- Thiemann is medalist for third time in four seasons -
SULLIVAN -- Ask anyone involved in coaching and they'll tell you that the only season that truly counts is the postseason. And when it comes to the postseason, sectional time, Northview's Amy Thiemann has been money throughout her high school career. For that matter, so has the rest of coach Teresa Akers' Knights.
On Saturday, Northview captured their second sectional title in the past three years and Amy Thiemann won her third individual title of her four year career by shooting a career-sectional best score of 76 to defeat Linton freshman Rachel Pruett who carded an 80.
Afterwards, a smiling Thiemann discussed her round. "I started off pretty bad on the front but I really think as a team we were a little looser on the back."
For Thiemann, who has hopes of playing golf in college, the real improvement for her she believed was her short game. "We concentrated this week in practice on our chipping and putting. Actually I think the one day we practiced on it for two hours. But my short game really helped me out on the front-nine."
Head coach Teresa Akers admitted that watching her seniors tee-off on Saturday came with a degree of emotions. "I was a little sentimental," said Akers. "Emotion definitely played more of a factor today. I really wanted them to get off to a good start today."
While the outcome of the team race seemed in doubt through the first nine-holes the Knights gathered themselves for a back-nine charge that left their closest opponent's grasping at air.
All four scoring Knights played with poise an confidence through even the most adverse of moments in their rounds. The result? An impressive 21 stroke team victory over Terre Haute North.
In fact, as the Knights seniors Thiemann and Kelsey Smith have aged, the team has seemingly gotten stronger with their score of 339 being the best in the past four years at the Sullivan Elks Golf Course.
The score bests last year's score of 347 that tied the Knights with the Patriots who won on their fifth player's score and also trumps the 2001 sectional winning score of 348 for Northview. Jasper won in 2000 with a 358 so the Knights have hit rarefied air heading towards regional play at Otis Park Golf Course on Saturday.
Junior Brittney Cheek garnered fifth place overall for Northview, carding an 85 and displaying a great deal of poise after what could have been a disastrous nine on the par-four 10th hole.
At the moment, Cheek, playing number two for the Knights had just made the turn with Northview leading the team race tentatively by seven strokes. But rather than suffer a complete breakdown for the back-nine, Cheek calmly rebounded to par hole No. 11 before carding a bogey on each of numbers 12 and 13 and then drilling a superb tee-shot on the 132 yard par-3 14th to within about two feet. She sank the birdie putt and saved her round along with posting a top score for her team.
Thiemann and Smith had no shortage of highlights in their rounds as well.
Thiemann's back-nine 36 was the best in the field and showcased the sort of shots that have made her one of the toughest golfers in the area the past four seasons. Her second shot on the 462-yard par five 16th hole was just a modicum of her ability.
Her sizable tee-shot left her with a good angle at the green for her approach but a difficult decision like her playing partners. Play the safe shot and layup on a tough iron shot over a creek and through a narrow gap in the trees to the green and take a good chance at par. Or go for it and chase the birdie.
Thiemann examined the shot for a couple of moments before pulling out a club and taking a second look and brought out a club to layup. As coach Akers spoke with her a moment, Thiemann went back to her original club and knocked it stiff within about 20 feet.
She would birdie the hole and finish with pars to take home her third sectional medalist honor.
Smith was no exception in her outstanding play.
Playing on a knee that will need surgery for the third time in the offseason, Smith had some wild adventures on her way to her front-nine 45. Including one hole where her ball caromed off of three separate trees on different occasions. But she rebounded on the back, opening with a birdie on her way to a 42 and an 18-hole score of 87.
Freshman Millie Akers played with poise as did Madison Kirchner in their first sectional appearance.
Akers finished the front-nine with a frustrated eight on the 251-yard ninth hole and then double-bogeyed hole No. 10, but settled in for a back-nine 45 to cap Northview's team-scoring.
After the trophy ceremony, Akers discussed her team and their victory. "We've had really good senior leadership on this team with Kelsey (Smith) and Amy (Thiemann). I think that leadership really helped bring our freshmen through this season. They are all really good friends."
The Knights will now prepare for Saturday's regional competition where they hope to advance to state competition for the second straight season.
Sullivan Golf Sectional
At Sullivan Elks Golf Course
Team Scores: Northview 339, T.H. North 360, T.H. South 384, Southridge 391, Jasper 392, Sullivan 430, Linton 439, Owen Valley 467, West Vigo 489, Princeton 490, South Knox & North Central, no team score.
Top Individual Scores:
|1. Amy Thiemann (NV)||40-36||76|
|2. Rachel Pruett (Ln)*||40-40||80|
|3. Kelli Holloway (THS)||42-40||82|
|4. Christin Dodson (THN)||43-41||84|
|5. Brittney Cheek (NV)||40-45||85|
|6 tie. Katelyn Werne (Sr)*||44-43||87|
|6 tie. Diana Price (THS)||44-43||87|
|6 tie. Kelsey Smith (NV)||45-42||87|
|7 tie. Haley Merrill (THN)||39-50||89|
|7 tie. Sarah Bowers (THN)||47-42||89|
|8. Millie Akers (NV)||46-45||91|
|9 tie. Brooke Hilsmeyer (J)*||45-48||93|
|9 tie. Ann Chi (THS)||45-48||93|
* -- Advances to regional as individual
Amy Thiemann (76), Brittney Cheek (85), Kelsey Smith (87), Millie Akers (91), Madison Kirchner (97)
Terre Haute North (360)
Sarah Bowers (89), Christine Dodson (84), Haley Merrill (89), Ashley Miller (98)
Terre Haute South (384)
Kelli Holloway (82), Diana Price (87), Ann Chi (93), Lindsay Chapman (122)
Katelyn Werne (87), Mary McDaniel (94), Jayme Vogler (96), Amanda O'Brien (114), Elizabeth McDaniel (124)
Abby Schnarr (95), Brooke Hillsmeyer (93), Kristin Chanley (102), Ashley Gootee (102), Brooke Schroeder (111)
Emily Ross (98), Jessica Dugan (104), Libby Retseck (108), Ally Figg (120), Kelsey Metheny (125)
Rachel Pruitt (80), Samantha Collison (111), Lauren Miller (127), Tiffany Todd (121), Natalie Kendall (140)
Owen Valley (467)
Brandy McCarty (99), Jessica Miller (120), LeAnna Arnold (114), Sierra Heaton (134)
West Vigo (489)
Mika Hunt (129), Courtney Bibertstine (113), Stephanie Voll (115), Whitney Kos (132)
Jenny McConnell (95), Christi Walter (97), Allison Plemmons (112), Brittany Weiss (186)