Kerigan Klauber finally checked off one of the major goals she had set for her senior year of golf, and now she can concentrate on the other one.
With a 33 on Tuesday at Chatata Valley Golf Club in Cleveland, Klauber became the first girl in McMinn Central golf history to finish a nine-hole round under par. Klauber's 3-under-par round shattered her own school record by three strokes, an even-par 36 she had shot twice last year.
"It feels nice, and it's really encouraging going into the postseason tournaments,” said Klauber in an interview with The Daily Post-Athenian. “My other goal is to be top five at state, so just getting this first goal is really encouraging going into these big matches.”
And Klauber showed the next day that she might be ready to make a run at that state tournament goal. Klauber followed up Tuesday's record-setting day with the best 18-hole performance of her high school career, a 1-over-par 73 on Wednesday in the City Prep Tournament at The Bear Trace at Harrison Bay that landed her a third-place finish.
“I just walked in today trying to beat my last year's score, which was a 77, so I improved by quote a few strokes,” Klauber said of Wednesday. “So I've got a good rhythm right now in my swing, and I just hope to continue it into the state tournament.”
Central coach Daniel Curtis believed it was only a matter of time before Klauber shot a round under par as she did Tuesday.
“She was confident and due a good day,” Curtis said. “She's a hard worker and she definitely deserves the record with all the work she puts in. That's huge getting ready to go into the postseason, and we're hoping she can make a run in the postseason.”
Klauber believes her drives have been the difference the last two days.
"My driver has been pretty straight,” Klauber said. “It's been just down the fairway, so getting there and getting those birdie putt opportunities has just been really helpful. Just hitting keeping it in the fairway has been important.”
Couple that with all the hard work Klauber has put into her putting, and the results were one for Central's record book Tuesday and another personal best over 18 holes Wednesday.
“I've just been making putts when I've given myself birdie putt opportunities and just rolling them in,” Klauber said. “I've made a couple of long putts that I used to not make, so my putting has improved drastically over the last year and it's definitely helped my scores this year.”
Klauber's 33 Tuesday helped lead Central's girls to the team win over Meigs County and Walker Valley. Central finished with an 85, with Sarah Houk shooting 52 and Ace Buckner 58.
The Meigs and Walker Valley girls tied with a 97. Carlee McLemore scored a 47 for Meigs, and Tynsley Peadon shot 50 and Macey Bunch 55.
On the boys' side Tuesday, Central finished second with a 188 and Meigs third with a 195. Walker Valley finished first with a 165.
For Central's boys, Joe Houk shot 41, Silas Ward 43, Casey Wade 47, Bradley Farmer 57 and Justice Ward 60.
For Meigs' boys, Connor Mason carded a 40, tied for the individual best in Tuesday's match. Easton Meadows recorded a 50, Matthew McKheen 52, Braden McLemore 53, Ethan Meadows 55 and Alex Schaumburg 62.