Mayan Covarrubias

Riverside-Brookfield High School senior Mayan Covarrubias had an impressive second summer of Illinois Junior Golf Association tournament results.

Covarrubias won four consecutive titles, including par-72s at Cog Hill No. 3 and Jackson Park in Chicago.

“It was a really good summer, probably my best summer,” Covarrubias said. “I feel like right now I’ve improved immensely on my short game.”

As Covarrubias seeks her third consecutive IHSA Class 2A individual state berth, she is even more excited about the team.

The Bulldogs return their other two 2022 individual sectional qualifiers — junior Taryn Schultz and sophomore Lucia Vazzana. 

With more varsity returnees in sophomore Tali Schultz, juniors Ellie Megall and Lucy Drenth and seniors Cassidy Erb and Kate Newberry, they also have the depth to contend for at least a sectional team berth. 

Other varsity members are senior Jenna Schmidt and Sadie Springer and junior Ella Jurgens. In all, the 23 program members are 15 returnees and eight freshmen.

In 2022, the Bulldogs’ 355 at the Shepard Regional missed out for the last team sectional spot on a fifth-score tiebreaker with Mother McAuley (93 to 99).

“This definitely is our best chance in my five years. Coming back with everybody returning and our depth, I think we have a great chance of breaking that barrier,” RBHS coach Doug Schultz said. “With Mayan, there’s no other way to say it than she’s the best female golfer in RB history. You’re looking at someone who has the potential to be a top-10 golfer in the state.”

Covarrubias tied for 70th at state in 2022 with a 167 (84-83) but had to win a four-hole playoff for the final berth out of the Hinsdale South Sectional after shooting 79. At 2021 state, she shot 101 and missed the second-day cut. 

“One hundred twenty percent that’s the goal. I’m hoping to make it to state,” Covarrubias said. “Hopefully I’ll have someone join me.” 

Vazzana, last year’s No. 2 golfer, and the Schultz sisters (no relation to coach Schultz) will generally be the Bulldogs’ other counting scores.

“What’s great is our top four, if not six, are very competitive. They feed off each other,” coach Schultz said. “Everyone’s pushing to get better.” 

LTHS girls off to strong start

Addison Watanabe

Led by seniors Addison Watanabe, Victoria Halon, Keira Kessler and Kayla Sinars – the four returnees from last season’s IHSA Class 2A sectional lineup – the Lions already are off to a strong start. 

LTHS (320) was second at the 22-team Plainfield North Invite on Aug. 10 at Whitetail Ridge. Watanabe was seventh (76) and Kessler (80), Halon (81) and sophomore Amelia VanVuren (83) also had counting scores. Besides VanVuren, other varsity newcomers are senior Audra Porter and juniors Isabella Caulfield, Isabella Evans, Pati Pawlikowski and Miley McCullum.

Last season, Watanabe was the Lions’ lone individual qualifier for the IHSA Class 2A state meet and tied for 89th (86), one stroke from the cut for the second round. Her 78 at the Hinsdale South Sectional shared seventh among the 10 individual qualifiers. LTHS was sixth (337), 16 strokes from third for the final team berth. The Lions also shot 337 for second at regionals.

LTHS finished second in the West Suburban Conference to eventual state champion Hinsdale Central and lost only two duals all season.