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Published: Sunday, 10/21/2007

Powers finishes third at girls state golf tournament

St. Ursula's Ashley Garrison chips onto the green on the 18th hole of the Gray Course. She shot 81 Friday and yesterday. St. Ursula's Ashley Garrison chips onto the green on the 18th hole of the Gray Course. She shot 81 Friday and yesterday.

COLUMBUS - Several minutes after handing in her scorecard, it still was difficult for Bowling Green junior Caroline Powers to hold back the tears.

Powers entered the final round of the girls state tournament yesterday on Ohio State University's Gray Course three strokes behind Allie White of Lancaster but moved into a tie for the lead by the turn after making three birdies and shooting 33.

After falling behind White by a stroke on No. 10, Powers' hopes of rallying to beat the defending state champion were lost when she triple-bogeyed No. 11.

White hung on to the title with a 145 and Macedonia Nordonia's Shamira Marshall took second (147) while Powers finished third (148).

"I'm just disappointed because there was one hole that cost me," Powers said. "On

No. 11, it's a par three and I just went over the green. I was really excited after the front nine. I made some putts and got some confidence. I played well on the back except for the one hole."

Findlay's Kaitlyn VanGunten made her second state appearance a positive experience by following Friday's 82 with a 78 yesterday to finish 11th at 160.

"It's great, especially since I'm a senior and this is my last time here," said VanGunten, who also finished 11th in her other state appearance.

Cuyahoga Falls Walsh Jesuit won the team title with 649. Notre Dame was sixth (696) and St. Ursula finished last (727) of 12 teams.

Athena Smolka led Notre Dame Academy with an 80 yesterday and with a two-day total of 164. She was followed by Emily Gedert and Heather Jorgensen, who each shot 171, Molly Sterling (190) and Gina Dannibale (214).

"We all get along pretty well and know each other well," Smolka said. "We knew we were going to make it down here from the beginning of the season and we only lost two matches all year. [Friday] was pretty stressful but today was nice."

Ashley Garrison shot 81 both days to turn in a 162 that left her 15th overall. She turned in the Arrows' second-best score a year ago when she shot 176.

Garrison was followed by Nicole Momsen (183), Lisa Kitzler (191), Megan McKernan (194) and Alex Fuller (196).

"It was pretty solid," Garrison said. "I got into some trouble but I managed to get out of it most of the time. It was a memorable experience. We had a lot of fun over the years and were like one big family."

In the boys Division I tournament on OSU's Scarlet Course, St. John's finished 11th (706) and Bowling Green last (719) of 12 teams.

Dublin Jerome won the team title (639) and Hilliard Darby's David Haley was first (153) individually.

Southview's Tim Hausfeld finished tied for 29th (169). The Bobcats' Kyle Laberdee entered the final round yesterday three strokes out of the lead after firing a 78 on Friday but stumbled to a 90 yesterday.

St. John's was led by freshman Michael Balcar, who bounced back from a 91 on Friday to shoot 82 on Saturday and 173 overall. He was followed by Joe Kontak (174, Alan Kolovich (175), Aaron Koonce (184) and Les Crawford (211).

"I had a little more confidence [yesterday]," Balcar said. "I wanted to prove that I'm not a 90-plus golfer."

Also competing for BG were Collin Hoops (180), Brooks Gardner (182), Jaryd Motsinger (192) and Tim Brandon (197). Only Motsinger was a senior.

"We got off to a bad start and weren't able to bounce back," coach Chris Dill said. "We're really happy to be here, and the way we're looking at it, we're the 12th-best team out of 240 in the state."

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