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AMES — Expectations can carry some serious weight on any athlete.

When four juniors and a sophomore captured the Class 5A girls’ state golf title last spring at Lake Panorama National for Cedar Falls an expectation was made of the Tigers heading into the 2017 season. With that much returning talent, Cedar Falls was expected to repeat again this spring at Coldwater Links in Ames.

That group of girls were aware of those expectations, but to the girl none of them rested on their laurels.

A practice was never missed. If it was raining, the varsity team was sloshing around their home course at Pheasant Ridge finishing a practice round. It was hard work day in, day out.

The dividends paid off Wednesday.

Matching the lowest score in state history, Cedar Falls went back-to-back claiming their second consecutive 5A crown, besting runner-up Waukee by 20 strokes.

“It definitely was not easy,” said one of the four seniors, Mackenzie Roberts. “We definitely had the talent. But we worked hard. We stayed after practice. We didn’t miss a practice. We played in the rain and if it was lightning, we hit in the shed.

“We were always doing something to ensure our goal of winning a state championship.”

The Tigers led after the opening round Tuesday by 17 strokes, posting a score of 318, but were even better over the final 18 holes carding a 313. The accumulated score of 631 matched the previous all-time state low West Des Moines Valley posted in 2006.

“That is just kind of an additional thing we accomplished,” senior Taylor Sernett said. “I know we broke our school record a few times this year and to tie the low round makes winning that much better. We worked so hard to have it pay off is the best feeling.”

It is the third title since 2011 for Cedar Falls and fourth overall.

“We had a comfortable lead after the first round, but I can tell you none of us were comfortable,” Tiger head coach Megan Youngkent said. “We knew we still had a job to do and we had to get that job done on the second day. There was a lot of people congratulating us, but there still was a lot of anxious waiting for all those numbers to be put up on the board.”

“It was the worst waiting around for those scores to come in,” added senior Hailey Bermel. “We knew we scored well, but we also knew we were playing the best teams in the state and anything can happen. It turned out in our favor and that is exciting.”

Hannah Bermel finished fifth overall to lead Cedar Falls with a two-round total of 6-over, 148. Over the final 18 holes, the Tigers, aiming for four rounds in the 70s got a 74 from Hannah Bermel, a 78 from twin sister Hailey, an 80 from Roberts and an 81 from Sernett.

Posting a better score over the final 18 holes than what it opened was something Hannah Bermel is most proud of the victory.

“It just showed how much we wanted it and how relentless we are,” Hannah Bermel said. “We knew we were going to have to shoot well again today, but we were committed to getting that second state title.”

Junior Clare Rolinger and sophomore Megan Sawyer rounded out the starting six.

“It is hard to do back to back and really hard in any sport if you are expected to win all year long,” Youngkent added. “I think our girls put more pressure on themselves than anybody else did, but their mental process ... it was great to watch them carry that load and do what they did and have the clarity in what they wanted to achieve.

“Again, the main thing was nothing was handed to them.”

The links style course presented a challenge for Tigers who played just one round on a course that is most similar to Coldwater, Hunter’s Ridge in Marion on April 25.

“Was it different, yes. But to be honest you still have to hit it straight, hit it in the fairway and hit it on the green,” Roberts said. “We just had to make smart decisions and play the way we know how. I really don’t have words to describe what this means. Unreal. We are so happy for each other. It’s just awesome to see our hard work pay off.”

In Class 1A at American Legion in Marshalltown, Clarksville finished fifth with Capri Rabatach leading the Indians in 21st.

Sumner-Fredericksburg finished fifth in 2A at Jester Park in Granger, with South Winneshiek’s Jaden Schweinefus taking third overall. Schweinefus fired a 1-over 72 over the final 18 holes.

Jesup’s Isabell Distler finished ninth. Sydney Rhea lead Sumner-Fredericksburg by finishing 11th.

In Class 3A at Lake Panorama National, New Hampton finished second, just 11 shots behind Atlantic.

Morgan Nuss was ninth overall.

Dike-New Hartford’s Morgan took third individuall with a score of 160. She shot a final round 77.

How they finished

Class 1A

TEAM STANDINGS — 1. Arkon-Westfield, 378-360 — 738, 2. New London 382-371 — 753, 3. West Monona 381-388 — 769, 4. Boyer Valley 398-392 — 790, 5. Clarksville 400-394 — 794, 6. Iowa Valley 409-399 — 808, 7. Mason City Newman 409-400 — 809, 8. Easton Valley 436-436 — 872.

INDIVIDUAL — 1. Samantha Knight (West Monona), 76-75 — 151, 2. Casey Noble (New London), 83-79 — 162, 3. Abbey Schaefer (Mount Ayr), 83-87 — 170, 4. Caitlyn Jacobs (Prince of Peace), 86-86 — 172, 5. Bailey Davis (Akron-Westfield), 87-87 — 174.

