The Swing of Things

The Girls’ Golf Team wrapped up one of their most successful seasons by sending five players to states.


courtesy of the Rankin family

(L-R) Lauren Kardos, Amber Roth, Katie Rose Rankin, Kayli Dings, and Megan Manesiotis

Kate Gilliland, Opinions Editor

At the beginning of the season, every sports team’s goal is to make it as far as possible. The highest goal is a successful result at WPIALs and making a run at states. For the first time in five years, the North Allegheny Girls’ Golf Team made it to states and placed third.

Senior Katie Rose Rankin has been determined to make it to states since her freshman year.

“During my freshman year, we placed second in WPIALs and were told that we would play at states in two weeks, but four days before we left, our coach told us we would not be participating due to a scoring mix-up,” she said.

Accompanied by second-year coach Sarah Morrison, the team’s top five — Katie Rose Rankin, Lauren Kardos, Megan Manesiotis, Kaylee Dings, and Amber Roth — traveled to Penn State University on Tuesday, October 17th to compete in the AAA girls’ golf state championship.

“Playing in the state championship was not intimidating,” said junior Amber Roth. “Before I went up to the first tee, I was a little nervous. Once it was my turn to tee off, I was surprisingly relaxed. I had waited all season for this moment, and I was ready.”

The NA Girls’ Golf Team has not been to the state championship since 2018 when they were led by senior Caroline Wrigley, who shot two under par. The 2018 season was led by longtime coach Mike Hambrick, who retired at the end of the school year. The team, made up of two seniors and three juniors, placed first in the 2018 state championship.

This year’s squad was hopeful for a repeat of the 2018 win.

“The day we found out we were going to states was a moment none of us will ever forget. It was so relieving to know we had reached our goal,” said senior Lauren Kardos.

During the 18-hole match, the NA top five played through less-than-perfect conditions with strong, chilly winds. After playing the course for two days for the state individual championship, Rankin was determined to play another successful round.

Freshmen such as Kayli Dings hope for more successful seasons after a standout first year on the team.

“Getting to states as a freshman definitely set the bar high, and I’m ready to achieve as much as possible in the years to come,” she said.

Since the beginning of the season, junior Megan Manesiotis has said what ultimately became this season’s motto, “Road2States.”

“During the summer, I struggled to score well in tournaments. After having conversations with Katie Rose we both decided that we needed a goal to work together. This is when ‘Road2States’ took action. It is very hard to play an individual sport, so having a team that is working towards a common goal is motivating. This quote helped us all play together as a team and reminded us that there is a common end goal,” said Manesiotis.

After several years without seeing a state championship, the team accomplished the goal made back in August, with Kardos and Rankin placing third. For both seniors, it was an emotional end to their four years on the team.

“I will miss the NA girls dearly, but they have some amazing [younger] golfers on the team. The team is in good hands,” said Rankin.