High School Golf: Lake Nona wins district crown, county sends 3 to regionals

From left, Tohopekaliga’s Morgan Beaulieu and St. Cloud’s Kierstyn Kelly and Jenna Barnett captured the three available spots to participate in next week’s Region 2 Championship at West Orange Country Club.

Led by Mei Chan’s two-over par 74, Central Florida golf power Lake Nona High posted four scores in the 70s to win the Class 3A, District 7 Girls Golf Championship at Royal St. Cloud on Tuesday afternoon.

Carolina Nemes (75), Alejandra Cambronero (79) and Aileen Kang (79) also broke 80 – as the Lions posted a team score of 19-over 307 to win the team championship over Viera (317).   

Viera’s Brianna Gabe took individual honors, firing a six under par 66. She birdied holes 3 and 8 on the front and 10, 13, 16 and 18 on the back of the 5,600-yard, Par 72 course (white and blue sides). She had a bogey-free round.

“I have played here many times and I have always enjoyed playing here,” Gabe said. “Conditions were near perfect and I was making good reads on the green.”

It was Gabe’s best round of the year, and one she hopes will propel her and her teammates to success at regionals.

“Our team goal is to get to states,” she said. “Hopefully this round will serve as a springboard for me next week.”

With the top three teams advancing to next week’s regional at West Orange Country Club, there was some drama as St. Cloud (351) held on to third place for most of the afternoon, before Vero Beach’s number five player Maylan Charlotte – playing in the last group – turned in a 92.  That score propelled Vero (348) three shots in front of St. Cloud for the last available regional spot.

“It was heartbreaking but totally not expected,” St. Cloud Head Coach Jim Endicott said. “Vero did not get their scoring averages in on time for seeding purposes so most of their golfers were playing at the end of the field.  We knew it was going to be tight down the stretch and unfortunately we came up a few shots short.”

St. Cloud was led by senior Kierstyn Kelly (80). Jenna Barnett (85), Brandi Bibeau (86) and Erin Maloney (100) rounded out the Lady Bulldog’s score

of 351.

Although no team from Osceola County will be moving on, golfers from county schools claimed all three individual at-large spots in next week’s regional.

As expected, Tohopekaliga sophomore Morgan Beaulieu advanced as the top individual not from a top three team.

She shot a 7-over 79 to finish in a tie for fifth overall. The OBC champion was two shots off her conference winning score of 77 from a week ago. Also claiming at-large spots for the regional tournament were St. Cloud’s Kelly and Barnett.

In addition to St. Cloud and Toho, Harmony also competed in the event. The Lady Longhorns, behind a 90 from Alyson Nash, finished fifth at 385. Toho was seventh at 473.