Lady Locos repeat as State Champions, Hannah Adams medalist

Chris Mcconnell
Thursday, October 10, 2019
Photos by Chris McConnell                        Hannah Adams (left) fist bumps her sister Haylee on their 18th hole on Friday after she won the Class A State Individual title. The Laurel girls also won their second consecutive State Title by a wide margin.

Photos by Chris McConnell
            Hannah Adams (left) fist bumps her sister Haylee on their 18th hole on Friday after she won the Class A State Individual title. The Laurel girls also won their second consecutive State Title by a wide margin.

It took the Lady Loco golf team 47 years to win their second State Championship and only 12 months to win their third, securing their names in the record books after a dominating performance at Laurel Golf Club last week.

Over the course of the 2019 golf season the girls never finished behind a Class A school, won 8 of 11 tournaments and lapped the field at Divisionals and State by a combined 106 shots.

The year saw every varsity player shoot career low rounds, sometimes on a weekly basis, and post team scores lower than any prior Lady Loco golf team, including a 320 at the Billings Invitational and 324 at the Billings Central Invite.

On Friday the girls team completed what turned out to be a year–long victory lap, adding another State title to their already–impressive resume.

Sophomore Hannah Adams shot 83–82 in the cool, windy conditions to grab medalist honors by six shots and become the third Lady Loco player to win State after Brianne Woods in 2000 and McKenzie Webinger in 2011.

The question during the tournament wasn’t if they would win, it was simply by how much.

After the first round the girls led second–place Corvallis by 34 strokes and Hannah Adams shot 83 to tie for the lead with Macee Greenwood of Corvallis. Her twin sister Haylee was one shot back in 3rd, Madi Cooney was in 9th place individually and Keli Hodges was 14th.

At the start of the second

round, Hannah birdied her first

hole and she and the rest of the Locos never looked back. She made the turn with a three shot lead and stood on her last hole four shots ahead. A par increased her lead to six and she was the 2019 State Champion. The team

shot 368–376 to finish 59 strokes ahead of Whitefish.

Even though Hannah was ahead most of the day she said, “I never thought I had it. I thought it was back and forth all day. I didn’t realize I pulled ahead until the end.”

Hannah played in the final

group on Friday with Haylee. Coming down the stretch it was obvious her sister was pulling for her. “She kept Macee’s scorcard and was checking all day to see where I was. We are competitive as a sibling thing, but we are always happy for each other,” Hannah said. “Winning State has always been a goal for me but this was unexpected. I didn’t think it would happen so soon.”

Hannah finished the season with eight top–5 finishes, never finishing worse than 9th in any

tournament. Her low round of the year was a 78 at the Billings Central Invite, where she tied for second with her sister.

Haylee shot 84–88 to finish in

solo 3rd and earn All–State honors for the second consecutive year, capping off an already–impressive season. She shot 70 in the

first round of the Billings Invite (an unofficial school record) and shot 75 to win the Hardin Invitational. She had eight top–4 fin- ishes including 2nd at Divisionals and the 3rd place finish at State.

Senior Keli Hodges shattered her career low round several times, posting an 81 on two dif- ferent occasions and finishing in

the top–8 eight different times over the season. When asked how the second title felt she said, “It is fun to win. Last year no one believed we could win State except Mr. O’Neil.”

Senior Madi Cooney matched her all–time best score twice, posting 87’s in the Billings Invite and Billings Central Invite. She had six top–10 finishes over the year while playing in the four spot for the Locos.

Breana Jensen had her career low 87 at the Billings Invite and had five top–6 finishes over the season. Her best individual fin- ish was at Old Works in Ana- conda where she finished in 4th place.

Laurel Activities Director Roger Heimbigner had high praise for the golf program and the coaching system of Head Coach Jim O’Neil and Assistant Coach Shawn Hackmann: “Coach O’Neil and Coach Hackman invest a lot of quality time and effort into our golf program year–round. Because of that quality effort kids are buying into the program and spending quality time as well.  It is nice to see the end results of those ef- forts in having five State Cham- pionships in the last three years. Laurel has always had a great tradition in the golf program. With our coaches continued leadership I believe our program will flourish for years to come.”


The Laurel Outlook


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