Aitchison earns trip to State

Jaelyn Aitchison earned a trip to the State Girls Golf Tournament with a fifth-place finish in the regional finals. (Photo courtesy of Doug Ries)
Pete Temple
Express Sports Editor

   Jaelyn Aitchison took her best shot – pun intended – and let the rest take care of itself.

   The Monticello junior made that thought process work for her at the Class 2A Regional Girls Golf Tournament May 18 in West Liberty, as she shot 49-45–94 to finish fifth individually and earn a trip to the state tournament.

   “Honestly, I came into it just thinking about doing my best, and if I qualified, I qualified,” Aitchison said. “I knew I had a chance.”

   Aitchison advances to state, to be played Thursday and Friday, May 26-27 at Pheasant Ridge in Cedar Falls.

   “Qualifying for State is a great accomplishment,” Monticello coach Doug Ries said. “Jaelyn’s first three holes were a little rough, but she got it going after that. She kept it together mentally, which sometimes isn’t easy to do in golf. I’m really proud of her.”

   The top six, plus ties for sixth, advance to State. Aitchison’s 94 put her three strokes behind medalist Olivia Hines of Mediapolis, and one shot ahead of two golfers who tied for sixth and qualified as well.

   It will be the second trip to State for Aitchison, who qualified as part of the Panther team a year ago. This time she was on her own, but handled the pressure well.

   “Playing in regional finals and qualifying for State last year has given her the confidence she needs to compete in the big meets,” Ries said.

   She also had success with her club choices.

   “I didn’t play my driver that much because my hybrid was doing really well off the tee,” she said. “And then my putting improved a lot.”

   Aitchison said she is excited to compete at the next level.

   “Last year, it was my first time making State for anything, so I was a little bit more nervous,” Aitchison said. “Now that I got there, I know that I can relax a little bit more and just go have fun.”



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