Lingenfelter shoots 40, helps RHS win delayed season opener
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
Kristianna Lingenfelter shot a 40 to earn medalist honors and help the Rochester girls golf team win its weeks-delayed season opener at Round Barn Golf Club at Mill Creek Thursday.
RHS shot a 200, and Culver had an incomplete team.
Kat Rensberger added a 52, Karah Lingenfelter had a 53, Payton Moore had a 55, and Savanah Eccles had a 61 for the Lady Zs.
Sylvia Rodriquez led Culver with a 65. Alisa Hinds had a 66, and Kaitlyn Stacy had a 68.
The match was the first interscholastic sporting event involving a team representing RHS since its boys basketball sectional championship win over Rensselaer on March 7.
The boys basketball regional and all spring sports were canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak, and RHS delayed the start of in-class learning and fall sports practice by three weeks and didn’t start practicing until Monday.
All girls golfers had to get in two practices before they could become eligible. All other fall sports athletes must complete 10 practices, which means they won’t be eligible to compete until Sept. 4.
“They’ve been out but not as much as I would like the past couple weeks,” RHS coach Chad Thomas said. “We’ve played nine holes each day this week trying to shake off the rust. They didn’t play too badly the past couple days. I thought (Wednesday) they definitely played better than they did today. But we’re still shaking off the rust.”
Thomas revealed that RHS will not play in an 18-hole event until the Three Rivers Conference tournament at Norwood Golf Club in Huntington on Sept. 12. The Warsaw sectional at Stonehenge Golf Club in Winona Lake is Sept. 19.
“Losing half our season, definitely we’ve got a lot of ground to make up,” Thomas said. “We missed out on some tournament opportunities. We’ve looked around to try and find some tournaments to get in to make those up but haven’t had any luck. And we’ve tried to reschedule some of the matches, but with everybody’s schedule being so compact in the short season, it’s hard to find some.”
Kristianna Lingenfelter is a two-time all-TRC golfer and a two-time individual regional qualifier. She missed going to state by two strokes last year.
“The last couple days, she scored pretty well,” Thomas said. “If she continues to put everything together, she can definitely have a nice end to her senior season, which would be nice to see.”
Kristianna Lingenfelter is the only senior on the varsity, and Rensberger is the only junior. Karah Lingenfelter and Eccles are sophomores, and Moore is a freshman.
Moore and Eccles are newcomers to the varsity lineup.
“Payton’s a freshman and has played really well,” Thomas said. “She played a lot over the summer with her family out here. All week, she’s been shooting in the 40s.
“Savanah Eccles is very athletic and very strong. Once she starts to get her swing where she knows what it’s doing and can trust, those scores will come down pretty well.”
Delaney Barkman led the RHS JV with a 59, Reagan Becker had a 60, and Avery Brouyette had a 71.
Coached by Theresa Jacobson, Culver is in their second year as a program.
At Round Barn Golf Club at Mill Creek Thursday (back nine, par 36)
RHS (200): Kristianna Lingenfelter 40, Kat Rensberger 52, Karah Lingenfelter 53, Payton Moore 55, (Savanah Eccles 61)
CULVER: Sylvia Rodriquez 65, Alisa Hinds 66, Kaitlyn Stacy 68
RHS JV: Delaney Barkman 59, Reagan Becker 60, Avery Brouyette 71