116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — Leigha Pacha had her sights set on a new Iowa City West golf visor.
Trojans Coach Mary Goodfellow said the junior golfer could earn the white brim with green Trojan head, if she broke 40 over nine holes in competition.
When Pacha carded her best nine-hole score at Twin Pines Golf Course on Monday during the Mississippi Valley Conference Valley Division meet, Goodfellow was the first one she texted.
“I was very excited,” Pacha said. “It was my goal to break 40. It came with getting a visor, so it’s even better. She said she had to find it. She had it tucked away in a good spot.”
Pacha shot 39 on the back nine for a total of 82, taking runner-up honors and helping West to a runner-up finish behind Dubuque Hempstead. The Mustangs’ Morgan Hawkins claimed medalist honors with 2-under 71 in the second of three rounds to determine all-conference teams. Cedar Rapids Kennedy’s Leyla Grawe was third with an 84.
This was a challenge Goodfelow was happy to lose.
“She was ecstatic,” Goodfellow said with a laugh. “I was out watching and she texted me in all capital letters, ‘MARY.’ I wondered if it was good or bad and she wrote ‘I shot 39. I get a visor.’ I can afford that. Good job.”
Pacha is second through the first two rounds, adding a nine-hole shortened MVC Super Meet score for a total of 123. She trails Hawkins by nine strokes, but seems poised for first-team consideration.
She is a model of consistency on the course, which was demonstrated by seven pars in the final nine holes.
“Leigha doesn’t hit it super far,” Goodfellow said. “She just hits it right down the middle and that’s what you need.”
Pacha entered the program as a freshman with experience. She developed a passion and a knack for the game at an early age, playing with her family. Goodfellow was able to add another true golfer to the lineup, instead of an athlete out for the sport.
“My nana and pa, and my dad, got me into it,” Pacha said. “I’ve been playing since I was little. I love playing in tournaments over the summer and golfing with them any time I could.
“I was super excited to go out for high school golf. It’s definitely been one of my best experiences of high school and love being able to golf in meets and spend time with my team.”
Golf isn’t her only pastime. Pacha is an accomplished dancer. She dances competitively in Iowa, Illinois and Minnesota. The spring is packed with the varsity season and stage events.
“It’s super busy right now with golf and (dance) competition season all right now,” said Pacha, who is also a member of West’s Poms squad. “It’s hard to balance but super fun because I get to do both things that I love.”
Goodfellow has tried to bridge the two activities in her coaching. She has married techniques, so Pacha can apply her knowledge of dancing to the mechanics of her swing.
“You have to golf a lot to feel where your hands are and feel all the different things in a golf swing, but she’s so athletic in the dance world, I try to draw on that a little bit,” Goodfellow said. “Feel where your hands should be. Feel where you should be when you end.”
Pacha entered the meet averaging 98 per round and 45 for nine-hole meets. She just missed reaching the state meet as a freshman and didn’t get an opportunity last spring. Pacha played in more junior events in the summer, looking for a chance to qualify this season.
“It’s a big goal of mine,” Pacha said. “My freshman year I was close to qualifying for state. I have a better grasp on what I need to do to get there. I’m definitely hungry to make it to state.”
West trails Hempstead by 11 entering the third round next week at Irv Warren Golf Course in Waterloo. The Trojans shot 368, receiving 87 from Rylee Goodfellow, 92 from Lucy Schmid and Tyesha Thompson rounded the score with 107.
“It’s a great score for us,” Goodfellow said. “I was really proud of them.”
Iowa City Liberty takes Mississippi Division lead
Iowa City Liberty ascended to the top of the MVC Mississippi Division team standings after the first divisional meet Monday at Bunker Hill Golf Course in Dubuque.
The Lightning fired 332, beating previous leader Western Dubuque by 12. Liberty owns an eight-stroke lead on the Bobcats going into next week’s final round at Airport National.
Liberty’s Bella Pettersen continues her strong play, grabbing medalist honors with 2-under par 67. She has a two-round total of 105, giving her a seven-shot lead on Cedar Falls’ Amara Lytle for MVC Mississippi Division Player of the Year honors.
