RICHMOND — All they wanted was a trophy. Any trophy.
There were two trophies on the table Monday at the 4th Region Tournament, and the Boyle County girls just wanted to get their hands on one of them.
Only one said “champion,” but both trophies came with the same ticket to the state tournament, so the Rebels weren’t the least bit disappointed with second place.
Second place means Boyle will send a team to state for the first time in 15 years, and the Rebels said with one voice that was their primary objective.
“Our goal was to just make it to state. I don’t care if we come in first or second, it’s an accomplishment either way,” Boyle’s Michaela Jarman said.
Jarman shot 79 and Rachel Pingleton shot 80 at Gibson Bay Golf Course to lead Boyle to a four-person score of 334. The Rebels were 10 strokes behind Henry Clay but a comfortable 22 strokes ahead of Paul Dunbar and West Jessamine, who tied for third place.
“We were hoping to bring home a regional title for our school and just for us as a team, but taking second will suffice,” Pingleton said. “As long as we’re going to state, we didn’t really care as far as first or second. We just wanted to get there.”
Boyle earned its first state tournament berth since 1997, the program’s second season. The Rebels will play in the state tourney next week in Bowling Green.
Pingleton, one of two seniors in the five-person lineup, earned an individual state qualifying berth in each of the last two seasons, and she said the goal for her and the team was to get everybody there this year.
“That was our intent, that was the main focus for all of us. We just wanted to get there as a team and make it all together,” she said. “I’m pretty proud of everybody.”
The Rebels were fourth in last year’s regional, but Pingleton said they were confident that they could earn a qualifying spot this year if they shot scores that were close to normal. All five of them shot 94 or better.
“We’ve played all the teams, and we’ve held our own against them. The only one we knew we’d have trouble with was Henry Clay, and obviously they were the better team today,” Pingleton said. “That’s all we needed today, was everybody to shoot their normal score and try to do the best they could.”
The one Boyle girl who might have been farthest from normal was Jarman. The sophomore said her goal was to shoot 85, but she went well below that with a 79 that left her in third place, four shots behind individual champion Megan Kinney of Western Hills.
“I think I played pretty well. Seventy-nine’s a good score for me,” said Jarman, whose older brother Dakota is attempting to qualify for the boys state tournament for the second straight year today in Springfield.
Jarman played a steady round highlighted by a birdie on the par-4 10th hole, where she landed her approach shot 5 feet from the cup.
“It was an effortless day for her. She was having a really good time with the players that she was with, and she really, truly didn’t know her score, and that’s how it should be. So when she realized that she had done so well, she was quite surprised,” Boyle coach Sharon Beasley said.
Jarman said her lower-than-usual score would not raise her expectations for next week.
“I was just on a roll today,” she said. “I feel like today was just a good day. I don’t think I can do any better than that.”
Pingleton finished in a three-way tie for fourth place.
“I had a good score, a very solid score, I knew that’s what it would take to help my team out,” she said. “Of course, I think I could’ve done just a little better, but I’ll take what I can get.”
Boyle sophomore Caroline McDonald shot 83 to finish in a tie for 12th place. Senior Alexis Draut shot 92; eighth-grader Samantha Stewart shot 94.
All five golfers helped make this a banner year for the Rebels, who won invitational tournaments at Madison Central and Rowan County and were ranked fifth in the state in the latest Kentucky Golf Coaches Association poll.
“This team has done more than any other girls golf team at Boyle County as far as scoring, tournaments won, placing in the state,” coach Sandy Waters said. “It’s a team effort, and it took every single one of them to make this happen.”
Jarman said she looks forward to seeing what happens at the state tournament, which begins Oct. 2.
“I just look forward to spending more time with my team,” she said. “I think we’ll have a lot of fun as a team. I think we’ll play good, too.”
Allison Griffith shot 92 to lead Mercer County, which tied for 11th place in the 15-team field.
Girls 4th Region Tournament
At Gibson Bay Golf Course, Richmond
Par: 72; Yardage: 4,869
(Top two teams, four individuals qualify for state tournament)
1. Henry Clay 324; 2. Boyle County 334; 3. Paul Dunbar 356; 3. West Jessamine 356; 4. Anderson County 362; 5. Western Hills 363; 6. Lexington Christian 372; 7. Lafayette 383; 8. Madison Central 389; 9. Sayre 391; 10. Franklin County 399; 11. Mercer County 447; 11. Tates Creek 447; 13. Madison Southern 462; 14. Berea 493; 15. Model 536.
q-Megan Kinney (Western Hills) 75
Meg Mills (Henry Clay) 76
Michaela Jarman (Boyle County) 79
Allison Leigeb (Henry Clay) 80
Rachel Pingleton (Boyle County) 80
q-Jane Watts (Woodford County) 80
qx-Kaitlyn Riley (Anderson County) 81
qx-Grace Rose (West Jessamine) 81
Shelby Campbell (Paul Dunbar) 81
Tristyn Nowlin (Madison Central) 81
q-individual state qualifier
x-qualified on second hole of sudden-death playoff
Boyle County (334) — Michaela Jarman 79, Rachel Pingleton 80, Caroline McDonald 83, Alexis Draut 92, Samantha Stewart 94.
Mercer County (447) — Allison Griffith 92, Hope Kelly 105, Rebekah Upchurch 125, Tatum Wessling 125, Samantha Myers 127.