PREP GOLF: Manistee’s Vander Weele qualifies for state finals

MONTAGUE — Manistee’s Megan Vander Weele qualified for the Division 4 girls golf state finals Thursday by shooting an 87 in the regional round at Old Channel Trial Golf Course in Montague.

Vander Weele’s score was the second lowest of the day, and as the top individual on a non-qualifying team, she punched her ticket to next weekend’s 36-hole final at Forest Akers East, Oct. 14-15. Vander Weele is the third Chippewa to qualify as an individual past a regional round.

“Megan came through with a spectacular round,” Manistee golf coach Ryan O’Donnell said of his junior. “She’s really been on fire for the past week. Finishing second in the region is pretty great stuff.

“I know she’s happy, I’m happy, and everyone as a team … are happy for her too.”

Whitehall’s Valerie Muyskens paced her team (357) to a first-place finish with an 84 while Ludington (395) and Grayling (399) also qualified for state as teams. The Chippewas placed seventh with a 422.

“I’m extremely happy with the scores that we had today,” O’Donnell said. “Going into the day, if you would have told me we’d post a 422, I would have thought we’d have an excellent chance at advancing out of the regional. But this year, the region was really, really strong.

“That doesn’t take away from the fact that the girls did their absolute best at the right time.”

Manistee’s Candice Coyle shot a 104 while Allie Mallison (112) and Desiree Maidens-Sedelmaier (119) rounded out the team score. Makayla Larsen was close behind with a 123 that did not factor in to scoring.

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