RICHFIELD — The girls' golf season at Delta High School started with no expectations and turned into a journey of self-discovery.
As the 2A girls' golf schedule progressed, the Lady Rabbits grew from a group of girls who thought there was no chance of ever holding the state championship trophy into a confident team, said coach Todd Mullen.
The Lady Rabbits captured the 2A crown Tuesday afternoon at the state tournament at Cove View Golf Course in Richfield. They narrowly beat second-place Rowland Hall in a 269-264 race.
"They've never competed for a state championship before," Mullen said of his team. He said as the season developed, the girls found the ability to compete within themselves.
When the team won the Region 13 championship, it was clear things were coming together.
"They started asking me about winning state," Mullen said. "They were thinking about it."
The 2A division was thrown wide open this season as the championship team for the past two years, Richfield, was moved up into the 3A division. At the same time, Delta was shifted into 2A category from its spot in 3A.
"It's been fun watching the excitement of them learning that they can compete," Mullen said. The cool, yet sunny day that allowed Delta's girls to card some of their best games of the year.
Melody Brinkerhoff led Delta's team, shooting an 87 on the par-72 course. Brinkerhoff, the only senior on Delta's squad, finished in third place individually.
Stacia Hill placed fifth individually, and carded a 90 for Delta.
Brooklyn Henrie finished with a 99 for Delta followed by teammates Jensie Bahr (103), Drew Dutson, (108) and Brianna Buhler (132).
"They handled the pressure and performed really well today," Mullen said. "It's been really fun for us to have girls golf."
While Delta's girls took home the first-place team trophy, it was a competitor from region rival Millard who took the individual gold.
Marissa Louder, a junior, shot a 77 to take first place individually. Her score was five-over-par on the 18-hole course. She beat second place Rowland Hall's Caity Kwun by 11 strokes.
"My second shot wasn't great," Louder said. She was able to salvage the first hole for par, which set the tone for the rest of her game. When her drive on the sixth hole hooked just the right way to avoid a sand trap, Louder said she knew it was going to be good day.
"It was just a fun, good time," Louder said.
Emery's Sydnee Guymon nabbed fourth place individually with an 89. Delta's Stacia Hill turned in one of her best rounds of the year, posting a score of 90 for fifth place.
Rowland Hall's Grace Veghte finished in sixth place with a 92, Maeser Prep Academy's Mia Meredith scored 94 for seventh, Waterford's Katherine Hetzel placed eighth at 96, Grand's Brook Shultz in ninth at 97 and Beaver's ChezNee Willden in 10th at 98.