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High School Golf

Averi Hanna, Secilia Ho off to slow starts at state tournament

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Cloverleaf's Averi Hanna and Wads-worth's Secilia Ho are on the outside looking in of an All-Ohio honor after the first round of the Division I state tournament.

That doesn't mean they don't have good looks at the window.

Both Medina County seniors broke 80 Friday during first-round play on Ohio State University Golf Club's ray Course. Hanna fired an 8-over-par 78 and is alone in 21st place, while Ho is one stroke behind.

The top 10 players, plus ties, earn All-Ohio status. The current cutoff is 4 over, giving Hanna and Ho opportunities to sneak into contention with low rounds this morning.

"It's good to know I have a chance," Hanna said. "I'll be sure to stay in it and not give up (today)."

"My start was probably the worst start I ever had this season, so I'm surprised I still managed to squeak out a decent score," Ho said. "It showed me that it's not over until it's over and to keep playing and not give up."

Competing in her second state tournament, Hanna had what she called an "up-and-down" round. She birdied the par-3 fourth hole and par-4 14th.

"I didn't play great," Hanna said. "There is definitely room for improvement, so I guess I'm just excited for another opportunity to play."

First-time qualifier Ho found out playing and watching are different animals but still salvaged a round in the 70s. The four-year starter sustained a double-bogey on the par-4 ninth hole to fall to 6 over and was facing a make-or-break situation.

Undeterred, Ho settled down and shot a 3-over 38 on the back nine. The highlight was a birdie on the par-4 14th, her second of the day.

"Well, I was definitely tense at the beginning because it was my first state tournament," she said. "A lot of people came to support, but after that tenseness was gone, everything flowed better so I ended strong.

"After nine holes, I started getting more comfortable with playing in that environment. My nerves started to settle, and I started to find my rhythm again and have fun."

First-time participant New Albany (300), Centerville (305), Ashland (310) and defending champion Olentangy Orange (310) are in contention for the team championship. Olentangy Berlin's Leila Raines and Centerville's Marissa Wenzler share the individual lead after shooting 1-under 69s.

Contact Albert Grindle at (330) 721-4043 or agrindle@medina-gazette.com.


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