Cats keep Big Eight golf title; Mehling zips to record

From Herald Staff Reports











From an armful of individual accolades to a team trophy for everyone to enjoy, the Jasper girls golf team kept most of the spoils to itself in Saturday’s Big Eight Conference meet.

With a team total of 336 at Evansville’s Eagle Valley Golf Course, the Wildcats breezed by runner-up Washington (370) by 34 strokes to keep the Big Eight crown for a second straight year and win the 19th league title overall in program history. Mount Vernon’s Kaelen Rice (80) snagged individual medalist honors while Jasper had four of the six other golfers who earned all-conference distinction. Maddie Wagner and Haley Schroeder both posted 81s, Gillian Blessinger carded an 85 and Hannah Welp fired an 89 to make the all-conference squad, and Brynn Leinenbach’s 102 rounded out Jasper’s scoring.

In the Pocket Athletic Conference meet at Oakland City Golf Club, Heritage Hills’ Vicki Nelson matched South Spencer’s Makayla Murphy for the low round of the day with an 81, with Murphy officially earning medalist honors by winning in a playoff. Southridge’s Baileigh Schneider was right behind with an 82 to guide the Raiders (390) to third place behind Gibson Southern (367) and South Spencer (382). Paced by an 111 from Audrey Jones, Forest Park (494) claimed seventh and Heritage Hills (517) came in eighth. Also for the Raiders, Olivia Mundy totaled a 96 and Macie Marley turned in a 103.

The rest of Saturday’s best in local prep sports:

Mehling motors to record: Forest Park’s team title in the A Division of the Eagle Classic at Brown County came with a bonus attached, as Ranger junior Claire Mehling jetted to a first-place finish of 19:16 that earned her the school cross country record in the 5K as well. Mehling was 12 seconds clear of the runner-up finisher while surpassing Nicole Rahman’s former record of 19:40 from 2011. With help from Josie Berg (fourth), Magda Alvis (ninth) and Mayson VanMeter (15th), the Rangers (59) were first of 20 teams while Jasper was sixth with Kate Weaver’s 11th-place time of 21:20 leading the way.
Jasper’s boys plucked third place of 19 squads in the AA Division race with Jackson Miller (16:23) and Drew O’Neil (16:25) in third and fourth, respectively.

Dylan Bland and Mitchell Hopf: Southridge’s Bland (16:50) and Heritage Hills’ Hopf (15:43) hustled to individual first-place times at the respective Evansville Mater Dei and Heritage Hills invitationals.

Cats trounce Tigers: Jasper’s boys soccer team (5-5, 3-1 Big Eight Conference) peeled past Princeton 8-0 as Tyler Hunt, Josue Dubon and Angelino Dubon each delivered a pair of goals and Camden Knies tallied his first goal of the season.

Patriots scoot to tennis title: Heritage Hills (10-2) captured the Washington Invitational title as Logan Smallwood (No. 1 singles), Cameron Van Winkle (No. 2 singles) and Jacob Luebbehusen and Josh Nelson (No. 1 doubles) all went 3-0 on the day.

Alan Kerstiens: The Northeast Dubois senior planted three goals (two on penalty kicks) for the Class 1A No. 13 Jeep boys soccer team (8-1), which pulled past host Salem 5-2 with three tiebreaking goals in the final eight minutes.

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