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ALTON - It was a very good day for Marquette Catholic's girls' golf team as the Explorers, led by Gracie Piar's 68 to win the individual title, placed five of its golfers in the top ten in going on to win the team championship in their own Illinois High School Association's Class 1A regional tournament on Wednesday at Spencer T. Olin Golf Course at Gordon Moore Park.

The Explorers won the title with a score of 330, with Civic Memorial also advancing its team, finishing second with a 391. Salem was third with a 393, Jersey came in fourth with a score of 399, Father McGivney Catholic was fifth with a score of 407, Highland was sixth with a 415, Roxana came in seventh with a 444, Centralia came in eighth, shooting a 448, ninth place went to Breese Central at 453, and Staunton rounded out the top ten with a 455.

Breese Mater Dei Catholic came in 11th with a score of 428, Vandalia was 12th, shooting a 528, and Odin was 13th with a score of 555.

Coming into the regional, the Explorers decided to go out and play, and the approach really helped Marquette immensely.

"They did play well," said Marquette head coach Deb Walsh. "We had six girls out there who said let's see what we can do, they went out there with good attitudes, and they really played well today."

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"The key was staying in there all day," Walsh said, "and not let the questionable shots get us down. And Spencer T. is an outstanding course, too."

Piar won the individual championship with her four-under-par 68, with teammate Audrey Cain coming in second with an 80, Salem's Kenzie Anderson was third with an 84, CM's Sophee Brown was fourth with an 88, the Explorers' Clancy Maag was fifth with a 90, with teammate Ava Bartosiak and McGivney's Julia Stobie tying for sixth with both shooting 92, Bria Tuttle of Jersey came in eighth with a 94, Marquette's Cat Hollis came in ninth, shooting a 95, and Highland's Claire Korte was 10th with a 96.

Stobie and Tuttle advanced as individuals with their scores, joining Anderson and Korte in the field for the sectional.

Lily Montague was Marquette's other golfer, shooting a 100 for the day. Outside of Brown, the Eagles had Meredith Flack with a score of 99, Payton Whaley with a 101, Peyton Mormino shot a 103, Emily DeClue had a 108, and Ellah Brown shot an 111. Along with Tuttle, the Panthers had Jerra LaPlant with a 99, Nataly Weiner shot a 102, and Madi Darr fired a 104.

Along with Stobie, the Griffins were led by Ellie Hyten's 101, Grace Stanhaus shot a 102, Paige Yasitis fired an 112, Jillian Matthews had a score of 115, and Chloe Albrecht carded a 122. The Shells were led by Mia McCoy, who fired a 102, Reagan Lynn had an 112, Sarah Floyd an 114, Ava Strohmeier shot an 116, Sydney Watts had an 117, and Grace Brock carded a 144.

Analise Best was the leader for the Bulldogs, shooting a 105, with Whitney Weller carding an 111, Kendall Meyer had a 121, Caidy Tuetken a 122, and Emma Tjaden carding a 123.

The Explorers and Eagles, along with Messinger and Tuttle, all advance to the Salem sectional on Monday, and Walsh is looking ahead.

"I'm looking forward to some more good competition," Walsh said. "Unfortunately, with COVID, they're only awarding the top two spots, so we're hoping we can get one of them, but we'd like to finish first. It would be an incredible reward, and an incredible way to finish our season. I am so proud of the girls today."

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