A look at the team races and the players to watch

It’s state tournament season in high school sports and it begins with girls golf. The Class A individual race may be the top storyline, but there are many other golfers and races to watch.

Play will begin at 9 am Monday and Tuesday.

Class A

website: Norfolk Country Club.

2021 state champion: North Platte.

State-qualifying teams: Lincoln Southwest (311 district score), Lincoln East (316), Millard North (337), North Platte (345), Papillion-La Vista South (347), Lincoln Pius X (352), Omaha Westside (355), Omaha Marian (355), Elkhorn South (368), Kearney (376), Columbus (394).

Returning ’21 state medalists: Nicole Kolbas, Pius X (1st in 2021). Karsen Morrison, North Platte (5th), Sarah Lasso, Columbus (6th), Emma Moss, East, (8th), Elly Honnens, East, (9th), Erica Lee, Millard North (11th), Lauryn Ball, Southwest (15th ), Madison Murnan, Omaha Marian (15th), Izabella Pesicka, Millard North, (15th).

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Outlook: Lincoln stands to be the story here, both in the individual and team races. Pius X’s Nicole Kolbas is bidding for history, trying to become just the second Class A golfer to win three titles, and the first since Lincoln Southeast’s Angie Wilson won four in a row from 1985-88. The team race will likely come down to defending champion Lincoln Southwest, which has won three of the last four titles, and Lincoln East, which is seeking its first team championship. Millard North could also push for first place.

Class B

website: Monument Shadows Golf Course, Gering.

2021 state champion: Elkhorn North.

State-qualifying teams: Scottsbluff (325 district score), Omaha Duchesne (334), Elkhorn North (346), Bennington (369), Norris (382), Grand Island Northwest (385), Beatrice (386), Waverly (389), York (394 ), Hastings (406), Gering (425), Lexington (442).

Returning ’21 state medalists: Julia Karmazin, Elkhorn North (1st in 2021), Anna Kelley, Scottsbluff (3rd), Nielli Heinold, Scottsbluff (5th), Kathleen Kelley, Omaha Duchesne (6th), Isabelle Gutschewski, Omaha Duchesne (7th), Kiera Paquette, Beatrice (9th), June Mullen, Omaha Duchesne (11th), Shae Willats, Scottsbluff (13th), Elizabeth Wright, Omaha Duchesne (14th)

Outlook: Scottsbluff and Omaha Duchesne have combined to win eight of the last nine Class B titles, and it figures to be those two competing again this year after they finished second and third behind Elkhorn North in 2021. Scottsbluff won its district by a whopping 100 shots . Elkhorn North’s Julia Karmazin is back to defend her individual title, while Scottsbluff and Duchesne combine to return seven medalists from last year’s state tournament.

Class C

website: Elks Country Club, Columbus.

2021 state champion: Broken Bow.

State-qualifying teams: Broken Bow (338 district score), Minden (364), Lincoln Christian (382), Scotus Central Catholic (382), Adams Central (386), Oakland-Craig (387), Lincoln Lutheran (393), Wayne (397) , O’Neill (400), Laurel-Concord-Coleridge (403), Archbishop Bergan (403), Valentine (408), Superior (419), Hershey (428), Chadron (440).

Returning state medalists: Cecilia Arndt, Columbus Scotus (1st in 2021), Olivia Lovegrove, Lincoln Christian (4th), Camryn Johnson, Broken Bow (9th), Molly Custer, Broken Bow (12th), Taylor Beierman, Boone Central (14th).

Outlook: Broken Bow is favored to win its third consecutive title, after turning in the lowest district score by 26 shots. A win would make the Indians the first team to three-peat since Boone Central from 2009-11. Lincoln Christian’s Olivia Lovegrove, who finished fourth individually at state last year, fired a record-setting 65 at districts this year, is among the favorites for the individual title along with defending champion Cecilia Arndt of Columbus Scotus.

Contact the writer at cbasnett@journalstar.com or 402-473-7436. On Twitter @ChrisBasnettLJS.

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