• Val T.

It beats the Ault-ernative: Valley shoots 382, wins TRC girls golf title

Lady Vikes beat Whitko by 2 strokes, Maconaquah by 3


BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS

Sports Editor, RTC

HUNTINGTON — Two years ago, Tippecanoe Valley didn’t have enough players to field a girls golf squad.

On Saturday, the coach who coaches both his daughter and their friends won the Three Rivers Conference title at Maple Grove Golf Course in a tense nailbiter.

Valley shot a 382, Whitko had a 384, and Maconaquah had a 385.

Valley and Maconaquah were among the first scores posted. Valley knew they had beaten Maconaquah, a team to whom they had lost by 29 strokes on a nine-hole match at Round Barn Golf Club at Mill Creek on Thursday.

It came down to freshman Kylie Hathaway, Whitko’s No. 1 player. Had she scored an 88, Whitko would have won. Instead, she shot a 90.

Valley could celebrate. The Lady Vikings had gone from eighth in the TRC to conference champions in one year. The conference title is believed to be their first since 2001.

Madelyn Weaver led Valley with a 90, Lily Ault had a 94, Kaydence Mellott had a 98, Molly Moriarty had a 100, and Cheney Canada had a 110.

Weaver and Ault, both sophomores, made the all-TRC team. Valley has no seniors.

Kaydence Mellott is coach Thadd Mellott’s daughter. Weaver, Ault, Kaydence Mellott and Moriarty also play basketball together. Thadd Mellott is also the girls basketball varsity assistant coach at Valley.

Molly Moriarty is the daughter of Valley football coach Stephen Moriarty and Valley track coach Jenny Moriarty and the granddaughter of the late Roger Moriarty, who coached Valley to the 2001 TRC title.

“It was like I had four of my daughters out there,” coach Mellott said.

Coach Mellott said his team “just had a bad day” when they lost to Maconaquah at Round Barn Golf at Mill Creek two days earlier.

“Today we just came out more focused and played closer to our potential,” coach Mellott said. “I think we still have a ways to go. I still think we have a good 10 strokes where we can get better. I mean, there were a lot of girls that left some strokes out there today, but overall, obviously I’m pretty happy with what the results were.”

Lily Ault attributed her team’s will to the win. Her round included a 30-foot par putt. The 94 was a lifetime best.

“I think we just put our mind to it, and we accomplished it,” Ault said. “Golf is a really mental sport, and you have to mentally be there, and I think we were all mentally there. You’ve got to tell yourself, ‘I’m going to do good,’ and it helps a lot. If you’re saying, ‘I’m going to do bad,’ then you’ll do bad.”

Ault called her teammates her “best friends.”

“It makes it a lot more fun, and I enjoy doing it,” Ault said. “We always go golfing out together, even not when we’re practicing on the weekends and stuff.”

Weaver said she and her teammates were excited to be there. She said golf is “95 percent” mental.

“It’s a lot,” Weaver said. “Just think about the shot that’s in front of you and not worry about whatever happened on the last hole.”

Weaver, who has played golf since she was a fourth-grader, said the team is “very, very close.” She said coach Mellott encourages her and “keeps her head stable.”

“We just rant to each other,” Weaver said laughingly. “Like oh my gosh, I just shot a 105, and we’ll be like, ‘Oh my gosh, me too.’”

When Mellott took over the program, he had two players. Now he’s got a close-knit unit.

“They don’t get at each other too much,” coach Mellott said. “They get at themselves. I think the fact that they all play other sports together helps because this not only helps the mental part of this game, but it helps basketball, it helps track, and it helps the mental part of whatever game or sport you’re playing.”

Rochester’s Kristianna Lingenfelter won medalist honors with an 85 and made the all-TRC team for the third straight year. She became the fourth different Lingenfelter sister to be the TRC medalist, joining Karsten (2013), Karsten and Kovenant (tie, 2014) and Kinley (2015, 2016).

RHS shot a 401 and finished fifth among the eight complete teams. In addition to Kristianna, Karah Lingenfelter had a 101, Payton Moore had a 104, Kat Rensberger had a 111, and Delaney Barkman had a 127.

The top 10 plus ties made the all-TRC team.

Recently sold, Maple Grove Golf Course is the course in Huntington formerly known as Norwood.

at Maple Grove Golf Course, Huntington, Saturday (par 72)

Valley 382, Whitko 384, Maconaquah 385, Northfield 396, Rochester 401, Wabash 412, Peru 443, Manchester 479, North Miami (incomplete team)

VALLEY (382): Madelyn Weaver (43-47) 90, Lily Ault (45-49) 94, Kaydence Mellott (50-48) 98, Molly Moriarty (50-50) 100, (Cheney Canada (60-50) 110)

WHITKO (384): Hathaway 90, Guinny Garr 95, Gus Garr 96, Starkweather 103, (Arter 104)

MACONAQUAH (385): Snyder 93, C. Stoll 95, M. Stoll 98, Sharp 99, (Hill 109)

NORTHFIELD (396): Cartwright 86, Dale 88, Hawkins 107, Sattherthwaite 115, (Leland 120)

ROCHESTER (401): Kristianna Lingenfelter (45-40) 85, Karah Lingenfelter (50-51) 101, Payton Moore (54-50) 104, Kat Rensberger (57-54) 111, (Delaney Barkman (62-65) 127)

WABASH (412): Cole 90, Carrillo 103, Crist 103, Till 116, (Kugler 120)

PERU (443): Rogers 92, Baker 104, Holland 117, Wilhelm 130

MANCHESTER (479): Hippensteel 104, Henderson 118, Ulrey 125, Tennant 132, (Gearhart 138)

NORTH MIAMI: Allie Miller 101, Addison Miller 109, Hayley Anderson 130

All-TRC team (top 10 plus ties): 1. Kristianna Lingenfelter (Rochester) - 85, 2. Alex Cartwright (Northfield) - 86, 3. Ainsley Dale (Northfield) - 88, t-4. Madelyn Weaver (Valley) - 90, t-4. Annie Cole (Wabash) - 90, t-4. Kylie Hathaway (Whitko) - 90, 7. Libby Rogers (Peru) - 92, 8. Ava Snyder (Maconaquah) - 93, 9. Lily Ault (Valley) - 94, t-10. Cortney Stoll (Maconaquah) - 95, t-10. Guinny Garr (Whitko) - 95


The Tippecanoe Valley girls golf team won the Three Rivers Conference title at Maple Grove Golf Course in Huntington Saturday. Valley shot a 382 and beat runner-up Whitko by two strokes. From left – Lily Ault, Cheney Canada, Kaydence Mellott, coach Thadd Mellott, Molly Moriarty, Madelyn Weaver. Ault (94) and Weaver (90) made the all-TRC team.


The Tippecanoe Valley girls golf team won the Three Rivers Conference title at Maple Grove Golf Course in Huntington Saturday. Valley shot a 382 and beat runner-up Whitko by two strokes. From left – Lily Ault, Cheney Canada, Kaydence Mellott, coach Thadd Mellott, Molly Moriarty, Madelyn Weaver. Ault (94) and Weaver (90) made the all-TRC team.


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