Pictured is Lincoln-Way East junior golfer Kelly Sterling. ...
October 31, 2013
Standout golfer Kelly Sterling has made it to the state tournament each of her three years at Lincoln-Way East, and she's steadily improved with each performance, claiming 29th as a freshman before climbing to 23rd last fall.
On the weekend of Oct. 18-19 at Hickory Point Golf Club in Decatur, facing competition from 111 other Class AA golfers and windy, chilly conditions, Sterling took a step forward again and finished 20th overall.
"She's finished better with each passing year," coach Mary McGivern said in a later interview.
If Sterling's pattern of performances continues — consistency and a "mechanically text book" swing are strong points of her game — she'll become the first girl in East history to make state four times, McGivern said.
"I'm sure her goal for next year is to be a four-time state qualifier," McGivern said.
Sterling's certainly shown she knows what she's doing out there.
Though she didn't make her first birdie until the tournament's 26th hole — after a practice round Thursday, golfers played rounds Friday and Saturday — she never scored worse than a single boogie, McGivern said.
"She battled the whole weekend," she said. "She made some incredible par saves."
Sterling's performance served as a capstone to an overall strong season for East, which won conference and regional championships, McGivern said.
Though the team will see seniors Karoline Pirko, Micaela Petrarca and Nicole Huss graduate, they'll be able to count on the return of Sterling and a solid crop of other talented underclassmen next fall.
"We had a great season as a team," McGivern said.
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