OTHERS — 18. Claire Schafer (North Tama), 95-95 — 190,

CLARKSVILLE — 22. Madison Stirling 94-102 — 196, 21. Capri Rabatach 97-97 — 194, 26. Chelsea Capper 104-97 — 201, 34. Bethany Negan 105-102 — 207, 29. Chloe Ross 107-98 — 205, 52. Miranda Vance 115-116 — 231.

Class 2A

TEAM STANDINGS — 1. Treynor 350-348 — 698, 2. Emmetsburg 375-370 — 745, 3. Alta-Aurelia 372-374 — 746, 4. Tipton 385-372 — 757, 5. Sumner-Fredericksburg 373-386 — 758, 6. Ogden 396-374 — 770, 7. BCLUW 397-400 — 797, 8. West Lyon 417-381 — 798.

INDIVIDUAL — 1. Annika Patton (Alta), 77-77 — 154, 2. Aly Anderson (Treynor), 78-80 — 158, 3. Jaden Schweinefus (South Winneshiek), 89-72 — 161, 4. Erin Lockin (Alta), 83-84 — 167, 5. Courtney Olson (Clayton Ridge) 85-83 — 168.

OTHERS — 9. Isabelle Distler (Jesup), 87-88 — 175, 13. Skyler Luzum (South Winn), 83-97 — 180,

SUMNER-FREDERICKSBURG — 11. Sydney Rhea 87-91 — 178, 20. Alyssa Swehla 93-93 — 186, 32. Jaiden Jacobson 93-105 — 198, 37. Mariah Nuss 99-102 — 201, 36. Callie Yearous 101-100 — 201, 45. Kiley Kime 104-112 — 216.

Class 3A

TEAM STANDINGS — 1. Atlantic 339-350 — 689, 2. New Hampton 345-355 — 700, 3. Clear Lake 362-360 — 722, 4. Centerville 371-367 — 738, 5. Carroll Kuemper 384-389 — 773, 6. Vinton-Shellsburg 405-397 — 802, 7. MOC-Floyd Valley 426-393 — 819, 8. Gilbert 407-421 — 828.

INDIVIDUAL — 1. Emily Snelling (Clear Lake), 70-71 — 141, 2. Brooke Newell (Atlantic), 70-76 — 146, 3. Morgan Weber (Dike-New Hartford), 83-77 — 160, 4. Marta Asensio Povar (Spirit Lake), 82-81 — 163, 5. EMily Moorman 88-79 — 167.

NEW HAMPTON — T9. Morgan Nuss 85-87 — 172, T11. Allison Nuss 84-89 — 173, 14. Valerie Rinken 85-92 — 177, T15. Mya Anderson 91-87 — 178, T. 18. Ellie Ewert 91-92 — 183, 38. Jayden Usher 99-111 — 210.

Class 4A

TEAM STANDINGS — 1. Humboldt 371-365 — 736, 2. Dubuque Wahlert 368-377 — 745, 3. Washington 392-375 — 767, 4. Grinnell 381-390 — 771, 5. Nevada 391-385 — 776, 6. Creston 406-400 — 806, 7. Mount Pleasant 401-411 — 812, 8. Carroll 409-403 — 812.

INDIVIDUAL — 1. Sarah Nacos (Washington), 78-76 — 154, T2. Elyse Kalb (Dubuque Wahlert), 93-84 — 177, T2. Brooke Anderson (Humboldt), 85-92 — 177, 4. Bella Amador-Lacson (Grinnell) 84-95 — 179, 5. Claire Ausman (Nevada), 91-91 — 179.

Class 5A

TEAM STANDINGS — 1. Cedar Falls 318-313 — 631, 2. Waukee 335-316 — 651, 3. Dubuque Senior 340-323 — 663, 4. Ankeny Centennial 355-355 — 710, 5. West Des Moines Valley 376-355 — 731, 6. Pleasant Valley 383-353 — 736, 7. Linn-Mar 375-373 — 748, 8. West Des Moines Dowling 375-373 — 748.

INDIVIDUAL — 1. Maddie Hawkins (Dubuque Senior), 74-67 — 141, T2. Sydney Eaton (Mason City), 72-73 — 145, T2. Tenley Moretti (Ankeny Centennial) 71-74 — 145, 4. Anne Gradoville (WDM Dowling), 75-71 — 146, T5. Brooke Boardman (Waukee), 76-72 — 148, T5. Hannah Bermel (Cedar Falls), 74-74 — 148.

CEDAR FALLS — T5. Hannah Bermel 74-74 — 148, Mackenzie Roberts 8. 76-80 — 156, 11. Hailey Bermel 83-78 — 161, 16. Taylor Sernett 85-81 — 166, 28. Clare Rolinger 92-91 — 180, T29. Megan Sawyer 93-92 — 185.

“We were always doing something to ensure our goal of winning a state championship.” Cedar Falls senior MacKenzie Roberts on what drove the Tigers to back-to-back Class 5A girls’ state golf championships.
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Sports Reporter

Sports reporter for The Courier

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