Skibba wins Big 8 golf championship

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MTT News's picture
Rob Reischel
Middleton's Loren Skibba won the Big Eight Conference girls golf tournament last Wednesday./File photo

There is going to be pain each and every round.

This much Loren Skibba knows.

But when there’s gain, the discomfort can quickly be forgotten. And Wednesday was certainly one of those days for Skibba, Middleton’s brilliant junior golfer.

Skibba had a day to remember at the Big Eight Conference meet held at Evansville Golf Club. Skibba, who has battled back pain all season, shot a 3-over-par 75 and won the individual championship.

Skibba’s big day helped Middleton finish second to Verona for the team title. The Wildcats shot a 322, while the Cardinals fired a 331 and Janesville Parker was a distant third at 364.

“I couldn’t be happier for Loren winning the individual title,” Middleton coach Becky Halverson said. “She has worked so hard and her confidence has come a long way. 

“This win definitely helps build her confidence just a little more and shows her that she can compete with anyone in the state. She had a smile on her face the entire day and was really relaxed out there. It was great to see that.”

It’s been a tricky season for Skibba, who finished fifth individually at state last year.

Skibba has sat out some meets to try and give her back the rest it needs. But Skibba has also found out that taking time off hasn’t been a foolproof solution either.

“It’s been the same all season,” Skibba said of her back pain. “I just have learned to tolerate it more because I didn’t want to miss any more of the season.”

Skibba certainly wasn’t going to miss the conference meet. And she made it a memorable one.

Skibba’s 75 was two shots better than two-time defending state champion Jessica Reinecke of Verona.

“I mean I feel great,” Skibba said. “I went into the day calm because everyone moves on from conference so there was no pressure there.”

Middleton senior Rachel Thornton had a day to remember, too. Thornton celebrated her 17th birthday by shooting a personal-best 80.

“I am so happy for her and how she played,” Halverson said of Thornton.  “That is great for her confidence as well.”

Middleton sophomores Alexis Thomas and Lindsay Callahan both added 88s. The Cardinals also lost No. 4 golfer Morgan Narowetz after seven holes due to severe stomach pains.

Verona, meanwhile, had a record-setting round. The Wildcats’ 322 team score established a new conference record, breaking Middleton’s 2013 mark by one shot.

“Hats off to Verona for an awesome day,” Halverson said. “They played awesome. 

“We just didn’t have what it took. Obviously we all wished we could have been the conference champs, but when all the scores were added up, that just wasn’t the case.

“Second wasn’t our goal, but that’s OK. There are more goals ahead of us. We will regroup and focus on getting ready for regionals.”

Middleton figures to have plenty of chances from here to go head-to-head with Verona.

The Cardinals and Wildcats will be the favorites at the WIAA Division 1 Madison West Regional next Wednesday at Odana Hills. If both advance there, as expected, they’ll collide at the Middleton Sectional on Oct. 7 at Pleasant View Golf Course.

The state tournament is Oct. 13-14 at University Ridge. And with Verona ranked No. 2 in the latest Wisconsin Golf Coaches Association poll and Middleton sitting at No. 3, the next few weeks should be thrilling.

“I think it’s fun having competition in your regional and sectional because it makes you want to work harder and have a goal to beat something,” Skibba said of Middleton’s rivalry with Verona. “I mean we've gone back and forth all season. We will see how it all works out at the end.”

Halverson said facing Verona so many times this year has toughened her Cardinals for the stretch run.

“It’s a good rivalry that we have,” Halverson said. “It’s nice to have some good competition in our conference. 

“They are a really good team and I think it’s great that we are right there with them. We definitely don’t like getting beat by them, but it gives us the drive to work a little harder for the next time we see them.”


Sept. 24

Big Eight Conference meet

At Evansville Golf Club, par 72

Team scores: Verona 322; Middleton 331; Janesville Parker 364; Madison Memorial 374; Sun Prairie 382; Janesville Craig 416; Madison West 427; Madison East, Madison La Follette, Beloit Memorial incomplete.

Top five individuals: Skibba, Mid, 75; Reinecke, Ver, 77; Smith, Ver, 79; Franken, MM, 80; Thornton, Mid, 80; Biesmann, Ver, 80.

Verona: Reinecke 77, Smith 79, Biesmann 80, Rebholz 86. Middleton: Skibba 75, Thornton 80, Thomas 88, Callahan 88. Janesville Parker: McDade 83, O’Leary 89, Polglaze 91, Kea. Richards 101. Madison Memorial: Franken 80, Blanchard 89, Elmes 99, Krieg 106. Sun Prairie: Genter 88, Tiltrum 95, Oehrlein 97, Lipke 102. Janesville Craig: Ennis 95, Stewart 99, Kaufman 110, Roscovius 112. Madison West: Morrison 99, Hellmer 103, Scholz 111, Kim 114. Madison East: Dornon 110, Watson 124, Allen-Wallace 138. Madison La Follette: Carman 116, Mael 125. Beloit Memorial: Day 93, Chapman 128.



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