Girls' Golf: State x3 - Danielson returns to hallowed ground
By BRANDON HURLEY
The hits keep on rolling within the Greene County athletic department.
Senior Rachael Danielson is the latest student athletic to re-write the record books, securing her third straight state tournament appearance Monday, finishing runner-up at the regional final in Mapleton.
She became the first female to qualify for three consecutive tournaments in the 55-year history of golf at Jefferson High, Jefferson-Scranton and Greene County High School.
Battling rehab from a knee injury all season long, Danielson was determined to return to state, hoping to improve on her placement a year ago in Marshalltown.
The senior carded an 83 Monday to finish 10 shots back of 2A defending champion and second-ranked Annika Paton of Alta-Aurelia, but in sole possession of the second spot at Willow Vale Golf Course.
Danielson saved her best performance for the most important meet of the year. She wraps up her regional golf career as a two-time champion and one-time runner-up. Her success won’t end in regional play, though. Danielson is hoping to improve on a top 10 finish last spring.
“Rachael really played great and showed maturity and confidence throughout the day,” Greene County head coach Heath Tellen said. “She played her best golf of the season and one hole kept her score from being being much lower. Rachael should go into the state tournament with some lofty goals.”
The top eight individual golfers Monday advanced to the 2018 state tournament in Panora, though Danielson left little doubt whether she’d extend her career or not.
The senior out-shot Unity Christian’s Kate Fessler and Justine Malenke, who each shot 85 to place third and fourth, respectively.
Alta-Aurelia’s Erin Locken, ranked 19th in 2A, shot a 86 to come in fifth, while Southeast Valley’s Delaney Conrad (87) and Unity Christian’s Chloe Krommendyk (93) rounded out the top seven.
After spending the past three state tournaments in Class 4A, Danielson takes her first swing at 2A competition after the Iowa Girls’ High School Athletic Union implemented a four class system this spring, a change from five classes the previous few years. Danielson avoids three-time state champion Sarah Narcos of Washington, who was slotted in Class 3A this spring. Narcos won last year’s title by 23 strokes.
The 2018 Class 2A state golf tournament is set for May 29-30 at Lake Panorama National Golf Course in Panora. Danielson’s career-best finish at state is sixth overall last spring in Marshalltown.
Patton fired a two-day, 36-hole score of 154 at Jester Park in Granger to win the 2017 title by four strokes. She holds a 40.78 adjusted nine hole average this year while 2A’s top-ranked golfer, Bailee Frayne of Garner-Hayfield/Ventura sits atop the state at 39.24. She shot a 76 at Garner Country Club on Monday to finish runner-up to third-ranked Allison Nuss of New Hampton (75). Dike New Hartford’s Morgan Weber is ranked third in 2A with an adjusted average of 41.31 while New Hampton’s Morgan Nuss is fifth at 42.77. Lockin finished fourth a year ago with a 167.
Danielson sports an adjusted average of 43.6. She’ll tee-off at 9 a.m. Tuesday, May 29 in Panora and again Wednesday in the 36-hole tournament. Medals will be given to the top 10 individual golfers.