The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

Raiders qualify for state

Team takes third at district; Petik, Campbell earn individual medals


By virtue of its third-place finish at the district tournament yesterday in Alliance, the Sidney Red Raiders golf team is headed to state.

Additionally, by finishing in the top 10, Rachel Petik and Jessica Campbell qualified for the individual competition.

The Raiders completed yesterday's match in 361 strokes to card ahead of fourth-place Gering (378) by a comfortable margin. The Sidney team will be accompanied at state by runnaway winner Scottsbluff (318) and McCook (350).

Megan Vetrovsky easily won top individual honors with a two-over par 72 on the Sky View Golf Course. Jalee Pilkington (77), Kim Moore (78) and Sam Rahmig (80) rounded out the top four. Petik's 81 landed her the fifth spot while Campbell's 90 earned her a 10th-place medal.

"I didn't think there was a number I needed to shoot, I just wanted to play well today," Campbell said.

Petik had similar thoughts.

"My attitude going in today was that it was districts and I wanted to play well," she said.

Karson Langley (93), Katelin Cole (97) and Theda Parker (104) will compete with Petik and Campbell in the team competition at state. All the Raiders are seniors except for Parker, who is a junior.

"I had a good time today. I'm so glad the team qualified," said Petik. "I was hoping to finish in the top seven or eight individually, so it was a good day."

The other individual state qualifiers included Megan Pilkington (81) of Scottsbluff, Jordan York (82) of Scottsbluff, Maaika Mestl (84) of Ogallala and Breanna Redl (86) of McCook.

"I'm so proud of all of them all," said Raiders Coach Jody O'Connell. "My seniors did exactly what they needed to do and when it counted most."

The Class B Nebraska State Championships are scheduled for Mon. and Tues. Oct. 14-15, at the Holmes Golf Course in Lincoln. The players will go off with tee times on Monday beginning about 9:30 a.m.

None of the Raiders have played the Holmes course before.

"I want to get them there hopefully on Saturday so we won't be rushed on Sunday to get in a practice round," O'Connell said. "It's not that tough a course as I recall, but it's been a couple of years. I don't know what the greens will be like."

As a team, the Raiders got stronger as the day wore on. Sidney improved their back nine scores by a total of 11 strokes. Petik was particularly impressive on the back with a 38, after a front-side 43. Langley knocked three off on the back while Campbell was two better and Cole one. Parker's nines were even.

One of the many highlights of Petik's round was a difficult up-and-down par on the 17th hole. She was only one over par on the back side at the time. But she didn't let a six iron off the tee that came up short right derail her back-nine score. She pitched up to about eight feet and drained the putt.

"The wind caught my tee shot and held it up so I used my 56 degree (wedge) to chip up," Petik said. "My chipping was working today, I was very comfortable with it."

Petik was also aided in her round by a good pairing. She and McCook's Rendl were laughing much of the round and appeared more to be a couple of friends out for a casual game.

"Yeah, it was a great pairing," Petik said. "We've all played a lot together so we're all pretty tight."

As for her chipping game, Langley wasn't at all thrilled. Though she said much of her game is coming around, her chipping remains an issue.

"I'm just really glad the team made it to state," Langley said. "As for my chipping I'm going to work on it and get that squared away by state."

Tee times for Monday's state tournament will be released this week. Tuesday the players will tee off in reverse order of their Monday scores with the low scores teeing off last.


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