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St. Charles North girls golf sophomores in solid positions after opening day

St. Charles North sophomore girls golfers Kate Lillie and Gianna Furrie remain in prime position at the Class AA state meet at Hickory Point.

The North Stars standouts might be even closer to the top individual spot if not for Mother Nature.

Lillie shot a 7-over-par 79 and Furrie followed with an 81, putting themselves in striking distance of leaders Jessica Yuen (Neuqua Valley), Alexis Biedrzycki (Lincoln-Way West) and Madasyn Pettersen (Rockford Guilford co-op), who each are 1-over entering today’s final round. Still, facing what North Stars coach Irish Whalen called a “two-club wind” on the back nine offered a roadblock Friday as North competed in the day’s first wave.

“The front nine was kind of calm and cool, and both of them shot really in their ballpark of what they shoot,” Whalen said. “Come the back nine, scores kind of went up a little because of the weather.”

North shot a collective 69 strokes over par and ranks 11th among 12 schools in the team race. New Trier, plus-34, leads Hinsdale Central by a stroke for the top spot.

Senior Gabi Spinazze (89) and junior Kayla Janchik (108) rounded out North’s scoring. Lillie, Furrie and Spinazze return from North’s 2013 team, which finished ninth in AA.

“They definitely lead by example, so they’re very positive with all their teammates and were explaining a lot of the golf course to their teammates,” Whalen said.

Competing at the Class A meet at Red Tail Run in adjacent Decatur, Wheaton Academy closed Day 1 tied for 10th in its state debut. Both the Warriors and Geneseo shot 99 strokes over par, 51 behind leader Rochester, which holds a one-shot advantage on Belleville Althoff.

A pair of Geneva residents – junior Hailey Farmer and sophomore Lauren Isenhart – led the Warriors with a 91 and 95, respectively. Meredith Bult (96) and Megan Herring (105) followed.

Wheaton Academy, in just its third year under coach Haley Martin, won its own regional before placing second at the Watseka Sectional.

At the AA meet, Burlington Central junior Josie Kurosky’s 84 paced a trio of Chronicle-area individual qualifiers that also included St. Charles East freshman Nicole Jordan (99) and Kaneland senior Tori Guyton (101).

Each athlete followed an older sister’s footsteps to Hickory Point and is making her state debut.

Kurosky continues a whirlwind week. She initially was scheduled to be part of a Tuesday playoff at the Conant Sectional at Fox Run in Elk Grove Village after all other scores were determined Monday. She was early in the stages of the commute from home to Fox Run when she learned the playoff had been canceled due to unplayable conditions. All four would-be participants were state-bound.

“I wasn’t necessarily nervous, I was just very unhappy,” Kurosky said. “So when we got the call, I was very excited and it was a miracle, kind of. So it was great.”

Longtime Rockets coach Deb Twenhafel, the program founder who will retire as a teacher and coach at the end of the school year, followed Kurosky on Friday. She is set to monitor BC’s boys qualifiers at the Class 2A meet in Normal today.

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