CONRAD - While there's been plenty of good outings this season, Grundy Center coach Rick Schupbach was still waiting for the first great one from his squad.
The Spartans chose the perfect time to deliver.
Placing four individuals in the top six, the Grundy Center girls golf team dominated the North Iowa Cedar League West Division Championship with a score of 349 at Oakwood Golf Course Monday.
T-R PHOTO BY TYLER STRAND
South Tama County’s Paige Van Dyk watches her putt glide across the green on the final hole (No. 9) of the NICL West Division Championship at Oakwood Country Club in Conrad Monday. Van Dyk carded a pair of 38s to earn medalist honors after taking second last season.
South Tama County's Paige Van Dyk pulled away for medalist honors carding a six-over 76 to finish six strokes ahead of runner-up Lindsay Freeman of Grundy Center, while the defending champion Trojans (413) held off South Hardin (420) for second.
The Spartans' Baylie Wrage and Josie McMartin fired 84 and 85 respectively to place fourth and fifth, while Hillary Samo took sixth (96).
"This is just what we've been waiting for all year," Schupbach said. "Our girls were able to keep their rounds together the entire time without any real big numbers coming into the mix."
NICL West Division Championship
Oakwood Golf Course, par 35
Team Standings - 1. Grundy Center 349, 2. South Tama County 413, 3. South Hardin 420, 4. AGWSR 425, 5. West Marshall 427, 6. BCLUW 446, 7. East Marshall 486, 8. Gladbrook-Reinbeck 505.
All-Conference (top 9) - 1. Paige Van Dyk, STC, 76; 2. Lindsay Freeman, GC, 82; 3. Baylie Wrage, GC, 84; 4. Josie McMartin, GC, 87; 5. Cami Eller, SH, 88; 6. Hillary Samo, GC, 96; 7. Meghan Heinz, AGWSR, 99; 8. Carrie Cibula, STC, 99; 9. Shayla Moler, WM, 100.
GRUNDY CENTER (349) - Freeman 82, Wrage 84, McMartin 87, Samo 96, Maddy Grineski 111, Delaney Sandell 116.
SOUTH TAMA (413) - Van Dyk 76, Cibula 99, Laurel Scharnweber 112, Elysiana Gonzalez 126, Erin Clayton 133.
SOUTH HARDIN (420) - Cami Eller 88, Alaina Lake 104, Haley Lawrence 112, Jaelyn Daggs-Olson 116, Kristin Mathis 124, Haley Dilley 135.
AGWSR (425) - Meghan Heinz 99, Maddie Heinz 103, Brooke Harrenstein 107, Emily Brekunitch 116, Ashley Sicard 116, Morgan Rose 126.
WEST MARSHALL (427) - Shayla Moler 100, Kenadey Porter 105, Claire Underwood 110, Rory Dunn 112, Savannah Zahnd 126.
BCLUW (446) - Laura Crawford 107, Norah Sams 112, Shelby Trinkle 113, Sarah McCoy 114, Rebecka Keller 114, Molly Pieper 122.
EAST MARSHALL (486) - Sydney Henricks 115, McKenzie Farhni 117, Alyssa Kozak 120, Sarah Pippin 134, Haley Hemann 157.
GLADBROOK-REINBECK (505) - Callie Kuehl 124, Taylor Flamme 124, Rebecca Franksain 127, Kayla Gutknecht 130, Erin Wentzien 133, Ashley Moore 150.
Monday's perfect weather conditions - sunny and 70s - certainly didn't hurt. Wrage and Samo, both returning from shoulder injuries earlier this season, are also rounding into form.
"With the weather, the lack of practice and our injuries, it's been difficult to get the repetitions, but today it all kind of came together," Schupbach said. "The girls really stayed in the moment."
Playing in many big moments before, Van Dyk cruised to a conference title after finishing second to her sister, Taylor, in a playoff last year.
"I was more relaxed this time," said Van Dyk, who didn't let last week's lack of practice time due to adverse weather throw her off.
"I just came out and played. Everyone else has the same weather, but I feel like I have the advantage because I have more experience."
AGWSR (425) fended off West Marshall (427) for fourth, while BCLUW (446), East Marshall (486) and Gladbrook-Reinbeck (505) rounded out the field.
South Hardin's Cami Eller broke up the Spartans' quartet, firing an 88 for fifth. AGWSR's Meghan Heinz (99) edged South Tama's Carrie Cibula (99) on a one hole-playoff for seventh, while Shayla Moler of West Marshall (100) completed the all-conference lineup.
While the Spartans finally hit the level of play they've been looking for all year - they're not content to let it stop here.
"Everyone had little things they found that they can work on today," Freeman said. "We just hope to keep it going and improve little by little each time."