MONTGOMERY — Trinity Dubbs' goal all season has been advancing to the golf State Finals, and on Saturday, the South Knox sophomore accomplished the task.
Dubbs carded an 81 to place her fourth among individuals on non-advancing teams in the Washington Regional at Country Oaks, and she'll be the first girls golfer in school history to play in the State Finals next weekend.
It wasn't nearly as prosperous for the rest of the Knox County competitors. Rivet shot a 377 to place 11th among 18 teams, South Knox (382) finished five strokes behind in 14th, and Lincoln (449) was 18th.
The three teams to advance to state weren't much of a surprise as they finished in the order of their rankings. No. 1 Evansville North won with a 301, paced by Chloe Johnson's medalist round of 2-under-par 70. No. 7 Columbus North (316) was second, and No. 11 Castle (338) was third. No. 17 Floyd Central narrowly missed out at 341.
Dubbs was seven strokes better than the next closest county participant, teammate Bethany Williams, who shot a career-best round of 88. Salena Dellinger shot 103, and Lauren Haveman 110.
Dubbs joins Adam Schenk as the only South Knox golfer to qualify for state. The current PGA golfer achieved the feat in 2007 and 2009 as a freshman and junior.
“It was a great team performance. Trinity advancing has been her goal all season. I'm happy for her,” South Knox coach Mark Gray said. “If putting in hard work means you're deserving, I'm not sure there isn't anyone more deserving than Trinity. She just finished up a six-hour round, and she's back out there now with her brother.
"She hit three shots today that probably cost her six strokes, but other than that it was a solid round. For a sophomore to only make three bad shots, that's a pretty good day. She's put up a good resume all season, and I just couldn't be happier for her.
“Bethany had a great round. I'm pleased with the team score, and it's been a very good year. It's been a fun week preparing to play over here, and I'm glad we earned a chance to play (in the regional) two years in a row," Gray said. "(Lone senior) Lauren Haveman has been a big part of our program for four years and has been a good team leader."
Maddi Halter paced the Patriots with an 89. Lily Waggoner shot 94, Emma Robinson 95, Alicia McGuire 99 and Cadence Mills 108. It was the final match for Robinson and Waggoner, who is the last of the Waggoner siblings, all of whom were sectional medalists in their careers.
Coach Charlie Waggoner said after the match that it was also his last leading the Patriots. He and wife Kristi have been involved with the boys and girls programs for over 10 seasons.
“Obviously we wanted to play better, but I'm proud of our team for bouncing back after the sectional,” coach Waggoner said. “We posted a 377, and I was glad that our girls lead the county. Our two seniors, Emma and Lily, they had great careers. Emma's come a long way in four years, and for her to break 90 in the sectional is a great accomplishment.
“Lily's been battling with her swing the last few weeks. Golf has its ups and downs, and unfortunately the last three weeks have been tough. But she has a lot to be proud of in her career as a former sectional and conference champion, and she's got a few offers if she decides she wants to play in college.
“This was our last match coaching,” Waggoner continued. “It's been fun, and we've definitely had a lot of good kids, boys and girls. The Rivet golf program has a lot to be proud of. They have three kids coming back and three coming up from eighth grade, so they should have a good team next year as well.”
For the Alices, Macy Sexton shot 95, Gwen Hayes 107, Kaylan Finatri 120, Reece Johnson 127 and Bailey Robb 130. It was the final match for seniors Finatri, Johnson and Robb.
North Knox's Emma Miller shot a 108.
“I'm really proud of her. The nerves got the best of her in the beginning, but once those settled she did just fine,” Warriors coach Carrie Loheider said. “She putted and chipped well. I know she enjoyed this experience very much, and I'm sure she learned a lot as well. It was fun watching her today, and I'm excited to see what she can do next year.”
The two-day State Finals begin Friday at 8:30 a.m. at Prairie View Golf Club in Carmel.