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Spartan Golf Invitational, 9.26

Lincoln Pius X's Nicole Kolbas tees off in September during the Spartan Invitational at Highlands Golf Course.

The girls state golf tournaments are Monday and Tuesday. Here's a closer look at the team and individual races:

Class A

Site: Norfolk Country Club.

Defending team champion: Lincoln Southwest.

Team qualifiers: Lincoln Southwest (317 district score), North Platte (322), Millard North (325), Grand Island (352), Lincoln Pius X (353), Lincoln East (354), Omaha Marian (356), Omaha Westside (366), Elkhorn South (367), Papillion-La Vista (368), Kearney (377), Lincoln Southeast (411).

Golfers to watch

Kaitlyn Hanna, Omaha Westside: The sophomore is the defending state champion, and she closed the regular season by winning the Metro Tournament.

Kate Strickland, Lincoln Southwest: The sophomore has improved on her breakout freshman season, and she's focused on bettering her third-place finish from a year ago.

Nicole Kolbas, Lincoln Pius X: Just a freshman, Kolbas has played like a seasoned veteran this year, winning three tournaments, including the A-4 district crown on a very tough Indian Creek Golf Course layout in Elkhorn.

Baylee Steele, North Platte: She was third at state as a freshman and fifth as a sophomore; shot a 74 at the district tournament.

Brynn Sundquist, Lincoln Southwest: The senior has been extremely steady all season, finishing in the top four of most tournaments.

Outlook

Southwest shot some impressive scores at the beginning of the season, and then shot another at districts when it had its varsity lineup back together for the first time in five tournaments. North Platte and Millard North will look to make things interesting at Norfolk Country Club.

Class B

Site: Elks Country Club in Columbus.

Defending team champion: Omaha Duchesne.

Team qualifiers: Scottsbluff (335 district score), Gering (341), Omaha Duchesne (342), Ogallala (345), Nebraska City (389), Blair (405), York (410), Aurora (417), Seward (423), Beatrice (425), Northwest (427), Waverly (438).

Golfers to watch

Danica Badura, Aurora: Last year's state runner-up has shot consistently in the 70s this season, including a 76 at districts.

Lauren Goertz, Omaha Duchesne: The senior shot a 71 in districts and was third at last year's state tournament.

Bridgett Duffy, Omaha Duchesne: The junior was one of three Cardinals to place in the top four at state last year after taking fourth.

Madilyne Kleich-Schlaepfer, Gering: Her strong sophomore season included a 73 at districts. She finished seventh at state as a freshman.

Emily Krzyanowski, Scottsbluff: The sophomore placed fifth at state last year.

Outlook

Omaha Duchesne has won four straight state championships, and the Cardinals will have their work cut out for them to make it five. Scottsbluff posted an impressive number at districts, and Gering wasn't far behind. Ogallala, which won Class C last year, also aims to be in the team hunt. The team and individual races could be very entertaining in Class B.

Class C

Site: Lake Maloney Golf Club in North Platte.

Defending team champions: Cozad and Ogallala.

Team qualifiers: Lincoln Christian (386 district score), Battle Creek (397), Norfolk Catholic (401), Lincoln Lutheran (402), Columbus Scotus (402), Kearney Catholic (404), West Point-Beemer (410), Hartington CC (414), Broken Bow (420), Cambridge (420), Mitchell (440), Oakland-Craig (449), Valentine (450), Syracuse (451), Gordon-Rushville (552).

Golfers to watch

Taylor Van Ostrand, Lincoln Christian: The senior has earned a medal at three state tournaments and has had a very consistent senior season.

Elizabeth Mestl, Heartland: The sophomore shot an 84 at Lake Maloney to finish in the top five as a freshman.

Lynzi Becker, Cozad: The sophomore shot an 82 to win districts last week.

Brook Diekemper, West Point-Beemer: Another standout sophomore. She shot an 81 in district play and was a top-10 finisher at last year's state meet.

Outlook

We are guaranteed a new state team champion. Cozad did not qualify as a team and Ogallala is in Class B. This is a wide-open team race. Lincoln Christian — led by Ostrand and fellow seniors Sara Morden and Alena Nelson — has won multiple tournaments this season. Battle Creek had four golfers finish with scores of 101 or better at districts.

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Reach the writer at 402-473-2639 or cgrell@journalstar.com. On Twitter @LJSSportsGrell.

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