Back in Class 2A for the first time since 2010, the Salado boys and girls golf teams are already making themselves right at home.
Making their return to a 2A district tournament following the UIL’s latest bi-annual realignment in February 2012, after spending the last two years in Class 3A, both the Eagles and Lady Eagles reigned as District 16-2A champions, winning by a combined 101 strokes over runner-up Cameron Yoe. Both Salado teams advance to the Region II-2A golf tournament at Stephenville’s Legends Country Club, with the girls competing Monday and Tuesday, and the boys competing next Wednesday and Thursday.
The Salado boys easily swept through the rest of the 16-2A field, taking the top three individual spots and four of the top five finishers, led by junior Dane Hankamer’s even two-day 152 (76-76). Fellow Eagles juniors Kase Spears and Kyle Heiner medaled second and third individually with 157 (81-76) and 167 (83-84), respectively. Salado junior varsity golfer Fred Barnett took fifth individually (180) while senior Brandon Womac (190) and Javier Cruz-Cortes (194) finished 10th and 12th, respectively.
Led by senior Meredith Ward, who won the individual 16-2A championship with a two-day 170 (90-80), the Lady Eagles won the team title with a 741 (383-366), 22 strokes ahead of runner-up Cameron Yoe (771). Salado had three of the top five individual finishers with all five placing in the top 10.
Behind Ward, was bronze winner Kate Goldsmith (181), who won third in a tie breaker with Cameron’s Megan Dohnalik, and fifth-place Sarah Colley (189), along with Rachel Ray and Molly Rodeffer, who finished eighth and 10th with a 209 and 220, respectively.
Led by then-senior Ryan O’Rear, now a senior at Baylor, the Eagles won their third straight 2A state championship in 2009. A year later, the Lady Eagles followed suit, winning their fifth state championship in school history but first since 2006.
Following the move to 3A, both Salado golf teams struggled, even so far as failing to have a single representative at the state tournament for the first time in a decade last season.
In 2011, then-senior Taylor O’Rear was Salado’s lone state qualifier, finishing second overall after falling apart on the second day of the tournament.