Boardman’s Pikunas 8th at state; Canfield 11th
Boardman freshman Jacinta Pikunas followed up her first round of 77 on Friday with a 79 on Saturday in difficult weather conditions to finish tied for eighth place in the girls Division I state golf tournament at The Ohio State University Gray course. The finish earned her All-State second team honors.
“It was a big difference, it was raining pretty much all day today and it was so cold. It is one of my first experiences in conditions this bad, though I have played a few times in bad weather in the spring,” Pikunas said. “But it doesn’t make a difference to me, I try not to let it get to me. I definitely didn’t strike the ball as well today, but things were still pretty good.”
The Canfield team, meanwhile, all improved their individual score from Friday, though the Cardinals still finished in 11th place out of 12 teams.
“The girls played more relaxed today, they played like they played all season, I was most proud of them,” Canfield coach Diane McCall said. “Unfortunately, yesterday’s score was too high to recover from and move up. Nevertheless, to be in the state tournament is a real accomplishment and I am proud of them.”
Junior Christina Cooper led Canfield with an 80 on Saturday, four strokes better than her Friday performance. She was followed by scores of 88 shot by seniors Michele Whiteleather (2 better than Friday) and Olivia DeMartino (1 better). Junior Kerra Loomis shot 89 (6 better) and Kaci Carpenter had a 94 (2 better).
“I will be sorry to see our seniors (Whiteleather and DeMartino) graduate, they have had a positive impact on the team and have led by example,” McCall said. “They are good role models and both play such a fine game.”
Dublin Jerome High won both the boys and girls D-I state titles — for the third straight year and fourth time overall. The Jerome boys won by five strokes over Pickerington North and the girls won by 10 strokes over Massillon Jackson.
Erin Harper of Columbus Watterson was the girls overall medalist with a score of 71-74—145, two strokes better than Cassie Pantelas of Jackson. Nick Sparling of Dublin Coffman was overall medalist for the boys with a score of 70-76—146, four strokes better than Jack Manciotti of Toledo St. John’s.
The weather was a major factor on Saturday.
“It was 43 degrees and we played four holes before it started to rain, then it rained pretty much the entire round,” McCall said. “But that’s one thing wonderful about this team, weather is not an issue. They never complain and they did better today than they did Friday in the sunshine. The course played longer in the wet conditions, but the greens were still lightning fast.”
Pikunas, who has tournament experience in summer play including The Vindicator’s Greatest Golfer of the Valley, was happy to be in Columbus as a freshman.
“It was an amazing experience, I am so glad I got to do it as a freshman. It was definitely an honor and I am so happy to have made it there,” she said.