It was a familiar outcome for Lambert’s girls golf team Wednesday, as the Lady Longhorns rolled to a third consecutive region championship.
Now the team turns its eyes to the possibility of a bigger prize in next month’s state tournament.
“You never get used to [days like this],” Lambert coach Joel Posey said after his girls picked up a dominating 33-stroke victory over Creekview in the Region 7-AAAA title match at Callahan Golf Links in Waleska.
“You always want to strive for the best. You never want to feel complacent with where you are. No matter how many victories are under your belt, you always want to push them to the next level, whatever the next level may be.”
For Lambert, the next level could be a state championship.
While the program is still young, the girls might feel they are due to take it all, after finishing third at state in 2010 and coming in second a year ago.
It’s a goal the coach is not afraid to talk about.
“They’re more hungry than ever. They really, really want to win the title,” Posey said.
As has been the case the last three years, Lambert was led on Wednesday by junior Sloan Shanahan, whose even-par 72 earned her low medalist honors at region, and set the pace for her team’s win with a two-woman score of 147. Creekview also qualified for state with a distant second-place tally of 180.
“I hit a drive on the 18th hole [after starting on Hole 7] that I just absolutely bombed. … I jut absolutely ripped it and as soon as I hit that, I knew it would be a good day and I would have a lot of good things going for me,” said Shanahan, who took the region’s low medalist award for the third year.
“We played very solid today. Everyone seemed to be playing very consistently,” the Clemson verbal committ added. “We went in with a lot of confidence. Everyone was feeling good, so it all worked out the way we planned.
Freshman Michaela Owen was not far behind her teammate, shooting 75 (+3).
“Sloan has been a great leader. I’m glad to see her develop as a junior into one of the leaders of the team [and] this year I’ve been equally lucky to have Michaela Owen come in as a freshman and really work well with Sloan,” Posey said.
The coach said that Owen has provided Shanahan with real competition for the team’s No. 1 spot this year, and said this was the first year where both of his top two golfers were possible No. 1’s.
“[Michaela’s] a fabulous golfer,” Shanahan said of her freshman teammate. “She hits the ball a long way, and she has a real competitive fire. She keeps me on my toes. She makes me work, which I like a lot. We’re good for one another.”
Shanahan and Owen were backed up by sophomore Kelsey Fayer (96) and junior Katie Coleman (103).
“For today for the girls, the weather was great. It was great conditions to shoot low rounds. The wind died down a little bit. The last few days it’s been pretty windy,” Posey said.
“If [the girls] had a tough hole, I thought they really recovered well. And that obviously helped them score what they did.”
Lambert’s next challenge will come on May 7, when the Longhorns tee off in the Class AAAA state tournament at Bartram Trail Golf Club in Augusta. This will be Lambert’s last shot at a title in Class AAAA. The Longhorns are getting bumped to the state’s new Class AAAAAA next season.
“It’ll be interesting moving up next year to see what the competition will be like, but I think we put our best foot forward [in Region 7-AAAA], and we let everyone know we were there,” Shanahan said.