Amelie Koecher has already made some history as the first Evanston golfer to reach the sector level of the Illinois State High School Championship Series more than once.
The ETHS Senior Lady added to her impressive resume on Wednesday at a Suburban Central South League meet.
Koecher earned a rare top ten in the singles competition, firing 82 for a tie for ninth with Grace Lieber of New Trier and Jessica Hoffman of Maine South at Wilmette Golf Club.
Koecher’s effort has been the Wildkit girl’s best in a league meet since Liz Jolie finished 11th in 2014. Next challenge? To become the first player in the program to reach the IHSA Finals.
The road to the state finals begins on September 29 for Koecher and her teammates in the Class 2A New Trier Regional Championships at Winnetka Golf Course. The division is scheduled to take place October 3 at Heritage Oaks Golf Course in Northbrook, and Hickory Point Golf Course in Decatur will host the two-day state finals October 7-8.
“That tenth place in the end [at the CSL South meet] It was nothing. We don’t do this every year, said ETHS coach Carlyn Joyce. “Amelie is definitely a state qualifier, and she was last year as well.
“She’s a good player when she doesn’t push herself. It’s all mental and has nothing to do with her [shot-making] Game. She has a very good work ethic, and she is very focused.”
Evanston also counted 53-48-101 by sophomore Mary Frego, 49-54-103 by senior Kylie Kimmel and 58-51-109 by sophomore Lily Proctor. He also competed for Wildkits freshman Vinicha Vig (59-55-114) and senior Audrey Norris (60-59-119).
Glenbrook North ruled the CSL South standings with 300 points, followed by New Terrier (318), Glenbrook South (321) and Maine South (343). Evanston tied Niles West for fifth at 395, but the Wildkits won the regular season with a double meet between the two schools and finished fifth overall.
Koecher just missed the first hole of her career on the rings and totaled two – in holes #1 and #16 – en route to the final 40-42-82 on a somewhat sunny season on a breezy afternoon in Willmette.
“I’m kinda shocked [to earn a top 10 medal]She said. “I was just hoping to be in the top 20 and maybe shoot under 80. I had no idea where I was going today.”
Koecher came within a few inches of the ace—“I could have blown it”—in the third and sixteenth, but she blamed not being able to lift well in the midrange from every hole to keep her from climbing higher in the final singles standings.
“I shot a 77 the last time I was here, so I know I can shoot better,” Koecher said. “I had a lot of ghosting today because I had a lot of unnecessarily missing chips, not close chips. I’m not very happy with the way I played. We played from the greens today and between 80 and 50 yards [from each hole] It was a critical distance for me. I really struggled to get the greens in two [shots].
“I’m more consistent this year and have removed most of the ‘blast’ holes. I did a good job getting rid of those double ghost. I will definitely be working more on my chip shots now, because if I can fix that I can give myself more chances to bird and that’s really important “.
“I thought all the girls were so well photographed today,” said Joyce. “I think Kylie Kimmel is our best golfer to date. She has been very consistent and nothing seems to frustrate her.”