116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
The bus ride home was a little more fun than others this season.
Linn-Mar's girls' golf team had an extra reason to celebrate.
The Lions fired a 365, placing second at the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union Class 5A regional meet Monday at Irv Warren Memorial Golf Course in Waterloo, and earned a berth to the state tournament.
'We're very excited,' first-year Linn-Mar coach Chris James said. 'I'm ecstatic and happy for these girls.
'All the hard work they put in this year has paid off.'
Highly-ranked Cedar Falls ran away with the team title, shooting 312, but the Lions were a comfortable runner-up. They used a balanced attack for a 17-stroke pad over Mason City.
Tori Niemeyer led the way with 88. Kristen Harding was right behind her with 90. Megan Murphy and Claire Callahan carded 93 and 94, respectively.
'We had four girls under 94 or better,' James said. 'That's pretty solid.
'With the depth that we have we're pretty comfortable with relying on our fifth and sixth scores to make a difference for us.'
The Lions had to show their mental toughness as well. They fought windy conditions, long and thick rough and an unfamiliar course.
'They battled out there,' James said. 'One thing I like to say is don't let go of the rope. Don't give up when things can start going sideways and not go your way. Every stroke counts.'
The Lions will be joined by Iowa City West senior Jordan Amelon. She will make her fourth state appearance, placing fourth individually with a 76.
Cedar Rapids Prairie was looking for its first state berth at a regional at Gardner. Dubuque Senior (348) and Pleasant Valley (373) grabbed the top two spots. The Hawks placed fourth with 391. Cedar Rapids Washington was eighth.
In a 4A regional at St. Andrews, Grinnell won the team title with 370. Mount Pleasant was second with 395.
Maquoketa's Taylor Thede earned runner-up medalist honors, shooting 86 and advancing to the state meet.
Dubuque Wahlert and Washington, Iowa, took the top two spots at the 4A regional at Waterloo's Gates Park Golf Course.
The Demons' defending state champion Sarah Nacos was medalist with 75.
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