TOPEKA – The Emporia High girls golf team punched its ticket to the state tournament with a fourth-place finish at the Seaman regional tournament on Monday.

It was a long day for all involved. After all the teams arrived at the Cypress Ridge Golf Course in Topeka, the tournament was delayed for three hours due to rain. Head coach Rick Eckert said the precipitation caused issues even after it had moved out of the area.

“Once we got going, it was a rough start, but the girls hung in there and competed,” he said. “It was a real battle with the moisture, the wind and the rain, but later in the day things cleared off and it turned out to be pretty pleasant.”

The Spartans posted a team score of 418, putting them behind Kapaun Mt. Carmel at 318, Bishop Carroll at 357 and Seaman at 389. However, they finished ahead of fifth-place Shawnee Heights at 431 to slip into the final state qualifying position.

“I am so proud of all of them and couldn’t be happier that they are going to be rewarded with a trip to the state golf tournament,” Eckert said. “They have definitely put in the time and effort necessary; now they can enjoy the reward and have some fun.”

Individually, Avary Eckert finished fifth with a score of 82 and Olivia Eckert placed 10th at 89.

“Avary didn’t have a great day, but she fought through a tough start and got some things in her short game worked out to put up a decent number,” Rick Eckert said. “Olivia just couldn’t find a rhythm until about halfway through the front side, but once she did she was able to minimize some of the damage.”

Ella Fessler finished 12th at 97 and Lacey Rust was 46th at 150.

“Ella was very consistent and didn’t have any big problems until her last hole,” Rick Eckert said. “I think it was just a little loss of focus as the finish line was in sight. Lacey had the roughest day she has had in a while. She struggled off the tee but she was pleased with her short game.”

Next up for the Spartans is the 5A state tournament at Carey Park in Hutchinson on Monday.

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