Loyola coach Jim Jackimiec was confident that his team was peaking as it headed down to Hickory Point in Decatur for the Class AA state meet this weekend.
After the first day of the two-day competition, he said he couldn’t ask for much more than they provided.
The Ramblers shot a school-record 299 to top Prospect, the team they finished second to at sectionals, by four strokes. Senior Isabelle Kane carded an impressive six birdies en route to a 68, which is two strokes ahead of Waubonsie Valley junior Bing Singhsumalee for the individual lead.
“It was a wild kind of day,” Jackimiec said. “The girls are great. They hit the course with confidence. I wouldn’t call it fluky by any means. They knew what they had to do.”
“How awesome is that?” Kane said of Ramblers holding first-round lead as team. “It’s a score I felt like we had in us, but we never put it all together at same time. This is awesome.”
Senior Taylor Gentzkow shot a 74 for Loyola, while sophomore Blake Yaccino shot a 77 and freshman Margaret Hickey added an 80.
Kane got on a roll and never stopped. She made the turn at 35 and then proceeded to fire three birdies on the back side for a sparkling 33 to wind up with her season-best 68.
“I definitely left some shots out there, some putts I could have made,” Kane said. “But I played pretty conservatively.”
In the team standings, Loyola and Prospect separated themselves from the pack with impressive rounds. Prospect’s 303 was led by 74s from seniors Kiley Walsh and Ally Scaccia, a 76 from senior Noreen Caporusso and a 79 from senior Emma Menich. New Trier finds itself in third place after shooting a 314. Senior Lexi Salberg led the way with a 74. Hinsdale Central shot a 316 and Crystal Lake Central a 317.
“They know it’s not over by any means,” Jackimiec said. “Prospect will be gunning for us tomorrow. It will be a fun day. They’re a bunch of happy campers. They’re not done yet.”
In Class A, Ridgewood senior Sabrina Bonanno shot a 67 to hold a one-stroke lead over Charleston freshman Lauren Chappell in the individual standings.