NORTH PLATTE – Paige Peters of Thurston-Cuming County and Cassidy Ulrich of Hartington Cedar Catholic became familiar opponents by the end of the Class C state golf meet.
Ulrich finished three strokes better than Peters on the opening day, but the duo were paired together in one of the final groups for the second day of the event.
Peters repaid the favor, topping Ulrich by three strokes Tuesday at Lake Maloney Golf Course, giving them a share of a top-five medal.
They finished with matching 165s over the two-day tournament, which was good enough to tie for fourth.
“In my mind, I really did want to get first. I think that's what everyone's goal is here, what they're really after,” Ulrich said.
Peters expressed some disappointment in finishing with the exact same state tournament score that she posted last year as a sophomore.
“It's still a privilege to come down here,” she said.
How they arrived to those similar scores differed.
Peters started off Tuesday solid, carding two birdies on hole Nos. 3 and 5 to put herself 1-under par. But on Nos. 7 and 8, she had a triple- and double-bogey on consecutive holes on her way to a 41 on the front nine. She followed that up with her best nine-hole score of the tournament, a 3-over 39.
“I was 1-under through six, and the last three holes, I really struggled hitting the ball. Putting was a big factor in that,” Peters said.
That opened the door for Ulrich, who had bogey or worse on seven of the nine holes on the front nine – but also birdied the par-5 No. 7. She responded by scoring par on seven of the back nine.
“I shot an 82 (on the first day) and I really can't complain about that. I left a few strokes out there, but you know, that happens in every round,” Ulrich said. “But today started off differently. I shot a 45 on the front nine and took a few doubles. I really struggled, so I knew going into the back nine that I was not going to finish my senior season like that.”
A pair of seniors joined them on the medal stand.
Nikki Gotschall of O'Neill finished 12th overall, and Sherridan Bancroft of Valentine tied with Samantha Trevino of Bayard for 14th.
Gotschall carded a 90 on the opening day and followed with a 92 for a 182, and Bancroft posted matching 92s for a 184 two-day total.