Comets claim GMC title with record breaking performance

Alana Amaya | Staff Writer

Senior golfer Jenna Harter prepares to tee off in the GMC championship

The Mason High School girls golf team claimed the Greater Miami Conference championship at the league tournament held this week at Walden Pond Golf Club.

The Comets not only claimed their seventh GMC title in the last ten years but they also did it in record breaking fashion. The tournament team consisted of three juniors and three seniors who broke the all time scoring record set by the 2010 Ohio state championship team. 

The final leaderboard saw all six Comets earn first team GMC honors led by conference player of the year Catherine Zhang. Joining Zhang on the first team was Jenna Harter, Maddie Heister, Ally Madden, Nicole Mater, and Nicole Xie.  Head coach Chad Layton was also named coach of the year. 

According to Layton the pursuit of another title was definitely something on the team’s radar but it couldn’t have happened without the tremendous leadership provided by the team’s upperclass players. 

“Our seniors are a big reason why we’re at where we are at right now. Their excellent leaders and teammates for those around them, and their really great role models for the younger kids,” said Layton. “I think the younger kids see the amount of time, effort, and work these upperclassmen put in and the success it brings, and it leads down to them and they get hungry [for more] so it really starts with that senior group. Our junior class is very strong as well.”

Another important element in a winning team is constant practice to be able to maintain the high level of play. Zhang and her team weren’t affected much by the COVID outbreak because the game of golf is an individual sport that comes with natural social distancing. 

“We’re constantly working towards getting better,” said Zhang. “A lot of us practice every day even if we don’t have team practices, some of us will get together, but we practice everyday so COVID hasn’t really changed that, we’re just social distancing during practice.”

Even though golf is a very individual pursuit it still takes a tremendous amount of dedication and poise under pressure to deliver a team win. Layton is proud of the girls for winning the title but more importantly proud of all the work and preparation the team put in to accomplish their goal. 

“It starts with the families and the kids and all the time and preparation that they spend in the offseason, we take a lot of pride in competing in that GMC tournament. Big titles are important to us just like they are to any sports in this league,” said Layton. “There’s a lot of opportunities for that and the girls really went out and took advantage of those opportunities from day one.”

The record breaking scoring was led by Zhang who shot a two day total of 142 which included a day two score of a 70 under the extreme pressure of pursuing the league’s top spot. Right behind Zhang was Harter who finished one stroke back with a 143 which included a day two score of a 68. Heister finished fifth with a score of 148, followed by Madden with a 149, Mater 152 and Xie 155. All six Mason golfers finished in the top ten. 

Playing the tournament under the current Covid-19 situation was a new experience for the players. Typically after the tournament there’s a euphoria and celebration of being crowned league champions but this year due to distancing regulations the typical celebration was a little subdued but still didn’t diminish the team’s record breaking accomplishment. 

“I would definitely say [the feeling of winning] was more mellow because there wasn’t as much excitement building up,” said Zhang. “We were definitely still proud of how we did especially because we broke the all time scoring record and we were happy about that but there definitely could’ve been a little more that could have made us a lot more excited.

Photo by Rilee Malloy