Two years ago, the Ardrey Kell girls’ golf team became the first girls’ team from the school to win a state championship. This year, they became the first team at the school to win a second title.The Knights led both days of the two-day tournament at Pinehurst No. 6 to win their second N.C. High School Athletic Association 4A state championship in three years by 11 strokes over second-place Pinecrest. Ardrey Kell’s three golfers shot a combined 490. Senior Allyson Markiewicz finished tied for fifth with a 157 (80, 77), senior Emily Stinson had a 158 (82, 76) and sophomore Megan Cullip had a 175 (86, 89) to give the Knights the title.“We accomplished something we wanted to do all season,” Cullip said. Ardrey Kell was undefeated during the regular season this year, winning a fourth-straight Southwestern 4A conference title. The Knights then finished second at the 4A West Regional, 10 shots behind Pfafftown Reagan. “I think it gave us more incentive to do well,” Stinson said about finishing second at the regional. At the regional, Markiewicz and Stinson also talked about how they wanted to focus on winning a team championship this year. “We both could have won individually but we really didn’t want to win individually,” said Markiewicz, who finished second individually at last year’s state tournament. “We would have much rather won as a team and that’s what we did.” Only three Knights players qualified for the state tournament, which means that every score from all three counted on both days. It’s a different situation from the 2010 championship team, which had five scores to choose from each day. “There was no leeway,” Markiewicz said. “There was no one to lean back on.” The Knights were in the same situation last year, when they finished third as a team in the state tournament. It was hard on Cullip, who was then a freshman. But with the experience of last year, she felt more comfortable contributing. “I knew I could kind of rely on the two seniors if I had a bad hole,” Cullip said. “I felt that I didn’t need to put as much pressure on myself because that would just make it worse.” Ardrey Kell lead by two strokes over Cary Green Hope after the first day. Head coach Bart Whitney asked his players before they left the golf course if they played their best round. All three said no. The team shot a 242 the second day – six shots better than their first day score – to seal the win. Whitney has emphasized all year that winning isn’t the most important thing for his team. He wanted to make sure they were enjoying the experience, especially at the state tournament. “I knew that we had players capable of performing very well,” Whitney said. “My main concern was that they were putting way to much pressure on themselves.” He’s also talked all year about playing with a plan and playing the course, not other teams. The Knights had to deal with bad weather conditions. It was rainy, windy and cold during the two day tournament. But Whitney still wanted his players to focus on their plan, play aggressive and not give up any shots. The aggressiveness paid off on shots like Markiewicz’s on the second day when, after a bad drive that landed far right of the fairway, she wrapped a 5-wood around a bush and landed the shot about 20 feet from the hole. “It was the most amazing shot,” Whitney said. “In a moment like that, any other team was thinking, ‘OK, their final girl is in trouble.’ ... They were thinking about making a comeback and that took it away.” Markiewicz and Stinson have been important parts of the Ardrey Kell golf program as it has grown during the past four years. They’ve watched the Knights make it to the state tournament all four of their years at the school and they also both played on the state championship team their sophomore year. Next year, the two will be conference rivals when Stinson plays at Appalachian State and Markiewicz plays for Wofford. In leaving the program, “They wanted to just kind of leave it the best that they could,” Whitney said. “I think they wanted to know that they left their mark and as the seniors and captains and their last states, they really wanted to feel like they gave it their all.” The program loses its top two players this year, but Cullip returns as do five other underclassmen, including No. 4 freshman Alexis Whitney, the coach’s daughter. Cullip said she wants to come back to the state tournament her last two years of high school and continue the tradition. Whitney thinks that’s possible. “Some coaches were saying, ‘Congratulations. It’s going to be a lot different next year without Allyson and Emily,’ ” Whitney said. “And I just smiled and shook my head. We’re not done. We’re not done. We’re going to reload and do what we’ve got to do to keep it going.”
Wednesday, Nov. 07, 2012
Ardrey Kell girl golfers win another state title
Knights win second state championship
All-South Charlotte News girls’ golf Player of the year: Allyson Markiewicz, Ardrey Kell – The Ardrey Kell senior averaged a score of 35.8 (per nine holes). Markiewicz also finished sixth at the 4A West Regional meet and tied for fifth at the state meet, helping lead her team to 4A state title. Markiewicz, who is also No. 4 in the state junior golf rankings according to Carolinas Golf Association, will continue her golf career at Wofford. Coach of the year: Bart Whitney, Ardrey Kell – Whitney has built one of strongest golf teams in the state, winning two state titles in the past three seasons and finished third in 2011 and was state runner-up in 2009. Allyson Markiewicz, Ardrey Kell, Sr: Wofford commit finished strong at states. Emily Stinson, Ardrey Kell, Sr: Appalachian State commit finished tied for eighth at states. Megan Cullip, Ardrey Kell, So: Ardrey Kell’s No. 3 will have to step into lead role in 2013. Devon Garenza, Providence, Sr: Panthers’ standout finished seventh at regionals. Emily Herron, Charlotte Latin, So: Latin No. 1 finished fifth at states with an 86. Brook Vann, Charlotte Country Day, Jr: All-state pick finish tied for sixth at state. Roshnee Sharma, Providence Day, Fr: Earned all-state honors as freshman, helping Chargers to third-place at states. Rea Madan, Providence Day, Fr: Another all-state freshman for Chargers. Jay Edwards
Inscoe: 704-358-5923; Twitter: @CoreyInscoe
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