Girls Golf: Lincoln-Way East primed for state title runWith her coach and mom watching, Lincoln-Way East's Katie Reno makes a short putt. | Allen Cunningham~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: October 10, 2012 6:59PM
When consistency fluctuates, golf can be a maddening game. Luckily for Lincoln-Way East coach Mary McGivern, the Griffins are about as dependable as they come.
East, led by sophomore medalist Kelly Sterling, continued its steady play to finish second at the Marian Catholic Sectional on Monday. The runner-up status gives East its second trip to state in program history.
“The hard part’s over,” McGivern said. “We were able to represent the school and play well (at sectionals). Now we’re going to regroup. We’re going to go in (to state) with the best attitude we can and hopefully play some good golf.”
For the Griffins, they don’t know any other way to play.
East went undefeated in dual meets and championed the South Suburban Blue conference and Joliet Central Regional. The program never missed the top three in any large-field tournament.
The girls will hope to continue that trend as they compete Friday and Saturday at Hickory Point Golf Course in Decatur. The program is seeded fifth behind Hinsdale Central, Prospect, New Trier and Maine South.
“Being consistent is one of our strong points,” East’s Katie Reno said. “I know some of the girls were nervous about sectionals, but I think our experience helps and will help us at state.”
Reno -an individual qualifier with Sterling last season- and fellow senior Hanna Petraitis will bookend their careers with the team finals. Both were on East’s ninth place team in 2009.
Making it to state “feels like the end of a good reign,” Reno said of her career.
Junior Karoline Pirko and seniors Anna Palermini and Emily Rush round out the squad. McGivern said their additional experience was critical to the team advancing from sectionals.
From team to individual qualifiers, five area golfers will join East at Hickory Point this weekend.
Lincoln-Way West sophomore Alexis Biedrzycki and Marian senior Bree Veazey bring the most distinguished history, but Stagg senior Taylor Lambertsen, the program’s first qualifier in three years, Lemont senior Bridgett Lynn and T.F. South freshman Maggie Sloan could also make noise.
Veazey, now a four-time state qualifier, is the top returner from the Southland after finishing 23rd in Class AA last season.
“I’ll probably work on some short game,” Veazey said of her preparation for state. “There’s a lot of wind (in Decatur), so you might not hit greens in regulation. But the short game, you can always tweak that.”
Biedrzycki comes in as one of the state’s hottest golfers. She won the South Suburban Red, the Joliet Central Regional and tied for second at the Marian Sectional.
“I’m definitely playing the best golf I’ve played all season,” Biedrzycki said.
Sloan tied Biedrzycki for second, and surprisingly, spent the bulk of her season playing on the boys team at T.F. South. She’s the third member of her family to qualify for state as a freshman after her brother Bob and sister Sammi.
“Dinner and desert!” Sloan joked about earning her place at the family table.