CEDAR RAPIDS - Earlier this season, a reporter asked Iowa City West boys' tennis coach Mitch Gross about the #x201c;triple crown#x201d; of prep tennis.
At the time, Gross dismissed the thought of winning a state championship in singles, dou ... »
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MARION — Regan Grekoff picked up a club and began to learn golf in second grade.
She stepped away from the sport before getting serious as a freshman.
The Cedar Rapids Jefferson senior was all business Monday. Grekoff carded an 84 to earn medalist honors at the Mississippi Valley Conference Mississippi Divisional at Hunters Ridge Golf Course. The meet is the second of three 18-hole rounds to determine all-conference selections.
“As far as school goes, this was my best 18-hole score,” said Grekoff, who has shot as low as 80 in offseason competition. “Getting first place was nice, too.”
Grekoff grew up with golfers on both sides of her family. She said the sport runs in her blood, but she played other sports until something had to give her sophomore year.
“I just wanted to do another sport because I was in softball,” Grekoff said. “Sophomore year hit and I kind of had to decide between softball and golf. It was kind of obvious golf was my stronger sport.”
The J-Hawks’ senior captain ranked among the division leaders with a 90.33 18-hole average before the first of two divisional meets. She bettered Iowa City West’s Jordan Amelon, the MVC Super Meet medalist, by two strokes. Dubuque Wahlert’s Elyse Kalb and Linn-Mar’s Kristen Harding tied for third at 88.
“She’s been working hard,” Jefferson Coach Dan Ray said. “She’s trying to be more consistent on her short game and course management.”
Putting has been one of her biggest improvements, according to Grekoff. She didn’t post anything higher than a six Monday, avoiding the ups and downs that have accompanied her other rounds.
“I kept the big numbers out,” Grekoff said. “Normally for me, I’ll have a bad hole, but I just kept my head on straight and kept playing well. I didn’t let a bad hole let me down and came back from all of it.”
Grekoff closed strong, despite some adversity on the 17th hole. Her second shot on the par-five found a water hazard. While facing a penalty, she stared down the hole and placed her next shot a couple feet from the pin and then salvaged par with a made putt. She closed with another par.
“You have to keep a good mentality,” Grekoff said. “You have to stay positive. I just did that and acted like I was just doing well. I came back from that.”
She owns a two-round total of 175, tying Kalb for second and trailing Amelon by 10 overall. The next round will be at her home course, Twin Pines, next Monday. Grekoff was an academic all-MVC pick last year.
“She’s had a good year,” Ray said. “This is the time of year when you want your score to keep coming down.”
Wahlert was first in the team standings, shooting 369 and topping host Linn-Mar by six. The Golden Eagles extended their team lead. They have a two-round total of 732. The Lions are second overall with 754.
MVC MISSISSIPPI DIVISIONAL
At Hunters Ridge Golf Course
Teams – 1. Dubuque Wahlert 369, 2. Linn-Mar 375, 3. Iowa City West 411, 4. C.R. Jefferson 419, 5. Waterloo West 423, 6. C.R. Xavier 439, 7. Waterloo East 486.
Individuals – 1. Regan Grekoff (CRJ), 84, 2. Jordan Amelon (ICW), 86, 3. (tie) Kristen Harding (LM) and Elyse Kalb (DW), 88, 5. Anna Jensen 92.
Linn-Mar (375): Harding 88, Tori Niemeyer 94, Megan Murphy 96, Claire Callahan 97.
I.C. West (411): Amelon 86, Ashley Bys 103, Ellie Kouba 110, Allison Bys 112.
C.R. Jefferson (419): Grekoff 84, Emily Smith 104, Hannah Coyle 112, Elizabeth Buchheim 119.
C.R. Xavier (439): Libby Kramer 104, Hanna Welsh 110, Ana Stangler 112, Ellie Braksiek 113.
(Through two rounds)
Teams – 1. Dubuque Wahlert 732, 2. Linn-Mar 754, 3. I.C. West 803, 4. C.R. Jefferson 841, 5. C.R. Xavier 854, 6. Waterloo West 859, 7. Waterloo East 981.
Individuals – 1. Amelon (ICW), 79-86-165, 2. (tie) Grekoff (CRJ), 91-84-175 and Kalb (DW), 87-88-175, 4. Harding (LM), 88-88-176, 5. Jensen (DW), 92-92-184.
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