COLUBMUS — National Trail senior Makenna Jones capped off her stellar high school career with a 15th place finish at the 12th Annual Girls Division II Golf State Championships on Saturday, Oct. 12 on The Gray Course at The Ohio State University
“Each August hundreds and hundreds of girls begin the golf season in the state of Ohio. Very few of those end their season at the state tournament. A really small, elite group gets to end all four of their seasons at state,” National Trail coach Gene Eyler said. “Makenna Jones is one of that very elite group.”
Jones, the only four-time state qualifier from the county, shot an 8-over Par 78 on the first day of competition on Friday, then followed up with a 12-over 82 on Saturday to finish with a 160.
Kyleigh Dull of Lakota was the individual champion with a 3-under 137. Lima Central Catholic won the team title with a two-day total of 87-over par 647.
“Day 1 was a beautiful day as was Makenna’s swing,” Eyler said.
Jones hit 14 of 18 greens in regulation on Friday.
“However, four bad putting holes led the way to a 78 over the par 70 layout,” Eyler said. “Not what she wanted, but still in the hunt for the podium on Saturday, especially with impending bad weather coming, which Makenna typically has no problem with.”
The final round began with a wet course from overnight rains and temps in the low 40’s.
“Her swing mirrored the weather, keeping her from getting any kind of momentum going the entire day,” Eyler said. “More putting woes also contributed to an 82 for the round. This gave Makenna a two-day total of 160 which was good for a tie at 15th place of the 71 competitors.”
Eyler said Jones should be proud of accomplishments.
“While things did not end the way Makenna had hoped for, that certainly cannot be said for the unmatched accomplishments of her high school career,” he said. “She has nothing to hang her head about and can be very proud of what she accumulated over four years in National Trail girls golf.
Over those four years Jones broke all individual scoring records for Trail girls golf.
She won 27 of her 28 league dual matches; won 18 of 21 regular season invitational tournaments; won four league titles; was Player of the Year in the CCC all four years; won two sectional titles; won two district titles along with two runner-ups; qualified for the state tournament all four years.
Only one other girl has qualified all four years in the history of the D-II SW District Tournament, according to Eyler.
“I know Makenna’s season did not end as she had hoped,” Eyler said after Saturday’s round. “But she has nothing to be ashamed of as no one at Trail can match her record to this point. She has set an example for all future lady golfers to look up to and set their sights on. Ten years from now girls will still be saying, ‘I hope to be as good as Makenna Jones was.’ She is a truly gifted athlete who has worked very hard to get to this point in her career and she’s not done yet. It has truly been a pleasure to coach her this year.”
Jones, who finished 9th, 22nd, 14th and 15th at state, will continue her golfing career at the University of Cincinnati next fall.
“I hit the ball well on Friday, then today I just didn’t have it,” Jones said. “I just had a really bad day. I just couldn’t score. I couldn’t get it on the the green. I couldn’t make a putt.”
Jones said it will take some time to realize what all she accomplished during her high school career.
“I feel like I probably will in like a month,” she said. “Honestly, or after I graduate. I feel like now you just go day by day. I’m pretty disappointed (right now). Obviously, being a four-time state qualifier is pretty cool, but I had other goals in mind and I obviously didn’t reach that.”
“She has absolutely nothing to hang her head about,” Eyler said. “There’s hardly anybody who can put together the career she did and who knows if National Trail will ever have one like that again. You look at all the individual records and her name is right next to all of them. I’ve been so proud just to be her coach for one year, whether I helped her not, I don’t know. It was just a great run. I enjoyed it. I had a great time doing it. She and all the other girls. But especially with her because she is just such a talented individual.”
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4056 or follow on Twitter @emowen_RH