Riverside-Brookfield High School junior girls golfer Mayan Covarrubias was eating at Texas Roadhouse on Oct. 7 and waiting, two hours after playing, when the official tee times finally were posted.

In her second trip to the IHSA Class 2A state meet, Covarrubias had advanced to the second round on Oct. 8.

Mayan Covarrubias

“I wasn’t really stressed out. I was just kind of hoping,” Covarrubias said. “It was kind of like happiness. I wouldn’t say relief. I made it to state either way.”

Covarrubias tied for 70th overall with a 167 (84-83) for 36 holes at Hickory Point Golf Course in Decatur.

In her 2021 state debut, Covarrubias missed the cut for the second day after shooting 101.

“I think it was just good to move on to the next day and to try keep getting better,” Covarrubias said. “I didn’t play well the year before. I just wanted to make it farther than I did last year, which is what I did.”

In her state debut, Lyons Township High School junior Addison Watanabe tied for 89th after shooting an 86, one stroke from Saturday’s cut.

Covarrubias shot 79 at the Hinsdale South Sectional and earned the individual final qualifying spot in a four-hole playoff. 

She again earned All-Metro Suburban Conference honors and helped the Bulldogs to second, their highest conference finish in recent memory. RBHS came one stroke from advancing to sectionals as a team.

Addison Watanabe

“[Next season] I’m just going to try to get back to state and get back to the second day and be in more of contention,” Covarrubias said. “I think we had a really good team. It just showed in tiny spurts, but I think next year we’ll be even more competitive.” 

Watanabe shot 78 at the Hinsdale South Sectional and was part of the Lions’ strong lineup with just two seniors that was second in the West Suburban Conference Silver to state champion Hinsdale Central and at regionals.

“It’s really great to be going to state as a junior,” Watanabe said after sectionals. “I don’t know if I can get there next year, hopefully play a little bit better, but you never really know. I’m just super excited I got there this year and I’m going to play like I’m not going back.” 

Naz girls gain experience at state finals

After some rough holes at the IHSA Class 1A Rosary Regional, Nazareth Academy junior girls golfer Gigi Montoro of North Riverside approached the No. 13 tee on the verge of giving up mentally.

She parred the hole. 

Playing for Nazareth Academy at the IHSA Class 1A girls golf championships on Oct. 7-8 were (from left) Caroline Kelly, Megan Kornafel, Anna Bukovac, Maryssa Zielinski, Kacey Hughes and Gigi Montoro. | Photo courtesy of Nazareth Academy

“I realized I just needed to keep going. I wanted to keep going and to win. I really wanted to make it to sectionals and to state,” Montoro said. “[Head coach Nicole Jeray and assistant Brian Shields] really helped me to get that mentality to start a new game every single hole.” 

Montoro and the Roadrunners’ determination took them farther than they even imagined – the program’s first team state berth since 2015 and only their second ever.

The Roadrunners (12th, 395 on Oct. 7) missed the top-eight team cut for Oct. 8 at Red Trail Run in Decatur, but they graduate only two from the lineup.

“It was probably the best experience of my life,” Montoro said. “We did not expect to make it this year. The team was just trying to have a good time, play golf and making it to state was so surreal and so amazing.”

Junior Kacey Hughes (tied for 51st, 175) and sophomore Maryssa Zielinski (tied for 68th, 188) played 36 holes. 

Montoro (102) tied for 99th in missing the individual cut on Oct. 7. Other scorers that day were senior Caroline Kelly (106), sophomore Anna Bukovac (110) and senior Megan Kornafel (127).

Hughes, Zielinski and Montoro earned All-East Suburban Catholic Conference honors. Montoro had the team’s No. 4 score at regionals (97) and No. 5 score at the Sandwich Sectional (112). 

“We’re excited to get better and to go to state again,” Montoro said. “We want to keep doing well for our seniors because we’re going to miss them so much. They’ve been a big part of my game and motivating me to keep working on my game and getting better.”