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O'Fallon claims team title behind Vanderheyden's Class 2A sectional crown

O'Fallon claims team title behind Vanderheyden's Class 2A sectional crown

Southwestern Conference girls golf tournament

O'Fallon's Maddie Vanderheyden putts the ball during the first round of the Southwestern Conference girls golf tournament on Tuesday, August 31, 2021 at Far Oaks Golf Club in Caseyville, Ill. Paul Halfacre,

Maddie Vanderheyden stormed to the medalist title and Reagan Martin tied for second Monday to help lead O'Fallon to a decisive team championship in the Class 2A Washington Sectional girls golf tournament at Quail Meadows Golf Course in Washington, Ill.

Vanderheyden, a senior, won individual honors with a 3-under-par 69. That was four shots ahead of her junior teammate, Martin, and Quincy freshman Sophia Gold, who both shot 73.

With Vanderheyden and Martin setting the pace, O'Fallon claimed the sectional team title for the second consecutive season and third time in five seasons and advanced to the Class 2A state tournament for the fifth time in six tournaments played since 2015.

O'Fallon shot a team score of 310 for a comfortable victory over Normal University High (322) and Quincy (324).

Those three teams, along with the top three teams from three other sections, advanced to play in the state tournament Friday and Saturday at Hickory Point Golf Course in Decatur.

The Panthers' team score also included an 83 from junior Caitlyn Chor and an 85 from junior Ava Pace. Also playing for the Panthers was junior Valerie Meinkoth, who shot an 88; and freshman Shaylee Ficken, who fired a 93.

O'Fallon finished a program-best sixth in the 2A state tournament in 2019 after placing seventh in 2017, 10th in 2016, 12th in 2015 and 12th in 2002.

No state tournament was played in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Panthers were the only area team qualifier at Quail Meadows.

Area individuals advancing to state were Edwardsville junior Nicole Johnson (77), Mascoutah junior Sophia Florek (78) and Triad sophomore Emma Hill (80).

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