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State golf: Van Ettens help Mitchell girls to seventh-place finish

OCALA — Megan Van Etten knocked down her final putt, hugged her mom, then high-fived her dad.

The Mitchell senior's high school career was officially over. She posed with teammates for photos and talked about her final round, still pointing out where she could have improved.

Mitchell's No. 1 player had one overwhelming goal this season — help guide the Mustangs to a state tournament berth for the first time since 2004. Once that was accomplished, anything else would have been a bonus.

As it turns out, Mitchell finished seventh at the Class 2A girls state tournament Wednesday, posting 343-336—679 at Ocala Golf Club.

Van Etten finished tied for 16th (79-73—152).

"Meg played a really good round," Mitchell first-year coach Scott Schmitz said. "She had a lot of birdie putts lip out. She really could have come in low."

Van Etten said she came out with a better attitude, that she was more focused and began to make putts. Next she'll turn her attention toward a collegiate career, possibly at USF where older sister, Emily, plays. A USF coach watched her round Tuesday, she said.

Next up to carry the Van Etten legacy is sophomore Rebecca, who tied for 32nd (80-85—165). She played neck and neck with Megan all season.

The Mustangs graduate two more seniors in Victoria Kinney (88-92—180) and Kristen Pitts (103-92—195). They also return sophomore Emma Fivecoat (96-86—182) and Schmitz, if athletic director Ian Mooney will have him back.

"I enjoyed it," Schmitz said. "I've learned a lot from them. They've learned a lot from me, which is kind of a cool thing. I don't have girls. I have two boys. I've never coached girls, so this has been different, but it's been fun."

Among bay area teams, Durant finished in third after shooting 328-324—652, but despite a better team round the Cougars could not catch first-place Lake Mary (311-314—625) or Melbourne Viera (320-313—633).

2A boys

OCALA — The birdies were out in profusion at the 40-year-old Silver Springs Shores course, just waiting to be snagged by the collection of elite boys golfers at the state tournament.

Lake Mary, behind individual champ Han Kim, won the team title with an astounding two-day total of 583. Kim followed his opening-day 70 with 7-under 65 on the 6,900-yard course, where water came in to play on eight holes.

Ridgewood sophomore Austin Padova mildly rebounded from a first-day 79 with 76, tying for 48th.

Joey Knight, Times staff writer

State golf: Van Ettens help Mitchell girls to seventh-place finish 11/04/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 4, 2009 11:07pm]

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