FRANKFORT | Nina Nicpon plugged along Wednesday on Green Garden Country Club’s Blue Course.
“I was hoping to stay in the 70s,” Nicpon said.
She was the only one to do so, winning the individual side of the Class AA regional with a 6-over-par 78 and helping lead the Spartans to the third qualifying berth for Monday’s sectional at Coyote Run in Flossmoor.
Nicpon was around par most of the day, with a pair of birdies, including one on the par-5 13th where her third shot nestled close to the cup. There was one adventure — on the 321-yard, par-4 11th — where she found trouble.
“The tee shot went behind a tree, I had to take a penalty, and it all went down hill,” Nicpon said.
But the birdie two holes later proved she was able to shrug off the triple-bogey 7 and carry on. She edged T.F. South sophomore Maggie Sloan by two strokes for the individual victory.
For Sloan, it was her first tournament against girls all season. T.F. South doesn’t have a girls team, so she tees off with the boys team on courses that can play up to 1,000 yards longer.
“I love stepping up to a par-5 here,” Sloan said. “I won’t make a 7. Instead, I can go for a birdie.”
Sloan birdied the first and third holes, then settled in, and while 80 might have been as high as she was going to shoot — “I have to work on my putting,” Sloan said — it was good enough to lead the parade of the 10 individuals who advance to Coyote Run on their own merit.
Sandburg’s young Eagles scored the team victory with a total of 56- over-par 344. With not a senior among them, Sandburg beat Marist by 16 strokes and third-place Marian Catholic by 25 strokes. Junior Frankie Saban led the Eagles with an 8-over 80, with sophomore Emily Cosler a stroke behind.
“This was a little higher than we wanted, but we advanced,” Sandburg coach Todd Allen said. “We’d scored 322 in conference at Silver Lake, but that’s our home course. Now we go to sectional. We have to play well, but nobody has to play out of the ordinary.”
Marian had a 15-stroke edge on fourth-place Mother McAuley for the final spot in the sectional it will host, but it wasn’t an easy round.
Only the Nicpons —Nina is joined by sister Mira, a freshman, on the squad — broke 100. Mira Nicpon scored 88, while junior Jacqueline Poe was at 101 and junior Emily Schenck carded a 102.