BY SAM SCINTA WEEKLY REPORTER
OTHS Girls Golf Head Coach Chris Eddy knew his team would be the Metro East’s best when the Panthers kicked off their 2016. And what he had hoped for, which was that his charges would extend that success throughout the entire state, is looking promising as well.
The Panthers headed north to Pekin to take part in the 18 team Pekin Invitational at Lick Creek Golf Course.
O’Fallon took with them the same kind of dominance they had been exhibiting throughout the 2016 campaign to a challenging Lick Creek course and the result was a similar one.
The junior quad of Emily Marrs, Alyssa McMinn, Natalie Meinkoth, and Brooke Boatman again led the way for the Blue and Gold, producing the team’s top four scores. Marrs shot an 82 and placed second overall, while McMinn’s 84 secured a fifth place finish. Meinkoth and Boatman would tie for eleventh with a score of 88.
Fenwick’s Stephanie Mroz won the individual crown, shooting a 73. The nine stroke win over Marrs and Sacred Heart Griffin’s Natcha Koonmee was the largest margin of victory for the individual standings in Pekin Invitational history.
OTHS’ team score of 342 just edged out Central Illinois power Normal Community’s 343 for the team title. Traditional power Sacred Heart Griffin would finish eight strokes out of the lead. Oak Park-Fenwick would finish in third, six strokes behind the Panthers.
Host Pekin finished in last place.
The Blue and Gold will continue to prepare for the upcoming Southwestern Conference Tournament and subsequent Regional and Sectional play, but if the Panthers continue on this run as a team, the target will be moved to a potential first place finish at the IHSA State Finals. Such an accomplishment would be OTHS’ first ever team IHSA State Title, and while momentous, is something this team is quite capable of.