LIBERTY — Liberty North girls golf won the Greater Kansas City Suburban Conference Gold Division on the strength of the performances of co-champions in junior Averi Mickelson and freshman Bailey Burkett.
Both competitors shot 75, which helped the Eagles shoot a school-record low 319. Liberty North earned its third conference crown, previously winning the Suburban Red in 2015 and the GKC Small Six in 2012. Mickelson’s tie with Burkett marks her second straight individual conference title.
“It feels really rewarding to be conference champion in back-to-back seasons,” Mickelson said. “I’ve had a lot of time over the spring and summer because of COVID to practice and tweak my game to get a little better.”
Mickelson has taken on a leadership role for a varsity squad with no seniors. She said that knowing this group would have another year to take a crack at state helps take some pressure off heading into the district tournament.
“We still have another year to work in the winter, spring and summer to try and get as good as we can for the next high school season.”
But Mickelson is not planning to wait a year to take her best swing at a state title. She said she’s playing her best golf right now, after already tying for sixth at state last season.
“I think I’m playing some of my best golf at the right time as we enter the postseason,” she said.
Sophomore Kate Braden shot an 82 for fourth place while her twin sister Emma took seventh with an 87. Both competitors earned all-conference honors. Junior Sophia Hudson just missed the top-15 cut off for all-conference honorable mention with her 92 score to finish 16th.
The Blue Jays finished in second place with a team score of 370. Junior Jamie Phelan shot a team-best 87 which put her in a 3-way tie for seventh place and earned her all-conference honors. Freshman Libby Hearst finished in 11th with an 89 and sophomore Isabella Peregrine shot a 92 to tie for 12th place, both earning all-conference honorable mention.
Both Liberty and Liberty North will head to the Class 4 District 4 tournament Monday, Oct. 12 on the Outlaw course at Paradise Point Golf Complex in Smithville.