Winter Haven High Freshman Athena Yang Takes District to Go With County Title
Mon. October 15, 2012 at 11:49 p.m. | By Polk Preps Staff
WINTER HAVEN FRESHMAN ATHENA YANG shot 5-over-par 77 to win the county title by two strokes over Bartow's Markie McCann and Lake Gibson's Amanda Gartrell. (Photo by RICK RUNION | LEDGER PHOTOS)
By DEL MILLIGAN
LAKELAND | Competing in the prep golf postseason for the first time, Winter Haven High School freshman Athena Yang fired a 2-under-par 70 for medalist honors at Cleveland Heights Golf Course on Monday.
Yang, 14, said she wasn't nervous in the girls' Class 2A-District 8 Tournament.
"I just told myself to relax," said Yang, who also plays on the Florida Junior Tour. "I told myself it was just like any other tournament."
Yang made three birdies — on Nos. 5C, 1B and 2B — along with a lone bogey on 6B.
Her longest birdie putt was 15 feet on 2B after hitting a 54-degree wedge.
"I told myself just to make sure my head stayed down and to go right through it," said Yang, who also won the Polk County Girls Tournament on Oct. 8 with a 77.
Markie McCann of Bartow carded a 75 to finish second individually, but led the Yellow Jackets to the team title.
McCann, a junior who qualified for the state tournament as a sophomore, played alongside Yang.
"She did good. I'm OK with that," McCann said.
Bartow posted a team score of 357, easily outplaying Sebring (373) and George Jenkins (388). All three teams advanced to the Class 2A regional tournament Oct. 22 at Windermere Country Club near Orlando.
For district champion Bartow, Jackie Caron added an 83, while Nicole Radivilov shot 95. Rachel Imig and Kaitlyn Boswell posted 104s. Boswell improved 21 strokes on her score in the county tournament, said Bartow first-year coach Jake Horne.
Sebring, the 2011 district champion, was led by Sarah Liles with an 81. Morgan Shock was low scorer for George Jenkins with a 92.
The top three individuals not on one of the top three teams also advanced to regionals. Yang qualified first, followed by Lake Gibson's Amanda Gartrell, who shot 81.
The third spot went to Auburndale's Shelby Brauckmuller, who defeated Katelin Lawson of Ridge Community on the fourth playoff hole after both finished with 85s.Brauckmuller won with a par on No. 9C.