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Alternative skills help Mustangs take 2A-9 title

Published October 20, 2004

LAND O'LAKES - The Mitchell girls are adept at using their nuclear drivers to smack shots screaming down the fairway.

The only problem was Tuesday's Class 2A, District 8 tournament was played at The Groves, a short course filled with hills and water hazards.

Even from the back tees, the ability to hit the ball a ton was nullified. That placed a premium on accuracy off the tee.

No sweat for the Mustangs, who showed their game is not limited to their drivers.

Relying on its short game and course management skills, Mitchell won by two strokes (330-332) over defending champion Seminole. Palm Harbor University (332) and East Lake (383) also qualified for next week's region meet.

"This shows how well-rounded the girls' skills are," said Mustangs coach Ray Cisbani, whose team won the district title for the second time in three years.

"We practice all kinds of shots, and this was a positional course that called for pinpoint accuracy. The girls weren't able to let it rip, and our team score was about 14 strokes off our average. But it was good enough."

Mitchell's No.1 golfer, Ashley Aguilera, shot a team-best 74 to finish seventh overall. Teammates Carolyn Salerno (77) and Samantha Chu (82) were among the top 10. "This was a very tough course," Aguilera said. "We just had to play smart golf, and I thought everyone on our team did."

The individual winner was Meghan Campbell, a freshman who shot 68 to help Seminole finish second. The Warhawks and Hurricanes shot 332, which set up a sudden-death playoff with both teams meeting on the first hole for a four-on-four tiebreaker.

After being issued a one-stroke penalty for hitting her approach shot into the water, the Warhawks' No.4 golfer, Julie Larsen, redeemed herself by hitting a 70-yard shot to save par and break the tie.

River Ridge's Shannon Howe (88) was one of four individuals outside the top four teams to qualify for regions.

[Last modified October 20, 2004, 00:18:19]

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