116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
AMES — Two down and two remaining.
Sarah Nacos was quick to mention the quest starts immediately.
'Tomorrow,' Nacos said with a laugh after the awards ceremony at the IGHSAU Class 4A state meet Wednesday. 'I'll be playing all summer. I will be looking to play in some bigger tournaments around the Midwest.'
The sophomore from Washington, Iowa, claimed her second straight state title at Coldwater Links Golf Course, firing 5-over 76 in the final round for a two-day total of 154. Nacos has the chance to join Dubuque's Sharon Fladoos (1958-61) and Charles City's Jessie Sindlinger (2010-13) as four-time state medalists.
'I have been working really, really hard this season,' Nacos said. 'I wanted to come back and prove myself again, and I did.
'All my hard work paid off. I think that is the best thing, the best feeling, is that if you do work hard you will achieve your goals.'
Visions of long-term accomplishments haven't affected her sights on the current goals. Nacos said she approaches the possibility of four titles like she does each round — one shot at a time.
'She's wise beyond her years,' Washington Coach L.L. Kull said. 'She knows how to take care of herself.
'She's just a pleasure to be around. Just an outstanding young lady and certainly a tremendous golfer. She's just a gem. The opportunity to be around kids like that is a plus for me.'
Nacos entered the state meet averaging a little more than 75 strokes per round. She nearly hit that mark, despite the open layout that supported windy conditions. She was a little more consistent Wednesday, carding a birdie on the 432-yard par-5 No. 7 and eliminating double bogeys that popped up twice the first day.
'I was able to hit my irons really well,' Nacos said. 'Sometimes my drives wouldn't be the best. My irons really came in handy, especially when I didn't hit the green in regulation. I got close and got par.'
For the second straight year, Nacos was able to share the championship moment with her teammates. Washington repeated as 4A team champions, earning the program's fourth state girls' golf crown.
'It's so special, because everything revolves around the team,' said Nacos, noting that Kull stresses a team-first mentality. 'To do it with these guys, back-to-back, it's nice to see all our hard work we did in the off-season and last summer and our dreams are coming true.'
Teammate Deanna Peiffer finished fifth with 170. She improved from eighth last year. Kull said she has committed to play college golf for William Penn in Oskaloosa.
'Her career is going to continue,' Kull said. 'It will work out. Her senior leadership has been outstanding and that's what you need.'
Kull said the team has exhibited toughness all season. They overcame the pressure of state competition and the challenging course. Sophomore Megan Strabala added 97 and classmate Allison Vogel rounded out the scoring on Day 2. Brenna Burlingame contributed an 89 and helping Washington to an 18-stroke edge after the first day.
'This venue was difficult,' Kull said. 'There are plenty of places to get in a lot of trouble. I was real pleased with the way they hung together and battled. They did a great job.'
The Lady Demons were solid all season, despite a midseason lull. Kull said they have had a real good run. It is time to enjoy their success and set their future goals.
'We began the year and this was certainly within reach,' Kull said. 'It has been quite a journey.'
Vinton-Shellsburg senior Lauren Tandy tied Peiffer with 170, but won a tiebreaker cardback to place fourth. She shot 83, including a birdie on the par-4 12th hole.
Cedar Rapids Xavier's Amy Olberding finished eighth in the 4A race. Olberding posted a total of 176.
Two local seniors earned top-10 finishes at the Class 5A state meet at Lake Panorama National Golf Course in Panora on Wednesday.
Iowa City High's Sarah Overton posted her second straight top-10 performance, getting sixth with a total of 155. Overton's 74 was the third-best score recorded Wednesday in the 5A field.
Cedar Rapids Kennedy's Sierra Hargens tied for eighth. Hargens, in her second state appearance, shot 78 for a total of 158.
South Winneshiek placed fourth with 727 in the 2A state tournament at Jester Park Golf Course in Granger. Jaden Schweinefus was 10th with 174 to lead the Warriors.
Central City's Jessica Etten also got 10th, competing in the 1A state meet at Jester Park. Etten, who eagled the 286-yard, par-4 14th the first day, closed with an 88 and a total of 177.
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