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Hawks, Wolves rise to top

Gwinnett's top girls golfers scattered all over the state Monday, returning home with two team and two individual state championships.

Mill Creek repeated as the Class AAAAA girls state champion at Jekyll Island's Indian Mounds Course, while the Wesleyan girls won their school's first state golf title at Bartram Trail Golf Course in Evans. The Wolves had two golfers finish in the top three, led by Jenna McConnico's individual championship.

In Reidsville, Greater Atlanta Christian's Lindsay Adams won the Class AA state title with the day's best overall score of 69. Her team fell just short at Brazell's Creek though, placing second by a stroke.

The margin wasn't that close in AAAAA, where Mill Creek had a dominating performance. The Hawks, who won by seven strokes, placed all four golfers in the top eight.

Leading the way was senior Emilie Burger, who shot 72 to finish second by a stroke. The Georgia signee won state as a junior.

"It was a little different than last year," Mill Creek coach Ben Hanes said of his team's repeat. "If you were playing in a tournament last year, you would hear, 'Mill Creek, who's that? Where is that? Who are they?' But after we won the title, everybody knows perfectly well who we are.

"So everybody was looking to play their best against us this year. But truthfully the overall talent on this year's team is so much better than last year."

Burger, down two after nine holes, birdied No. 10 and eagled No. 11 to make it interesting. But eventually she was a stroke off the winning total of her friend and playing partner, Colquitt County's Anna Leigh Keith. Keith also is a future SEC golfer, having signed with Vanderbilt.

Mill Creek freshman Judy Nam shot 76 to place third individually, while teammates Jennifer Nam (82) and Jennifer Worsham (83) were seventh and eighth, respectively.

"I'm just proud of the girls and the hard work they put in," Hanes said. "They set a goal to repeat as state champions and that's just what they did."

Brookwood was 12th and Grayson was 13th in the AAAAA girls tournament.

The Wesleyan girls were the best team in Class A by a substantial margin. They shot 159, good for a 17-stroke win over Gordon Lee.

McConnico, a freshman, was the low medalist at 78 while teammate Taylor Blair, a sophomore, tied for third with an 81.

"It feels great, the girls are so excited," Wesleyan coach April Waters said. "They played great. Jenna's had a hurt shoulder and she's been working through that. ... They just played very consistently."

Providence Christian also was in the mix in that classification, placing third to Wesleyan with a 181 total. Lindsay Meredith (86) and Morgan Johnston (95) scored for the Stars.

GAC, which won state in 2007, nearly gave Gwinnett a third girls title on Monday. The Spartans shot 159, a stroke behind Blessed Trinity's 158.

Adams had an excellent day, although her round could have been lower. Thicker greens gave the golfers trouble, including a four-putt by Adams on No. 9, a 171-yard par-4.

Outside of the putting, the junior played very well with six birdies in the up-and-down round. She shot as low as 66 in a high school tournament this season.

"It just means I've got to keep working for next year," Adams said. "Hopefully we can win as a team next year and I can win again as an individual."