COLUMBUS — For the first time in 13 years, golfers representing Superior High School competed at the Class C state golf tournament Monday.

Junior Haley Blackstone led the Wildcats through their first round in over a decade, firing a 102 at Elks Country Club in Columbus. Blackstone had three par saves in her round on hole Nos. 6, 9 and 12. Her score has her tied for 35th place after day one.

Blackstone, freshman Rayne Biltoft, and senjor Emma Henderson are the leaders of the Wildcats golf team. Henderson shot 105 and Biltoft 111 Monday. Head coach Kirk Utecht said it’s a toss up who might perform on any day, but Blackstone has always been one.

“The scoring averages in our top three are about the same but she has been our most consistent,” Utecht said. “She is always right in the mix. At districts she got nervous, but she got back into her form (Monday).”

Henderson, who switched to golf after three years of volleyball, had two par saves on the day on hole Nos. 8 and 12. Biltoft had par on the par five third.

The course, Utecht said, challenged his golfers. Elks CC is narrow with trees and features tough greens.

Utecht said he watched approach shots run out to the back of the greens. Many golfers had difficulty keeping their ball on the green.

“There are a lot of trees, so making shots is key,” Utecht said. “The greens were really fast. The greens were in the best shape that I have seen, but they really rolled out. I think that gave not only our girls but a lot of girls trouble.”

Minden’s lone qualifier, Callie Whitten, who was top 10 finisher at districts in Holdrege, shot a 104 Monday, which is good for a tie in 39th place. Whitten scored a birdie on hole No. 6.

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