By Wendi Reardon Price
EAST LANSING — Oxford girls Varsity Golf began the fall season like most teams – writing down their personal and team goals.
Unanimously the student-athletes wrote down go to states.
“Qualifying for the tournament became our single focus,” said Gretchen Gabler, head coach. “I was concerned they would feel too much pressure and we had a team talk about how that could impact their scores and finishes. The conclusion of that talk became our team motto for the season – no pressure, no diamond.”
She added, “he pressure of scoring well at our demanding home course, numerous tournaments with quality teams and the very talent filled Region 5 led to the diamond season.”
To the delight of the team and the community, the Wildcats qualified for the state championship after taking third place in the MHSAA Division 1, Regional 5 meet at Twin Lake Golf Club, Oct. 11.
Oxford made their historic visit to the MHSAA Division 1 Girls Golf State Championship at Forest Akers West at Michigan State University last Friday and Saturday.
Oxford finished in seventh place with a total of 730 after two days, 376 scored on the first day and 354 on the second day.
The top three finishes were sophomore captain Katie Pill in 29th place with a total of 174, with 93 on the first day, 81 on the second day. Senior captain Ellie Gieselman took 36th place with a total of 176, with 86 on the first day, 90 on the second day; and senior Gabi Wait, 43rd place, 181 total, 98 on first day, 83 second day.
During the regional meet, Gieselman finished in the top spot, hitting a 74 for the day for first place. Senior Keira Billis finished in seventh place with a 81; Pill, 11th, 83; Wait, 29th, 94; and senior Ella Flores, 41st, 101.
The Wildcats also won the OAA White Division Championship and also set a new 18-hole school record with a 307 total, which bested the 329 total the team set in 2022.
Gieselman, Pill, Billis and Wait received OAA All-League Honors for their play during the season.
Gabler shared the historic season began back in August 2020.
“Fifteen freshman arrived at Metamora Golf and Country Club for tryouts,” she shared. “They had skill, determination and confidence. As the 2020 season went on, I could feel this team had the potential for greatness.”
Gabler added as a coach she has worked hard to build a competitive program.
“But the real award is the relationships I have formed over the last 16 years of my involvement with Oxford Golf,” she said. “I am honored to serve the young women of Oxford.”
By Wendi Reardon Price