usual for the talented Lakota freshman, who rebounded to shoot a 7-over par 79 in Tuesday’s Division II girls sectional and qualify for next Monday’s district tournament at Sycamore Springs Golf Course in Arlington.
The top three teams and the lowest-scoring three individuals not qualifying with a team gained advancements to the district.
On an unseasonably hot day, North Baltimore won its third straight sectional title, tallying 376 strokes to 389 for runner-up Van Buren. Oak Harbor, led by individual medalist Jaclyn Wojciechowski’s 75, tied Rossford with 403 strokes, and Oak Harbor gained third place with the lower fifth-player score.
Dull was joined as an individual qualifier by Ottawa Hills’ Caroline Dayton, who carded a 78, and Tuesday playing partner Sydney Leyerle, a Gibsonburg freshman who matched Dull with 79.
Though she’s a veteran of junior golf tournaments even as a freshman, Dull said she felt a bit jittery at the start of her round.
“In the beginning, I was nervous,” she said. “I think that’s part of the reason why I didn’t do so hot on the first few holes, but as I played I felt like I did better.”
The proof was on her scorecard. After a 42 on the back nine, she covered the more scoreable front in 37.
“I was really impressed by how she came back,” Lakota coach Ty Ray said. “On her third hole, she had a bad shot and she didn’t let one shot distract her from the rest of the day.
“I think that’s a testament to all of the tournament golf that she plays. And just being mentally strong, I think that’s the difference, that even as young as she is, she’s a veteran in that she plays the summer tournaments and it helps when it comes time for this type of tournament play.”
Dull acknowledged that the early bad hole was tough to take.
“It was pretty hard mentally, taking a nine, because that’s probably one of the highest numbers I’ve taken in golf this season,” she said. “It was pretty rough, but I just tried to come back and I think I did that pretty well.”
Another challenge for Dull is being the younger sister of a highly successful player. Makayla Dull, now a junior on the University of Akron team, gained all-Ohio honors at the state tournament in each of her four years at Lakota and won the state individual title as a junior.
Kyleigh said she feels a “little bit” of pressure cast upon her by Makayla’s achievements.
“She made it to state and I feel like I could make it to state, too,” Kyleigh said. “It’ll be pretty hard if I don’t make it to state because that’s, like, a big goal for me right now.”
In the team competition, Olivia Sexton’s 87 was low for Van Buren, which also got a 90 from Maria Trusty, a 92 from Taylor Adams and a 133 from Madi Swope.
“I thought their attitudes were good when we started, and they barreled through this heat pretty well and did just kind of what they should have done,” said Black Knights coach Rhonda Nye, noting that her team advanced despite not having one of its players, Madelyn Badertscher, who missed most of the season with a knee injury.
Lakota’s Dull may be following in the footsteps of her sister, Makayla, who qualified for the state tournament in each of her four years, won the Division II individual championship as a junior and is now a junior on the University of Akron’s team.
Starting on the back nine, Kyleigh Dull stumbled to a nine on the course’s difficult par 5 12th hole, but she rebounded to make the turn at 42 and then covered the more scoreable front nine in 37.
“It was pretty hard mentally, taking a nine, because that’s probably one of the highest numbers I’ve taken in golf this season,” she said. “It was pretty rough, but I just tried to come back and I think I did that pretty well.”
Taylor Tyson’s 105 led ninth-place Elmwood (449) which also got 114s from Kaylie Kingery and Haley Zimmerman and a 116 from Taylor Merritt.
Hopewell-Loudon senior Jena Huffman, a district qualifier in the last two seasons, narrowly missed advancing with an 80.
“It’s really disappointing to come here and shoot a really solid round but have that not be good enough,” said Huffman, who has verbally committed to play at Tiffin University. “I had a few holes where I really shouldn’t have taken the score that I did. But it is what it is. You can’t change it.”
Also playing individually, Hopewell-Loudon’s Kiley Cline shot a 97 and Old Fort’s Megan Zimmerman came in with a 113.
team scores
1, North Baltimore 376. 2, Van Buren 389. 3, Oak Harbor 403. 4, Rossford 403. 5, Gibsonburg 404. 6, Lake 406. 7, Clyde 419. 8, Eastwood 442. 9, Elmwood 449. 10, Port Clinton 452. 11, Genoa 498. 12, Mohawk 509.

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