Linn-Mar’s Tatum Depuydt was second with 75. She is third overall with 113 through two rounds.
Cedar Rapids Washington is fourth in the team race, shooting 357 for a 534 total, which is five strokes back of Cedar Falls.
MISSISSIPPI VALLEY CONFERENCE
At Twin Pines
Teams – 1. Dubuque Hempstead 357, 2. Iowa City West 368, 3. Waterloo West 378, 4. C.R. Kennedy 385, 5. Dubuque Senior 391, 6. C.R. Xavier 416, 7. C.R. Jefferson 426, 8. Waterloo East NS
Individuals – 1. Morgan Hawkins (DH), 71, 2. Leigha Pacha (ICW), 82, 3. Leyla Grawe (CRK), 84, 4. Maddie Dolan (WW), 85, 5. Chase Doland (WW), 86
I.C. WEST (368): Pacha 82, Rylee Goodfellow 87, Lucy Schmid 92, Tyesha Thompson 107
C.R. KENNEDY (385): Grawe 84, Kirin Nguyen 100, Sydney Swartzendruber 100, Alleah Hilgendorf 101
C.R. XAVIER (416): Kaitlin Hotchkiss 87, Meera Julka 94, Kyla Johnson 112, Rachel Burke 123
C.R. JEFFERSON (426): Kierra Thomas 94, Anna Warkel 108, Rhianna Briney 108, Kylee Thomas 116
Teams – 1. Dubuque Hempstead 181-357-538, 2. I.C. West 181-368-549, 3. C.R. Kennedy 199-385-584, 4. (tie) Dubuque Senior 197-391-588 and Waterloo West 210-378-588, 6. C.R. Jefferson 203-426-629, 7. C.R. Xavier 215-416-631, 8. Waterloo East NS
Individuals – 1. Hawkins (DH), 43-71-114, 2. Pacha (ICW), 41-82-123, 3. Goodfellow (ICW), 42-87-129, 4. Grawe 47-84-131, 5. Hotchkiss (CRX), 45-87-132
MVC MISSISSIPPI DIVISION
(Bunker Hill Golf Course, par 69)
Teams – 1. Iowa City Liberty 332, 2. Western Dubuque 344, 3. Cedar Falls 350, 4. C.R. Washington 357, 5. Linn-Mar 364, 6. C.R. Prairie 372, 7. Dubuque Wahlert 377, 8. Iowa City High 386
Individuals – 1. Bella Pettersen (ICL), 67, 2. Tatum Depuydt (LM), 75, 3. Amara Lytle 76, 4. Neely Maurus (ICL), 77, 5. Addie Berg (CRP), 78
I.C. LIBERTY (332): Pettersen 67, Maurus 77, Brianna Butterfield 88, Alison Colony 100
C.R. WASHINGTON (357): Mya Messenger 84, Mackenzie Parks 85, Emma Sorg 92, Lucci O’Donnell 96
LINN-MAR (364): Depuydt 75, Abby Hoefle 94, Gabby Mercure 97, Avery Carlson 98
C.R. PRAIRIE (372): Berg 78, Julianne Hodges 93, Jillian Thies 96, Yuewan Jennissen 105
CITY HIGH (386): Anna Knoche 93, Lauryn Varo 94, Annika Rutt 97, Savanna Josephson 102
Teams – 1. I.C. Liberty 179-332-511, 2. Western Dubuque 175-344-519, 3. Cedar Falls 179-350-529, 4. C.R. Washington 177-357-534, 5. Linn-Mar 195-364-559, 6. Dubuque Wahlert 184-377-561, 7. C.R. Prairie 191-372-563, 8. City High 221-386-607
Individuals – 1. Pettersen (ICL), 38-67-105, 2. Lytle (CF), 36-76-112, 3. Depuydt (LM), 38-75-113, 4. Maurus (ICL) 38-77-115, 5. Berg (CRP), 39-78-117