Weber, Pritchett qualify for sectionals for Spartans

SHAWN RONEY

Sports editor

RICHMOND – Monday was a happy day for Richmond senior Taya Weber. And a sad one.

That day, Weber placed 11th at the Class 1 District 7 Tournament at Shirkey Golf Course to qualify for the Sectional 4 Tournament, slated Oct. 14 at St. Joseph Country Club. The top two teams and top 15 individuals not on those teams advanced.

Richmond’s varsity girls golf team did not qualify. The defending district champion Spartans placed third by shooting a combined 484 – 17 strokes behind runner-up Odessa and 65 strokes behind tournament champion Pembroke Hill, a Kansas City-based private school.

“I really wanted to make it as a team – and actually, it choked me up a little bit that we didn’t. … It is an individual sport, but my team is the biggest part of … my accomplishments,” Weber said.

But Weber was pleased with herself for advancing individually.

“I really did work for this,” she said.

Weber wondered if she would advance. Like Excelsior Springs junior Hope Chappel, who qualified by placing 12th, she had to endure a waiting period that wore on her nerves.

Weber’s assessment of her performance Monday might have contributed to her nervousness. She shot a 100 (+36) for the 18-hole, par-74 round – “one of the worst days I’ve had out on the course,” she said. But Weber acknowledged she is a tough critic regarding her golfing.

“I just had to relax and keep going,” she said. “The biggest thing is, keep going when you’re out there.”

Although the score disappointed Weber, she “had a fun time,” she said shortly after finishing her round.

“The girls I played with were easy to talk to,” Weber said. “I went out there with a positive attitude.”

Weber was one of two Spartans to advance. Senior Alissa Pritchett qualified by shooting a 114 (+40), tying her with Olivia Laine Walters of Benton, a St. Joseph-based public school.

“I was expecting low-100s – like 105, like around there,” Pritchett said. “But it didn’t turn out to be that way. Started off OK, but kind of went downhill.”

Pritchett’s mental approach might have helped her advance.

“I try to keep my mindset … level – like, … (when I have) bad shots, I just think of … the good and different shots that I’ve had,” she said. “And I don’t like to add up my scores until the very end because that usually messes me up. … I don’t like to get too excited or too upset with myself because that usually messes me up as well.”

Richmond coach Murray Dennis was “very proud of” Pritchett and Weber for qualifying.

“I know they had some bad holes, but they bounced back and did what they had to (do) to move on,” Dennis said.

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