WEST DES MOINES - Five of its six players cut strokes from their rounds in the season opener as the Marshalltown girls' golf team finished in the top half of the Valley Invitational on Monday.
The Bobcats had a 387 team total to finish eighth in the 16-team event. MHS started the spring with a 393 on its home course at the Linda Bloom Invitational.
Ashley Harris of Marshalltown was third in the individual medalist race on Monday with her career-best round of 82 at Willow Creek Golf Course.
Hayley Lillibridge shot 101 for the Bobcats, Madison Sogge 102 and Katie Lynch 102. Kallie Davis added a 103 and Niccole Wolken 107.
"We had a very solid effort. This is a very young team with little experience," said MHS coach Tim Bell. "We just need to improve in the short game."
"It's fun to watch them learn and improve."
Waukee was the team champion at 325, 32 strokes clear of runner-up Valley's 357.
Harris also was third at the Linda Bloom Invitational with her round of 84.
"Ashley again had a very good day against some very good golfers," Bell said. "She was very consistent."
The round also served as the first half of the CIML Iowa Conference meet. Marshalltown is fourth among the league schools, seven strokes behind Ames. MHS is six shots ahead of Fort Dodge and nine in front of Mason City. The final 18 holes will be held May 15 in Mason City.
The Bobcats have their conference dual opener today at Ames.