HAYS — It was a clean sweep for the Garden City girls golf team in Trent Specht’s first meet as Buffaloes’ coach.
Led by individual champion Alyssa McMillen, Garden City took the Hays High Invitational team title by 12 strokes over Hays High and Thomas More Prep-Marian on Monday at Smoky Hill Country Club.
McMillen posted a 38, edging TMP-Marian’s Shannen Chin by a stroke. Elena Lemke placed third for the Buffaloes with a 46.
“They really grinded it out,” Specht said. “I feel like we played maybe the tougher holes better than the other teams in some aspects, and I think that was kind of the difference maker. I think our girls have been working pretty hard and putting in the practice and time, and it kind of paid off today.”
It was an encouraging start to a promising season for McMillen, who placed ninth in the Class 6A tournament last year as a sophomore.
“I’ve been working all summer and went through a spurt, I guess you could say, in the summer, so it felt really good to come out and play like I did today, especially in the wind,” McMillen said. “I’ve improved a lot on my short game with my putting and chipping, and that’s helped me tremendously.”
“I watched Alyssa on three or four holes and I think she’s improved so much on the mental aspect,” McMillen added. “On the physical (aspect) she’s always been good and she’s been working hard. But just as impressive is that her mental game has improved so much, and that’s what I saw today.”
Grace Yi carded a 58 and Emma Kells a 63. Newcomers Rian Linenberger and Ashtyn Turrentine finished with a 66 and 69.
“It’s very exciting,” McMillen said of winning the HHS Invitational in the Buffaloes' first year under Specht. “I think we’re happy with our new coach and how he’s helped us so far.”