NEENAH — Freshman Ava Heckmann closed with 43 strokes on the back-nine to post a 48-43 for the Lakeside Lutheran Warriors at the WIAA Division 2 Appleton Xavier sectional hosted at Ridgeway Country Club in Neenah.
With the strong finish, the freshman was able to claim the final individual spot for the WIAA Division 2 individual state tournament. Her older sister, Maya, shot a 44-44 to qualify for the second year in a row.
“Ava coming in as a freshman has been working hard on her game all around,” Lakeside coach Kyra Lostetter said. “She has natural swing and athletic ability. The more experience she has had in meets has contributed to her overall course management. Ava is still learning her strengths with her game. Teaching course management is key early on in high school golf.”
The Warriors had an outside shot as a team to qualify for state and they were unable to take one of the top-two spots necessary to qualify. Lakeside Lutheran had a four-player total of 412 strokes.
“We would have loved to have the opportunity to go to state as a team,” Lostetter said. “We had a couple of players that were just not on their game at sectionals. I do think their nerves really got the best of them. Golf is a very mental game. We have a young team still with so much potential in the next few years.”
Appleton Xavier won the sectional with 387 strokes and Wrightstown took second place with 405 strokes.
Freedom sophomore Callie Berg was the low-scoring individual with 83 strokes.
Lakeside senior Grace Thomas shot 106 strokes to turn in the third score for the Warriors and sophomore Lauren Lostetter added 127 strokes to the team score. Thomas improved her score on the back-nine by six strokes, but her eight on the third hole and nine on the 16th hole proved too much to overcome.
“Grace has been consistent throughout the years,” said Kyra Lostetter of Grace Thomas, a four-year varsity golfer. “This year was a tougher year due to some injuries that she was struggling with. She had a fantastic round yesterday — Grace will be missed in our program — but she assures me that she will always have a love for the game.”
Ava Heckmann started her day with a pair of 8s on the first two holes. Heckmann bounced back with a birdie on the par-3 fifth hole. She added four pars, nine bogeys and two double bogeys.
Maya Heckmann shot a par on the ninth hole before making the turn and posting nine bogeys in a row before finishing with her fourth par of the round. Heckmann, who tied for 12th last year, closed with 12 bogeys and two double bogeys on the day.
“Maya has consistently achieved her great scores this season,” Lostetter said. “Being a seasoned player since her freshman year playing No. 1 — her win-win attitude definitely contributes to her all around game. She is the most positive player that I have coached thus far.
“She has the mental ability to bless and release those higher scores during her round. As a team captain — she is always more concerned about the rest of the girls playing and how they are doing. I just love that about Maya; she is a leader and inspires so many girls in our golf program.”
The Lakeside Lutheran duo will continue their season on Monday, October 14, at University Ridge in Madison. The WIAA Division 2 state golf meet tees off at 8:50 a.m.
WIAA DIVISION 2 APPLETON XAVIER SECTIONAL
Team scores: 1, Appleton Xavier, 387; 2, Wrightstown, 405; 3, Lakeside Lutheran, 412; 4, Denmark, 433; 5, Winneconne, 436; 6, Racine Prairie School, 438; 7, Sturgeon Bay, 478; 8, Jackson Kettle Moraine Lutheran, 491.
Individual qualifiers: 1, Berg, F, 83; 3, M. Heckmann, LL, 88; 4, A. Heckmann, 91.
Lakeside Lutheran: 3, M. Heckmann, 88; 4, A. Heckmann, 91; 19 (tie), Thomas, 106; 39, Lostetter, 127.