Girls' golf: McKenna tames wind to win Terror Invitational for third varsity victory

April 10, 2014 Updated: April 10, 2014 at 10:16 pm
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Air Academy Kelsey McKenna tees off on the #5 during the Terror Invitational at Patty Jewett Golf Course Thursday, April 10, 2014. Photo by Mason Trinca, The Gazette

It'll take a little more than gusty winds to throw Air Academy golfer Kelsey McKenna off her game.

"She's smart, and that helps a lot in golf," Air Academy 10th-year coach Judy Bogard said. "She thinks everything through, and she knows all the tricks and how to handle about anything. She's one of a kind; I've never had anyone like that before."

McKenna carded three birdies on her way to a 4-over-par 76, earning her second individual title in less than a month Thursday at the Terror Invite at Patty Jewett Golf Course.

On March 17 at the Spartan Invitational at Valley Hi Golf Course, the Kadets sophomore fought through blustery conditions late to earn a two-shot victory over Pine Creek senior Mary Kate Nelson.

Then on Thursday, McKenna rallied on the back-nine Peak course, picking up four shots after trailing Nelson by two at the turn.

"You just fight through the conditions and try not to worry about it too much," said McKenna, who also took top honors late last season at the Coronado Classic at Kissing Camels Club. "I think I was consistent enough with pars, but my putting and chipping saved me in this round. I wasn't hitting very well. It definitely varies from round to round."

Thursday's 13-school tournament counted as a league event for the 5A Colorado Springs Metro League.

While Cheyenne Mountain claimed the overall team title at 252, Pine Creek carded a 275 for the league's top 5A score.

Nelson led the Eagles, the two-time defending team champs, with a 78, while teammates Dana Rial (97) and Brittany Salgado (100) earned spots in the top 10.

"I want to get three in a row just as much as the rest of the team," Nelson said. "Going forward, we're not going to hold back. We're a goal-driven team, and we want to bring the whole team to state, not just one or two."

Cheyenne Mountain's top three players rounded out the top five. Junior Kylee Sullivan, despite a case of mono, shot an 82 to finish third, while Kelly Kruse and Stephanie Weber each ended the day at 85.

McKenna ended her day performing in her school's musical adaptation of "Legally Blonde," a decision that caused missed practices and a not-so-positive reaction from Bogard.

"She decided to do the musical, and you know how coaches are about things like that," Bogard said. "We're going to work through that one. I think she learned one big lesson. You commit to one thing or another, but she had a good time, and that's important, too."

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